Are you a fan of giant, flaky salt crystals but don’t want to shell out for a box of Maldon? Lucky for you, our friends at ChefSteps let us in on a trick that’ll turn regular old kosher salt into fancy flaky salt crystals. You’ll need a sous vide set up, sink space and a free day to create those glorious flakes of goodness.
Turn Cheap Kosher Salt Into Fancy, Flaky Salt Crystals
Makes 1000 grams; 12 to 24 hours
- 1 kilogram kosher salt
- Water, as needed
- Stainless steel pans
- In a stainless steel pot, add the salt and water and bring to a boil to dissolve. If 100 percent of the salt is not dissolved and you see some tiny crystals at the bottom of the pot, add some more water until they disappear. Note that you want to dissolve the salt crystals in the least amount of water possible. A ratio of one part salt to four parts water is recommended with a boil. Once all the salt has been fully dissolved and there are no salt crystals left, you are done with this step.
- Set up your Joule in a pot or a Cambro and add a tray or two to hold the salt solution. Make sure you use glass or stainless steel for this because salt is, well, you know, salty and corrosive—so definitely no raw aluminum! Fill your trays with the salt solution and set Joule to a temperature range of 104 °F / 40 °C to 140 °F / 60 °C . The temperature will determine how fast the water evaporates, which will determine how fast the solution concentrates—which, in turn, determines the size of the crystals. Lower temperature means slower evaporation, which means bigger crystals. Make sense? At this point, just walk away. Nothing bad can happen, only good.
- You’re looking for the crystals to re-form into larger clumps that sink to the bottom of the pan. It should take 12 to 24 hours, depending on the temperature you used to evaporate the water in the trays. The mixture will be slightly slushy and wet, but most of the water will have evaporated.
- Scoop the newly formed large salt crystals out of the trays with a slotted spoon. Be careful not to crumble the crystals too much when scooping! These crystals are pretty strong, but you could ruin all your hard work in one fell scoop. Drain as much water as possible with each scoop. Spread the crystals out on a baking sheet to dry. Boom! You just made fancy, flaky salt crystals—perfect for finishing any dish—out of cheap, kosher salt. Go forth and sprinkle.
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