Seasoned salt refers to a mixture consisting of table salt along with various herbs, spices and flavorings. Common seasonings used in the blend include garlic, onion and parsley. Paprika is regularly included and gives the salt its distinctive reddish hue. Monosodium glutamate, a commercially made sodium salt, is sometimes added as a flavor enhancer. Seasoning salt comes in a number of brands and is widely available at most supermarkets and online grocery stores.
As an all-purpose seasoning, seasoned salt is often used as a substitute for adding additional salt, pepper and herbs to a dish. Depending on the recipe being followed, an cook can save time by using his or her preferred seasoning salt instead of keeping a variety of fresh herbs and spices on hand. The savory flavor of seasoning salt has made it a popular choice for adding zest to pork, seafood, burgers and fries. To compliment dishes like chili where additional heat is preferred, hot or spicy versions of seasoned salt are also available. Such mixtures typically include some combination of black, red or cayenne pepper.
In Australia and New Zealand, seasoned salt is generally referred to as chicken salt. Although the ingredients in chicken salt are similar to seasoning salt, some brands also contain chicken extracts. The term seasoned salt is also used to refer to salt blended with just one other seasoning such as onion salt, but these combinations often contain a light garnishing of additional herbs for a more robust flavor. For example, garlic salt is mainly a mix of garlic and salt but onion is often blended into the recipe for additional zest. While lemon pepper salt is often a mix of coarse black pepper with table salt and lemon flavoring, the combination has a citrus seasoning suited to flavoring vegetables or using in a marinade.
Due to the addition of other ingredients, a serving of seasoned salt generally includes less sodium than regular salt, but it is still likely to be a significant source of sodium. Individuals with high blood pressure or those looking to lower the amount of sodium they consume can choose to purchase reduced sodium season salt as an alternative. Homemade flavored salts are another alternative to consider as they allow a cook to use less salt than commercially made seasoned salts and add in additional flavorings. For a homemade seasoned salt, regular table salt can be thrown into a blender along with preferred herbs and spices. Sea salt or kosher salt may be used instead for a more gourmet experience.
To add a dash of color and give flavor, seasoned salt is often dusted over a dish before it is served. In fact, professional chefs often create their own finishing salts to sprinkle over a dish and the plate to add vibrant colors to a meal. Recipe books and a number of website portals offer recipes for creating gourmet seasoned salts and provide tips on experimenting with this edible salt while cooking.