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9 Clever Ways to Use Salt

These must-know tips will enhance your everyday cooking — and help you clean up after dinner.
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Much More Than a Seasoning

If you think salt is a one-trick pony, you're not thinking outside the box. In fact, we're more apt to ask, "What can't salt do?" This kitchen building block is pretty much magic — it brightens dishes like sauteed chicken, mellows the bite of stronger flavors and can even help with your post-meal cleanup. Here are nine unexpected ways this multitasker earns our endless respect.

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Photo: Jun Belen ©

Make an Everyday Brine

A brief soak in a salty brine will render chicken and pork chops moist and tender in time for a weeknight dinner. Combine water, a handful of kosher salt and some aromatics like rosemary, thyme, lemons or oranges in a bowl. Add your protein and refrigerate for 30 minutes before cooking.

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Remove Stains

Dribble salad dressing on your shirt? Prevent a fresh grease stain from setting by covering it with salt, which will absorb the oils. Repeat as needed, and then wash as you regularly would. This trick also works on carpets: Mix kosher salt and rubbing alcohol together and blot the mixture into a grease stain to help lift it away.

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Photo: Roel Smart ©

Scrub Dishes

When baked-on tomato sauce stubbornly lingers in your lasagna dish, salt can help loosen it. Soak the pan in heavily salted water for about 30 minutes, then wipe away the mess. If any remains, apply salt directly to the baking dish and gently scrub. Just don't use this technique on nonstick pans and baking dishes; you'll remove their coating.

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