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Diamond Crystal kosher salt, long a darling of restaurant kitchens, is having a moment

  • August 13, 2023

On a recent Friday morning, cookbook author Molly Baz put the finishing touch on a new recipe for shingled tomato toast with sesame mayo. Reaching into a wooden salt cellar, she grabbed a three-finger pinch of salt and showered her dish.

Not just any salt – Diamond Crystal kosher salt.

“It’s just the only way,” Baz said. “It’s probably the most-used salt in all professional kitchens.”

In FX’s “The Bear,” brick-red boxes of Diamond Crystal are visible throughout the restaurant’s kitchen. Sydney, the chef de cuisine, instructs a chef de partie to salt T-bone steaks “like a sidewalk” with it.

Ina Garten has called the salt “perfect.” It’s used in recipe testing at America’s Test Kitchen and Bon Appétit. When rumors swirled in 2019 that the salt would be discontinued, Francis Lam, the editor-in-chief of cookbook publisher Clarkson Potter, bought 10 boxes.

Yet, it’s never been easy for home cooks to get their hands on a box. Weighing 3 pounds and standing 9 inches tall, the large box was designed for the demands of restaurants, not home kitchens. It doesn’t fit nicely on a supermarket shelf because it was never meant to be sold there, and so it’s often out of reach on the top shelf or stuffed on the bottom. Availability has been fickle.

After decades focused on supplying the food service industry, Diamond Crystal has decided to pass the salt to home cooks by giving the heritage brand founded in 1886 a glow-up. A redesigned box began replacing the old design quietly last fall. And in June, Diamond Crystal, with its more modern packaging, hit shelves at national retailers like Trader Joe’s for the first time, to great fervor.

Before 2020, the salt had modest retail distribution, mostly in the Northeast, said Sonya Roberts, the president of

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