A life without salt is a life not lived. We know—salt isn’t good for the ole’ blood pressure—but it just tastes so darn good!

There are a zillion different kinds of salts to learn about—sour salt, colored salt, and Fleur de Sel salt—but the these five are most likely to come in handy with your day-to-day cooking routine.

For all the salt enthusiasts out there, here is a brief description of five salts to have on hand and when to use them.

5 salts to have on hand and why

1. Table salt

The salt found on every table, in nearly every home, and every restaurant all over the world…we have to start somewhere. Table salt dissolves easily and measures great, so it’s best used for baking.

2. Coarse salt

As a child, did you eat the little salt nibblits off of your Rold Golds before happily popping the pretzels in your mouth? Those luscious little salt crystals commonly found on pretzels are called coarse salt.

Coarse salts have large salt crystals with jagged edges – the term generally refers to the size of the granule rather than the type of salt. Coarse salt can be a lot of things, however it’s commonly used as a finishing salt for meats and salads, especially if you want the granules to be visible.

3. Kosher salt

Many people get coarse salt and kosher salt confused.

Kosher salt is definitely “coarse,” but there are no additives, such as iodine.

Kosher salt gained its namesake because the grain quality assists with making meats kosher by removing surface blood from the animals.

Cooks commonly use kosher salt as “finishing” salt because the larger granules provide less coverage to the food being seasoned than a fine salt. This is pleasing to the palette because it lends itself to salty and savory highlights in the food. Kosher salt is generally used for brining and pickling.

Did you know, nearly all salt is technically kosher. When people think of kosher salt, it is commonly associated with grain size.

4. Sea salt

Now we’re getting to the good stuff.

Sea salt is distilled salt from seawater, which can be purchased fine or coarsely ground.

While there is no hard evidence that this salt is more pure and delicious than coarse or kosher salt, we think it’s positively divine!

Sea salts can be sprayed with flavor infused brine, or salty liquid, such as lemon peel and rosemary extract to add additional seasoning elements to the salt.

Sea salt can come in a variety of colors depending on its mineral content, and the different flake size is generally determined by how it’s harvested.

Use sea salt anywhere, on anything!

5. Flaked sea salt

Flaked sea salt is basically the Beyoncé of all the salt—fierce and fabulous.

Flaked sea salt, which look like little snowflakes, accentuates the flavor of everything it’s added to because of its briny flavor.

Rather than using flaked sea salt while you cook, you should use the flakes to flavor your meal at the time it is served.