Seasoned Salt: History, Flavor, Benefits, Uses

Seasoned salt is a spice blend that includes salt as one of the ingredients and is a US invention. There are many variations of seasoned salt across the US, but all appear to be variations of the only universal one: Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. For starters, Lawry’s is the only one that calls itself a seasoned salt; the others are seasoning salts.

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Lawry’s Seasoned Salt was created by Lawrence Frank, the one-time owner of two famous Los Angeles restaurants: The Tam O’Shanter and Lawry’s Prime Rib Restaurant. According to one story, it took Frank months of experimentation to come up with his seasoned salt blend.

Lawry’s Seasoned Salt was served only at the prime rib restaurant, where it was kept on the tables alongside pepper and salt. The seasoned salt was to be sprinkled onto the prime rib after it was carved. The Lawry’s blend was so popular that customers would take the containers home with them. Frank would go on to form a separate company to make the seasoning salt and sell it to stores. The retail version of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt hit the market in 1938 and was the first of this kind of spice blend to do so. It would eventually sell so much that it rivaled table salt.

Today, the Lawry’s Seasoned Salt product line is owned by McCormick & Company.

Seasoned salt flavor profile

The ingredients in seasoned salt include paprika, garlic, and onion along with salt and sugar to provide the main flavor elements. Together, they work to provide a strong umami profile that manages to enhance food without being distinctive enough to overpower other notes. The main ingredients are unobtrusive enough to make the blend suitable for almost any kind of savory food.

Health benefits of seasoned salt

The first ingredient on the seasoned salt ingredients list is salt. While salt is an essential nutrient, we only need a relatively small amount of it. Any significant health benefits would come from the other ingredients, and the amounts of those are small enough to render the overall nutritional value insignificant.

Health concerns

Each serving of seasoned salt contains a large chunk of your recommended daily sodium intake. Excessive salt in your diet can contribute to a range of serious illnesses. High blood pressure, heart diseases and even cancer can all result from the overuse of ingredients like seasoned salt. You can mitigate the danger of seasoned salt by using a low-sodium version of it or limiting your use of the regular kind.

Common uses

One classic way to use seasoned salt is as a table condiment, as Lawrence Frank originally intended. It can provide a last-minute burst of flavor to a range of bland foods. If you regularly cook soul food, seasoned salt is a key ingredient that can give your food a more authentic edge. Use seasoned salt as a part of your seasoning mix for steaks, prime rib and roast beef.

If you are making hamburger patties by hand, you can mix in some seasoned salt or sprinkle it on the outside of premade patties; the seasoning blend is excellent for other hamburger dishes, including meatloaf.

If you are in a hurry, seasoned salt on its own can make a good dry rub for meat that you plan to grill or smoke. If you have time, you can use seasoned salt as one component in a dry rub blend, where it can provide depth.