A Hamburger Today
Why Don't Recipes Include Salt Amounts?
"Given the importance of seasoning, it's odd how often it is overlooked in recipe books," notes Bee Wilson in her Telegraph piece on specifying quantities of salt in recipes. She points out that Indian chefs tend to be precise in specifying how much salt to use in a recipe and when to add it, but other chefs will list salt or pepper without a quantity. Although this may work for accomplished chefs, "for the inexperienced cook it can be hard to judge."
My experience as an inexperienced cook lacking intuition is that not being told how much salt or pepper to use in a recipe usually results in something that tastes less than palatable. If I use too much I'll ruin my dish; if I use too little it'll taste bland. I'd rather err on the side of bland than something that tastes like a salt lick. Unfortunately, this means I cook more for sustenance than deliciousness. (On the upside, no one ever asks me to cook for them.)
How do you cook? Do you appreciate it when recipes specify how much salt to use or would you rather add what you see fit?