Do you really need Kosher salt?

Kosher salt

Kenji Alt over at The Food Lab (nominated as a James Beard finalist - congrats!) recently addressed the question: Do I Need to Use Kosher Salt? After acknowledging that there is no difference chemically among table, Kosher, and fine sea salts, he goes on to compare the three for texture and flavor, ultimately explaining why he keeps Kosher salt for cooking and fine sea salts for finishing dishes.

We would have to agree with his analysis, especially as to why Kosher salt is the best salt for cooking: "Kosher salt, on the other hand, has larger, coarser grains that are easy to feel and easy to sprinkle, making it much easier to gauge the proper level of seasoning."

What he doesn't mention, but what we feel is a strong point in favor of Kosher salt, is that because of the larger grains, and because seasoning is so much more effective when added during cooking than when added at the table, Kosher salt allows you to reduce the amount of salt you use in your diet overall, while not affecting taste.

It should also be pointed out that there are variations in Kosher salt - Diamond Crystal has larger-sized crystals than Morton's, so if you're converting recipes that call for table salt, use twice as much Diamond Crystal Kosher salt but only 1 1/4 times Morton's (or even keep it the same and add to taste).  For a more refined explanation of the difference, see Not All Salts are Created Equal over at Smitten Kitchen.

1 Comment

  • sir_ken_g  on  3/21/2013 at 12:19 PM

    Not the only place you can find it - but Kosher is always iodine free - which you want for bread. Iodine kills yeast.

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