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pmillen

Why do Recipes Call For Kosher Salt?

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Why do recipes call for kosher salt when it’s usually dissolved in the process?

All salt is kosher.  Some salt packages have the kosher symbol on the label.  It’s there not because the salt has been koshered, but because a kosher certifier has confirmed that the salt doesn’t also contain non-kosher material.

So why then is some salt plainly labeled Kosher Salt?  It’s because it should be labeled koshering salt—salt used for koshering.  Meat is salted during the koshering process to drive out any remaining blood (blood is not kosher).  Koshering salt has grains that are flat, like flakes, and they’re the best shape for staying on the meat during koshering.

So you can use table salt in any recipe that calls for kosher salt.  But since the flat kosher salt grains settle in a measuring spoon differently than the table salt grains you shouldn’t use the same volume.  Any volume of table salt weighs about 25% more than the same volume of kosher salt.

Here’s a table for converting table salt volumes to other salts https://www.mortonsalt.com/article/salt-conversion-chart/.

To convert from kosher salt to others you can either use the table backwards or do the 25% math.  I can’t find an appropriate table. 

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I don't know the answer to your question but I had built this little table a while back for my own use.....

 

20190219_GramWeights.jpg

 

These are gram weights of stuff I frequently need to convert back to other measures for the folks who don't speak metric.  You can see from this chart that salts are not created equal at all... even 'kosher' salts.  Your 25% number doesn't even jive with these measures.  It's frustrating to say the least.  

 

Cooking experience will eventually get you to a 'salt to taste' measure UNLESS its in baking where you can't just add salt.  This is the main reason the metric system weights are so much more reliable than volume measures of any kind for cooking.  In some cooking precision doesn't matter much.  In others, it does.  The thing about salt is... that... well.... salt is salt.  Sodium chloride.  Kosher salt... sea salt.. table salt... it's all the same stuff.  The boutique salts have other trace minerals in them that give them color or other characteristics but they don't translate to anything else when cooking with it.  It's still NaCl. 1 Tablespoon of table salt is a LOT MORE salt than 1 tablespoon of Diamond Crystal kosher salt.  By my measurements, it's 70% more.  That's enough to screw up a recipe.

 

When you are reading a recipe, if it just says 'salt' then you should use table salt.... or your own calculated version of a kosher/sea salt equivalent.  

 

For more AWESOME information about cooking with salt, check out the book called "Salt Fat Acid Heat" by Samin Nosrat.

 

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John, I agree with everything in your post.

 

Also, you wrote, "For more AWESOME information about cooking with salt, check out the book called "Salt Fat Acid Heat" by Samin Nosrat."  I heard her interviewed on National Public Radio yesterday and ordered the book today.

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15 minutes ago, pmillen said:

John, I agree with everything in your post.

 

Also, you wrote, "For more AWESOME information about cooking with salt, check out the book called "Salt Fat Acid Heat" by Samin Nosrat."  I heard her interviewed on National Public Radio yesterday and ordered the book today.

 

Awesome :)  There is a 4 part series based on the book on Netflix also...

 

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5 hours ago, John Setzler said:

 

Awesome :)  There is a 4 part series based on the book on Netflix also...

 

If you haven't watched the Netflix series, I enthusiastically recommend it.  

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Kosher salt is good for curing and pulling juices out of meat. I think Kosher meat has to have blood or juices removed from it. Anyway, I use it for brining salmon and curing bacon.

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Many years ago, when I got serious about BBQ, table salt was a No-No due to the iodine in it.

Supposedly it discolored the meat when used in a rub. I've since used Kosher salt for all rubs and curing.

We use sea salt, and more recently, Himalayan pink salt for table use. I don't remember the last time we

purchased regular, iodine table salt. Nothing against, just don't use it.

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Of course.

2 hours ago, ndg_2000 said:

All of the above is true but iodine is a micronutrient your body needs. Iodine was introduced to table salt so everyone got it in their diet. Iodine is not a bad thing your thyroid needs it 

 

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/iodine-healthprofessional/

 

But most people don't need to get it as a supplement added to all of the salt they consume.

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I forget where it was exactly but I've seen a long video of Wayne Mueller prepping briskets and he stated that his mix was 90% 16 mesh black pepper and 10% iodized table salt, and that he had to special order it just because it was hard for him to find (I assume in the quantities he needs).

 

This was interesting to me just because since it looks like his percentages were by volume, using small crystal salt instead of koshering salt changes the weight distribution between the salt and the pepper.

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