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Kosher Salt vs Table Salt

Kosher Salt and sea salt flakes on wooden spoon.

Salt is an essential ingredient for cooking. Many think all it does is make food taste salty, but that is not all it does. I do not like my food to be overly salty, but I use salt in everything I cook. It does so much more than add a salty taste to food. When used properly, it enhances the flavor of your food.

There are many variations of salt available for use. It is essential to know the difference between kosher salt vs table salt. Continue reading this article to find out all the differences. 

Related: Kosher Salt vs. Sea Salt | Cleaning with Salt | Types of Salt | Salt Substitute Options | Salt and Sugar Curing | Himalayan Salt Lamp Benefits

What is Salt?

Salt is a mineral that is crystallized and consists of two elements, sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl). The chemical name of salt is NaCl. These two elements are essential for the human body to function. They help the nerves and brain send electrical impulses. Too much sodium may be bad for the body as it can cause blood pressure to increase. 

Most salt is harvested from a salt mine or the evaporation of water. Sea water or mineral-rich water can be used for the evaporation process. Salt is commonly used for flavor but also preserves food. Bacteria have difficulty growing in an environment that has a lot of salt. Most people in the West have a diet high in processed food which puts a lot of sodium in their body. 

What is Table Salt?

A close look at a spilled salt shaker with table salt.

The most common salt is table salt. This is the fine table salt that you will find on most tables. Table salt is refined and is heavily ground while trace minerals and impurities are removed.

Table salt is dense, small, and uniform cubes which makes adds a fair amount of salt. You do not have to use a lot to get the desired result. Table salt clumps because it is so heavily ground. There are anti-caking agents added to the salt to ensure it flows through your salt shaker.

For table salt to be food grade, it usually contains 97 percent of sodium chloride. In most countries, it also includes iodine. The addition of iodine is to prevent iodine deficiency which is common in certain parts of the world. The addition of iodine may give it a slightly metallic taste. This salt is called iodized table salt. 

What is the Purpose of Table Salt?

Table salt is great for baking, especially when you only need a small amount of salt. A small amount is about a teaspoon or two. Table salt is cost-effective and one of the cheapest salt options.

If using small amounts of it in baking, it will dissolve quickly and will not leave a metal taste behind in your baked food. This is the regular table salt that you will use when you are at a restaurant. Table salt is the one that you will find on just about every table. 

What is Kosher Salt?

A glass bowl of kosher salt crystals.

Kosher salt is a coarse and large grain that is incredibly versatile. It is not typically iodized and has large flakes that do not dissolve quickly. The large flakes make kosher salt for the process of koshering. There is a traditional Jewish law that requires blood to be removed from the meat before it can be eaten.

The flakiness of kosher salt makes it effective at removing blood from the meat. It is important to know that not all kosher salt is technically kosher and can be used in the koshering process. For salt to be considered technically kosher, it must be manufactured under specific standards and guidelines. It must be labeled kosher-certified to be technically koshering salt. 

Kosher salt gives you a burst of flavor, but if allowed to dissolve in food, it does not taste any different than other salts. Kosher salt does not contain anti-caking agents. Kosher salt is easy to spread over your food. 

What is the Purpose of Kosher Salt?

Kosher salt is versatile. It dissolves quickly, making it perfect for the cooking process, as well as before and after you cook. Many think that kosher salt is better to have on hand than table salt. There are different brands of kosher salt, and they have slightly different properties. As a result, they may have different results. The coarse texture of kosher salt makes it easier to pinch and, therefore, easier to control the amount you use. It is a great finishing salt.

The Difference Between Table Salt and Kosher Salt

The most significant difference between table salt and kosher salt is the flake structure. Kosher salt is larger and flakier, which makes it easier to pick up and spread. The flakiness of the salt means 1 teaspoon of kosher salt weighs less than 1 teaspoon of table salt. You cannot substitute one salt for the other in a 1:1 ratio because your food will either be too bland or too salty. 

What is Celtic Salt?

This is a close look at a heap of Celtic salt on a table.

Celtic salt is a kind of sea salt crystals that first found popularity in France. Celtic salt has trace amounts of minerals, but has less sodium than found in regular salt. Celtic salt is moist because it contains a large amount of water. 

What is Pink Himalayan Salt?

A close look at pieces of Himalayan salt on a small dish.

Himalayan pink salt comes from the Khewra Salt Mines in Pakistan. This is the largest salt mine you will find in the world. Himalayan salt has trace amounts of iron oxide, also knowns as rust. This is what give the Himalayan salt its pink color. It has trace amounts of magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium, but is also lower in sodium than edible salt, also known as regular table salt.

Pink Himalayan salt is considered one of the specialty salts. Many people enjoy the flavor of Himalayan salt over other salts, including fine sea salt or refined salt. The color of this salt adds color to the food which makes it appealing visually. 


Is Kosher Salt Healthier Than Table Salt?

Kosher salt, sea salt, and table salt contain just about the same amount of sodium. That basically means that one salt is not better, or healthier, than the other. Kosher salt is coarse, where as table salt is fine. this means that kosher salt contains less sodium by volume. It may be easier to state that 1 teaspoon of kosher salt has less sodium than 1 teaspoon of table salt. You cannot replace them at a 1:1 ratio.

What Can I Use if I Do Not Have Kosher Salt?

If you do not have kosher salt, you can use sea salt. Sea salt has large salt crystals. The texture of sea salt makes it an ideal substitute for kosher salt because it offers the same type of crunch that you get from kosher salt. This makes it a perfect finishing salt. Sea salt is as close to kosher salt as you can get.