Extra Helpings: Kosher Salt vs. Table Salt


Blanca asks: What is the difference between regular salt and kosher salt? If I don’t have kosher salt, can I just use regular salt in my recipe?

There’s something so flamboyantly romantic and artistic when a chef reaches into a crock for a pinch of salt and throws it into the food with a flourish (and, no, Mama doesn’t find it the least bit show-offish). It just wouldn’t have the same effect if the chef stood there with a saltshaker… shaking, shaking, shaking… would it?

Anyhow, that’s kosher salt the chef is using… not table salt.

Chefs love kosher salt because the large grains make it easy to season with and because it dissolves slowly in cooking. It’s also chemical free, so it tastes better.

Unlike kosher salt, anti-caking chemicals are added to table salt to help it flow freely out of the saltshaker. Iodine is also in there, and has been since 1924, when the government asked the Morton Salt Co. to add it to its product. (People weren’t getting enough iodine in their diets, so the government stepped i… hard to imagine that happening today without an uproar, huh?).

Table salt also weighs more than kosher salt, so that’s another reason why you can’t substitute it equally.

So to answer your question, there is a difference: texture, taste and weight.

Oh, one other thing… and as long as no organic ingredient is introduced into it, salt, kosher or table, keeps forever. For more info about different kinds of salt, click here.


I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: mamashighstrung@gmail.com