Celery powder and celery salt are versatile flavorings that can bring the savory notes of celery to a dish. They both come from the same plant, but they are different products with different uses. In this installment of SPICEography Showdown, we take a look at how these two sources of celery flavor stack up against each other. We’ll answer questions such as: can they be used as substitutes for each other? And, when should each be used?
What are the differences between celery powder and celery salt?
The differences between celery powder and celery salt have to do with the parts of the plant used to make them, their purpose and their flavor. The celery powder is used for flavoring food and is made from dried celery leaves and stalks that have been ground to a powder. Its flavor is not quite as concentrated as the flavor of the ground celery seeds used to make celery salt. Note that sometimes celery seed powder will be labeled simply as celery powder. You will need to check the list of ingredients to see which type you are getting.
The form of celery powder used to cure meat is typically made from dried celery juice that may be fermented to raise its nitrate content. Because it the flavor of celery is not wanted in all cases, sometimes celery powder meat cures will be formulated to neutralize the flavor.
Celery salt is typically made from ground celery seeds (celery seed powder) combined with salt to give it both saltiness and a concentrated celery flavor.
If your recipe calls for one, can you use the other?
Both are great ways to bring the celery flavor to a dish; however, it is important to keep in mind that celery salt contains salt while celery powder does not. You can use celery powder as a substitute for celery salt by adding salt in a 1:1 ratio. Use the same amount of this blend that your recipe requires for celery salt.
Celery salt can be used in place of the type of celery powder used for seasoning, but is not recommended as a substitute for the type used to cure meat. When using it to flavor food, note that you will have to make adjustments to other forms of salt added to the dish. You cannot increase the amount of celery flavor without also increasing the amount of salt, so you are limited in how much of it you can use.
When should you use celery powder and when should you use celery salt?
Use celery powder to give a strong celery flavor to soups, salad dressings, and dry rubs. You can use as much of it as you need to get the desired flavor profile. If you want to try curing meat without using sodium nitrate, you can use a celery powder made from celery juice.
You can use celery salt for many of the same applications; however, you will have to moderate your use because of the salt component. It is best for adding a light celery flavor to food or for quickly adding two flavors at the last minute. Use it to add an herbal and savory note to popcorn, fries and to oven-roasted vegetables.