Kosher salt is more accurately called koshering salt since it is salt that is used for koshering, but it itself is not kosher. Koshering refers to the ceremonial process of drawing blood out of meat, which is a task for which this ingredient is well-suited. Kosher salt is a popular salt among professional and home cooks alike due its flavor and ease of measuring (as a coarse-grained salt.) All that said, it is important to keep the dos and don’ts of this seasoning in mind when using it if you want to get consistent results.
Table of Contents
- Do use kosher salt in dishes with subtle flavors.
- Do use kosher salt in dishes where precise quantities are crucial.
- Do use twice as much kosher salt when adding it to a dish in place of table salt.
- Do use kosher salt for rimming margarita glasses.
- Don’t use kosher salt for baking if you can help it.
- Don’t go looking for kosher salt if you are not in the U.S.
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Do use kosher salt in dishes with subtle flavors.
Kosher salt is iodine free. If you are among the people for whom iodine’s taste is a problem, kosher salt can help you season your food without the bitter flavor notes. Use kosher salt on subtly flavored food when all you want is the salty taste with no aftertaste.
Do use kosher salt in dishes where precise quantities are crucial.
Kosher salt’s larger grains are easier to pick up when compared to the crystals of regular table salt or a fine sea salt. Table salt grains are consistently the same size, which allows them to flow smoothly. That smooth-flowing characteristic is not ideal when you need a pinch of salt, since some of the grains tend to fall away when pinched. The irregular grains of kosher salt make the pinching action more precise and can give you exactly the amount of salt that you want for your application.
Do use twice as much kosher salt when adding it to a dish in place of table salt.
If your recipe calls for a teaspoon of table salt, use two teaspoons of kosher salt in its place. Because of the irregular shape of kosher salt crystals, there tends to be a lot of air trapped in any given volume of it. The grains do not fit together to create a dense mass like grains of table salt. The result is that a teaspoon of kosher salt will have much less salting power than the equivalent amount of table salt.
Do use kosher salt for rimming margarita glasses.
Kosher salt not only adheres well to glasses, it does so in moderation; your drink will not be too salty. Table salt tends to clump, resulting in far too much salt accumulating on the rim. Furthermore, kosher salt is considerably less expensive than other equally effective options like coarse fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt.
Don’t use kosher salt for baking if you can help it.
While it can work in some cases in a pinch, it is generally not the best choice since it does not dissolve as quickly or as consistently as table salt.
Don’t go looking for kosher salt if you are not in the U.S.
The term kosher salt is not widely used anywhere else in the world. If you are in Europe, you will most likely have to settle for a flaky sea salt (like Maldon sea salt) since actual kosher salt is not available in most grocery stores. If you need to make a substitution, look also to these alternatives that can work.