Maldon sea salt and kosher salt are just two of many different kinds of salt prized by serious cooks. Chefs often have both on hand although they are almost identical in terms of their chemical makeup. The fact is that although they are both cooking salts, they each bring unique qualities to the dishes in which they are used. Let’s compare them to help you make the best choices for your recipes.
Table of Contents
- How does Maldon sea salt differ from kosher salt?
- Can you use Maldon sea salt as a substitute for kosher salt? And vice versa?
- When should you use Maldon sea salt? And when should you use kosher salt?
- Must-read related posts
How does Maldon sea salt differ from kosher salt?
If you place a teaspoon of Maldon salt next to a teaspoon of kosher salt, the first difference that you will notice is the texture. The size and shape of the respective grains are different. The size is important since the larger the crystals, the less actual salt you will fit into a tablespoon or other measuring vessel. Simply, you will be fitting in more air between the particles with larger crystals.
Maldon sea salt consists of larger pyramid-shaped crystals. It’s considered a flake salt, and as such takes up more space than a fine sea salt or even a larger-grained kosher salt.
Kosher salt can vary in crystal size, but its crystals are usually grainy, coarse, and irregular in shape. Keep in mind that its original purpose was to draw the blood from meat according to Jewish dietary law. This required salt crystals that were large enough to not dissolve and be drawn into the meat, but small enough to adhere and not simply fall off.
The next big difference has to do with cost. Maldon sea salt is considered a luxury item and is priced accordingly. It is expensive when compared to kosher salt, which is more expensive than regular table salt but is usually still affordable.
Lastly, there are the actual compounds that make up the salt. Maldon sea salt is mostly sodium chloride but will contain minerals from seawater. These minerals will be present only in trace amounts but can still affect the flavor. Maldon is known for having a light flavor that passes quickly without lingering. Kosher salt can be made from seawater but is often made from mined salt, so it will not have these minerals.
Can you use Maldon sea salt as a substitute for kosher salt? And vice versa?
Both Maldon sea salt and kosher salt are primarily salty. You can use them interchangeably in any dish where the salt flavor is the only thing you want. That said, each of these salts excels in its own area and it would be a waste to use them as you would use table salt. Maldon sea salt can be used in place of kosher salt, but it will cost you more and may not be as easy to accurately measure.
You can use kosher salt as a substitute for Maldon but a discerning eater will be able to tell the difference instantly. Kosher salt will not have the distinctive crunch of Maldon’s large crystals nor its light, briny flavor.
–> Learn More: What’s A Good Maldon Salt Substitute?
When should you use Maldon sea salt? And when should you use kosher salt?
Use Maldon sea salt flakes as a finishing salt and nothing else. Because it is chemically similar to kosher salt but so much more expensive, use it where its unique qualities are highlighted. The right applications (even just a sprinkle) allow you to enjoy its visual appeal and the crunch that it adds to foods. Because of the price, you may also want to reserve it for seasoning your more expensive ingredients.
Kosher salt is great for seasoning before cooking and is a wonderful complement for both vegetables and meat. It’s often considered the best salt for steaks as it doesn’t dissolve quickly and, due to its visibility, can be placed evenly across the meat.