About Kosher Salt

I’ve been asked a number of times, “Why use kosher salt?”

There are a few reasons why, let me outline them for you.

Kosher salt is a type of coarse salt which is usually made without additives. The salt itself is not necessarily Kosher, but takes its name from the Kosher meat curing process. Kosher salt is ideal for certain cooking projects and is preferred to table salt by many professional chefs, because Kosher salt has a more mild flavor and the flaky crystalline structure of the salt helps it adhere to a variety of surfaces.

Like all salts, Kosher salt is a form of sodium chloride. Salt can be extracted from seawater by a direct evaporation process, or it can be mined from salt deposits under the Earth’s crust. Table salt is heavily refined so that it has a precise square shape, and iodine is usually added during the refining process. Kosher salt is allowed to remain a more coarse-grained salt, meaning that the structure of Kosher salt under a microscope looks like a series of cubes stacked on top of each other, rather than a single grain.

Kosher salt is not heavily refined or iodine treated, it has a salt flavor which many consider to be more pure. This is why it is favored for seasoning in many kitchens. The coarseness of the grain of Kosher salt also allows chefs to measure pinches of the salt with ease. Because of the large grain, kosher salt is not well suited to baking or table service, when fine grained salts are more appropriate.

In addition to being used for seasoning, Kosher salt is used to create salt crusts on baked fish, to create a salty rim on margarita glasses, and to rub meats along with other spices before cooking. Kosher salt is also used in pickling because the lack of iodine reduces the risk of discoloration and cloudiness. Most professional kitchens keep a stock of Kosher salt in small dishes around the kitchen so that it can be quickly and easily added to foods.

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