Recently, I discovered a jar of kosher salt in our cupboard…

Recently, I discovered a jar of kosher salt in our cupboard… June 15, 2015

…prompting the question, “What is the difference between kosher salt and just plain salt?”

To the Internet, wherein the answer surely shall be found!

In truth, the name “kosher salt” is misleading. A better term would be “koshering salt.”

Blood is not kosher. G‑d commands us in the Torah:1 “You shall not eat any blood, whether that of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings.” After a kosher animal is properly slaughtered, all blood must be removed. This is normally accomplished by salting the meat, as salt draws out blood. Table salt is too thin and will dissolve into the meat without drawing out the blood, and salt that is too coarse will roll off. The salt that is “just right” for koshering meat is called “kosher salt.” Some people prefer to use it in certain recipes because of its consistency.

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  • Rebecca Fuentes

    Kosher salt is preferred for brining, I believe (at least, Alton Brown prefers it).

    • Ken

      Yes, there is a way to use table salt for brining, according to Cook’s Illustrated, but generally it’s used for brining. Most Chef’s prefer it because it’s larger grains and you can better judge how much you are using when you sprinkle it on food.

      • ManyMoreSpices

        I prefer it because it doesn’t have any iodine in it, which is nasty.

        • Heidi

          Iodine is actually needed in the diet. Our body does not make it. It is needed for thyroid function .

          • ManyMoreSpices

            You get plenty of iodine from prepared foods, foods cooked by others, and seafood. When it’s time to season the food you make from scratch, omitting iodized salt is fine. And much better tasting.

      • D.T. McCameron

        Aye, finer salt is dangerous to mete out. Easily over-applied.

  • Mark R

    It is less bitter, because there is no iodine additive.

  • Theresa CKB

    Fascinating! I never even thought to wonder about such a thing.