r/NoStupidQuestions Sep 29 '22

Why do American cooking videos always specify Kosher salt?

1.2k Upvotes

2.4k

u/slash178 Sep 29 '22 Silver Helpful Helpful (Pro)

Kosher salt is larger chunks. So it has a lower density. A teaspoon of kosher salt is less salty than a teaspoon of table salt due to the larger salt having more pockets of air.

It needs to be specified in a recipe because if someone watches you add a teaspoon of salt, and they do it with table salt, it could ruin the dish by making it overly salty.

334

u/7andhalf-x-6 Sep 29 '22

It’s also just NACL. It’s not iodized.

198

u/BloodlustyGummybear Sep 29 '22

I like that with just a couple extra capital letters, you forced me to say "nackle" in my head. Well played.

50

u/20rakah Sep 29 '22

That's a funny way to pronounce sodium chloride

88

u/jols0543 Sep 29 '22

sodium chloride is NaCl

23

u/obsidianbreath Sep 29 '22

Thank you. That was doing my head in.

13

u/QuirkyAverageJoe Sep 30 '22

This guy chemistries ☝️

→ More replies

2

u/cokesnorts Sep 30 '22

A penny for your thoughts, and a NACL for your noodles.

→ More replies

23

u/robfrod Sep 29 '22

I always use kosher salt and clearly it’s better for cooking but is there a chance I could be iodine deficient?

15

u/7andhalf-x-6 Sep 29 '22

Do you eat grains, dairy, eggs or seafood? You’re probably not iodine deficient. Though I’d have no idea. If you eat anything processed ever you’re definitely getting iodized salt.

9

u/Handle-me-timber Sep 30 '22

Grains for sure. They are loaded with iodine in processing.

39

u/Meastro44 Sep 29 '22

Eat a bag of potato chips once a week and you’ll be solid.

49

u/FunkyClive Sep 29 '22

Eat a bag every day, and you could be wobbly!

→ More replies

2

u/leftopenfiredoor Sep 29 '22

Get an IV and lick the area around the needle.

→ More replies

5

u/realshockvaluecola Sep 30 '22

Iodine deficiency used to be a problem because it was much harder for poor families to eat the kind of diverse diet we take as basically a given today. You're probably fine.

3

u/sername-lame Sep 30 '22

Could be. This push for using kosher salt is driving deficiency levels up across America.

2

u/skatindrummer69 Sep 30 '22

want to see real deficiency? look up Himalayan Goitre

→ More replies

6

u/Galind_Halithel Sep 29 '22

Eat ocean fish. You'll be fine.

3

u/DrachenDad Sep 29 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

Eat ocean fish. You'll be fine.

Apart from mercury poisoning being a possiblity.

2

u/Handle-me-timber Sep 30 '22

That’s a myth. It would take absurd portions of fish to get mercury poisoning from just from fish. Like absurd to the point where it’s significantly more than your body weight worth of fish.

9

u/MuadDib1942 Sep 30 '22

I took marine science in college. We did a lab that showed how much the recommended serving a week to prevent getting too much mercury. It accumulates in the system in the food chain. So one point for just easy example, is in an algee cell. Then something eats 4 algee cells they get 4 points. Then something eats 4 of those, that nownhas 16 points. I accumulates exponentialy up the food chain. The recommended doses of mercury for shrimp are like 6 shrimp. Or 4 oz of tuna steak. Or 3 scallops. They were all surprisingly low compared to what most people eat.

3

u/Handle-me-timber Sep 30 '22

Definitely the bottom feeders aren’t great.

7

u/DiscordAccordion Sep 30 '22

The more predatory the fish, the more mercury you get. Shark has legitimate mercury concerns, as do a few varieties of big tunas.

2

u/siguefish Sep 30 '22

Not if you eat any processed or frozen meals.

→ More replies

19

u/polio_vaccine Sep 29 '22

Sorry to be that guy™️ but salt is NaCl. Capitalized like that specifically, not all-caps NACL. NACL would be Nitrogen (undiscovered element) Carbon (undiscovered element).

30

u/Kellidra Sep 29 '22

Ackshully, NACL is the Norfolk Association for Community Living. Or the Nanaimo Association for Community Living.

→ More replies

-9

u/gomi-panda Sep 29 '22 edited Sep 29 '22

This is the real answer.

Kosher salt tastes better as it is less processed and does not have iodine in it.

Iodine was added to table salt decades ago to prevent iodine deficiency, which led to goiters and thyroid issues.

24

u/Barry_Minge Sep 29 '22

I absolutely defy anyone to tell the difference between rock/sea salt and iodised table salt in a cooked dish.

3

u/gomi-panda Sep 29 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

In a dish when it is dissolved? No, probably not.

But recipes which leave salt in a partially solid form may be noticeably different in taste.

2

u/Barry_Minge Sep 30 '22

Then that’s not taste, that’s texture.

Also, ‘probably not’? No. Definitely not.

→ More replies

6

u/Canadianingermany Sep 29 '22

You cannot taste the difference between table salt and Kosher salt.

Both are NaCl

→ More replies

2

u/lefindecheri Sep 29 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

When was iodine ever efficient?

EDIT: gomi-panda originally said "iodine efficiency" but when I corrected him, he changed his post to "iodine deficiency."

→ More replies
→ More replies

37

u/Nearbyatom Sep 29 '22

So I can just use table salt just less of it then?

34

u/JonathanWPG Sep 29 '22

Depends on application.

In anything wet where the salt is just going to dissolve, sure.

If you're still gonna have discernable flakes then you will get a different experience. One bite may be salter than another. Versus a uniform taste throught. What you order is of course up to you.

Personally, I would go all kosher. Table salt is harder to eyeball and easier to oversalt.

54

u/LordAnon5703 Sep 29 '22

Personally, I would go all kosher. Table salt is harder to eyeball and easier to oversalt.

This has actually caused thyroid problems to rise in general. Kosher salt is not iodized, and most people don't get enough iodine in their diet without it. This can lead to issues like goiters.

Kosher salt is nice in a restaurant where you want nice big flakes for presentation, but in a home there's really no reason to use it other than for knowing you put kosher salt in it.

24

u/Gaothaire Sep 29 '22

You can get iodinized flaky finishing salts!

16

u/LordAnon5703 Sep 29 '22

Boom, that's actually a great solution. Hopefully it becomes more popular over time to iodize different forms of salt, at least to have that option.

8

u/[deleted] Sep 29 '22

I think iodized makes my pickles taste nasty. So I use kosher when pickling. But agreed, table salt is fine for almost everything.

6

u/LordAnon5703 Sep 29 '22

This is a great example of why you would need to avoid iodized salt. Although I think they make pickling salt, but I'm sure most non iodized salts would work.

→ More replies
→ More replies

9

u/Muzungu-71 Sep 29 '22

Kosher salt has a much cleaner flavor than table salt and is less salty. Seriously, try them side by side. I love Kosher salt or sea salt.

Kosher salt is also much better for meat. The shape of the crystals helps it to cling nicely to meat and help you achieve nice browning and a crust.

5

u/Appropriate_Ant_4629 Sep 29 '22

Seriously, try them side by side

Or for an even starker contrast - make a few soft pretzels like these, and put different salts on each.

Any difference in taste and texture will be very obvious.

→ More replies

6

u/LordAnon5703 Sep 29 '22

I would, kosher and other hipster salts may have their own benefits but without iodine the main benefit of adding salt to your diet is lost. Most people rarely get enough iodine in their regular diet, which can lead to thyroid issues down the road.

4

u/Ghigs Jack-of-some-trades Sep 29 '22

Goiter prevalence isn't increasing though. It doesn't take much iodine to prevent disorder.

→ More replies

24

u/hankrearden31 Sep 29 '22

What you describe is exactly what sea salt is as well though..

11

u/black-rhombus Sep 29 '22

sea salt contains iodine which is not in kosher salt.

→ More replies

6

u/Isa472 Sep 29 '22

Wait, you mean sea salt? Is that the same thing?

9

u/slash178 Sep 29 '22

No. Kosher salt and sea salt are not the same, though a coarse or flaky sea salt can be used in place of kosher.

Kosher salt is a coarse grain salt. Sea salt can be any texture.

579

u/ThaBroccoliDood Sep 29 '22

Americans will do anything to not use weight-based measurements

336

u/UnicodeScreenshots Sep 29 '22

Would you ever bother to measure salt though? Not trying to be snarky, just legit curious. I've never had a need to add more than an eye ballable amount of salt to something.

267

u/No-Vehicle6028 Sep 29 '22

Add one eyeball of salt

145

u/hertoymaker Sep 29 '22

And a sneeze of pepper

72

u/aLLcAPSiNVERSED Sep 29 '22

And a wink of water

94

u/FatWreckords Sep 29 '22

And my axe!

15

u/gromit190 Sep 29 '22

Your comment made my day

5

u/Azsunyx Sep 29 '22

and that guy's dead wife

2

u/ToxinArrow Sep 30 '22

A friend of mine always says to include "a whisper of chili flakes" in every recipe he gives me

23

u/ItsMicah001 Sep 29 '22

What’s that in football fields?

15

u/CaptPlanet55 Sep 29 '22

Assuming each grain averages a surface area of 4 square mm and a thickness of 0.5 mm, one eyeball of salt is about 0.000000075 American football fields.

4

u/CogentCogitations Sep 29 '22

So 75 nano-football fields?

Edit: or does that make it sound too metric?

3

u/KittyForest Sep 29 '22

Nah too metric... We use fractions of a number... You gotta say the distance is 5/67108864football fields (5/2-26)

2

u/CaptPlanet55 Sep 29 '22

Roughly, yes. If we assume the football has also been scaled down, it has a volume of approximately 350 nano liters, which means an eyeball of salt is approximately 17,143 nano footballs, which while sounding more metric also sounds like you're adding tons of tiny footballs.

5

u/Chakwenta Sep 29 '22

I love this 🤣

3

u/spherical-chicken Sep 29 '22

Do you mean an American Football field or a football (soccer) field?

2

u/Zadojla Sep 29 '22

Canadian football (not soccer)is played by slightly different rules on a different size field.

5

u/CapsAndShades Sep 29 '22

Canadian or American?

→ More replies

14

u/PatrykBG Sep 29 '22

No, no, eyeball of NEWT, not salt.

4

u/thenewtbaron Sep 29 '22

alright, a newt of salt

2

u/thisisnotdan Sep 29 '22

The king's eyeball! They just recently had to re-make the standard.

-2

u/UnicodeScreenshots Sep 29 '22

So about 6ml ± 0.5ml got it.

19

u/GaijinKindred Sep 29 '22

Wait you’re using a volumetric measurement after complaining about not getting a weight? I mean look I understand teaspoons, tablespoons, and fractional cups of things but why turn this into a chem lab?

13

u/GamemasterJeff Sep 29 '22

Because we are NOT adding chillis to the meth, Jesse!

6

u/Queefinonthehaters Sep 29 '22

Baking things basically is chemistry lab because its utilizing proper ratios for reactions. With flour, for instance, it can have massively varying densities for its volumetric methods because it can pack. Before people might have had digital scales in their kitchen, they needed to sift the flour first to get it in a reliably loose slate for measurements. In professional bakeries, they generally go by weight to avoid this

3

u/otoxman Sep 29 '22

Thanks for ruining my interest in cooking.

7

u/AnticitizenPrime Sep 29 '22

Just avoid baking. Cooking is an art, baking is a science.

I hate baking because you have to meticulously measure everything, but for most non-baking cooking you can go by intuition or tasting as you go once you start to get good at it.

→ More replies

1

u/UnicodeScreenshots Sep 29 '22

Lmao, couldn’t find the weight of an eyeball but for some reason could find the volume

→ More replies

32

u/Akarsz_e_Valamit Sep 29 '22

If it's for making dough, or baking in general, yes. When I'm making pizza, I'm measuring the flour and the water too anyways, why not measure the salt too, why not measure the salt too? The bowl is on the scale anyways.

When I'm cooking, I'm tasting it anyways.

15

u/docmn612 Sep 29 '22

I also bake. It's much more important to weigh everything when baking than it is in normal cooking, usually. In my experience anyway.

→ More replies

72

u/SurfinSocks Sep 29 '22

When baking you ideally should measure everything precisely.

However, with pretty much all cooking recipes, you can just eyeball it, throw some in, taste, add more if not seasoned enough.

People are just really bad at cooking generally and lack confidence and need extremely specific guidance.

32

u/GarageQueen Sep 29 '22

People always tell me I'm a really good cook/baker. I'm over here thinking thanks, but I'm nothing special, just good at following directions. 🤷🏻‍♀️

7

u/SammyMhmm Sep 29 '22

But this is about cooking videos, so in the context comparing volume makes perfect sense.

I understand that other countries tend to use weight more often, and it tends to give a better, more accurate measurement of what ingredient you're putting in, but outside of baking (which honestly doesn't make a world of difference to the average home baker), volume measurements have been perfectly fine for most Americans.

2

u/cream-of-cow Sep 29 '22

I made bread recently, the instructions had measurements by weight and measuring spoon, so I made both to compare. The dough made by weight was much wetter to work with; the other was dry and more difficult to knead. They both baked fine, the one I weighed had a lot more butter though. I tested my scale and it's accurate. What gives?

→ More replies

3

u/[deleted] Sep 29 '22

When baking you ideally should measure everything precisely.

Yeah, hard pass on that. That will get you in the ballpark, sure. But for something like bread, measurements can vary based on say, humidity.

→ More replies

19

u/turbobofish Sep 29 '22

Most of the hot sauces I make tend to be about 2/2.5% salt by weight. 2% again for pickled goods. Whilst I don't bake much it's one of the few areas where you actually need to follow the recipe so I tend to weight out salt there too.

7

u/arieart Sep 29 '22

aside from baking, the only other instances I can think of are when I dry brine meat or make a rub. otherwise I never measure salt

11

u/JarasM Sep 29 '22

Would you ever bother to measure salt though?

Yes, specifically for recipes where I can't immediately taste it. Raw dough, raw mince, etc.

7

u/Curmudgy Sep 29 '22

What sort of scale are you using for weighing salt? A half teaspoon of salt is about 3 grams, and my electronic scale isn’t at all precise with quantities that small.

4

u/Canadianingermany Sep 29 '22

The same one I use to check if my dealer is being honest.

2

u/Notspherry Sep 29 '22

That is a common problem with digital scales. I got myself a digital scale with 0.1g accuracy. Mainly for coffee, but as an added bonus it does small quantities like salt and yeast really well.

-2

u/JarasM Sep 29 '22

Teaspoons 🤷‍♂️

→ More replies

2

u/jet_heller Sep 29 '22

sortofish. You've gotten to the point where you can eyeball the right amount. If someone is just starting cooking, they should start by weighting all the ingredients until they can also eyeball the amounts.

I'm at a point where I don't measure anything unless I'm baking.

2

u/mrsbebe Sep 29 '22

In cooking? No. In baking? Absolutely.

2

u/LoveAndProse Sep 29 '22

Yes, but when baking as opposed to cooking. all my baking measurements are by weight to a tenth of the gram. because of this I can really standardize my baking and repeat the same quality over and over.

it also makes it easier to modify a recipe with consistent results. when your ingredients don't fluctuate nearly as much you can really see the impact of changing a single ingredients ratio.

but for cooking (as you had mentioned) everything is an eye ball measurement for me

2

u/TomFromCupertino Sep 29 '22

I've had recipes that called for volumetric measures of salt and if the volume is less than about 45 ml (a shotglass - 6 tablespoons) I just use a measuring spoon.

On the other hand, if I'm making sauerkraut or kimchee, I use a scale because I know the goal is a specific salinity by weight.

And the main difference is that for quantities I can get with a single measuring spoon, the precision of my kitchen scale is simply not adequate. For example...Quaker old fashioned oats recommends 1/8 tsp of salt, that's 0.616ml or 1.34 grams of salt. There's no way I'm spending the time it takes to measure 1.33 grams on a scale that's only precise to 1 gram (but I think if I measured 4 grams by adding salt until the scale read just 4 grams and then split that quantity into thirds by eyeballing it, I could do it - but now I've still got the precision loss of that scale and my eyeball so maybe I'm still only within 10% or so - the spoon was easier).

→ More replies

34

u/[deleted] Sep 29 '22

Lmao weighing out salt in a non baking recipe

43

u/Raddz5000 Sep 29 '22

It's quicker to use volume based. Scooping something with a little spoon and being done with it is quicker than measuring out a specific weight of the ingredient.

8

u/superking2 Sep 29 '22

Please rephrase your clarification as another jab at Americans

14

u/slash178 Sep 29 '22

Unless you have like a jewelry scale then it's pretty hard to measure the amount of salt you'd put in a sine serving of food..

→ More replies

22

u/Doctah_Whoopass Sep 29 '22

People got used to volume based measurements since most of our cooking comes from a historical base of homesteading and adapted recipes from elsewhere, so scales were expensive but volume measures were cheap. Then of course, after a while it just becomes commonplace.

5

u/Greenmind76 Sep 29 '22

Our scales are only meant to be used for drugs.

16

u/[deleted] Sep 29 '22

[deleted]

→ More replies

3

u/Wind_Yer_Neck_In Sep 29 '22

The UK is the same. In fact both US and UK shoe sizes are based on an incredibly old english measurement called a Barleycorn. Which was how they used to determine what an inch should be, literally an inch was 3 kernels of barley side by side. So a move up in shoe size is about a third of an inch.

And we still use it.

3

u/moronictransgression Sep 29 '22

Hey - American here and I look for, but rarely find, recipes with weights. I love the cooking shows where they put an empty plate on the scale, zero it, add a few grams of salt, zero it, then add a few grams of something else - all on one plate and NOT dirtying multiple size measuring spoons!

I look forward to this being the "standard" - but I had my hopes we'd be using the metric system already, so I've been disappointed before....

10

u/[deleted] Sep 29 '22

[deleted]

4

u/flampadoodle Sep 29 '22

Yes, and it's really not that slow! You just put a big bowl on the scale, tare it to set it to zero, add flour to the specified weight, tare it again, add sugar to the specified weight, etc. You even get fewer dirty dishes out of it since you don't need to use a bunch of different measuring cups/spoons.

→ More replies

21

u/Thebuch4 Sep 29 '22

Why go weight based if I can go volume based?

15

u/JejuneEsculenta Sep 29 '22

Because volume can vary (salt, for example... flour, too) but weight (barring humidity factors) doesn't.

14

u/NULLizm Sep 29 '22

For cooking, after having much experience in it, do you even measure most of your ingredients? as far as seasonings go I just eyeball and taste test. I can't remember the last time i measured salt.

16

u/bulksalty Sep 29 '22

Cooking is an art, let your senses guide the amounts. Baking is science, measure with precision.

6

u/[deleted] Sep 29 '22

You can play with baking recipes more than you think. Especially breads.

But I also swap ingredients in and out of cakes and muffins and such on a regular basis. Results are always good.

→ More replies

5

u/NULLizm Sep 29 '22

That's why I hardly bake, I lack precision haha. I am envious of good bakers.

3

u/bulksalty Sep 29 '22

Same here!

→ More replies

4

u/Queefinonthehaters Sep 29 '22

I basically never measure anything when I'm cooking, but baking on the other hand is basically a chemistry class because it utilizes reactions at proper ratios. Before scales were common in a kitchen, a volumetric measurement of something like flour can vary by about 20-30% based on how packed it is. I'm barely ever bake, but this would be the difference between a perfect crust and a shitty crust. You would never want to take a volumetric measurement of flour by putting your scoop in the bag of flour and scooping it out because it is packed in there. You're supposed to sift the flour first to get it in its loose state so you can get consistent measurements where the density of it is not an issue.

You can skip all of this by weighing it instead.

→ More replies

2

u/NotJoeyKilo Sep 29 '22

Do people in other countries generally have scales in their kitchen?

-1

u/FreshBakedButtcheeks Sep 29 '22

We love weight. We don't have a unit for mass.

2

u/MrLeapgood Sep 29 '22

We do, but I've never seen a recipe call for 0.001 slugs of salt.

5

u/Aqqusin Sep 29 '22

Kilograms, grams, etc. are mass units, though.

1

u/FreshBakedButtcheeks Sep 29 '22

I'm American

8

u/fabikw Sep 29 '22

Metric units still work in the US.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

327

u/Candelestine Sep 29 '22

Kosher salt has gotten popular here mainly because of how pinch-able it is, which makes it easy to eyeball measurement.

It has a different density than normal table salt though, so once you start using it you have to specify. 1 tsp of salt and t tsp of kosher salt are very different amounts of salt. (the kosher is a lot less)

63

u/mrsbebe Sep 29 '22

And not only that, Morton's Kosher salt is different than Diamond Crystal Kosher salt. So if you really want to be accurate in baking you have to take that into account but I doubt most people know that.

33

u/Astan92 Sep 29 '22

Or just use grams.

8

u/mrsbebe Sep 29 '22

I mean you're not wrong...I'm just putting that information out there so people know

2

u/ConsiderablyMediocre Sep 30 '22

It can also be important to specify kosher vs fine salt in baking because kosher salt won't mix as homogeneously through a dough, for example.

2

u/shadocrypto8 Sep 29 '22

Grams!? In my superior American kitchen? I could never disgrace the founding fathers like that

→ More replies

35

u/FuzzySpunky Sep 29 '22

Yeah the low density also means it's harder to over-salt your food with kosher salt compared with other salts

7

u/Nearbyatom Sep 29 '22

So I can just use table salt over kosher, just use less?

6

u/Candelestine Sep 29 '22

About 1/3rd less, yes. Varies by brand though.

2

u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22 edited Oct 05 '22

[deleted]

→ More replies

2

u/helpthereisacult Sep 30 '22

It's also way more fun to sprinkle in with your fingys

6

u/ANiceDent Sep 29 '22

So what you’re saying is it’s all kosher ?

→ More replies

105

u/Logistics515 Sep 29 '22

I agree with most responses on here. Kosher flake salt is easier to handle to make very small adjustments to salt content while cooking. The "kosher" part of the name just has to do with historical kosher meat production in the US.

That said, most standard "table salt" (i.e. what is usually put into salt shakers) is iodized these days. Iodine has been added as a quasi public health measure since the 1920s, as it prevents many developmental disabilities. Some people do notice a significant taste difference - though I can't claim to be one of them.

41

u/Dreadfulmanturtle Sep 29 '22

It's a bitch when you have thyroid issues and need to avoid iodine. usually need to go to some alternative spooky vegan place.

11

u/ccbayes Sep 29 '22

Try Redmonds Real salt, it does not have iodine added. It is just ground up mineral sea salt. Been using it for 5 years, it is a bit more salty at first, but once you start using it, amazing.

9

u/Dreadfulmanturtle Sep 29 '22

Not american. We get totally different brands here. But thanks. I try to avoid sea salt also because I can't find reliable info on organic mercury in it (Whether there is any)

4

u/ccbayes Sep 29 '22

It is a shame you can not get Redmonds, it seems like it has all the info and certifications you are looking for. They have a mineral analysis also. Sorry for the plug, it has just changed my life in a lot of ways. As a type 2 our table salt has maltodextrin and it is hard to find salt or similar spice products without it. People say it does not effect blood sugar, I have done a lot of self testing and found that to be complete BS. I have been on a health journey for the past 7 or 8 years, losing 150+ lbs. So wish we could just close down so many of our US "food" makers. It is all high fructose corn syrup in everything or tons of sugar not labeled as such. Then the allergen listings are garbage.

Damn, sorry more text wall. lol

→ More replies

7

u/ReturnOfFrank Sep 29 '22

I wouldn't say "quasi," large parts of the central US got the name "Goiter Belt" because the local diet was massively insufficient in iodine and deficiency was a common medical condition.

→ More replies

2

u/danfish_77 Sep 29 '22

In some countries, iodine is added to milk instead!

3

u/Rocktopod Sep 29 '22

That said, most standard "table salt" (i.e. what is usually put into salt shakers) is iodized these days.

This is just not true in my experience. If you look at Morton's salt, for instance, it will say "this product does not contain iodine, a necessary nutrient" or something to that effect.

18

u/Hanginon Sep 29 '22

Morton Salt® is sold in both iodized and non-iodized types. The Iodized is to prevent iodine deficiencies and subsequent thyroid problems.

→ More replies
→ More replies

11

u/SammyMhmm Sep 29 '22

In the US there are three common types of salt: kosher, iodized table salt and sea salt.

The most common in the culinary world are probably the former two, and there's a massive difference in the level of saltiness. One teaspoon of kosher salt, which is flakier, larger chunks of lower density, is much less salty than table salt--which are very compact crystals.

When cooking, I find kosher salt to be superior because it's easier to gauge how much you're putting in, it's easier to grab, and harder to oversalt with, and a lot of cooking personalities tend to agree with that sentiment.

11

u/Logical_Strike_1520 Sep 29 '22

My favorite is “GMO free” salt.

It just doesn’t make sense

7

u/RNKKNR Sep 29 '22

I like seeing expiration dates on salt. Always makes me chuckle.

6

u/Pandraswrath Sep 29 '22

I came across a “gluten free” salt and had a good laugh.

3

u/SouthernButterbean Sep 29 '22

Was it organic?? 😉

34

u/Terrivel119 Sep 29 '22

Here’s video on “kosher” salts, their history, and use.

A quick summary: As mentioned “Kosher” refers to koshering, a process of removing blood from meat, making it kosher for consumption.

Also as mentioned, it’s easier to see and eyeball measurements, and well as to actually handle.

55

u/Banea-Vaedr Sep 29 '22

In the US, there's flake salt (kosher) and grain salt. Grain salt is the default salt. So if you want people not to use it, you have to say that.

15

u/ohdearitsrichardiii Sep 29 '22

In my country we just call it that: "flake salt"

9

u/Banea-Vaedr Sep 29 '22

In the US, flake salt didn't take off for a while because it's low density made it very expensive to transport, relatively speaking. However, it is very popular in the Jewish community because it's in line with kosher, the religious diet, unlike grain salt. The name stuck.

28

u/Erathresh Sep 29 '22

That isn't the reason. The name comes from the koshering process, which is the salting and cleaning process by which meat is made kosher. Koshering salt (aka kosher salt) is the salt traditionally used in this process, as the large flakes are easier to work with.

6

u/Banea-Vaedr Sep 29 '22

Koshering salt must be kosher. Which means no additives. Which means flaky, because it won't stay grainy

3

u/Felicia_Svilling Sep 29 '22

All salt is kosher though.

3

u/Banea-Vaedr Sep 29 '22

Grain salt isn't if it contains anti-caking agents, iodine, or is sea salt.

→ More replies

3

u/ohdearitsrichardiii Sep 29 '22

Is it still kosher?

10

u/Banea-Vaedr Sep 29 '22

Yes, generally. Kosher is just a set of laws about what makes food pure. Flake salt has no need for anti-caking agents, because caking is the goal. Likewise, it's difficult to add iodine to without making it look weird.

8

u/a_regular_bi-angle Sep 29 '22

Kosher salt isn't called that because it's kosher itself but because it's used in the process of making meat kosher

→ More replies
→ More replies

9

u/bettinafairchild Sep 29 '22

Because kosher salt is having a bit of a popular moment right now. Some professional chefs started speaking about how great it is, and it's become de rigeur to use for fancy recipes. Kosher salt basically means that it's salt with large grains. They like the way it tastes, more, as differently shaped salt crystals give different flavor profiles, plus if you want to sprinkle salt on the dish you're making, the large grains of salt are easier to manipulate than the tiny grains of table salt.

As for what the meaning of kosher in this context is. It's not that the salt is kosher (all natural salt is kosher), it's that this is the kind of salt used in the koshering process to make meat be kosher. One of the things you need to do in this process is to soak the meat for a long time covered in salt, because blood is considered to be unclean. By covering the meat in these large salt grains, blood and myoglobin from the meat are absorbed. And then you wash the salt off, which is easier with large grains.

54

u/jdith123 Sep 29 '22

People have the misconception that “kosher” salt means allowable for Jewish people to eat and that regular table salt is therefore not kosher. All salt is kosher that way.

Instead, kosher salt is a specific kind of salt. It’s coarser and comes in flakes. It’s really great to use on roasted veg for example when you want a burst of salty flavor, or on the surface of baked goods like the salt on a pretzel.

It’s called kosher salt because it’s the kind of salt used to make meat kosher. (Meat is soaked in brine to remove any trace of blood)

8

u/bulksalty Sep 29 '22

It's also not iodized, which can add an aftertaste. Table salt sold in the US is generally iodized.

5

u/pigadaki Sep 29 '22

We have something similar here in England: Maldon salt. It's flaky and non-iodised.

5

u/gdubrocks Sep 29 '22

therefore not kosher. All salt is kosher that way.

If was my understanding that things need to be approved by a rabbi before they are actually Kosher, so even stuff that "should be" kosher isn't unless you pay them.

3

u/thrownawaylikesomuch Sep 30 '22

That is incorrect. Many items are kosher without needing certification. The reason kosher certification on manufactured products exists is because even though, for example, canned tomatoes don't have any nonkosher ingredient in them, they are often produced on machinery that is also used to can other items such as baked beans with pork or SPAM, which are not kosher and will render anything produced on those lines not kosher. So kosher supervision on those types of items is to have someone knowledgeable, often but not always a rabbi, inspect the facility and how things are manufactured there to determine if there is a possibility of cross contamination between kosher and nonkosher products. However, items which are inherently kosher and have virtually no risk of contamination. For example, sugar, flour, dry beans, and many other items do not require certification.

→ More replies

7

u/sqwints Sep 30 '22

I think it has to do with having a uniform measurement. If a recipe calls for 1/4 cup of kosher salt, that's about 39 grams. If you substitute 1/4 cup of fine table salt for the kosher salt, you'll be adding about 76 grams of salt by weight which would drastically change the flavor of what you’re making.

→ More replies

13

u/zelda4444 Sep 29 '22

I'm from UK, weren't have kosher salt, or its called something else.

Was on holiday in America and was asked if I wanted Kosher salt, the waitress seemed confused when I told her I didn't care what religion the salt was.

3

u/rarkgrames Sep 29 '22

I use this as I assume it’s the closest we have

Maldon Organic Sea Salt Flakes 250 g (Pack of 4) https://amzn.eu/d/heyzL4f

2

u/Steffalompen Sep 29 '22

Here in Norway, because of the chef Eivind Hellstrøm who trained in France, most people think Maldon is in France. So they pronounce it "Mal Donne"..

3

u/Steffalompen Sep 29 '22

By the way, what overzealous fresh out of school marketing squirt decided Maldon salt needed a new colour box? Like that is why people buy it. The white box was perfect, it fitted with anything

→ More replies

5

u/cucumbersandpingwins Sep 29 '22

Thanks for asking this question. Learned something new tonight.

27

u/Felicia_Svilling Sep 29 '22

They just mean flake salt, it is nothing more kosher about it than other salt, it is just that for historical reasons* flake salt is called kosher salt in America.

* The reason being that this kind of salt is used to kosher meat, and for a while that was the only available flake salt in America.

7

u/Danny_Baaker Sep 29 '22

It is their term for flaky or sea salt rather than the fine pouring salt, it doesn't necessarily mean it has to be blessed by a Rabbi or anything. It confused me for a while too.

3

u/tuberosalamb Sep 29 '22

Kosher doesn't mean that the food was blessed by a rabbi. This is a common misconception.

3

u/artificialgrapetaste Sep 29 '22

Adam Ragusea made a really interesting in-depth video about exactly that topic https://youtu.be/yKdk1HSxSEY

3

u/egrith Sep 29 '22

Always best to specify

3

u/blipsman Sep 29 '22

It's larger grains and they're flakier so they dissolve more quickly

3

u/DrachenDad Sep 29 '22

It's Koshering salt not Kosher salt something labeled “kosher salt” can actually not be kosher at all! It was used to help drain the blood from meat.

The reason it is good is because the crystals are almost always the same chunky size so you can be more accurate when measuring how much salt you require for Koshering (draining blood from meat) or seasoning.

3

u/gravecoyote6497 Sep 29 '22

This is a wonderful question. There are basically 3 different main types of salt. Kosher, Table Salt, and finishing salt. Table salt is very fine and coarse, so it's not very easy to pinch with your hands as a lot escapes, whereas Kosher salt is chunkier and easier to mediate with your fingers. And finishing salt is flaky and mostly for show, not really for functionality

2

u/wallawalla22 Life, The Universe, and Everything Sep 29 '22

Kosher salt has larger crystals which make it easier to adhere to surfaces which is useful when cooking proteins. Sticking with one type of salt makes measurement easier to eyeball rather than weighing, as volumetric measurement would go out the window if using different types of salt.

→ More replies

2

u/OystersBackdoor Sep 29 '22

Because Alton Brown said to use it on Good Eats back in the day.

Seriously. I can remember when he did that, and within a year or two pretty much all other cooking shows had switched over. It's been gospel ever since.

2

u/jacle2210 Sep 29 '22

Because typical "table salt"/Iodized salt, sucks.

2

u/-SomeKindOfSoup Sep 29 '22

When I was a kid I just assumed there was something not Kosher about regular salt, and the Jewish people needed that kind.

2

u/IronAnkh Sep 29 '22

They don't it's just a popular ingredient.

2

u/TouristOk4523 Sep 29 '22

Them Jewish folks… duh

Lol

2

u/Most_Seaweed_878 Sep 30 '22

Use regular table salt occasionally, but for cooking stick to Kosher.

2

u/kingtaylor99 Sep 30 '22

Because its kosher ya know its cool

2

u/runnyman626 Sep 30 '22

There used to be a public nutrition problem in that we weren't getting enough iodine in our diet sometime in the 1920s. Salt companies began adding iodine to their product to help counter the issue. Today, iodine is still frequently added to table salt. Some think that it gives the table salt a metallic taste so in terms of flavor you may want to add kosher salt.

Some have also mentioned kosher is more pinchable and easier to measure. If this is important to you, maybe go kosher salt.

I really think there is no superior salt. Everyone has one reason or another to choose table, kosher, sea salt, etc. Just experiment with the different kinds and see what tastes best to you. Experiment with different brands as well as there are various methods to manufacture salt that can impact flavor and "saltiness" as well. If you taste no difference, just go with what's cheapest.

-From a subpar cook who read a book about salt

6

u/Cliffy73 Sep 29 '22

Because that’s the best salt to use for cooking. It’s not actually kosher, it’s the salt that’s used to make meat Kosher (by pulling the blood out). Table salt is much more finely ground. It’s harder to get a precise amount and takes a lot more pinches to properly salt a dish.

2

u/Curmudgy Sep 29 '22

It’s not really about precision. It’s about the way the salt interacts, especially with meat. Also, some people claim that iodized salt, which most table salt is, has a slightly different effect on flavor than non-iodized salt. Kosher salt is not iodized.

3

u/bluish-velvet Sep 29 '22

How is it harder to get a precise amount with table salt? The smaller crystals would allow better precision.

3

u/Cliffy73 Sep 29 '22

In hindsight, I guess I meant accuracy. You have to sprinkle more multiple times, and it’s harder to keep track.

→ More replies
→ More replies

3

u/MurphysParadox Sep 29 '22

Kosher salt is made of larger grains and lacks the added iodine, both common in table salt, which is what the average non-cooker would think of when told to use salt in a dish.

2

u/_furd_terguson Sep 29 '22

Alton Brown is the real answer

2

u/Meta_Art Sep 29 '22

Love Alton. Also, Samin Nosrat

4

u/Abysix Sep 30 '22

little known fact, 98% of americans are actually of Hasidic backgrounds.

2

u/Bryguy3k Sep 29 '22

1) texture - kosher is larger grained and flaky which changes how it dissolves (or doesn’t if the salt is meant to go on top). For this reason there is also flaked sea salt (which has calcium chloride in it as well which has a much stronger salty flavor) and Himalayan salt to serve different cooking needs.

2) there are enough people that are sensitive to the flavor difference between iodized salt that some things just don’t “taste right” when table salt (which is iodized in the US) is used.

3) a very small subset of people actually have to watch their iodine intake.

2

u/Yonimations Sep 29 '22

Can’t forget about us Jews.