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Old 10-10-2004, 03:17 PM   #1
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Kosher verses pickling salt

What is the difference between the 2 and can one replace the other?


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Old 10-10-2004, 09:14 PM   #2
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Pickling salt contains no additives and is a fine grain so it will dissolve easily in brine.

Kosher salt is also without additives but the grain is often coarser.

They are interchangeable with one caveat. The difference in the grain size will make a difference in how much salt you'll actually get in a volume measure.

i.e. a tablespoon of a fine grained salt will contain more salt than a tablespoon of a coarse grained salt. That's because the coarse grains will have more air spaces between the grains and therefore less salt in the spoon. Finer grains pack closer together.

If you measure by weight, there will be no difference.

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Old 10-10-2004, 10:24 PM   #3
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When it comes to pickling and preserving, the amount of salt is important. Not only is it important to the final taste of the product, but it can affect the safety of the end product since salt is also a preservative.

If you use kosher instead of pickling or other salt, you run the risk of using too little salt if you measure the salt by volume.
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Old 10-10-2004, 11:41 PM   #4
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Of course in but my own elderly opinion, why would you wish to misuse Kosher Salt beyond its purpose?

Sea Salt is around or about the same price, and having used both SS and KS, I cannot understand any role for iodised salt in this life (well, okay, I can still learn!)

Salt is pretty much a chemical formula, in and of itself, and, if it was all that critical to pickling meats to carrots to cucumbers, there would be a long list of warnings on the "how to" lists...which there aren't...

For instance, pickling a half quart of cukes bears no different instruction for the brine than does a full quart, in spite of the difference in "volumes" of salt or vinegar...and it would take some kind of "epicure" to "taste" the difference...more or less in line with one or two cloves of garlic in the jar!

One is in far worse peril of a bad "sealing ring" than a few crystals of salt, of whatever kind!

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Old 10-11-2004, 03:29 AM   #5
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I think the bottom line is pickling salt does not cloud the brine like other salts do. For most people, a non-cloudy brine is important.
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Old 10-11-2004, 07:54 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Lifter
Sea Salt is around or about the same price, and having used both SS and KS, I cannot understand any role for iodised salt in this life (well, okay, I can still learn!)
Gotta jump in on this one.

First, I totally agree with my fore-posters in the differences between the volume of measurements of Kosher vs. canning salts due to granularity.

Now about that iodine issue.

Lifter, the reason for iodized salt is because we humans cannot survive without it and because obtaining iodine from other sources is an exceptionally dangerous crap-shoot.

Iodine is an essential micronutrient in the human diet, and its most important known function is as a component of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are produced by the thyroid gland (located at the base of the neck). Thyroid hormones play a vital role in the regulation of metabolic processes such as growth and energy expenditure. They are essential throughout childhood for normal brain and physical development. They are also critical for normal development of the baby in the womb, so for women who plan to become pregnant, iodine intake is one of the important nutritional factors that are taken into account by their obstetricians.

A teaspoon of iodine is all a person requires in a lifetime. However, the thyroid gland does not have the capacity to store this amount, so small amounts of iodine must be consumed regularly in the diet…hence its addition to table salt. In fact, iodine became an additive to table salt in the 1920s to combat a near epidemic in this country of the most common Iodine Deficiency Disease, known as a goiter (caused by the thyroid enlarging to try and extract more iodine when not enough is present in the diet). Rarely, and I do mean RARELY, has a goiter been seen in the US since WII, yet they are still common in mountainous third-world countries especially. For example, Peru did a huge study in the mid 1980s and found something like 80% of their population suffered from one IDD or another (and I’ll save the graphics on some of those disorders). In about 1986, the Peruvian government mandated iodized table salt usage. Ten years later, the population at risk of IDDs there was reduced from 6 Million to slightly more than 1 Million people.

The reason why we have iodized salt is because there is no other way to ensure human intake otherwise. And iodine deficiency has been identified for a long, long time as the most common cause of PREVENTABLE brain damage in the world. Yes, iodine is found most highly (naturally) in ocean fish and seafood, but the levels are so erratic and totally beyond our ability as humans to control or regulate as the fish and seafood go about their ocean lives. Sea salt is actually an exceptionally poor source of iodine, typically containing less than 2 micrograms of iodine per gram of sea salt. (RDAs for adults 19 years and older is 150 mcg. daily, 220 mcg. for pregnant women, and 290 mcg. for those breastfeeding. And while iodine occurs naturally in animal products (eggs, etc.) and in plants, the soil is the source for that iodine and the older the soil is (mountainous regions), the more iodine has leeched out. There is simply no way to guarantee consumption when left to “natural” means.

For the record, iodine is most certainly contained in vitamins and other supplements, but iodized table salt is the easiest, simplest method of delivering constant amounts to the mass public because of its low cost and prevalence of use throughout the world.
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Old 10-11-2004, 11:01 AM   #7
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WOW, thanks everyone for all the input on salt. It was great learning. :D
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Old 10-11-2004, 07:07 PM   #8
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Audeo, I agree with you 100% on the need for iodized salt. That's why the salt on my table is always iodized. I usually cook with kosher, sea, and rock salts, but the salt in the shaker is always iodized.

A whole lot of Food Network fans have been turned off of iodized salt. I think that trend may have some repercussions down the road.
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Old 10-11-2004, 07:12 PM   #9
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OK, once again showing my food ignorance. Is there no food that naturally contains iodine? For some reason I thought that some shellfish did? I am nuts, did I dream this weird information?
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Old 10-11-2004, 07:55 PM   #10
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Alix, you are not nuts (well, not about this, anyway, tee hee). I have heard the same thing, that shellfish contain iodine. Can't remember if it's all of them or just some species.

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