Kosher verses pickling salt

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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.
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.
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!

Give that head a shake!

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.
Lifter said:
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.
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.
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?
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.
Well, you're right. Shellfish DO contain iodine. But how much? When you buy shrimp at the market, how much is your intake? Don't know? Neither do the nutritionists, nor the marine biologists, nor the fish monger. The reason is because those little buggers keep moving around from one place to another in the ocean and, dadgummit, that ocean itself keeps moving around. It would be one thing if you ate shellfish all the time, every day. That might help keep your iodine levels at an acceptable height. But what else would you be getting in the bargain? Sea kelp, a staple in asian diets, is comparatively loaded with iodine. (And diseases such as hyper/hypothyroidism are relatively uncommon in their cultures.)

Yes, iodine is present in a lot of things, but what we have learned in the last 80 years of science is that (1) naturally-occurring iodine is usually not enough for most humans on this planet; and (2) the easiest way to prevent Iodine Deficiency Diseases (so easily done) is to add iodine to table salt to be consumed on a regular basis.

Here's another thing to consider and Psiguy eluded to it: there is a marked decline in the consumption of iodized salt in the US over the last decade and a half...and the endocrinology community is alarmed and with good reason. Do some research on cretinism.

I'm personally a huge fan of organics. And I'm all for homeopathy, until a need for mainstream medicine presents itself, then I turn strongly biased. I believe, for the most part, you are what you eat...everything in moderation, etc., etc., ad nauseum. And I believe that iodized salt has a required place on our dinner table, until a better delivery means is found. And I love to cook with Kosher salt. And I make pickles with canning salt so that the brine doesn't cloud with the anti-caking agents present in table salt.

You might be interested to know that our pals in France have been trying for at least a decade (I think) to develop a means to infuse iodine into public water supplies, in lieu of table salt. I'm not aware of any breakthroughs on that horizon, though.

Good heavens, I do wax on...... :oops:
Audeo, I love it when you wax on. I learn so much!

I think that I can say I am officially safe on the iodine front, as are most of my family. We are all salt addicts. I have actually asked my brother if he wanted a cucumber with his salt.

Did I understand from your post that sea kelp has iodine too? So, nori paper on sushi is iodine rich? ANOTHER REASON TO EAT SUSHI!!! Woohoo!
Alix, I couldn't agree more on the sushi front. But then I'm admittedly addicted to good sashimi....and uni....and unagi....and tako....
Aw shucks, bev! I'd have a big head right now, if I hadn't humbled myself over in the breads section.....

Thank ya. Thank ya very much.
Audeo I can agree to the humnic need for salts, having watched Olympic marathoners struggle without them, and having (ie "back when I had a body" an absolute "thirst" for salt, where it tasted like sugar, until "you hit your level" and the bod started to puke it out...

Anyways, there's certainly enough salts added to various foods, additives and "comfort foods" (like my trusty pretzels!) to ensure us all a death of heart disease, diabetes and whatnot until we finally embrace "Mrs Dash" and "half salt" with the clear understanding that salt is salt, iodised or otherwise, and that "sea salt" tends to have some few good things in it that we need as "traces", and "Kosher Salt" might just taste that bit better, which is where we get back into the "debate" of the "joy of cooking", and why we might share such recipes or techniques as we do...

Few of my age are endangered by lack of iodised salt, and, by extension, the kids eating at our tables are not endangered by lack, but rather by surplus...

Anyays, I didn't want to start a medical debate on things like this, and perhaps in your region there are different issues than in mine, and our mutual "red flags" can give "heads ups" to readers...
Lifter, well said. I was going on and on here about iodine, not salt, but you are absolutely right about another health concern, which is the use of too much salt. Another topic entirely, and I will leave that one alone.

I would have you know this: I've never used sea salt in cooking before (Kosher, yes), but I purchased some yesterday from Williams Sonoma and thought about you! I'm looking forward to trying that and thank you for the reference!
Try a bit of the sea salt on a tomato slice...with the SAME tomato, a dash of Kosher, and on yet another slice of the same tomato, the iodised stuff...

Now that you've eaten that tomato, do a "double blind" test on another unwitting household member, and see where their opinions and appetites differ, as this might be a clue as to where the need for "salt", "iodine" etc come to an appetite point...or give them yet another slice, with none at all...

Always remembering that that tomato was grown in a unique slice of ground, and may be unique in flavour, and us individuals give unique feedbacks at any given moment, as we all have "unique" diets at any given times...

This could get to a hearty medical debate (I'm scared...never go into a battle of wits half armed, I'm told!) but we are, I expect, both making good points towards and uncertain direction...


Well, I picked up the gauntlett today, Lifter! Bought some downright ugly heirloom tomatoes that were soooo good....

Wow. Did your sea salt ever shine through on a tomato! To my taste buds, kosher salt and regular table salt were extremely close in taste, but the sea salt was almost slightly sweet! It was really, really good on a fresh tomato, better that the others, IMO. No. 2 son agrees, as well.

Sure glad I splurged on the stuff. Thank you!

(Lifter, you know that iodine is tasteless in the salt, right?)

I think your safe from a hearty debate -- that takes way too many words for me, since I'm trying to keep posts under 150 words these days!!!!! :roll:
Just as a follow-up on this thread, I can easily agree with Audeo on the need for iodine in the diet (whatever is it you do for a living? Dietician?)(Thought only nurses, Drs and dieticians knew this stuff!)

Anyways, if you read the fine print on the pre-packaged food you buy, be this tinned foods, sauces, tomato juice, there will universally be some amount of salt added, and this will universally be iodised salt.

Every time you eat in a restaurant (Jeez! Ever see the "cooks" in Mickey Dee's making fries? Look at the salt going in there!) you can bet that the condiment "salt" is the iodised variety Pretzels? Chips? All iodised!

As you say, a body doesn't need a lot of it, but I trust that I'm getting all I need and more!

Further, try this simple taste test:

Slice a good vine ripened, garden grown tomato into three slices...

Season one slice each with Iodised, Sea Salt and Kosher Salt, and make your own mind up about what tastes best, secure in the knowledge that your intake of shrimp, crab and lobster FAR EXCEEDS that of the population in the pre-WWII period, and these are pumping in iodine, as are your various meals of seafood which again, far exceed those that were the norm back then...


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