Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference between Table Salt and Kosher Salt

One of the confusions to cookers arises when choosing the table salt and the kosher salt. Some people seem to use these salts interchangeably whereas they are different products although not largely so. With regard to taste, they are the same, but the additives and the density are different. If you have noticed, there are recipes that call specifically for kosher salt and some for table salt. Chefs know the difference and that’s why they would recommend specific salt. Let’s unfold the key differences between table salt and kosher salt.

What is Table Salt? 

This is a regular salt found in many households and used in cooking or seasoning food after cooking. The salt is heavily processed from salt deposits. It is then heated, bleached and refined to make finer salt grains that are uniformly shaped and denser. To prevent clumping, some additives such as calcium silicate are used in table salt.

Taste-wise, it imparts a sharp flavor when comparing it to the kosher salt because of its dense. But, they basically have the sodium as the main ingredient. These salts are derived from the same underground salt deposits. But kosher salt can also be derived from the evaporation of sea water and processed differently compared to table salt.

One other ingredient often added in the table salt is iodine for its importance in thyroid gland. In 1924, the US Government has initiated a plan to include iodine in the table salt because of the lack of iodine in most citizens which led to goiter – a condition where the neck swells as a reflection of the increase of the thyroid gland. Table salt is regularly used in households to add taste; it was seen feasible enough to add iodine to it. There are plenty of benefits linked to iodine.

Today, iodine is being added in table salts the world over. It can also be found in other types of salts. Iodine serves as the important element to synthesize gland secretions. It has immense benefits on the metabolism and the health of your heart, among others. For pregnant women, the lack of iodine in the diet can lead to some health problems in their unborn babies. That being said, a table salt is recommended in everyone’s diet.

For a variety of cooks and bakes, table salt can be used. But there are occasions where kosher salt takes the crown as the best alternative salt. For instance, in many restaurants, kosher is being used over the table salt because of its difficulty to handle and to control the even seasoning of foods. You have probably noticed that at some points that you have over-salted your foods using the salt-shaker.

Difference between Table Salt and Kosher Salt

What is Kosher Salt? 

Kosher salt, on the other hand, emerges from the practice of “koshering meat”. The salt has larger, irregular salt grains, which are good in absorbing the moisture from the surface of meat. It can draw blood or moisture from your meat without applying too much salt than it would be had you chosen the table salt.

The kosher salt also comes from the underground salt deposits, but it is less processed and contains less additives. Because of the larger crystals, it is unlikely to clump, so the additives such as calcium silicate are not necessary in the kosher salt. It still contains the sodium compound. There is no nutritional difference between table salt and kosher salt. Only the appearance, which also leads to density, is remarkable in the differences.

Kosher salt is, however, a preferred salt type by many chefs due to its low density and ease of handling as well as the ability to absorb moisture. Their salinity plays a big role in this choice. For instance, if you were to take a spoon of the table salt to season a meat that calls for a spoon of kosher salt, it may be too salty. Practically, because of density and finer grains, you should take half a spoon of table salt which is equivalent to a full spoon of kosher salt.

Table salt cannot be used for the purpose of extracting moisture from the meat as it can be absorbed due to its finer particles. The kosher salt can extract the moisture and be removed from the meat without over-salting it. That’s the reason is being preferred for any recipes.

Difference between Kosher Salt and Table Salt 

Kosher Salt vs  Table Salt in terms of “Relative Density

In a given volume of kosher salt and table salt, the relative density is apparent. A ¼ cup of kosher salt is less dense than the ¼ cup of table salt. This is attributable to the regular crystals of the table salt. They are finer and there is no space between them. Because of this, the table salt weighs more. If you are prescribed a ¼ cup of kosher salt and you do not have it, you can add the half of that volume. But, seasoning your food is not necessarily about the volume you add but the taste.

Kosher Salt vs  Table Salt in terms of “Measurements”

A measurement of these salts is yet another consideration that shows key differences. If you attempt to grab table salt by fingers to measure into your meals, it is hard to season evenly than it is with the kosher salt. A kosher salt has larger crystals so it’s easy to measure. Restaurants tend to prefer the kosher salt in their salt shakers because of ease of measurements.

Kosher Salt vs  Table Salt in terms of “Versatility”

Kosher salt emerges from its ability to kosher the meat – that is to absorb moisture from the meat. It can draw blood from the surface of the meat. The same cannot be said with the table salt. Its finer particles can be absorbed with ease instead of absorbing the moisture.

Kosher Salt vs  Table Salt : Comparison Chart

Table salt Kosher salt
It is dense It is less dense
Additives added to prevent clumping Larger grains do not need anti-clump additives
Finer particles Coarse grains
Cannot absorb moisture Absorbs moisture

Summary: Kosher Salt and  Table 

  • Kosher salt has larger crystals and table salt has finer grains
  • They have the same taste with sodium being the main ingredient
  • Table salt has some anti-clump additives and iodine added. Kosher salt doesn’t contain anti-clump additives, but can also contain iodine depending on the brand.
  • Table salt is more dense than kosher salt

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1 Comment

  1. Kosher salt has no iodine in it. Great for those whose body react to iodine.

    Run the salt for 2 seconds only, in an electric coffee grinder for salt that isn’t so rough. Works great. I put it in all my salt shakers, since I break out in a rash with regular salt.
    Anymore than that, will turn it into a powder. Not good. Easy and quickly does it. You’ll find out.

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References :

[0]Hiskey, D (2013). The Difference Between Kosher Salt And Table Salt(online). Today I Found Out. Available at http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/01/difference-between-kosher-salt-and-regular-salt/. Accessed: 19 Dec 2017.

[1]Michelle, D; Bleimeister, E (2011). Cooking Together: Making Memories and Meals. iUniverse (19 August 2011).

[2]"Image Credit: https://clarascornerng.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/meat-spices/"

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