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Kosher Salt

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What Is Kosher Salt?

Kosher salt.

Photo © Danilo Alfaro

Kosher Salt Overview:

Kosher salt is a coarse-grained salt that chefs like because it's easier to handle than ordinary table salt, and it adheres to food products better, too. And since salt is by far the most important seasoning agent in the culinary arts, Kosher salt is definitely a chef's best friend.

Kosher Salt Flavor:

The iodine that is added to table salt imparts a slightly metallic flavor, but Kosher salt is free of additives, so it has a cleaner, lighter taste.

Kosher Salt Equivalences:

If you're substituting table salt in a recipe that calls for Kosher salt, you should use half the amount of table salt as the recipe calls for. For instance, if a recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt, use 1 tablespoon of table salt instead. If you're converting the other way, use double the amount of Kosher salt as table salt.

Kosher Salt Consistency:

While Kosher salt is much more coarse than table salt overall, there is a bit of variation in crystal size among Kosher salts. If you use one particular brand for any length of time, you'll probably start to develop a feel for how much salt you're using. If for some reason you have to switch to another brand, you may have to readjust to compensate for the different sized grains.

Kosher Salt in Baking:

Because it doesn't dissolve as easily as table salt, Kosher salt isn't the best choice for baking. Stick with table salt for breads, cakes and other baked goods.

Using Kosher Salt:

When boiling water for potatoes, vegetables or pasta, always salt the water generously. Not only will it add flavor to the food, but it makes the water boil hotter, so your food cooks faster. Ideally your water should be about as salty as seawater. Just be sure you salt the water before it comes to a boil, so you can taste it without burning your tongue!

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