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Table salt (vs) sea salt (vs) kosher salt

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
I'm am looking for a resource that will provide an equivalant measurement when using different salts. For example: 1/2 cup of Diamond Kosher salt is the same as 1/4 cup of table salt.

These are the salts I'm trying to find equivalant measurement for:

table salt
sea salt
Diamond kosher salt
Morton kosher salt

I thought I had come across this information a long time ago in Cook's Magazine but I've looked through several old copies with no success. So, if anyone out there knows of a resource that could help I sure would appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks
Cooking_Sherry

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post #2 of 40
variances in the grain of the salt will give you different measurements.
a wonderful resource for finding measurements is the newest edition of the book of yeilds it is available through barnes and nobel and overstock.com. i find uses for this book all the time and is a wonderful addition to any cook book collection. i am not 100% posotive that there will be all of the measurements you are looking for but they should have some measurements and equvilancies for different textures and types of salts. if that resource doesnt work you can always test them for yourself and post the info on this site... i am sure there will be several members interested in your findings. good luck in your search and i hope i have been of some assistance. :chef:
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post #3 of 40
I'm fairly new here, and I hope this question doesn't sound too moronic, but here goes. .... ..... I'm a complete amateur at cooking, but I'm a scientist, and was wondering what the heck distinguishes these different salts? Examples of salts include Potassium Chloride (KCl), calcium chloride (CaCl), and most common in cooking is sodium Chloride (NaCl). For NaCl, what is the difference between Kosher NaCl and non-Kosher NaCl? And what about Sea Salt. Isn't it just another form of NaCl? The scientist in me says NaCl is NaCl. Are there some impurities (non-NaCl ingredients) in something like sea salt to give it different flavoring?

Thanks.

Glenn
post #4 of 40
Glenn:

You are correct. The impurities that travel with the NaCl are what make sea salt a different product. They add flavor, which can differ based on the source of the sea salt.

Kosher salt typically contains no additives, just NaCl. Also, grain size is usually coarser than table salt. Diamond Crystal is a coarser grain than Morton's. This effects the measuring by volume, as a tablespoon of DC Kosher salt will hold less salt than the same measure of Morton's or table salt.
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post #5 of 40
I think also that table salt has additives to prevent it from caking and make it free flowing. Many people feel that table salt has a more metallic taste than Kosher or sea salt. Possibly due to these additives.
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post #6 of 40
That's usually the iodine taste.

Phil
post #7 of 40
So, when I see Kosher salt in a recipe, it's so there is no additonal flavor in the salt. And when the recipe calls for sea salt, they really want a lot of extra flavor (the impurities). When I was a kid, my mother used to tellme to use iodized salt because we need iodine and there isn't enought in our diets. Is this an "old wives' tale" or is it true? If it's a tale, why is there iodized salt?

Andy M. posted avove that kosher salt is coarser grained than table salt. This moring I read from old archived posting that kosher salt is finer grained (and therefore dissolves faster) than table salt. So, now I'm confused. Is kosher salt coarser or finer than table salt?

Thanks.

Glenn
post #8 of 40
NaCl is all the same size. You can get salt in any crystallized size you want.
post #9 of 40
Sea salt contains many varieties of "salts", the main one being, of course, Sodium Chloride (NaCl). These "salts" are ionic compounds, which means they are soluble in water. Examples might be Magnesium Chloride, Sodium Iodide, Aluminum Sulphate, etc. I tend not to think of them as "impurities" but rather they mimic, to some degree, the variety of salts in the human body.

Sea salt made by dehydrating sea water in the sun will contain many other impurities, such as insoluble things like dirt, dead fish parts, bug debris, etc. Sea salt made by using pure water and filtration methods will contain less impurities, but will roughly be the same in terms of the constituent "salts" if the seawater comes from the same source.

To gage how much salt to use for equivalency, take five different salts and weigh 1/4 C of each and make a table. By using ratios, you can determine how much volume of each to use to be using an equivalent amount. A theoretical example would be take two salts, 1/4 C of the one weighs 50 grams. The other weighs 75 grams. ( I don't know how much 1/4 C really weighs, cause I haven't bothered to weigh any. This is an example of the technique). Therefore 1 TBSP of the first salt would be equivalent to 2/3 TBSP of the second, because the first salt weighs 2/3 as much as the second salt.

Hope this helps.

doc
post #10 of 40
Glenn:

I find table salt to be the finest grained of the three. As I mentioned in my earlier post, Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt is a coarser grain, while Morton's salt is a finer grain (I don't think it's as fine as table salt).

Because of the coarser grain, kosher salt won't dissolve as quickly as table salt. It's why we have pickling salt - a very fine grain salt that will dissolve readily in the pickling solution.

Another reason for using kosher salt is the coarser grain. It makes it easier for a chef/cook to pinch up a measure of salt and distribute it over the food.
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post #11 of 40
Andy,
Thanks for the clarification on kosher salt.

By the way, in case anyone is interested, NaCl crystals are called "halite" crystals by geologists. If I remember correctly, they cleave in 3 planes at 90 degrees to eachother, thereby forming mini cubes or "rectangular cubes".

The more that salt is ground up, the samller these cubes get. A big cube breaks up into several smaller cubes or "rectangular (longer on one plane) cubes".

Finer ground salt dissolves faster than coarse grained, becuase the finer grained salt has more surface area per unit weight that is in contact with the dissolving medium (water, etc.).
post #12 of 40
all of these people replying to this simple question about salt, all of these well informed posts, I LOVE THIS SITE!!! :cry: brings a tear to my eye, :D and a smile to my face! keep up the great work guys :chef:
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post #13 of 40
Sherry, regarding kosher salts and table salt, here's the information you're seeking:

1/4 c table salt = 1/2 cup Morton's kosher
1/2 cup Morton's kosher = 1 cup Diamond Crystal brand kosher

There's no direct equivalency on sea salt because it varies by producer/region of production. Some are definitely milder than others.
post #14 of 40
This is true for volume measures. Your best bet is to use a scale. Weigh the quarter cup (or whatever) of table salt, then use the same weight of kosher salt.
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post #15 of 40
Agreed. But these rough equivalents make a good rule of thumb, especially for people who don't own a scale (like moi!).
post #16 of 40
Oh, and something very important--kosher salts are not equivalent. Morton's is much saltier. A cook who is used to Diamond Crystal will find themselves oversalting food if they switch to Morton's.
post #17 of 40
BB:

It's not that Morton's is saltier. After all, it's all the same sodium chloride!

Your earlier post explained the difference well. You showed equivalents among table, Diamond Crystal and Morton's salts.

The difference is in the grain size. Smaller grains pack closer together. As a result, a cup of fine grain salt contains more salt and less air. Coarser grains can't pack as closely together so there are more air spaces between the grains. That's why a cup of table salt or Morton's will make a saltier dish than one using Diamond Crystal.
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post #18 of 40
I appreciate your point of view, but I believe you're wrong: it's not just grain size, it's grain size and density. Just as a chicken stock can produced in a way such that it is variously more concentrated or dilute, so can salt crystals. Diamond Crystal is produced in a way that makes the crystals fluffier, (I imagine a machine that works in a similar manner to that which makes panko). So beyond the volumetrics, I stand by my assertion that pinch for pinch Morton's IS saltier. As someone who began with Diamond Crystal and then moved to a place where I could only buy Morton's, I could taste the difference in my food. Years passed before I ever had the chance to discuss this difference with other cooks or read the science that proved what I tasted was true.
post #19 of 40
I guess we'll just have to disagree, then.

Chemically speaking, the compound sodium chloride (NaCl) can only be produced one way. One atom of sodium bonds with one atom of chlorine.

There is no way to "fluff up" a grain of salt. Any difference is only in the size and shape of the grains. So if a pinch of Morton's is saltier, it's only because you pinch more Morton's than Diamond Crystal.

If you dissolved a pound Morton's salt in a gallon of water, and dissolved a pound of Diamond Crystal in a different gallon of water then measured the sodium content of the waters, they would be the same.

For reading on the topic, I refer you to:

What Einstein Told His Cook by Robert L. Wolke - Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh
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post #20 of 40
With cooking, salt is always to taste anyway. There's a proper way to salt, and an improper way to salt. You're almost guaranteed to have the right amount by doing it the proper way. :)
post #21 of 40
Different salts for different uses. I heard that recipes that call for salt and using table salt amounts. Chefs’ use Kosher I heard cause they can tell how much they are using by the size of the crystals in their fingers. Gray salts are used for finishing meats and not used in recipes. Gray salt is a fancy kind of sea salt that comes from England and doesn't have the minerals removed it picks up from the sea and it's supposed to be closed to saline which less sodium the table salt. You can find about all the salts on this page.

http://www.foodsubs.com/Salt.html

I have 2 different types of gray salt, one is plane and the other is a herb infused gray salt. Sea and gray salt have higher moister too. :chef:
post #22 of 40
:chef:
Dear Glen-
To clear up what your Mom told you, yes, iodine was put into salt to prevent a disease called Goiter, an intense swelling of the glands in your neck and throat. Early in the 20th century, goiter was a big health issue. The government knew that iodine stopped it, but they had to figure how to get people to take it. Believe it or not, the original idea was to put iodine in milk! That project didn't last long, so the idea of putting it in another food stuff that everyone eats pointed to table salt. Kind of like putting flouride in our drinking water.
Anyway, goiter has been effectively eradicated as a public health threat in this country since long before I was born, but the iodine stayed in table salt. Go figure. We have just come to not think about it anymore, but, yes, there was a very real need for it at one time. As a side note, Kosher salt is a pure salt, that is what makes it Kosher. Religious doctrine requires no impurities in the salt, hence "Kosher".
Nice to talk to you, take care.
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post #23 of 40

salt salt salt!!!

Sea salt contains many varieties of "salts", the main one being, of course, Sodium Chloride (NaCl). These "salts" are ionic compounds, which means they are soluble in water. Examples might be Magnesium Chloride, Sodium Iodide, Aluminum Sulphate, etc. I tend not to think of them as "impurities" but rather they mimic, to some degree, the variety of salts in the human body.

Sea salt made by dehydrating sea water in the sun will contain many other impurities, such as insoluble things like dirt, dead fish parts, bug debris, etc. Sea salt made by using pure water and filtration methods will contain less impurities, but will roughly be the same in terms of the constituent "salts" if the seawater comes from the same source.

===== as posted by someone else, yes, salt in its purest form, is composed of NaCl molecules in a cubic crystalline structure. a close look at common table salt will make this obvious. HOWEVER!! a close look at other forms of salt will reveal some interesting observations!!
i happen to have some eight or nine different salts in my kitchen. the finest is pickling salt but i find no need to buy this specifically. simply put regular salt in a coffee grinder and go at it. for cooking, i use regular table salt (with iodine) or kosher salt (i have diamond as well as morton kosher)as the recipe calls for ... the regular table salt does have iodine in it (prevents goiters) and an anti-caking ingredient so i use it less than the kosher salt ( in the 1:2 ratio previously mentioned). in heavier flavored stews and such it really doesn't matter which you use. i also have a "himalayan" salt allegedly from tibet that is pink and about the texture of coarse kosher salt; a hawai'ian salt that is dark orange from the clay pits it is picked from; a hand picked french sea salt (medium grey colored) that is rough grained and actually moist to the touch (sticks to food very easily!); a flavored italian sea salt caled "sale alle erbe" (seasalt where various herbs are put into the salt fresh and the salt draws out the moisture, and therefore flavor, into the salt. omigod ... what a nice salt to sprinkle on top of fresh pasta!!); and finally the coarsest salt i own is baleine brand "sel de mer gros", a very gritty lumpy salt from france.
do they make a difference? i think they do. the different salts do have very distinct size and "crunch" differences that when used as a finishing salt can subtlely alter the texture of the food. also, with the coarser salts, there is the distinctive "pop" of saltiness when you chew the food that is different that when a finer grain salt is used. nitpicky?? maybe, but there are lots of foodies out there that are looking for these little special touches in the finished product. :lips:
post #24 of 40

salt trivia

Chemically speaking, the compound sodium chloride (NaCl) can only be produced one way. One atom of sodium bonds with one atom of chlorine.

There is no way to "fluff up" a grain of salt. Any difference is only in the size and shape of the grains. So if a pinch of Morton's is saltier, it's only because you pinch more Morton's than Diamond Crystal.

If you dissolved a pound Morton's salt in a gallon of water, and dissolved a pound of Diamond Crystal in a different gallon of water then measured the sodium content of the waters, they would be the same.

===== here is today's salt trivia question ....
"IS THERE ANY SALT IN SALT WATER?"


the correct answer is "no"!!!

salt is a solid crystalline structure composed of Na+ and a Cl- atoms in an
ionic bond. when it is placed in water, the bond is broken and basically, "de-ionized". the Na+ and Cl- atoms are floating around the water happy and single and carefree until the water evaporates and the Na+ and Cl- atoms once again link up and becomes a solid crystalline structure.

so ... there is no salt in salt water. you can win a few bar bets on this one.

if you were to put a pound of kosher salt into a gallon of water and then evaporate the water, the resulting sizes and shapes of the salt crystals will be slightly different. if you were to get the salt solution and pour it on a flat surface and waited for the water to evaporate, the salt will dry into "flakes" like the finest of celtic grey salts. it is only when "raw" salt is cleaned and processed do you end up with the familiar cubic shape of table salt. :confused:
post #25 of 40
[QUOTE=hipjoint] ...the Na+ and Cl- atoms are floating around the water happy and single and carefree until the water evaporates and the Na+ and Cl- atoms once again link up and becomes a solid crystalline structure.

so ... there is no salt in salt water. you can win a few bar bets on this one.
...QUOTE]


Hipjoint:

The sodium and chlorine atoms don't separate and resume there pre-salt identities. If you had free chlorine in the water, it would oxidize and disappear, as any swimming pool owner, who has to keep adding chlorine to his pool water, will tell you.

As for the sodium - pure sodium is explosive in water. Wouldn't THAT be interesting!

Salt retains its identity when dissolved. That's why the water tastes salty rather than like a swimming pool.
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post #26 of 40
who cares why, it just taste good on a pretzel and a bagel, :)
post #27 of 40
Actually, there are no sodium or chlorine atoms in the water, they exist as "ions" rather than atoms.

The reason salt dissolved in water tastes like salt crystals is because when your saliva dissolves the salt crystals, they exist as ions just like in the water. The "strength" of the salty taste has to do with the NaCl/water ratio.

In other words, you couldn't taste the salt if it didn't ionize. I think, if I remember correctly, the process of dehydrating the ionized salt is called de-ionizing.

At least that is how it is described in iontophoresis drug delivery.

doc
post #28 of 40
====== thank you for the clarification. HOWEVER!! if you were to look
up salt in its NaCl form in a chemical dictionary, it is described as a solid
crystal. in water, since it is NOT in its solid crystal structure, it is not salt
as we know it. yes, i stand corrected as they are not "atoms" but "ions",
but no they are not solid structures either.

however it stands chemically, the different sizes, shapes, and textures of
salt as it exists in kosher, tibetian, celtic french or whatever form really can
make a difference in how a food taste. just more fun things to try culinarily!
post #29 of 40
I am in a similar position as Glenn is, though I am not a scientist; I view this discussion about cooking as an opportunity for me to learn more about this art and gain some new understanding of ingredients and methods of cooking.

I came to this thread with the particular interest to find out about the peculiarities of kosher salt. Thank you very much for so eloquently explaining it! I have learnt something I wanted to know.

Thank you!


:lips:
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post #30 of 40

salt issue

The above helped a bit. I just made a yeast roll recipe from Gourmet mag. I called for 1 1/2 tsp of salt. I generally use sea salt when I cook so out of habit I grab it. I found the rolls to be very salty. I will try this recipe again either using less sea salt or table salt. I have never thought of sea salt being salter than table salt. Did I miss something?
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