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Canning and pickling salt

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
The new project this year has been canning and pickling. All has been going well, until I did a little too much research. Now I need help from experienced canners and picklers... substitutions for canning and pickling salt.

Canning and pickling salt simply does not seem to exist in my area. I've used Morton Kosher as a substitute but read that Morton is not best due to the anti-caking additives. I read that Diamond Crystal is better (more pure) so I got a box. I read that salt all weighs differently so doing weigh conversion is important to get the right balance for the pickle recipe. I hope I'm not reading too much!

The Wisconson Pickling Guide (http://learningstore.uwex.edu/assets/pdfs/b2267.pdf) gives some ratios that seem reasonable on page 7. Basically that canning and pickling salt weighs so much, and Morton Kosher is lighter per volume, and Diamond Crystal is even lighter.

But then I look at the side of the Morton Kosher box and it says use 1-for-1 in replacement of Morton Canning and Pickling salt.

How can that be... Morton Kosher is the lightest of the salts!

What do experienced canners and picklers substitute for gen-u-wine canning and pickling salt when the real-deal is not available?
Edited by BrianShaw - 9/1/14 at 7:59pm
post #2 of 9

The weight will be the same, the volume is what is different. Do you have a kitchen scale? It will solve all of this for your. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #3 of 9

+1 for a digital scale.  When I started doing charcuterie last year,  I got one on Amazon for less than $20.  I just wing it on spices, meat, fat, etc, but for salt amounts you really want a scale.

post #4 of 9

Also, I have been using kosher salt for pickling.  It works fine.  I think the bigger concern about using something like sea salt is that the pickle juice will get cloudy.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  The scale is a "no-brainer".  I can easily figure out how to weigh salt to a volumetric recipe.  That's the easy part.


But which kosher salt?  Are they really all the same?  I read that the anti-cake ingredient in Morton can settle out.  Is that what leads to cloudiness?  Or is it other minerals in sea salt?

... and why would Morton say on their box to use their Kosher salt instead of pickling salt when it is at least 50% lighter? Most pickle recipes seem to be written volumetrically. That could make a big diff in terms of salinity.

With the two of us using Kosher salt successfully then maybe it is not worth worrying about. smile.gif
post #6 of 9

Here is a Morton conversion chart from their website. It only shows 1 to 1 conversion for 1/4 teaspoon. The other measures show you need to use more kosher for table salt volume conversion.



I have used kosher salt for pickles. To make it easier to dissolve like pickling salt I ran it through the food processor until fine. You could use a grinder or blender too.


I think the iodine is a bigger problem in canning and pickling than the anti-caking agent. Morton says the anti-caking agent is less than 1/2 % of total.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

OMG... I've been all over their site and never saw that.  Thanks for opening my eyes!

post #8 of 9

Anti-caking agents aren't a huge deal in canning, not as much as in fermenting.  But even then it just usually contributes to a cloudy ferment, which usually doesn't affect the flavor.  Table salt is another story as not only does it usually contain anti-caking agents but iodine also which can affect canning, fermentation and the flavor.

post #9 of 9

WalMart online has pickling salt and a lot of the time free home delivery if you order enough

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