In my recipes, when I use include salt, it is almost always kosher salt (as opposed to other types of kitchen salt like sea salt or table salt).
Given this, people have asked me what it is about kosher salt that I prefer.
So, for this Cooking 101 post, I thought I’d explain some of the differences between these salts in order to answer the question, “Why Use Kosher Salt?”
Interestingly enough, table salt, sea salt and kosher salt all have roughly the same chemical makeup, as they are mostly made of sodium chloride. What makes them so different is in how they are processed.
For general cooking purposes, the major difference between salts is in their texture.
Table salt is very fine which makes it dissolve quicker than other salts. Because of this, bakers tend to prefer using table salt, as they usually don’t want salt granules to disrupt the overall texture or taste of their recipe. Table salt’s very fine crystals make it so just one teaspoon will equal an entire tablespoon of kosher salt or sea salt. Because of this, I tend to not use table salt unless in very small amounts or when baking.
Sea salt, on the other hand, is made up of larger granules which, when sprinkled on food just prior to serving, create a noticeable crunch and flavor. Sea salt is best used on simple dishes where a noticeable briny flavor would enhance the overall flavor of the food. I love adding a few sprinkles of sea salt to freshly sliced avocado, tomatoes or soup, for example.
Kosher salt, which is more uniform in size than sea salt, has a coarse texture which makes it easy to pinch when cooking. This helps when seasoning your food, as you can better control how much you are pinching than with other salts. Kosher salt also has a less intense and more pure, salty taste than the other types of salt.
I hope that helps clear up the differences. Please let me know if you have any more questions regarding salt or future Cooking 101 topics.