What is Kosher Salt?
Kosher salt is a coarse salt made without the additives such as iodide. However, some salt manufacturer adds a small amount of anti-clumping agents. It has much larger grain size compared to that of the typical table salt. Kosher salt is just like all the other salt, which is made up of sodium chloride. The salt was termed as ‘kosher salt’ because it is used in making meats kosher.
Salt comes from seawater and it is extracted by evaporating the water, leaving the minerals. Other sources of salt are deposits that can be found under the crust of the Earth. If one would compare table salt and kosher salt, it is obvious that the former is heavily refined than the latter.
The physical characteristic of table salt is that it has precise square shape. Kosher salt has that physical trait of being coarse. Moreover, its shape is more like of a flat platelet. If viewed under the microscope, kosher salt would look like flat platelets of salt piled up on each other. This characteristic of kosher salt makes it ideal for meat processing. The coarseness of the salt helps draw out more blood from the fresh meat.
The use of kosher salt has also a religious reason. Jewish are forbidden to consume even the small amount of blood. This is according to their dietary laws called Kashrut. For the Jews, meat with blood will not be approved by the rabbi. Slaughterhouses use kosher salt to prepare the meat. Kosher salt extracts all the blood present in the fresh meat. Moreover, kosher salt improves the flavor of meat as it get rids of the blood.
For many professional chefs around the world, kosher salt is much preferred to table salt. The reason behind this is that kosher salt is characterized by a mild flavor. Moreover, the flaky structure of the salt makes it hold on to various food surfaces. Professional chefs from around the globe never run out of kosher salt. However, when it comes to baking, kosher salt would not be ideal. Its coarseness will make it difficult to mix with flour and with other ingredients.
Aside from being used as seasoning in most dishes, kosher salt can also be used in pickling. Using kosher is better than table salt due to its pureness. Table salt may contain iodine and may cause discoloration and cloudiness on pickled food. So if you want your pickled food to look good, use kosher salt.
Sometimes, you might be following a recipe from a book. However, the recipe tells that you need to use 2 tablespoons of table salt. The problem is that you only have kosher salt. So, how do you know the correct equivalent of 2 tablespoons of table salt in kosher salt? The technique is to use the 1:2 ratio for table salt and kosher salt. If the recipe asks for 2 tablespoons of table salt double the amount of kosher salt so you will use 4 tablespoons of kosher salt for the recipe.
Kosher salt is used mainly in processing and improving the taste of food. However, did you know that it is also used for chilling your beer? The salt will lower the temperature of the water in the cooler. Moreover, the dissolved salt acts fast on cooling down your beer. A cooler dissolved with salt will cool your beer faster than not putting salt at all.