Difference Between Kosher Salt and Sea Salt

Kosher Salt vs Sea Salt

Between kosher salt and sea salt we can observe a number of differences, beginning from the size of the salt granules. Before that, does the name or quality of salt make any difference to a cook as long as it is adding saltiness to the recipe in the desired quantity? If the salt dissolves quickly and does not alter the flavor of the recipe, nobody really cares. However, some cooks are fussy, and have their own preferences as they like to have same consistency and texture. There are many varieties of salts available in markets of which Kosher salt and Sea salt are most popular, of course after the ubiquitous table salt. Let us find out the differences between these two salts.

The most commonly used salt around the world in homes is table salt, which is finely granulated salt that dissolves very quickly. But have you ever tasted the briny flavor and a delightful crunch of sea salt and kosher salt? These salts have irregular grains that are large in size than table salt and are liked by people to sprinkle over many kinds of recipes. Though, it is hard to make a difference between all three, whether table salt, sea salt, or kosher salt as they are made up of sodium chloride only, it is the way these salts are processed that makes all the difference for the users. Table salt comes from underground mines, and the deposits of salt contain a bit of calcium silicate that prevents the salt from lumping.

What is Sea Salt?

Sea salt comes from sea water through evaporation and does not require any processing though some manufacturers do process it. It is thus raw, and contains many sea minerals that are beneficial for health and also add to the flavor of the salt. The color of sea salt, whether it is pinkish gray or black or red, is also because of the presence of these minerals. What is unique is that, sea salt loses its flavor when cooked or dissolved, which is why it is mainly used for sprinkling over snacks. Sea salt is also used in cosmetics.

Difference Between Kosher Salt and Sea Salt

What is Kosher Salt?

Kosher salt can be obtained from both underground mines as well as sea water and the real difference lies in the way it is processed. In some processes, they allow the salt crystals to grow in the atmospheric temperature. In other processes, kosher salt is made by compressing table salt crystals under pressure. If you look at its characteristics, kosher salt is lighter than sea salt. It also melts easily because of its flaky texture.

The use of kosher salt, apart from cooking, lies in preserving different food items because of the ability of the granules of the salt to draw out moisture from food items. In fact, for preservation, kosher salt is the most preferred salt. Kosher salt is mainly used in drawing out blood from the meats. That is how it got its name. Kosher comes from the fact that this salt is used in the meat to make it kosher, not because kosher salt is made following the kosher rules of the Torah.

 Kosher Salt vs Sea Salt

What is the difference between Kosher Salt and Sea Salt?

• Additives:

• Kosher salt is free of additives.

• Sea salt has some additives. Mainly, to make a difference of taste magnesium and calcium are added to sea salt.

• Production:

• Kosher salt is obtained following several kinds of processes.

• Sea salt is obtained after evaporation of sea water.

• Uses:

• Other than cooking, kosher salt also has great ability to draw out moisture from food items because of its large granules.

• Sea salt is used for seasoning the food at the end of the cooking process. Sea salt is also used in cosmetics.

• Texture:

• Kosher salt

• Flaky texture.

• Lighter than sea salt.

• Big crystals with large surfaces.

• Sea salt

• Pyramid shaped crystals.

• Not as large as kosher crystals.

• Taste:

• Kosher salt is less salty than sea salt because it is less dense and flaky.

• Sea salt contains many minerals that add flavor to the salt. It carries the normal salty taste.

• Special Purpose:

• Kosher salt is especially used for koshering process, where blood is drawn out of meats using this salt.

• Sea salt has no such special purpose.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Sea salt harvesting in Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand by JJ Harrison (CC BY-SA 3.0)
  2. Kosher salt by Glane23 (CC BY-SA 3.0)