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What Is “Kosher Salt”?

What Is “Kosher Salt”?

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Question:

What makes salt kosher? What’s the difference between “kosher salt” and regular table salt?

Answer:

Salt is a mineral, and as such, pure salt is always kosher. Some brands of salt have a kosher symbol on the package, and that way you know that a reliable kosher certification agency is checking to make sure that nothing else gets mixed in to the salt and that it’s 100% kosher.

So, what exactly is “kosher salt”?

In truth, the name “kosher salt” is misleading. A better term would be “koshering salt.”

Blood is not kosher. G‑d commands us in the Torah:1 “You shall not eat any blood, whether that of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings.” After a kosher animal is properly slaughtered, all blood must be removed. This is normally accomplished by salting the meat, as salt draws out blood. Table salt is too thin and will dissolve into the meat without drawing out the blood, and salt that is too coarse will roll off.2 The salt that is “just right” for koshering meat is called “kosher salt.” Some people prefer to use it in certain recipes because of its consistency.

Click here for more about the salting of meat or watch this video to see it being done in a kosher butcher shop:

Footnotes
2.

Code of Jewish Law, Yoreh Deah, 69:3.

Mrs. Rochel Chein is a member of the chabad.org Ask the Rabbi team.
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Carmela Manila, phils. February 15, 2017

Can i call kosher salt as rock salt, here in the phils.,we have fine salt, iodized salt and non- iodized we call rock salt. Reply

Anonymous Culinary March 18, 2016

Kosher Salt One of the beauties of the internet is that someone more knowleadable has usually already answered your question. Wikipedia can be a good start. As to it's efficacy in cookery, try a vendors monologue. Then, if you have access to sea salt flakes... Reply

Martyman39 Toronto October 20, 2015

All salt whether table salt or "kosher" salt is sodium chloride (NaCl). The latter is just a bit more coarse in texture. Reply

Robert October 8, 2015

Kosher salt is also known as non iodised
salt. It is essential in the making of certain types of cheese. uses in the brine foe halloumi en feta Reply

Chad Weber Plainsboro February 6, 2015

Sarah Masha It would not be the same volume if you packed the ground almonds. I'm a chef. We know there is a difference in volume between kosher salt, sea salt, and table salt, however slight. Ask America's Test Kitchen. Reply

Sarah Masha West Bloomfield MI USA February 5, 2015

Richard Weber I once checked with almonds, measured half a cup of whole nuts, and then ground them and remeasured. It was still half a cup.

I've also used both koshering and table salt when cooking or even baking. I have used the same measurement of either kind of salt in different batches of the same item and nobody notices any difference. Reply

Richard Weber Plainsboro February 4, 2015

@mac burnett - kosher salt is usually much coarser, so a tablespoon of kosher salt contains less salt than a tablespoon of table salt. Also, most kosher salt doesn't contain iodide/iodine. Reply

Anonymous 48823 September 8, 2013

salt taste Leaving aside my earlier comment about crystal size and the posting about dangers of high bromine salt, different salts have slightly different tastes depending on co-precipitation of trace elements. The salt
mined under Detroit from an incredibly ancient salt sea has a slightly different flavor than that sun dried from the margins of different oceans, and certain chefs have different preferences.

In fact, one could prepare salt by repeated chrystalization to reduce trace minerals, but I do not know of anyone who does so, nor can I see any halakhic issue. Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills, ma September 8, 2013

Salt: that is Kosher is definitely larger in terms of grain and coarse in terms of texture. The regular table salt is fine, like sugar, and in fact, it's hard to tell, by just looking, with the naked eye, what is refined sugar from salt. I believe Kosher salt has a different taste from regular salt, but of course, salt is salt. And salty is the result. I often purchase salt that is Ocean salt, and it has more grain, being unrefined.

Salt came up for me today, and I wrote about SALT on FB and then this reappeared. I know there's a story here, and it could be, one day people will cross connect the story I am putting down, and see I don't lie about my life. Why would I/

Salt and the Covenant is what I wrote about, and all meanings of salt. Maybe it's our "Lot" in life, to experience the bittersweet. I believe, all stories, do have a language-based connection, and that's what I have been scribing, down the lines on Chabad, for conservatively some hundreds of responses.

Shalom Chaverim. Reply

mac burnett texas September 5, 2013

kosher salt OK, enough of kosher salt being pure, and drawing off blood, etc. All I want to know is, is there a difference in the texture, or taste intensity (over regular table-salt) when it comes to cooking?

Thanks Reply

ruth housman marsfhield hills, ma August 27, 2013

Salt It feels sometimes like salt being poured on wounds, a way, no doubt, an ancient way, of keeping the wound clean, but this hurts, and so we have this phrase. I often wonder, as I do today, as we approach our Jewish New Year, why it is, we feel, as Jews, that we have it all, as in The Answer, and that we are the blessed Ones? Yes, being Jewish I honor our tradition and story, but also I remember my namesake was not Jewish, and she followed Naomi, for love, just that. And no doubt that is the reason she changed her religion. And then, there is a beautiful story that has everything to do with Messianic lineage and Ruth, if you read the Book of Ruth.

I find it very salty at times, to read about how it's a Jewish Messiah, and also a man, and also what is written. Because my life took me on a path, that said, G_d is capable of anything, and that is even pulling the wool over our eyes. Because I believe that Ruth contains the keys to a profound and beautiful story, and that meaning lies here. Reply

Lily Leamington, Ontario August 25, 2013

The Word Jew Wouldn't it be more appropriate to state when "non Jewish people" use the term it has usually been in a derogatory manner? My husband is from Manitoba, Canada and heard it usedt often. He honestly did not realize it was offensive. I grew up in the northeastern United States and knew otherwise. Reply

Donald Weinshank Michigan August 2, 2013

Kosher salt I plead guilty to being addicted to THE FOOD NETWORK TV channel and, indeed, we have adapted a number of their recipes in our shomer kashrut home.

One funny moment was when one of their chefs was explaining the way to salt one of their pork dishes with “kosher salt”/aka kashering salt.

There is actually a very good reason for using this salt: the crystal size gives one a tactile feedback on how much salt you are adding. I have heard this explanation from several of their chefs and found that this procedure is much preferable to using fine-grained table salt.

B’teavon Reply

Anonymous California July 17, 2013

in response to Moyshe I have to add that I was horrified recently when a co-worker told me that "someone was trying to Jew them down in price". You would not know that I am Jewish by name or appearance, but nevertheless I AM Jewish...... I wasn't sure how to react other than shock and to say, "I prefer to use the term, "negotiate". I wouldn't want anyone to think you were discriminating". I really didn't think anyone still used that term...... Reply

Mira New York July 12, 2013

A good explanation from Mrs. Chein I think Mrs. Chein explained this beautifully.

Right now, "Kosher salt" is a trendy ingredient. I see kosher salt proudly featured in recipes of all kinds, including many for dishes that are as treif as it's possible for food to be.

It would be easy for someone who doesn't understand kashrut to mistakenly think that food containing "kosher salt" (ie salt used for kashering) is actually kosher, and to present the food as kosher.

In fact, it's possible for "kosher salt" to be unkosher, even if it was initially kosher (in the case of salt, kosher just means uncontaminated, since there's no kashering process for salt).

If a piece of pork somehow falls into a cannister of "kosher salt," then the "kosher salt" is not kosher anymore.

One person here stated that "kosher" means "blessed." This incorrect. As the article stated, certified Kosher food is supervised to ensure the laws are properly followed. It doesn't start out unkosher and become kosher though prayer. Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills, ma July 11, 2013

The salinity of The Dead Sea makes us buoyant when we take a dip. I will say, unequivocably, The Dead See.
You may not believe what I know is true. There is a far far greater story that forms a ring around our lives.

For thank you, Merci
For oceanic, Mer See
For love, Mercy Reply

Yaacov Philadelphia July 11, 2013

Salting non-Kosher meat The prohibition of consuming blood is different for Jews and gentiles.

The prohibition in Genesis 9:3-4 concerning the consumption of blood was directed to Noahides, meaning gentiles. As it states there, "every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. But meat with its soul, its blood, you shall not eat.".

The laws prohibiting consumption of blood in Leviticus 7:22-27 were directed to the Jewish people specifically. Jews were restricted additionally to those specific living creatures enumerated in the five books of Moses.

There was a technique of drinking the blood of living animals as a means of preserving the meat longer while still being able to derive sustenance from the animal. It is still practiced today in certain parts of Africa among the cattle herding tribes. There were also practices of removing individual limbs while keeping the animal alive, again to preserve the meat. This is still practiced today in parts of Asia.

The salting is only a detail on removing blood. Reply

Anonymous July 11, 2013

Kosher? Leviticus 7:26. To properly slaughter a non-kosher animal and use "kosher salt" is not koshering. Leviticus defined Genesis? Therefore life is in the blood and was this not used to save life in Egypt? Reply

Yaacov Philadelphia July 9, 2013

Kosher Salt vs Danger To Life Although your explanation about koshering salt and the permissibility of pure mineral salt are generally correct, salt in the Torah is a strange subject. There are pure mineral salts that the Talmud warns are a danger to life and even cause blindness. These are the salts of Sodom. According to most sources, Sodom was on or near the Dead Sea. A quick search will show that the mineral content of Dead Sea salt is vastly different from Sea salt. One of the big differences is a very high bromide content in Dead Sea salt. According to current medical studies, certain bromides can in fact cause blindness in certain people. Here's a quote from a study cited on Wikipedia, "Blindness has been reported by people with diabetes, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, erection problems, osteoporosis."
In the case of Esav, salt is associated with deception. Esav asked how to take tithe on salt while the Torah only requires tithe on produce of Israel and possibly livestock from there. Is it kosher? Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills, ma July 9, 2013

Salt is important for many reasons and I am "Ko" Sher" ing. Salt is for salary, and old salt is for fisherman. And we say, salt of the earth. And saltatory is to make sudden jumps of all kinds. We are largely salt, as our blood has a large saline content. A convenant was made with Salt, and that was a Promise, and so salt is very important. We have many words that do contain salt. I think it's wrong to think of salt as Jewish salt, but rather that coarse salt, that is blessed, has a property as stated that draws out blood. Blood is about life and to give blood is said to give life. So in drawing blood from an animal, perhaps an even greater meaning has to do with gratitude for the fact they gave their lives for us. Reply

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