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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. 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.

All the best,

Rochel Chein for Chabad.org

FOOTNOTES
1.

Leviticus 7:26.

Mrs. Rochel Chein is a member of the chabad.org Ask the Rabbi team.
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Discussion (30)
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.
Chad Weber
Plainsboro
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.
Sarah Masha
West Bloomfield MI USA
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.
Richard Weber
Plainsboro
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.
Anonymous
48823
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.
ruth housman
marshfield hills, ma
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
mac burnett
texas
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.
ruth housman
marsfhield hills, ma
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.
Lily
Leamington, Ontario
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
Donald Weinshank
Michigan
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......
Anonymous
California
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