Kosher Salt vs Sea Salt

Kosher Salt vs Sea Salt – what’s the difference, which is best?

Let’s have a quick look at the both types of salt – Kosher Salt and Sea Salt (or if you prefer Sea Salt vs Kosher Salt!)

Have you ever wondered what the difference is or why you would need to use different salts? It can seem a little confusing but hopefully by the end of this article you will have a better understanding of what salt to use and when.

Kosher salt

Kosher salt is a coarse salt which is harvested from underground salt mines.  It is a natural occurring salt with its main chemical composition being sodium chloride (NaCL).

Kosher salt does not contain iodine.

The term ‘kosher’ refers to the Jewish term of ‘Kahsering’ meaning brining, or to draw blood from raw meat by applying the kosher salt.  It does not mean that the food has undergone any strict religious practice by the Jewish community.

What can I use kosher salt for?

  • Brining
  • Cleaning
  • Cooking
  • Garnishing food and drink 
  • Seasoning foods
  • Preservation of fish and meats

Chefs love to use kosher salt as it has large flakes which can be added at the end of the cooking process. 

Adaptations of recipes need to be taken into consideration as kosher salt has larger flakes than standard table salt so therefore less should be used.

Sea Salt

Sea salt is also a coarse salt but it is harvested after the evaporation of seawater which leaves behind large crystal structures which are flaky and uneven.

Depending on where the salt crystals are harvested from the salt may contain varying amounts of trace minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium.  This will have an effect on the overall flavor of the salt and ultimately the finished dish.

What can I use Sea salt for?

  • Cooking
  • Garnishing food and drink
  • Seasoning foods
  • Preservation of fish and meats
  • Cleaning

Kosher Salt vs Sea Salt – what are the differences?

Structure

  • Kosher salt and Sea Salt are both made of sodium chloride.  
  • Kosher Salt has no iodine present (or even minute quantities) whilst Sea Salt contains traces of minerals, salts and iodines, relative to the area where it was harvested.
  • Both have large crystals which can be used in cooking, and as the crystals are larger in size than fine table salt less needs to be added.

Shape

  • Kosher salt is made up of white grains with a coarse texture. 
  • They are large and flat and some brands have a pyramidal shape. 
  • Sea salt generally comes in a coarse, or fine salt, with the end flavor depending on where the salt has been harvested geographically. 

State

  • Both Kosher salt and Sea Salt are made from sodium chloride which ultimately affects the overall health of the human body.  
  • Any over-consumption of salt can lead to serious health complications so care should be taken when substituting salt in recipes.
  • Use the table below to help choose the appropriate salt substitute for your recipe.
Type of SaltSubstitute
* Kosher Salt* Coarse Sea salt
* Coarse Himalayan Pink Salt
* Fine Sea Salt
* Canning & Pickling Salt
* Coarse Sea Salt* Coarse Himalayan Pink Salt
* Kosher Salt

Guidelines

Whichever salt you choose, remember to stay within the recommended daily guidelines for adults for your daily salt intake. 

The daily recommended guidelines advise that the minimum amount of salt an adult should consume should be less than 6g per day (2.4g sodium) – or about equal to 1 standard teaspoon of salt.  But as kosher salt contains larger crystals this should be reduced to just half a teaspoon.

More ideas

If you would like to find out more about salt why not check out our articles in the Salt Facts section?  Ready to explore a bit more?  Why not pop on over to our Salt Products and Salt Recipe sections?