Kosher Salt vs Sea Salt

Kosher Salt vs Sea Salt – do they taste the same? What’s the difference?

Salt is an essential part of any diet, and there are a variety of salt options for culinary purposes. Also you will be pleased to learn that sea salt and kosher salt can be used interchangeably as they are both edible salts. Sea salt is created by evaporating salt water from oceans, seas or saltwater lakes, so it typically includes trace minerals beyond simple sodium chloride. Kosher salt is mined from land salt deposits like rock salt or land salt mines and tends to have larger crystals than sea salt.

In terms of health benefits, both types of salt provide the same amount of sodium chloride. The choice of which one to use is generally based on personal preference and also what ingredients might be used in each dish. So by knowing the difference between Kosher salt and sea salt cooks can have more control over their meals and impress their friends with their newfound knowledge!

Let’s look in more depth

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

I know it can seem a little confusing, but by the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of what salt to use and when to use it.

Kosher salt vs sea salt – do they taste the same? Also can you really use kosher salt vs sea salt for things like brining, cooking, or garnishing? Also which kind of salt should you use to brine meat, or flavor the meat?

As previously mentioned kosher salt and sea salt are interchangeable. So if you come across a recipe that specifies kosher salt it is perfectly okay to substitute it with sea salt instead.

What is Kosher salt?

Kosher salt is harvested from underground salt mines and it has a coarse structure. It is a natural occurring salt with its main chemical composition being sodium chloride (NaCL). It is also worth noting that Kosher salt does not contain iodine.

Kosher salt is favored by chefs and is used regularly in commercial kitchens. One of the recognized favorite brands the professional chefs like to use is Diamond Crystal. This is because it is made up of larger flakes, is more coarse and less refined. This makes it easier for them to pinch and add into their dishes during the cooking process.

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

What can I use kosher salt for?

Kosher salt is particularly versatile. The larger flake size means it can be evenly distributed during the cooking process and is also suitable for garnishing or topping food just before serving. It can also be used for:

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

Chefs love to use kosher salt the large flakes can be added at the end of cooking, which allows more control of the seasoning process.

It is more expensive than table salt but you use less because of its larger flake size.

What is Sea Salt?

Sea salt is a coarse flaky sea salt, which is harvested after the evaporation of seawater which leaves behind large crystal structures which are flaky and uneven. It is often described as being an inverted shape and is available as fine or coarse crystals. There are many popular varieties to choose from including Fleur de Sel, Smoked Salt, Hawaiian salt, Icelandic Sea Salt. In fact there are more varieties now coming to the market from different countries.

Sea salt is more expensive than other salts due to the way it is harvested. So it is best to use this premium salt for garnishing or topping because of the cost. It melts pleasantly on the tongue and adds interest to each dish; for example, as a sprinkling atop homemade caramels or an enhancement to hot steak off the grill. You don’t really ever have to use sea salt, but it is fun and fancy. Use it as a gourmet flourish and impress your guests.

The overall flavor of the salt is subject to change as it may contain varying amounts of trace minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium depending on the local environment.  Ultimately this will affect 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

What are the differences between Kosher Salt vs Sea Salt?


  • Both Kosher salt and sea salt are made of sodium chloride.  
  • Kosher salt does not have any iodine present.
  • However sea salt contains traces of minerals, salts and iodines.
  • Made up of large crystals Kosher salt and sea salt are both perfect for cooking.
  • Remember normal table salt consists of fine salt crystals, so if you are substituting with Kosher salt or sea salt you do not need to use as much.


  • Made up of white grains Kosher salt has a coarse texture. 
  • The grains are large and flat. 
  • Sea salt comes in coarse, or fine flakes.
  • The final flavor of the salt will depend on where the salt has been harvested from. 


  • Kosher salt and sea salt are made from sodium chloride. Importantly sodium chloride can affect the overall health of the human body.  
  • Remember any over-consumption of salt can lead to serious health complications, you should therefore take care when substituting salt in recipes.
  • Have a look at the table below which should help you choose the appropriate salt substitute for your recipe.
Type of SaltSubstitute
Kosher SaltSea salt
Himalayan Pink Salt
Fine Sea Salt
Canning & Pickling Salt
Coarse Sea SaltHimalayan Pink Salt
Kosher Salt

Salt for cooking

Salt is an essential ingredient in cooking, and it’s therefore important to understand the differences between Kosher salt and sea salt. Sea salt is unrefined salt which contains minerals from the sea and comes in flaky or coarse form whilst Kosher salt has no additives, but it’s much finer than regular sea salt. So health-wise, both types of salt have similar nutrient profiles. While ocean salt has a stronger flavor that packs a punch when flavoring food, kosher salt’s larger grains are great for finishing dishes or salting food on the stovetop or oven. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference when deciding which type of salt to use!


Remember, whichever salt you choose, you should stay within the recommended guidelines for adults for your daily salt intake. 

For instance recommended guidelines advise that the minimum amount of salt an adult should consume daily should be less than 6g per day (2.4g sodium). So this is equal to 1 standard teaspoon of salt.  Consequently as Kosher salt contains larger crystals you should reduce its use to just half a teaspoon.

More ideas

There are many brands of salt available including Kosher salt, Diamond Crystal Kosher salt, Morton salt or finish salt. We will be adding more articles about them soon. 

Do you still want to learn more? Then why not head over to our other sections to find out more about salt, its uses, other salt products, and some quick and easy recipes?