What is The Difference Between Sea Salt and Kosher Salt?

As with any type of salt, the main difference lies not in the chemical makeup of the salt in question, but in the size, shape, texture, and color of the crystals being used. For chefs and anyone who is serious about cooking with salt, it is the size and the texture of the salt that has a massive impact. This is because the size of the granules and the texture of the salt will completely alter the flavor profile of the food you sprinkle it onto. With this said, let’s take a look at the differences between sea salt and kosher salt.

Kosher Salt: What Is It and How Is It Made?

Kosher salt, also known by its nickname “rock salt” is made up of large white grains that are rough and uneven. It is typically mined from salt mines but goes through a less rigorous processing method than your traditional table salt. It is a coarse salt that takes a while to dissolve but is not dense as it is composed of large flakes.

Kosher salt can be produced either by mining it from underground salt deposits to by evaporating seawater, which is why most people get it confused with table salt and sea salt. This is because that with sea salt and table salt, the refining processes is what differentiates the two but with kosher, it is the texture that matters and not the production method or the name.

It is most commonly used in Jewish tradition, where the blood from the slaughtered animal must be removed in order to make it ready for consumption. Unlike table salt, which is too thin, and sea salt which is too coarse, kosher salt is just right for pulling the blood out of the meat because it can be distributed evenly. This is why the salt is called, “kosher” as it is used in the process of koshering meat. It is important to note that kosher salt doesn’t have to actually be “kosher” which is a bit misleading to those who are new to this type of salt. Rather, a more correct term to use would be koshering salt.

The Difference Between Kosher and Sea Salt?

The texture and coloring of the salt. Sea salt is a lot prettier to look at than kosher salt because it comes in numerous sizes and is made up of small clear crystals that are shaped like inverted pyramids. However, when comparing the two, you’ll see that sea salt is a lot more coarse than kosher salt, is not free-flowing, and is not uniform in flake size. Unlike kosher salt though, sea salt can have widely different effects on the color and taste of food as trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium are found in the unrefined versions.

When to Use Kosher or Sea Salt?

Typically you only want to use sea salt as finishing on dishes. This is because the uneven flakes do not stack evenly, have a less dense pinch, and may contain trace minerals that would affect the dish if applied during cooking.  Kosher, on the other hand, can be used as a seasoning during and after cooking but should also be used during the preservation and processing of the meat.