Difference between Kosher Salt and Sea Salt

Published on January 8, 2017

Kosher salt and sea salt are two types of sodium chloride, commonly known as salt. These two varieties are popular among professional and home chefs alike, who swear by the added flavor and texture they bring to dishes compared to ordinary table salt. These extra flavors come from traces of impurities found in the salt. While both kosher salt and sea salt add a lot of character to a dish, they have certain differences that make substituting one for the other quite challenging. This article will discuss these differences.

Definitions

Kosher Salt vs Sea Salt
Kosher salt

Kosher salt gets its name from its primary use in Jewish cuisine. Many brands of this kind of salt are made by flattening rock salt crystals using rollers, producing a flaky type of salt. Because of its peculiar appearance, it has a larger surface area than regular table salt and dissolves rather slowly. While those of Jewish heritage use kosher salt to remove surface blood from meat, it is also popular among gourmet chefs, who sprinkle it on top of finished dishes, giving them a delectable crunchy texture.

If you wish to substitute kosher salt for regular table salt, always remember to factor in the surface area. Because kosher salt flakes are larger, a cup of table salt is equivalent to 1 1/4 cups of kosher salt.

Sea salt
Sea salt

Sea salt is salt that comes from evaporated brine. It has a long history of use among maritime cultures, which extracted salt from sea water using sunlight or other sources of heat. Compared to regular table salt, sea salt has large, coarse, irregularly-shaped grains. This made sea salt a popular preservative for both fish and meat. It is also popular among gourmets, who believe that the size and shape of the grains allow it to dissolve and release their flavor more slowly. This makes sea salt ideal as a sprinkle or a garnish.

Should you wish to use sea salt in lieu of table salt, always take the surface area of sea salt grains into consideration. One cup of table salt equals one cup and four teaspoons of fine sea salt.

Kosher Salt vs Sea Salt

What are the differences between kosher salt and sea salt? Their main differences lie in how they are produced, their appearance, their use and the needed for common dishes.

Production

Since ancient times, Jews have produced kosher salt by flattening salt grains using rollers. Maritime cultures, on the other hand, made sea salt for centuries by evaporating salt water under direct sunlight or other sources of heat.

Appearance

Kosher salt comes in large, flaky grains. In contrast, sea salt has large, coarse and irregularly-shaped grains.

Usage

Kosher salt is used primarily in Jewish cuisine, where it is sprinkled on meat to remove surface blood. Chefs also prize it for its unique crunchy texture and sprinkle it on various dishes. Meanwhile, sea salt has a long history as a preservative for meat and seafood. It is also a popular sprinkling and garnishing salt in different cuisines.

Amount to be Used

Because kosher salt and sea salt consist of large flakes and grains, they tend to weigh less per unit volume than other types of salt. One cup of table salt, for example, is equivalent to 1 1/4 cups of kosher salt. The same amount of table salt, in comparison, is equivalent to one cup and four teaspoons of fine sea salt.

Comparison Chart

Kosher SaltSea Salt
Made by flattening rock salt with rollersMade by evaporating salt water using sunlight and other heat sources
Large flaky grainsLarge, coarse, irregularly-shaped grains
Used by Jews to remove blood from meat; also popular as a sprinkling saltUsed to preserve meat and seafood by maritime cultures; also popular as a garnish
1 1/4 cup of kosher salt =
1 cup of table salt
1 cup and four teaspoons of sea salt = 1 cup of table salt

Video

Click on the video below to watch a cooking instructor discuss the characteristics of different kinds of salt, including kosher salt and sea salt.