Types of Salt


What is Kosher Salt?

What is table salt? What is sea salt? What is the difference between kosher salt and sea salt?


We decided the best way to answer what is kosher salt and these other questions is with a comparison table of different salt types (shown below) to show the qualities and typical uses of each type of salt, including kosher, table, sea and some specialty salts.

But first, lets generalize a minute… All salts are basically Sodium Chloride and therefore contain the same nutritional value. The differences between table salt, kosher salt, sea salt and fleur de sel are therefore subtle, but none the less distinguishing. For most recipes, if they don’t state otherwise, they generally assume the use of Kosher Salt.

types of salt

Types of Salt

Types of Salt

Let’s compare 5 types of salt, side by side.

Salts Qualities Uses
Table Salt Table salt has fine crystals refined from underground salt deposits to which Potassium Iodide is usually added (for a healthy thyroid), and an anti-caking agent (to prevent crystals from sticking together). Table salt is a general use salt and good for baking, soaking and cleaning.
Kosher Salt Kosher salt is a coarser version of table salt, but does not contain any additives or preservatives. Kosher salt crystals are larger than table salt and can come from land or sea. Most cooks prefer kosher salt because it is easier to pinch between your fingers. Kosher salt is also the best bet when preserving and koshering meats because it absorbs more moisture.
Sea Salt Sea salt is more flavorful than both table and kosher salts due to natural traces of other minerals that remain in the salts from the evaporated sea water. Sea salt can come in both coarse and fine crystals and can also be iodine fortified. Sea salt is made with very little processing. For cooking, coarse sea salt crystals can substitute for kosher salt. For baking, fine sea salt crystals can substitute for table salt. But… the flavors that make sea salt unique are basically lost when it is used in cooking or baking, so sea salts finest moments are when used as a finishing salt.
Fleur de Sel These crystals are harvested from the surface of salt ponds in France and are very delicate and therefore very expensive when compared to other salts. Yet, many say Fleur de Sel is worth its price tag. Fleur de Sel is best used as a finishing touch on fish and vegetables and makes an ending taste sensation on fine chocolates and other desserts.
Hawaiian Salt Hawaiian salts are generally black or red (pink). The red salt has an earthy flavor derived from the mineral Alae it contains due to the volcanically baked Hawaiian red clay which is enriched with iron oxide. The black salt is enriched with charcoal, which can aid in digestion. These salts can be sprinkled on fish and meat or used as bath salts.

Types of Salt

Additional Information

Need a Kosher Salt Substitute?
  • To substitute Table Salt when Kosher Salt is called for, use only half as much:
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt = 1 teaspoon Table salt

  • To find out about the shelf life of salt, check our salt page.

    To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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