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Are Kosher Salt and Table Salt Different?

Two spoons are placed next to one another, one filled with table salt, the other with sea salt.
Angelus_Svetlana/Shutterstock.com

You’ve probably seen certain recipes call for a pinch of kosher salt, but you only have table salt on hand. Is there a difference between the two?

There’s actually a big difference between kosher salt and table salt! So, what does that mean for your favorite recipes, and what should you really be using to season your food?

Kosher salt is made only of sodium chloride and doesn’t have any trace minerals like table salt, but the compound structure isn’t the only difference between table salt and kosher salt. Kosher salt is a bit bigger and has a diamond shape. This makes it easier to “pinch” and add to a recipe if you’re going by taste instead of measurements. But, it’s not just for aesthetic purposes or to look more like Salt Bae when you’re seasoning or curing your meat.

Because table salt contains iodide, it often tastes…saltier. If a recipe calls for kosher salt and you add the same amount of table salt, you could end up over-seasoning things.

Does that mean you can’t swap out table salt for its kosher counterpart? No. If you only have table salt on hand, you can still use it in a recipe that calls for kosher salt. Cut back on the amount you add by a few pinches, then taste for seasoning to determine if it needs more. Half the fun of cooking is tasting along the way!

If you’re an avid cook, it’s worth it to have a box of kosher salt in your kitchen. While table salt can be used in a pinch, it’s better to leave it out of the kitchen and, well…on the table!

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a freelance writer based in Southwest Michigan. Read Full Bio »
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