If you’re a kosher salt lover like me, then you know that there’s no substitute for kosher salt when it comes to taste, quality and shelf life. But what about when it comes to using kosher salt in your cooking? There are many benefits of kosher salt, but most of all, sea salt has so many other uses that it deserves some consideration as a “cheap” alternative to kosher salt which can be used in place of kosher salt in your cooking. In fact, sea salts are even better for your health!
When it comes to trace amounts of minerals in our foods, it’s a no-brainer that refined salt isn’t good for you because it doesn’t contain natural trace amounts of these minerals. So, what should you be using instead to season and flavor your foods with? Sea salt is naturally loaded with trace amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, and sodium, just to name a few. These trace amounts found in sea salt cause it to naturally tenderize meats, seafood, poultry, and fish, thus making it healthier than refined salt. Sea salt also has the ability to neutralize tastes in a dish so that it can mask or accommodate any underlying flavors you may be seeking.
Let’s take chicken as an example. Most people use kosher salt to season and bake chicken because it’s less likely to trigger a salty taste in the air which lessens the savor of this healthy food. However, table salt that lacks minerals and other beneficial trace amounts of nutrients and becomes less likely to release its “savor” is just not going to work as well. With sea salt, less likely is it to lose its seasoning because it also has the ability to lock in moisture, which makes it more likely to release its flavor. When you compare kosher salt to table salt, kosher salt loses by about forty percent compared to sea salt.
This brings us to the last factor… kosher salt, and sea salt in particular, are much more affordable than table salt. For example, a single pound of sea salt will cost less than a pound of kosher salt. This is one reason why this seasoning is very popular among budget-conscious consumers who tend to eat a lot of chicken or fish.
Iodine and salt have always been linked in the halakhah, or Jewish law, as having conflicting purposes. The halakha teaches that kosher salt has a negative impact on iodine levels in the body because it takes so much iodine to make a significant difference in its taste and odor. Sea salt on the other hand, is said to have a positive effect on iodine because it allows more absorption of this important mineral. But do note that this is not necessarily true, so make sure you read up on this topic extensively before you decide to go ahead and stock up on kosher salt.
Another positive aspect of kosher salt comes in the form of its ability to keep food from burning. This is especially important if you’re trying to cook, because no matter how much salt you use, cooking can still result in an undercooked food that will ultimately spoil. If you’re using kosher salt to salt your water, you’ll notice that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, which is something you don’t find with regular table salt (which can stick to the pan’s bottom regardless). Using sea salt to salt your water is also better for your health: it contains less sodium, a mineral that’s known to contribute to high blood pressure.
So is kosher salt right for you? Only you can answer that, but for most people it’s an easy decision when they come to the decision to buy table salt or sea salt for cooking. kosher salt tends to be very affordable, easy to work with and does a better job of absorbing the flavors of the foods that are being cooked than table salt does. And it doesn’t stick to the food as much, so it retains more of the flavors of the ingredients. So cooking is made more enjoyable, not only because of the superior taste of kosher salt, but because the flavors won’t be lost to the salt.
To get the most out of kosher salt, remember that it’s always best to go with a larger training variety. The smaller pieces of shavings from which it gets its saltier flavor, tend to have a lower concentration of minerals and can therefore end up dulling the flavor of your food. And the larger pieces tend to have a higher density and therefore hold on to their moisture better, retaining a fullness that makes the saltier and more flavorful overall.