Salt comes in many varieties, of which tablet salt or iodized salt, kosher salt or koshering salt, and sea salt are some popular varieties that are used for cooking, food preservation, and several other purposes. Here, we are going to discuss two types of salts - iodized and kosher salts, and the difference between the two.
What is Iodized Salt?
Iodized salt is the regular salt or table salt enriched or fortified with the mineral iodine. It is basically sodium chloride. The reason for fortifying regular salt with iodine is the importance of this mineral in preventing thyroid diseases like goiter.
Iodine is primarily required by the thyroid gland for synthesizing thyroid hormones, an insufficient production of which can cause thyroid disorders and other health problems. So, the main benefit of adding iodine to table salt is that it can provide enough iodine for maintaining the health of the thyroid gland.
What is Kosher Salt?
Like iodized salt, kosher or koshering salt is also basically sodium chloride, but it usually does not contain additives like iodine. Some brands of kosher salt can however, contain a small amount of anti-clumping agents. Compared to tablet salt, the grains of kosher salt are much larger. Kosher salt is not refined, and is basically a type of coarse salt.
It is also known as rock salt. The salt got the name 'kosher', as it is used for curing meat or making meat kosher by drawing out blood from it. Kosher foods are those that conform to the Jewish dietary law.
Comparison Between Iodized Salt and Kosher Salt
The main difference between these two types of salts is that, kosher salt is unrefined, coarse, and it does not contain additives, unlike iodized salt. Kosher salt is usually considered a pure salt, and compared to iodized salt, its flavor is said to be milder. This is the reason why it is preferred over iodized salt by many cooks.
Professional chefs prefer kosher salt over iodized salt mainly for seasoning. It is especially suitable for curing meat, as the coarse, large, and flaky grains of kosher salt do not dissolve easily. They adhere to the skin of meat, fish, and any other surface like glass, and help draw out blood or fluid from meat more efficiently.
Kosher salt can be used for nearly all those purposes for which table salt is used, except for baking, especially when a recipe requires the use of a small amount of liquid. The grains of kosher salt are larger, and hence, they may not dissolve completely in a small amount of liquid. In such a case, table salt is a better option than kosher salt for baking.
But in recipes where you can use enough liquid to dissolve kosher salt, you can use both iodized and kosher salt, whichever you prefer.
Apart from cooking, kosher salt has some special uses. E.g., it is used for lining margarita glasses, as well as for making salt crusts on meat and baked fish. Kosher salt is also used for pickling, as it does not contain iodine. Iodized salt can cause discoloration of the food being preserved or pickled. This problem can be avoided by using kosher salt.
Moreover, kosher salt can be more effective in extracting moisture from food, as its grains are larger than the grains of iodized salt. Along with kosher salt, you can use pickling salt for this purpose. Pickling salt is a type of pure salt that does not contain iodine.
The main benefit of using iodized salt in cooking is that it can provide the mineral iodine. But people undergoing radioactive iodine treatment and those having thyroid cancer may be required to follow a low iodine diet, and so, avoid iodized salt. Such individuals can use kosher salt.
Hope this item provided the required information to make a comparison between kosher and iodized salt, and helped you understand more about these two types of salt, their differences, and uses.