HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
What have you made lately? Get great advice
TELL US

Mortons versus Diamond Crystal- am I nuts?

t
torty Aug 23, 2008 03:27 PM

I have always picked up Morton's Kosher salt. I keep it in a wide mouthed jar and either scatter out of the jar or take some pinches. I love the texture. I was almost out and the store I was at only had Diamond Crystal. I opened it today and I would swear it was almost as fine as table salt! Am I nuts? I had none of the Morton's left to compare.

  1. Will Owen Sep 2, 2008 03:37 PM

    My personal discovery of Diamond Crystal Kosher salt just flat changed my life; I started keeping a big cork-lidded jar next to the cooktop, and haven't used a kitchen salt-shaker in years now. The fact that it's an evaporated salt rather than simply ground-up rock salt makes it a lot easier to salt everything just enough, and to taste immediately whether I need to add more. I also just happen to love flaked salt - DC ain't Maldon, but it's a good step in that direction.

    1. daveena Aug 24, 2008 02:18 PM

      Diamond makes both coarse and fine salts (my fine salt isn't kosher - don't know if they also make a kosher one). The coarse kosher is flakier and cleaner tasting than Morton's. I accidentally bought the fine salt once, thinking it was just a smaller box of the coarse kosher (the small box of fine salt actually holds 4 pounds, while the large box of coarse kosher holds 3 pounds!). Sounds like you may have made the same mistake I did.

      7 Replies
      1. re: daveena
        t
        torty Aug 24, 2008 03:51 PM

        My box says Kosher is big letters. I think it is this flake thing that threw me off. I am giving it a chance. May have to do a side by side.

        1. re: daveena
          johnb Aug 24, 2008 05:47 PM

          There is no such thing as a truly "fine" kosher salt. In fact, salt is not "kosher" or "non-kosher" at all. The term should actually be "koshering" salt, i.e. salt used to prepare meats in the kosher manner, for which a coarse and flat salt is needed. Fine salt such as table salt is not appropriate for koshering. That is why certain coarse salts are termed kosher (in the US anyway), not because some rabbi has approved them. There are also coarser salts too, of course, such as ice cream salt, rock salt, road salt, etc etc. Probably the main reason that kosher salts typically have no additives is because they aren't needed to prevent caking and clumping, as is the case with fine salts such as table salt which need to pass through the holes of salt shakers.

          As an aside, Alton Brown is famous for his kosher salt hangup. The only conceivable valid reason for that that I can imagine would be that it avoids the additives, but I doubt the impact is material. What IS important is to know how much salt you are adding to things, especially when baking. This puts the lie to most American recipes, which call for salt by measure not weight, so how much salt you are actually adding depends on the brand/type you are using. I suspect that very few people are aware of the differences.

          1. re: johnb
            cherrylime Sep 1, 2008 08:11 PM

            all i know is that since we started using morton's kosher salt about 15 years ago I can't handle regular iodized salt. In fact when we travel we bring the morton kosher with us just in case. I also read that "chef's preferred" the diamond crystal (in Saveur I think?) and we tried it but mr. cherrylime said "don't get that one anymore" and I agreed. It tasted somehow..less salty? and yes was a smaller flake so that diminished the flavor when used as a finisher. I think it also has something to do with being used to the Morton's Kosher and knowing how much to use by feel and pinch..

            1. re: cherrylime
              t
              torty Sep 2, 2008 01:40 PM

              I am amazed at the difference. I feel like I am pouring on the DC having been used to the Mortons. It is a big box, so we shall see....

            2. re: johnb
              s
              saltygator Sep 2, 2008 01:29 PM

              Each year, a rabbi visits rhe Morton Salt plants and does an inspection.
              When completed, he blesses the salt supply. The salt produced in the boxes can then labeled as "Kosher".

              1. re: saltygator
                Karl S Sep 2, 2008 03:51 PM

                He may bless the salt supply, but that's not what "allows" it to be labelled Kosher. Salt is a mineral - it's a stone - not something from a living thing, so it's not subject to the certifications of kashrut any more than air or pure water is.

                It's called "kosher" for how it's used, not because of what it is.

                1. re: saltygator
                  johnb Sep 2, 2008 06:23 PM

                  Sorry, that's just nonsense. You're being sucked in by marketing hype. The salt would be no less "kosher" if the rabbi didn't show up. Morton's is trading on the confusion generated by the common American habit of calling koshering salt "kosher salt." The reason it is "kosher" is because the grains are big and it thus is the right salt to use when "koshering" meat, ie drawing the blood out.

            3. c
              cstr Aug 24, 2008 12:40 PM

              I use Morton's because I can choose the texture, I like course CS.

              1. ChowFun_derek Aug 24, 2008 09:01 AM

                I initially bought both, to do a taste test...I personally found Diamond "sweeter" in comparison to Mortons which tasted almost 'bitter' to me...so I chucked Mortons and have been using Diamond ever since....

                1 Reply
                1. re: ChowFun_derek
                  maria lorraine Aug 24, 2008 10:06 PM

                  Is that because of the added iodine, you think?

                2. johnb Aug 23, 2008 07:30 PM

                  I think DC is generally thought to be superior to Mortons, not least because it is a "flake" salt, with its crystal shape makes it "stickier." I costs more to make because, if I understand correctly, it is boiled in small pans of some sort, which is what gives it that shape.

                  Note that DC also makes some granulated salt products like Mortons, but they are known for their flaked salt. They're owned by Cargill these days BTW.

                  I am able to find DC kosher salt easily in Western NC where I live, but can't seem to find the table salt, so I have to stock up on that at one of my favorite Asian markets in Atlanta when I'm there.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: johnb
                    LindaWhit Aug 24, 2008 04:53 PM

                    Interesting - I've always used Morton's salt, and Slate Magazine's taste test shows Morton's superior to DC....unless we're talking about a different DC salt? (They used DC iodized and Morton's Kosher in the taste test).

                    http://www.slate.com/id/2117243

                    I see that DC has a kosher salt - is this the one the OP was talking about? http://www.diamondcrystalsalt.com/Cul...

                    1. re: LindaWhit
                      Karl S Aug 24, 2008 06:34 PM

                      Yes, so Slate was mixing apples and oranges, as it were. Morton's kosher is more available in the NE than DC, so that's probably why they got it. But DC kosher remains the US benchmark.

                      1. re: Karl S
                        maria lorraine Aug 24, 2008 10:12 PM

                        It's quite odd that they would mix up iodized salt and non-iodized salt in the same taste test.

                  2. Karl S Aug 23, 2008 04:20 PM

                    Diamond Crystal is the benchmark for most US recipes, not Mortons (basically, unless Mortons is specified, assume DC is called for). If you are using Mortons, you need to use less.

                    2 units DC kosher is equivalent to 1 unit table salt.
                    1.5 units Mortons kosher is equivalent to 1 unit table salt.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Karl S
                      t
                      torty Aug 23, 2008 05:23 PM

                      Thanks everyone. I had heard that DC are preferred, but was taken aback by the texture. I would never have guessed that the Morton's was saltier by volume. Will play with the DC and see if I can teach this old dog new tricks.

                      1. re: Karl S
                        MMRuth Aug 24, 2008 09:04 AM

                        Do you know if DC has ever made a coarser Kosher salt? I could swear that I used to find it - and used it to make Gravlax, for which I like the coarser kind. I use DC (finer kind) for general cooking.

                        1. re: MMRuth
                          MMRuth Sep 8, 2008 05:11 AM

                          Well, I bought some Morton's Kosher salt while on vacation to make gravlax, and, while I think the grains are a little coarser than the DC ones, they aren't as coarse as I seemed to have remembered them being.

                      2. d
                        deglazer Aug 23, 2008 04:13 PM

                        DC kosher salt is flakier and can indeed seem insubstantial compared to Morton's, but I find it's still coarse enough to grab by the pinch. I guess it just comes down to personal preference. Advantges of DC: no added anti-caking agents, quicker dissolve time, better ability to adhere when sprinkled on something like a roast. Since it's flakier, it's less "salty" by volume. Formulas often go something like:
                        1 cup table salt=1.5 cups Mortons=2 cups DC.
                        Note the easier math with the DC.

                        1. h
                          Humbucker Aug 23, 2008 04:04 PM

                          No, you aren't crazy, the brands have different coarseness and you have to adjust amounts in recipes to compensate.

                          Show Hidden Posts