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Different Salts, Different Weights. A Call To Measure...

mcsheridan Apr 29, 2010 03:07 PM

Interesting item in the New York Times' "Diner's Journal" today discusses the vast differences in weight by volume of the most commonly used salts.


Makes me glad I'm using Diamond's Kosher Salt almost exclusively.

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  1. scubadoo97 RE: mcsheridan Apr 29, 2010 04:21 PM

    Yes big difference. I've used Diamond and Mortons Kosher salt. Big difference in weight between the two. For brines I weigh out my salt on a scale. I never measure salt when cooking so it's not been a problem. Just eye it and salt to taste.

    1. todao RE: mcsheridan Apr 29, 2010 07:05 PM

      When a recipe calls for a measure of salt, it typically refers to table salt. A gram of salt is a gram of salt, whether it's granulated, flaked, fluffed, puffed or powdered. A teaspoon of salt however will weigh differently depending on the type of salt selected. If you have the weight of a teaspoon of table salt you can substitute any other salt (by weight) for the same measure without having to make any conversion.

      1 Reply
      1. re: todao
        bushwickgirl RE: todao Apr 29, 2010 07:09 PM

        Good point, todao.

      2. t
        tonka11_99 RE: mcsheridan Apr 30, 2010 05:12 AM

        Here are the sodium content proportions of some various salts.

        Soy Sauce "Morton Kosher" "Diamond Kosher" Table Salt Sea Salt

        77 mg 480 mg 312 mg 590 mg 590 mg 1/4 tsp
        307 mg 1920 mg 1248 mg 2360 mg 2360 mg 1 tsp
        920 mg 5760 mg 3744 mg 7080 mg 7080 mg 1 tbl

        5 Replies
        1. re: tonka11_99
          tonka11_99 RE: tonka11_99 May 2, 2010 07:52 AM

          Let me see if I can set the basics of this table up again.
          For 1/4 teaspoon of the following sodium sources:
          Soy Sauce 77 mg
          Morton Kosher 480 mg
          Diamond Kosher 312 mg
          Table or sea salt 590 mg

          1. re: tonka11_99
            bushwickgirl RE: tonka11_99 May 2, 2010 12:44 PM

            Guess I'll stick with DC, and maybe I'm going to start cutting back on my sodium intake as well.

            1. re: bushwickgirl
              paulj RE: bushwickgirl May 2, 2010 12:53 PM

              or you could use 1/2tsp of table salt when the recipe calls for 1.

              I do use Kosher. Currently my box is Diamond. Next time I may go back to Morton. Diamond tends to clump.

              Generally I use Kosher when salting by 'feel' - pinch by pinch from the jar. I use table salt for the shaker, and most measuring. I have others for decorative purposes, including a big slab of pink salt (a Christmas present).

              1. re: paulj
                mcsheridan RE: paulj May 2, 2010 01:02 PM

                In the shaker, for recipes for baked goods and desserts, I'm using table salt. For everything else, it's Diamond Kosher.

                1. re: paulj
                  bushwickgirl RE: paulj May 2, 2010 11:38 PM

                  Poster Karl J suggested placing the kosher salt into double ziploc baggies. Mine clumps as well; no caking agent in DC, but nothing a good shake of the box won't cure.

          2. heidipie RE: mcsheridan May 1, 2010 10:33 PM

            I had the identical experience: my market temporarily out of Diamond Crystal, bought Morton's, ruined lots of food until I caught on.

            1. The Dairy Queen RE: mcsheridan May 2, 2010 12:49 PM

              Maybe salt confusion is the reason so many recipes say "salt to taste." I love it when cookbook authors tell you which salt they use, right down to brand.


              1 Reply
              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                bushwickgirl RE: The Dairy Queen May 2, 2010 11:43 PM

                It's an important, and often overlooked, bit of information. Matha Stewart is clear that it's table salt only in her cookie book.

              2. t
                tonka11_99 RE: mcsheridan May 3, 2010 08:26 AM

                I think it is important to "Salt to Taste". There are a lot of variables in cooking. Recipes stating an exact amount of salt and type are not allowing for variations in ingredients.

                It is also important to stir it in and wait a few seconds, especially if you are using a salt with big flakes or crystals. It is going to take a little longer for those big flakes to dissolve.

                One of my cookbooks actually recommends you taste the pasta water when salting it to make sure it is right. I know I have been in a hurry and tossed it in too but it makes a lot more sense to taste it.

                6 Replies
                1. re: tonka11_99
                  scubadoo97 RE: tonka11_99 May 3, 2010 09:50 AM

                  I do taste my water when making rice but don't when making pasta. It's more critical with rice

                  One of the only places I'm very analytical about weighing salt is in baking or brining.

                  1. re: tonka11_99
                    bushwickgirl RE: tonka11_99 May 3, 2010 02:49 PM

                    That's why so many recipes add "or to taste." when giving salt measurements.

                    I taste my pasta water as I'm known for forgetting to salt, which is a disaster in the making.8-(( as I wait to salt until the water boils.

                    Baking is a different deal though, as you can't often taste as you go. You need to have an understanding of the salt you're using, and it's helpful if the formula you're working from states what salt the author used. As I stated above in the Martha Stewart reference, non-iodized table salt is the preferred choice for baking; it has more thorough and quicker dissolving properties than kosher.

                    scubadoo97, how much salt are you weighing when baking? A teaspoon or two? Maybe you're doing large quantity baking, though. I can see weighing for brining, but for such a small amount...

                    1. re: bushwickgirl
                      scubadoo97 RE: bushwickgirl May 3, 2010 03:36 PM

                      One reason I don't bake is I hate to measure. When baking I try to use recipes that are given in weight not volume. I have a gram scale so measuring even a little salt is not a problem. I bake maybe a couple times a year.

                      1. re: scubadoo97
                        bushwickgirl RE: scubadoo97 May 3, 2010 03:59 PM

                        OK, weighting when baking is ideal, and necessary, but for that little amount of salt when I'm baking, I use the palm of my hand, believe it or not. Years ago I measured a teaspoon of salt into my palm in an effort to save time, memorized the space it took, and now I have one less reason to use the measuring spoons or scale. Plus it's more like "not" measuring; you might like that;-).

                        1. re: bushwickgirl
                          scuzzo RE: bushwickgirl May 3, 2010 10:03 PM

                          I did that too. I put a teaspoon of salt in my palm...and then a tablespoon, looked at it and remembered. It's surely accurate enough for me!

                          1. re: scuzzo
                            bushwickgirl RE: scuzzo May 4, 2010 04:19 AM

                            And I thought I was the only one to do that! Nice to meet you...

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