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Nov 17, 2012 11:48 AM

Morton Coarse Kosher Salt or Diamond Crystal?

I've been using Morton Coarse Kosher Salt for years. Lately I've read a few things here and there suggesting that Diamond Crystal is better for various reasons, so I bought a box. To me it seems to be almost too fine to use for some purposes. For example, I sprinkled some short ribs with Diamond Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper before browning, and the salt just about dissolved on the meat.

I'd love to hear from folks who have a preference for either the coarser Morton or the finer Diamond, to learn the reasons for your preferences. Thanks!

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  1. I've wondered the same thing for years ... waiting for replies.

      1. If you're talking Morton's Kosher v. Diamond Crystal Kosher, then it's more marketing than anything.

        8 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          I just "salt to taste" pretty much, but according to this

          there's a difference. Maybe the difference doesn't make a difference.

          But Diamond weighs 5 ounces per cup, Crystal 8 ounces per cup, table salt 10 ounces per cup. That must make a difference, yes?

          1. re: blue room

            No, I agree that depending on the application it will make a difference, esp. if you are using them as "finishing salts". If you are, then definitely go with Mortons.

            But if you are just cooking with them, then I don't really feel like there's a difference. All those testimonials about how Diamond tastes "cleaner" or "purer" is just hogwash.

            I will admit, however, Diamond is great at softening hard water!

            1. re: ipsedixit

              If you're cooking with 3 teaspoons of table salt, you're using 6 teaspoons of Diamond -- if the stated weights are correct. Not a taste difference, just the total amount of saltiness. I just have to be careful with some recipes. If it says kosher salt I use 1/2 that amount of table salt.

              1. re: blue room

                I hate it when recipes are sooo general - ie: one teaspoon of Kosher Salt.. which varies between Morton and Diamond by twice as much. Thanks.

              2. re: ipsedixit

                Morton's tastes different. Probably from the additives.

              3. re: blue room

                Aren't Diamond and Crystal the same thing?

                1. re: blue room

                  blue room made a slight typo. The article says a cup of Diamond Crystal weighs 5 oz. and Morton's Kosher weighs 8 oz. a cup. It was a bit confusing at first.

                  1. re: Feed_me

                    Aaagh -- thank you for seeing this (fat, not slight) error! I did indeed confuse the issue.

              4. I'm like you. I've used Mortons for years, then read of the supposed superiority of Diamond Crystal. Bought some, didn't like it better, in fact liked it less. Stopped using it.

                I tend to use as a finishing salt but am also known to drop a generous pinch into soup, other things cooking stovetop.

                1 Reply
                1. re: tcamp

                  I use Maldon Sea Salt flakes for finishing. I like the crunch.

                2. This may simply have to do with what you're accustomed to using. I've been a long time Diamond Crystal kosher salt user. A few months ago I ran out of the small container I kept at my mom's house and bought Morton's at the grocery store because that's all that was available. Without reading any of the taste test comparisons, I can tell you that my own first taste of Morton's turned me off sampling it right out of the box. It has a metallic edge and bitterness compared to Diamond Crystal.

                  Besides the taste, I'm sure my preference for the fine flakes of Diamond Crystal is mostly because that's what I'm used to reaching for in a pinch between thumb and forefinger. The fast dissolving properties you describe are exactly why to use it. Also, because it does not have anti-caking additives like Morton's, brines stays crystal clear. I like that the uneven flakes adhere well to food.

                  Should you have a need for other food processing grade salts, here's my post on Cargill’s CMF Evaporated Salt (same company that owns Diamond Crystal) from the SF Bay Area board.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    I don't think I ever stopped to consider that the two salts might actually taste different, but now I'm inspired to do a side-by-side taste test. I also didn't realize that Morton's has anti-caking additives. I was all set to toss the big box of Diamond Crystal and replace it with Morton's, but now I think I'll experiment a little. It might take some getting used to in terms of the right amount to use for various purposes. Thanks!

                    1. re: CindyJ

                      As I said on a similar thread, I own 19 kinds of salts (mostly from our travels) and they are all different. There are a few that are similar to one another but most have their own characteristics, whether it is the size/shape of the crystal or different flavour (i.e. alder smoked). I've done taste tests and definitely discern big differences. Many of mine are finishing salts that I do not cook with but finish dishes with.

                      It is worth experimenting. There are some excellent books on salt out there, too, speaking from experience!

                      1. re: chefathome

                        I recall reading about a shop in NYC that sold only salt, and thinking I ought to stop in on my next trip to the city. My recollection is that it's owned by a celebrity chef who may have also written a book about salt. Wish I could recall the details, but my memory isn't what it used to be. I'll Google it when I get a chance.

                        1. re: CindyJ

                          Would it be Mark Bitterman perchance? He does have a salt shop. I own his book, "Salted" which is AMAZING if you are interested in salts (and recipes!).

                          1. re: chefathome

                            Yes... Mark Bitterman! (Maybe I was confusing him with Mark Bittman when I was thinking "celebrity chef." And now that I HAVE googled it I see that the shop, The Meadow, not only sells salt and salt-related products, but chocolate and other products, too.

                            I just put a hold on "Salted" at my local library.

                            1. re: CindyJ

                              The names are very confusing, aren't they? Just two wee letters. :) I would be very, very interested to hear your thoughts on The Meadow if you get there (I live thousands of miles away but can live the experience through you!).

                              Glad your library has "Salted". It is incredibly interesting. So much so that my teenage niece and nephew pored over the book on a visit to their house until well after midnight. They literally could not put it down (reading the descriptions of the salt flavours are sometimes humourous and always enlightening). Post back, please!