Salts and Saltiness:
Converting Recipes to Your Favorite Brand of Kosher Salt
The right amount of salt can make or break a dish, and we all know the difference in saltiness between table salt and kosher salt can be significant. Table salt can be as much as double the saltiness of kosher salt, depending on the brand. But kosher salts also vary significantly between brands. Why? And, more importantly, how do I know how much to use?
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This might surprise you, but salt is actually not different between brands or even types. They are all the same thing, salt, and salt as a compound, does not vary in saltiness any more than water varies in wetness. What distinguishes one type or brand of salt from another is how the salt crystal is structured.
Kosher salts have larger crystals than table salt, and the crystals tend to be less uniform, so when you have a spoonful of kosher salt, there are lots of air pockets between the crystals that bulk up the measurements.
Going back to the water analogy, if you measured a cup of ice cubes and melted it down, you would get a different amount of water than if you measured a cup of shaved ice and melted it down. Nevertheless, the water itself would be equally, well, water.
You might think this is complicated by other compounds in some salts, such as Himalayan pink salt or sea salt, but those are just trace minerals, generally not enough to make a significant difference in your measurements. What makes these salts appear to differ in saltiness is, again, their crystal shape.
This is all well and good, you might be saying to yourself, but how do I get it right when using recipes? The simplest way is to measure by weight rather than volume. We've included a conversion chart below, using a teaspoon of table salt as the guide, to help you convert by volume if you don't have a kitchen scale. Farm Share to Table uses David's kosher salt as a rule of thumb, which has the same weight-to-volume ratio as table salt, so you can also use the conversion chart to convert to another brand or type of salt in your kitchen if David's is not your preference. In some cases, such as in baking, we will
use table salt simply because it's designed to dissolve readily and, therefore, tends to blend more evenly into a mixture. If we change our type of salt for a recipe, we will let you know in the recipe's list of ingredients.
When it comes to recipes on other sites, if the brand is not specified in the recipe, it's always good to err on the side of caution. You can always add more salt, but once you've over-salted, correcting without ruining your dish can be difficult. If you don't know the brand or type, start with the lowest volume and add salt to your taste.
Kosher Salt Conversion Chart
Weight (per tsp table salt)
Measurement (per tsp table salt)
Morton Kosher Salt
generous 3/4 tsp (.8 tsp)
Diamond Kosher Salt
scant 1/2 tsp (.47 tsp)
David's Kosher Salt