Kosher is the Hebrew term for kosher salt. What commonly called kosher salt is in fact coarse kosher salt, also called by many adherents of kosher dietary laws as the same-sized kosher salt used in kashrut, i.e., kosher meat. So basically, kosher literally refers to the size of the salt.
Salt is an important part of our diet. We need it for a variety of purposes cooking and seasoning food, preserving food, medical treatment, etc. It is an essential part of our lives. It is recommended that we consume around 2 grams of salt per person per day for the basic needs of maintaining good health, however, most people don't eat that amount. Add that to the number of tables in your house, and you end up with hundreds or thousands of grams of kosher salt! The problem is, most of us don't know how to use kosher salt correctly.
One of the biggest drawbacks to kosher sea salt is its flavour. Sea salt has very little flavour of its own, but must be combined with other ingredients to add flavour and value to food. Thus, when used sparingly, it can be missing some of its more flavourful counterparts. Achieving a balance of salty and sweet is very important in kosher cooking.
Most of us buy kosher salt at the supermarket. Many of us use table salt as a table salt alternative, and often purchase kosher salt in bulk to keep in the pantry. Although kosher salt is cheaper than table salt, it has fallen from favour as people have begun buying more organic foods and sea salt is now obsolete. In the long run, your bank account will not improve by using less kosher salt in your cooking. However, purchasing kosher salt in bulk can provide a great way to save money and make cooking more convenient.
When purchasing kosher salt online, make sure you check the ingredients. Many kosher salts contain the exact same minerals as regular table salt. Others may be enriched for special occasions. There are also a wide variety of salts, which vary in their mineral content and absorption rates. Be aware of which type of kosher salt you are purchasing and how each one is used during the kosher salt cooking process.
Kosher salt crystals come in different sizes, colours and mixtures. The most common kosher salt crystals are kosher salt beads. They are not the regular crystal salt you buy in stores, because they are mixed with other elements to increase their absorbency. Often the addition of pyrite or carbon dioxide helps improve the colour of kosher salt.
Different kosher salts have different types of absorption levels. One type that is higher in absorbency than others is table salt. Table salt has no additives or stabilizers, which is why it's commonly sold at lower prices. It's important to note that table salt contains chlorine, which degrades its effectiveness over time. Kosher salt doesn't have these additives, which makes it more absorbent than any of the other types of salt.
To make kosher salt more effective at koshering meat, you'll want to rub it on prior to cooking. To do this, mix the kosher salt with some olive oil, herbs or spices. To maximize its absorption level, mix it with warm water. This will create a pasty, smooth coating that bonds better with the meat, which enhances its flavour and tenderizes it for baking or roasting.
Kosher salt has many key features and benefits that are often overshadowed by its biggest drawback. The biggest drawback is its lack of trace minerals. Unlike other table salt varieties, kosher salt has no trace minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium or sodium in its composition. Trace minerals are what keeps us healthy and provides us with energy. Without them, we become more prone to acquiring health problems. For this reason, it's important to avoid salty products as much as possible.
Despite its flaws, kosher sea salts is still a great seasoning and cooking tool. Its trace minerals and kosher salt content help food retain its original flavour, which makes it ideal for use in high-end cuisines. But for everyday cooks, the lack of trace minerals can take its toll. Its lack of minerals doesn't necessarily mean you have to throw out your salt and replace it with another type, but when paired with ingredients lacking in minerals, its flavour can diminish, making it difficult to enhance.
So what can you do? Natural sea salts, such as Dead Sea salt and Calcium Sea salt are far superior to kosher salt in terms of trace minerals and flavour. Not only do natural sea salts retain their original flavour for up to several years after they're added to food, they also provide health benefits and are non-allergenic. With the wide variety of kosher salts on the market today, it's difficult to imagine anyone would be able to locate a salt that does not contain trace minerals.