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What Is The Difference Between Pickling Salt And Regular Salt

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While it’s not necessary for canning all foods, salt is essential when it comes to fermented pickles and sauerkraut. According to the Pennsylvania State University Extension, “In fermented sauerkraut and pickled pickles, the salt not only provides a distinctive flavor but is also vital to safety as it promotes the growth of desirable bacteria while inhibiting the growth of others.”

So when you see a recipe that calls for pickling or canning salt, can you substitute this specialized ingredient for some old-fashioned salt? Well yes and no. There are some salts that do better than others in place of pickling salt, but you need to make sure you’re substituting the correct amount. Otherwise, you risk the development of harmful bacteria.

Before you embark on your next pickling adventure, make sure you know what pickling salt is and how to properly substitute it.


What is brine salt?

person sprinkling salt for pickles and onions in a bowl
Andy Lyons/Meredith

Also known as canning salt or preserving salt, pickling salt is simply pure granulated salt (sodium chloride), with no anti-caking agents or additives that are traditionally added to table salt. These additives can add a cloudy and/or darkened appearance to the brine, which is why it has been excluded from brine salt.

It also has a very fine consistency, making it quicker to dissolve in solutions. For all these reasons, it is considered the best choice for canning and preserving, even if it is not necessarily the only choice.


Do you need pickling salt? Salt substitutes for pickling

different types of salt on a black background
Clockwise from top left: Kosher salt, pickling salt, table salt, and sea salt.
Andy Lyons/Meredith

The pure form and fine texture of pickled salt make it ideal for canning and preserving, but another form of salt can be used in its place in a pinch.

Pickling salt versus table salt

Table salt, or plain salt, contains anti-caking agents to keep them from clumping. Since these additives are not water soluble, they can cause the brine liquid to become cloudy. While this doesn’t affect the taste of the pickles, it doesn’t make for the most visually appealing result. For a crystalline brine, it’s best to use pickling salt or purer forms of salt.

Marinated salt versus kosher salt

Kosher salt can be used as a substitute for pickling salt, as long as it doesn’t contain anti-caking agents (this can vary from brand to brand). Because kosher salt has a different particle size than pickling salt, you’ll need to adjust the measurements when you’re substituting one for the other.

According to the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, it’s important to weigh pickled salt substitutes to make sure you’re getting the right amount of salt in your brine. Incorrect salt concentration can lead to the growth of bad bacteria, including botulism. Use this guide from the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension when substituting kosher salt for pickling salt:

Kind of salt Weight To measure
Salt for canning and brining (Morton®) 7 ¾ oz. (220gr.) 1 cup
Kosher salt flakes (Diamond Crystal ®) 7 ¾ oz. (220gr.) 1 1/2 cups

Marinade salt versus sea salt

While sea salt contains no additives, it is not recommended as a substitute for pickling salt because it is so radically different in grain size and shape from pickling salt, which causes it to measure very differently by volume than pickling salt.

The bottom line

The only type of salt recommended by the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension as a substitute for pickling salt is kosher salt, assuming you adjust the measurements as needed.

ball pickling salt in green packaging on a red/orange and yellow burst background
Allrecipes Illustration/Amazon


Where to buy pickling salt

You can find pickling salt (also called canning and/or preserving salt) in the salt section of your supermarket, or with canning jars and equipment at a hardware store or department store like Walmart. Popular retailers available on Amazon include Ball ($10 for 2 pounds) and Morton’s ($22 for a 4-pound pack of four).


More ways to use pickling salt

After all, pickled salt is just salt, so it has more applications in the kitchen than just pickling. Use it in place of table salt (although some clumps may form). You can also use it in other brines like turkey brines. And because it has no anti-caking agents, it does a good job of sticking to foods. Try sprinkling it on popcorn or tortilla chips.

Related:

  • What is Spice Pickling?
  • Canning and storing, no longer just for grandmothers
  • Browse our entire collection of canning and preserving recipes.




All recipes



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While it’s not necessary for canning all foods, salt is essential when it comes to fermented pickles and sauerkraut. According to the Pennsylvania State University Extension, “In fermented sauerkraut and pickled pickles, the salt not only provides a distinctive flavor but is also vital to safety as it promotes the growth of desirable bacteria while inhibiting the growth of others.”

So when you see a recipe that calls for pickling or canning salt, can you substitute this specialized ingredient for some old-fashioned salt? Well yes and no. There are some salts that do better than others in place of pickling salt, but you need to make sure you’re substituting the correct amount. Otherwise, you risk the development of harmful bacteria.

Before you embark on your next pickling adventure, make sure you know what pickling salt is and how to properly substitute it.


What is brine salt?

person sprinkling salt for pickles and onions in a bowl
Andy Lyons/Meredith

Also known as canning salt or preserving salt, pickling salt is simply pure granulated salt (sodium chloride), with no anti-caking agents or additives that are traditionally added to table salt. These additives can add a cloudy and/or darkened appearance to the brine, which is why it has been excluded from brine salt.

It also has a very fine consistency, making it quicker to dissolve in solutions. For all these reasons, it is considered the best choice for canning and preserving, even if it is not necessarily the only choice.


Do you need pickling salt? Salt substitutes for pickling

different types of salt on a black background
Clockwise from top left: Kosher salt, pickling salt, table salt, and sea salt.
Andy Lyons/Meredith

The pure form and fine texture of pickled salt make it ideal for canning and preserving, but another form of salt can be used in its place in a pinch.

Pickling salt versus table salt

Table salt, or plain salt, contains anti-caking agents to keep them from clumping. Since these additives are not water soluble, they can cause the brine liquid to become cloudy. While this doesn’t affect the taste of the pickles, it doesn’t make for the most visually appealing result. For a crystalline brine, it’s best to use pickling salt or purer forms of salt.

Marinated salt versus kosher salt

Kosher salt can be used as a substitute for pickling salt, as long as it doesn’t contain anti-caking agents (this can vary from brand to brand). Because kosher salt has a different particle size than pickling salt, you’ll need to adjust the measurements when you’re substituting one for the other.

According to the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, it’s important to weigh pickled salt substitutes to make sure you’re getting the right amount of salt in your brine. Incorrect salt concentration can lead to the growth of bad bacteria, including botulism. Use this guide from the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension when substituting kosher salt for pickling salt:

Kind of salt Weight To measure
Salt for canning and brining (Morton®) 7 ¾ oz. (220gr.) 1 cup
Kosher salt flakes (Diamond Crystal ®) 7 ¾ oz. (220gr.) 1 1/2 cups

Marinade salt versus sea salt

While sea salt contains no additives, it is not recommended as a substitute for pickling salt because it is so radically different in grain size and shape from pickling salt, which causes it to measure very differently by volume than pickling salt.

The bottom line

The only type of salt recommended by the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension as a substitute for pickling salt is kosher salt, assuming you adjust the measurements as needed.

ball pickling salt in green packaging on a red/orange and yellow burst background
Allrecipes Illustration/Amazon


Where to buy pickling salt

You can find pickling salt (also called canning and/or preserving salt) in the salt section of your supermarket, or with canning jars and equipment at a hardware store or department store like Walmart. Popular retailers available on Amazon include Ball ($10 for 2 pounds) and Morton’s ($22 for a 4-pound pack of four).


More ways to use pickling salt

After all, pickled salt is just salt, so it has more applications in the kitchen than just pickling. Use it in place of table salt (although some clumps may form). You can also use it in other brines like turkey brines. And because it has no anti-caking agents, it does a good job of sticking to foods. Try sprinkling it on popcorn or tortilla chips.

Related:

  • What is Spice Pickling?
  • Canning and storing, no longer just for grandmothers
  • Browse our entire collection of canning and preserving recipes.



Video about What Is The Difference Between Pickling Salt And Regular Salt

What Is Pickling Salt and Do You Need to Use Pickling Salt When Canning?

What Is Pickling Salt and Do You Need to Use Pickling Salt When Canning? Read the post here:https://www.thedomesticwildflower.com/do-you-need-to-use-pickling-salt/

You might be thinking, “What if I don’t use pickling salt?” and “what is in pickling salt?” and this video explains. You’ll learn if you can use regular salt instead of pickling salt, too.
Learn these canning tips for home canning, learn what if you don’t use the pickling salt, why to use pickling salt, if you can skip the pickling salt, and more.

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Source: www.allrecipes.com