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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 04-17-2010, 09:16 AM   #1
J Appledog
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Chef Jim suggested a salt thread. I'm going to start it by posting some little known but valuable info I found online several years ago when I was doing some research on brining. Be sure to read the last sentence:

WHICH SALT TO USE

Kosher salt and table salt are the most common salts used in flavor brining. I use kosher salt most of the time because it dissolves quickly and it's what most professional cooks use in their kitchens, but I also use table salt on occasion.

Sea salt can be used for flavor brining, but it tends to be quite expensive. If you have a cheap supply available, go for it; otherwise, stick to kosher salt or table salt.

Some people say that kosher salt tastes "cleaner" than table salt because it does not contain the anti-caking agents added to table salt. Some people prefer non-iodized table salt over iodized table salt, believing that potassium iodide creates an off-taste. However, these flavor differences melt away when salt is diluted in water.

In an article about salt in the September/October 2002 issue of Cook's Illustrated magazine, taste testers felt that "all nine salts tasted pretty much the same" when dissolved in spring water and chicken stock, whether it was $0.36/pound iodized table salt, $0.66/pound kosher salt, or $36/pound Fleur de Sel de Camargue sea salt from France.

Salt Equivalent Measures

Table salt and kosher salt do not have the same saltiness in a flavor brine when measured by volume -- but they do when measured by weight.

Table salt weighs about 10 ounces per cup, while kosher salt weighs 5-8 ounces per cup, depending on the brand. If using kosher salt in a brine, you must use more than a cup to achieve the same salt flavor you would get from a cup of table salt.

The chart below shows equivalent amounts of table salt and the two most popular brands of kosher salt.

Table Salt 1 cup
Morton Kosher Salt 1-1/2 cups
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt 2 cups

Morton Kosher Salt weighs about 7.7 ounces per cup, making it three-fourths as strong as table salt. Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt weighs about 5 ounces per cup, making it half as strong as table salt.

What if you're using something other than Morton Kosher or Diamond Crystal Kosher salt? Regardless of the type of salt—sea salt, pickling salt, and any other brand of kosher salt—just measure 10 ounces of it on a kitchen scale, and you will have the equivalent of 1 cup of table salt.

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Unread 04-17-2010, 09:21 AM   #2
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If you are interested in a great salt/brining process then I suggest you read Ratio by Michael Ruhlman. When it comes to brining the best way to do it is by weight.

Great information J Appledog.
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Unread 04-17-2010, 09:30 AM   #3
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The book looks interesting, Larry. I'll put it on my wish list.

Julie
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Unread 04-17-2010, 09:50 AM   #4
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It depends what you are using salt for. If it's brining, then yes, by the time you add water and chicken stock and other flavors you will notice very little difference between types. I use Kosher salt for cooking with, exclusively.

However I'm very particular about finishing salts. I have a cheap source of Camargue Fleur de Sel and use that from a pinch pot to season plated food. I also like Marlborough Flakey sea salt from New Zealand, made in a similar way to Fleur de sel.

Here's a good source for Salts, and gives you some idea of what's available.

http://www.saltworks.us/salt_info/si..._reference.asp


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Unread 04-17-2010, 10:01 AM   #5
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J Appledog, This is a great start, very informative and useful information.
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Unread 04-17-2010, 10:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzrebel View Post
I have a cheap source of Camargue Fleur de Sel and use that from a pinch pot to season plated food.
I have a friend that uses a pinch pot - kind of gives me the shivers to see everyone digging their fingers into it to get salt.

I wish I could try Fleur de Sel someday.
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Unread 04-17-2010, 10:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesTX View Post
I have a friend that uses a pinch pot - kind of gives me the shivers to see everyone digging their fingers into it to get salt.

I wish I could try Fleur de Sel someday.

Salt is about as sterile a medium as it gets.

You can buy a 4 oz pot of Fleur de sel for under $10. That may seem a lot but you are not using it to cook with, just to dust finished food on the plate. That pot will last you 4-6 months. It's worth it, at least to me.

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Unread 04-17-2010, 10:41 AM   #8
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At first I was putting off even reading this as fear that there was going to be another controversy to ensue from it but, actually, I've found this refreshingly informative. Wonder what other conversions people could come up with for this thread.

Well done J Appledog!
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Unread 04-17-2010, 10:50 AM   #9
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We use several salts...Seasoned, Kosher, French Grey, Mediterranean, and Hawaiian sea salts, Fleur-de-sel...mainly on my Friday Night steaks and in BBQ rubs. My wife uses a few more in her cooking... We also use a salt pig...(pinch pot)...just sayin'...
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Unread 04-17-2010, 10:58 AM   #10
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I think that a link to Brother Donny T/barbefunoramaque/Popdaddy's thread regarding the importance of salt as a flavor carrier, focusing on brisket, should be in this thread too:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...highlight=salt
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Unread 04-18-2010, 01:15 AM   #11
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An excellent post. I use regular table salt or fine grind sea salt (blue tube stuff) for brining or adjusting flavor in liquids. Often I cook with kosher salt for dry preparations and finishing. Using the larger flake and natural grained salts, such a fleur de sal is a waste in things such as brines and soups. It is at it's best where it remains in it's coarser grain structure.
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