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What kind of salt do you use?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smokeusum, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. smokeusum

    smokeusum Smoking Fanatic

    So I'm outta salt and I've got a beautiful butt that needs to be prepped in the fridge. I've been working on my own rubs and just wanted other opinions on the best salt for rubs. I've been using kosher for quite a while and been fairly pleased. I brought back a few salts from Maui this summer, by they are too salty?! I can't remember the last time I actually bought regular iodized table salt.

    Stick with the kosher? Thoughts? What do you use? Do you use different ones for different meats?
  2. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Kosher for me. It's cheap, versatile and doesn't give any metallic iodine taste. I did get a grinder with Himalayan pink sea salt a couple weeks ago just for fun, but I can't tell that much difference. Except in the price and the fact that you have to grind it.

    I think I'll just stick with the Kosher.

    By the way, if you need a finer salt, like for dissolving in a cold brine or for popcorn or something, just put the Kosher in either your spice grinder or food processor.
  3. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I use Kosher salt for just about everything. sea salt on my popcorn :)
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Alesia, morning.....

    Kosher for most stuff....  weighed of course......   Other "Designer" salts for a finish to impart different flavors....  that includes smoked kosher....  the minerals in "the other" salts impart some unique flavors that can enhance food to the discriminating palate....   I fall into the "gourmand" category mostly... except for seafoods....  Seafood "usually" has such a delicate flavor, I prefer it unadulterated...

    There you go.....  my dissertation on salt.... 
  5. smokeusum

    smokeusum Smoking Fanatic

    Yea, I'm thinking kosher is the best. Dave, I wonder about weight when following a recipe with kosher, though. Not that I'm big on following recipes, but they can be jump points... So in thinking of weight and a typical recipe, I assume that the weights given may refer to table-type salt and that I'll end up with too much... Thoughts?
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I like salt....  2% by total weight is where I start....  If something is going to be reduced, add the salt based on the expected final reduction.....   I like salt cooked into the food... not necessarily added to the surface as an afterthought...   

    One of my best smoked turkeys was 2% salt, based on the weight of the bird and the water... 4 days in the brine in the refer...    I'm sure that method, pulled some of the crap, they put in the "enhanced" injection, out of the meat......    It tasted almost like a fresh turkey....

    If they give a weight for salt, follow it regardless of what type of kosher salt... (except the designer types), then adjust the next time you make whatever...

    When I make bread, I double or triple the "pinch" they call for....  I hate the "flour" taste in under salted bread...

    As an aside....  I been reading up on MSG...   they say, you can reduce the salt by up to 30% in a recipe using "X" amount of MSG..... I gotta go look that up and get back to you....   

  7. Even Kosher salt's weight per volume varies greatly from brand to brand.

    Morton's Kosher weighs 37% more than Diamond Crystal Kosher for any given volume!

    For brining and curing I use canning and pickling salt the most...it's pure and cheap...about $6 for 25 pounds.

    There's no good reason to spend more money on kosher or sea salt when brining or curing.....but I do use them a bit for other things.

  8. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    Kosher here.
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Since recommendations about MSG include reducing sodium intake...  some folks may find this a health benefit....

    Disclaimer.....  folks have many allergies and aversions....  If you have either, please don't comment on this post....  

    This post is for folks who may want to try it for health reasons etc....  



    Pure MSG does not have a pleasant taste until it is combined with a consonant savory smell.[12]  As a flavor and in the right amount, MSG can enhance other taste-active compounds, improving the overall taste of certain foods. MSG mixes well with meat, fish, poultry, many vegetables, sauces, soups, and marinades. Since MSG mixes well with many foods, it can also increase the overall preference of certain foods like beef consommé.[5]  But like other basic tastes, except sucrose, MSG improves the pleasantness only in the right concentration: an excess of MSG is unpleasant.

    The optimum concentration varies with the type of food; in clear soup, the pleasantness score rapidly falls with more than 1 g of MSG per 100 ml.[13]  There is also an interaction between MSG and salt  (sodium chloride), and other umami substances such as nucleotides.

    With these properties, MSG can be used to reduce salt intake (sodium), which predisposes to hypertension, heart diseases and stroke.[14]  The taste of low-salt foods improves with MSG even with a 30% salt reduction.

    The sodium content (in mass percent) of MSG is roughly a third of the amount (12%) than in sodium chloride (39%).[15]  Other salts of glutamate have been used in low-salt soups, but with a lower palatability than MSG.[16]
  10. smokeusum

    smokeusum Smoking Fanatic

    Dave, you're awesome!! Great info! Thank you!
  11. smokeusum

    smokeusum Smoking Fanatic

    Martin, that was exactly what I was looking for!!! Thank you!!!
  12. dls1

    dls1 Smoking Fanatic

    I typically use Kosher (Diamond Crystal) for cooking and seat salt on occasion for finishing, but at the end of the day, to me, salt is salt. And, one could probably argue that all salt emanates from sea salt.

    To me, all salts are born equal. The basic composition of all salt is sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl), and the ratio of the two in salt is approximately 40% and 60%, respectively. Most salts also contain a few trace minerals in miniscule amounts such as magnesium, potassium, sulfate, etc. The processing of the salt is what brings about the difference, and the difference is typically reflected in a ratio of volume versus weight. This presents a problem since almost all recipes call for "X" volume of salt rather then "Y" weight, and they all weigh differently at the same volume. Also, a few recipes may specify "Kosher" salt, but I don't ever recall one specifying a particular brand.

    As Martin said above, Morton's Kosher salt, at the same volume, is 37% heavier than Diamond Crystal Kosher salt, and that's because Morton's Kosher is much more dense than Diamond Crystal Kosher. Taking it a little further, Morton's table salt, the densest of all, is 22% heavier than Morton's Kosher, and 69% heavier than Diamond Crystal Kosher.

    I learned a lot of this the hard way a number of years ago after tossing a very delicate sauce that I had made many, many times because it was way too salty when I had to substitute Morton's Kosher for Diamond Crystal Kosher, using the same volume measurement as I always had. After doing some research of my own, and reviewing the research of others, as well as weighing different salts in the pantry, I was stunned at the different weights of the various salts at the same volume. Using Diamond Crystal Kosher as the baseline salt, the table below illustrates the differences.

    Another thing I learned is that most professional chefs, and the writers of well regarded recipes, typically use Diamond Crystal Kosher, even if they don't specify it, as that is the salt most commonly used in culinary training programs. If you're following the recipe, and using a different salt, just back off accordingly. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of "Kosher Salt", and if I only had Morton's Kosher available, I would use 2/3s of a tablespoon. You can always add more if you want too, but you can never remove the salt if you've put too much in.

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  13. Kosher for most things here. I agree on the canning and pickling for brine.

    Happy smoken.

  14. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use plain old salt, non iodine, the cheapest of cheap, buy it at the grocery store, store brand.
  15. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Nothing fancy here. Morton kosher in a bright red salt pig. 

  16. pc farmer

    pc farmer Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I use sea salt.  I must be the only one.    [​IMG]
  17. smokint

    smokint Fire Starter

    I use sea salt too, but as a finishing salt, I have lots of different verities.

    I use caning pickling salt for sausage, brining, curing and in my rubs. It is very fine and mixes well.

    I use kosher salt for all stove top cooking, I like the coarseness it is easy to pinch.

  18. fct202

    fct202 Fire Starter

    I use both sea salt and kosher salt. I keep sea salt in the salt grinder used mostly for seasoning prior to cooking, or on vegetales, etc. Use kosher salt for rubs. Use fine ground sea salt for brining.
  19. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'll use either Kosher or Sea salt depending on what happens to be on sale when I need to buy more.