Kosher Salt vs Sea Salt

Kosher salt vs sea salt: what’s the difference between these distinct types? Here’s what you need to know about using them in cooking.

Kosher salt vs sea salt

Kosher salt vs sea salt: what’s the difference? Learning to use salt correctly is one of the best things you can do for your cooking. But which one should you stock in your kitchen? What can you substitute in recipes? Here’s what to know you these two distinct types of salt.

Kosher salt vs sea salt: the differences

What’s the difference between these types of salt? Here’s a breakdown:

  • What is kosher salt? Kosher salt is a coarse, flat grained edible salt without additives. It consists mainly of sodium chloride. Where standard table salt is iodized, which add a bitter aftertaste to foods, kosher salt is not. Its flavor is clean and straightforward, and it seasons food in a gentler way than table salt. Kosher salt is mined from underground salt deposits.
  • What is sea salt? Sea salt is made from drying salt water from the ocean or salt water lakes into crystals. Because it’s harvested from water, it has micro nutrients and other subtle flavors that aren’t present in kosher salt. You can buy sea salt in different sizes: flaky or chunky sea salt and fine sea salt.

How does table salt shake out? Go to Kosher Salt: Explained.

Kosher salt vs sea salt: in cooking

When should you use each type of salt in cooking? Can you substitute one for the other? Here’s what to know:

  • In cooking, kosher salt and flaky sea salt can be used interchangeably. We recommend cooking with kosher salt because it is the most consistent. But you can use flaky sea salt in a recipe that calls for kosher salt! Note that a rough, chunky sea salt will have a crunchy texture if you use it raw, but melds into the texture when you cook it. Because of that, sea salt is best as a finishing salt.
  • Flaky or rough sea salt is best used as a finishing salt because of its crunchy texture. It’s great for sprinkling over a salad or vegetables when you want to have a burst of salty flavor.
  • Fine sea salt is ground finer, so you have to adjust the quantities. Fine sea salt is ground very finely, much like table salt. It can be used as a kosher salt substitute, but you’ll need to consult the conversion chart below for the amount to use.

Kosher salt to fine sea salt ratios

Here is a conversion chart that shows the amount of salt to use if you’re converting kosher salt to fine sea salt, and vice versa. (Source Morton Salt)

Fine Sea SaltKosher salt
1/4 teaspoon1/4 teaspoon
1 teaspoon1 1/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon1 tablespoon + 3/4 teaspoon
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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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