Real Food Tips: Use Kosher Salt

Real Food Tips: Use Kosher Salt | A Couple Cooks Real Food Tips: Use Kosher Salt | A Couple Cooks

Ever wonder why many recipes call for kosher salt instead of table salt? When we first started cooking, we assumed they were interchangeable. However as we started to learn more, we found kosher salt is generally preferred by cooks for bringing out the flavor of ingredients. Why?

  • Kosher salt has wider, coarser grains that salt food in a gentler way than table salt.
  • Kosher salt has no iodine, which can lend a bitter taste to foods salted with table salt. (If you eat a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables, you likely consume enough natural iodine and don’t need the additional iodine in table salt.)

Once we switched to using kosher salt, we noticed a distinct difference in the way it brings out the flavor of ingredients without making them taste salty.

Intrigued? Here are a few of our salt tips:

  1. Try switching to kosher salt for a few weeks, then switch back to salting something with regular table salt. See whether you notice a difference (then let us know!).
  2. Due to the size of the salt grains, you’ll have to ditch your typical salt shaker. We use something like this salt cellar for cooking and this salt cellar on our table.
  3. All of our recipes on A Couple Cooks use kosher salt! Use kosher salt if you can, and remember if you do use table salt, you’ll likely need to use a bit less than the specified amount.
  4. When salting food to taste, remember this crucial rule: you can always add more. We try to add about half the salt we think is needed before adding the remaining half (just in case).
  5. A pinch or two of salt can work wonders in a recipe; even desserts usually taste best with a small amount of salt.
  6. If you cook something and it tastes bland and flat, try adding a bit of kosher salt! It makes flavors pop in a way no other ingredient can (with a squeeze of lemon as a close second!).

Other notes:

  • We enjoy sea salt as well, but since it’s grains are much larger, we generally use it as more of a garnish than in our recipes (on a salad, for example).
  • Thanks to commenter Cath T on our sweet potato fries post who jogged our memory to write about kosher salt (it’s been on our minds to share).

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website 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 food 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.


  • Reply
    Chrystin @ A Mate & a Rottweiler
    April 27, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    I had no idea! Now I really want to try it and see if I notice a difference. I always use regular table salt to cook or sometimes I use truffle salt. Do you know any special facts about truffle salt? My husband picked it up from a specialty spice shop, but I don’t really know much about it.

    Kisses from Buenos Aires xx

  • Reply
    April 28, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Super interesting! Thanks for the info. :)

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    April 28, 2014 at 10:49 am

    I think there’s a lot of confusion around what type of salt to use so this is a great resource! Thanks for taking the time to share your tips.

  • Reply
    Matt Robinson
    April 28, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Completely agree, we use Kosher salt with almost everything when needed. Thanks!

  • Reply
    April 28, 2014 at 11:47 am

    One thing I would mention in reference to this great topic, is that the brand of kosher salt you use can greatly impact the saltiness of your dish. Lots of recipes call for kosher salt, but very few mention for example, that Diamond brand kosher salt is much different than Morton kosher salt. One of the reasons I’ve heard behind using table salt is that it ALWAYS weighs the same, i.e. a teaspoon is always a teaspoon. Whereas with kosher salt, the size of the salt grain can alter the measurement. Just a tip I think is very worth mentioning! I have indeed made dishes too salty because I didn’t check to see which type of kosher salt was being used.
    I use kosher for most all of my cooking and baking, but I’ve been pretty obsessed with Maldon sea salt lately. What a treat! Cheers!

  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    April 28, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    very interesting..i use it interchangeably but next time i will be thinking of this.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Very interesting as I have been using them interchangeably. Will try just the Kosher.

  • Reply
    Brenda Nicholson
    May 5, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    So do you salt as you cook or at the end? Can’t wait to try this!

    • Reply
      May 7, 2014 at 10:00 am

      Hi! We usually do both… add some salt while we are cooking and then finishing with a sprinkle. You can always add more but can’t take it out!

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