I’m a little picky when it comes to certain ingredients (especially butter!). While I think of myself as an adaptable cook—able to make on-the-fly recipe changes based on ingredients I have on hand—I also know I have some deeply ingrained preferences. For example, I always use Morton kosher salt, so if a box of Diamond Crystal comes into the mix everything gets a little thrown off.
Is that really such a big deal? Does your choice of salt actually make a difference in the end product? Let’s take a look at the two most popular brands of kosher salt to find out.
What Is Kosher Salt?
When it comes down to it, salt is salt. It’s all sodium chloride and it’s an essential ingredient in seasoning food. I can’t imagine cooking a meal without it because salt simply makes everything taste better. At the end of the day, with some simple adjustments, any variety can get the job done.
Over the years, kosher salt has become a staple in restaurant cooking (and lately, home cooking). Its large grain size just feels good in your hands as you sprinkle a pinch onto your favorite foods, making it easier to control than finer stuff, and it makes a delicious crust on grilled steak. This additive-free, coarse-grain salt is composed of many flaky crystals of the type that were originally used for koshering meat, hence the name.
Diamond Crystal vs. Morton Salt
You would think the two major brands of kosher salt—Diamond Crystal and Morton’s—could be used interchangeably, right? Unfortunately, not so much. You see, the matter of volume comes into play. Since the different brands have different flake sizes, a teaspoon of salt doesn’t always measure out the same. Finer salts pack more crystals into a smaller space.
When it comes to Diamond Crystal and Morton, their flake size differs considerably. Whereas Morton’s thin crystals are made by crushing salt granules between high-pressurized rollers, Diamond Crystal’s patented pan-evaporated process creates smaller, pyramid-shaped flakes. This makes Diamond Crystal salt coarser than Morton, so it takes up more space. At the end of the day, 2 teaspoons of Diamond Crystal salt equals about 1 teaspoon of Morton, making Morton more “salty.”
What’s the Verdict?
If you’re making a turkey brine or anything that calls for large quantities of salt, reach for Diamond Crystal (order it here). After all, you can always add more salt later but it’s much harder to fix an over-salted dinner! But for boosting flavor, a pinch of Morton (order it here) delivers more bang for your buck.
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