With kosher salt, you know what you’re getting. With iodized salt, you need to read the ingredient list first.
Iodized salt and kosher salt are two of the most common types of salt that you can find in your grocery store. So let’s take a minute or two to talk about the similarities and differences between them.
What Is Iodized Salt?
Iodized salt is table salt, the kind that you can find in the salt shakers of most homes and restaurants, that’s fortified with iodine, a trace mineral important for thyroid health that the body cannot produce on its own.
In most iodized salts, the added iodine is in the form of potassium iodide, sodium iodide, or sodium iodate. Iodized salts may also contain dextrose, a type of sugar, to stabilize the iodine, as well as anti-caking agents to prevent the salt crystals from clumping together.
What Is Kosher Salt?
Kosher salt is also a staple salt in the American household, and the type of salt favored by chefs from all around the world. It has a flaky texture that makes it easy to pick up by hand and is free of additives, including iodine.
Kosher salt takes its name from the Jewish tradition of koshering—the culinary practice of drawing out the blood from raw meat with salt to bring it into compliance with the strict dietary guidelines of Judaism.
Iodized Salt vs. Kosher Salt
Iodized salt and kosher salt are both mined from underground salt deposits. This, however, is where the similarities between them end, and the differences begin.
The main differences between iodized salt and kosher salt are in their smell, taste, and texture, and they result from the different processing of these two salts.
Iodized salt has a sharp, pungent odor like no other salt because of its iodine content. Kosher salt, on the other hand, is generally odorless. (The “salty” smell of kosher salt comes from the impurities—in other words, trace minerals—that it contains.)
Kosher salt simply tastes salty, while iodized salt has a distinct metallic aftertaste. However, this aftertaste isn’t noticeable to everyone. Some say they can’t taste any difference at all between kosher salt and iodized salt, and others that the metallic aftertaste of iodized salt is unmissable and unmistakable.
Texture-wise, iodized salt is a fine salt intended for salt shakers. Kosher salt is a flaky salt ideal for picking up and sprinkling by hand, particularly during cooking.