Kosher salt and table salt are two of the most commonly used types of salt in cooking and baking. While they are similar, they are not exactly the same and need to be converted when substituting in recipes. Here is a guide on how to convert measurements of kosher salt to table salt.
What is the Difference Between Kosher Salt and Table Salt?
While both kosher salt and table salt are largely composed of the chemical sodium chloride (NaCl), they differ in their texture, taste, and how they dissolve.
Kosher salt has a much coarser texture than table salt, and the crystals are larger and irregularly shaped. It is additive-free, containing no iodine or anti-caking agents. The large flakes provide a satisfying crunch and dissolve slowly, allowing more control over seasoning during cooking. Kosher salt has a clean, briny flavor without any bitterness.
Table salt crystals are very fine and uniform in size. It often contains additives like iodine and anti-caking agents to stabilize the salt and prevent clumping. The small crystals dissolve readily, distributing flavor quickly. Table salt has a sharper saltiness with some bitterness compared to kosher salt.
Kosher Salt Weights Less Per Volume
A key difference between kosher salt and table salt is in their densities. Since the crystals of kosher salts are larger and lighter, a teaspoon of kosher salt weighs less than a teaspoon of table salt. Table salt is denser because the crystals are smaller.
One teaspoon of table salt contains about 2 grams of sodium chloride.
One teaspoon of kosher salt contains about 1.5 grams of sodium chloride.
So a teaspoon of kosher salt has about 25% less sodium chloride by weight compared to a teaspoon of table salt. This density difference is why you need to use more kosher salt than table salt when substituting in a recipe.
The General Conversion Rate
When substituting table salt for kosher salt, you’ll generally want to use about half as much kosher salt by volume. This 1:2 ratio takes into account the difference in densities.
So for every 1 teaspoon of table salt called for, use approximately 2 teaspoons of kosher salt instead.
|Table Salt||Kosher Salt|
|1 tsp||2 tsp|
|1/2 tsp||1 tsp|
|1/4 tsp||1/2 tsp|
These volume to volume conversions provide the approximate equivalent amount of sodium chloride between the two salt varieties. The ratios serve as general guidelines when substituting in recipes.
Converting a Specific Measurement
For the specific example of converting 1 teaspoon of table salt to kosher salt, use 2 teaspoons of kosher salt instead. This will provide a similar amount of salinity with the kosher salt.
So if a recipe calls for 1 tsp of table salt, use 2 tsp of kosher salt. The coarse kosher flakes will impart the same salty flavor to the dish, just with a slightly different mouthfeel.
Taste and Adjust As Needed
Keep in mind that the conversion is an approximation. The exact salts used, measuring methods, and personal tastes can affect how salty the dish turns out.
It’s best to convert the measurements as a starting point, taste the food, and adjust the saltiness as needed. A little extra kosher salt can always be added to achieve the intended flavor.
Other Substitution Considerations
Since kosher salt takes up more volume measure-for-measure, make sure to account for any volume constraints in a recipe. For example, adjusting a brine recipe may require reducing the total liquid to account for the increase in salt volume.
The signature crunch of kosher salt won’t be as pronounced when substituting for very fine table salt. Dishes like salted caramel ice cream may end up with a different texture. So consider the mouthfeel you want when deciding on a substitution.
The slower dissolving kosher salt crystals can be either a pro or con depending on the application. Slower dissolving salt on pretzels or bagels can provide bursts of salty flavor. But kosher salt may not distribute as readily during a quick brine or marinade.
When substituting table salt for kosher salt in recipes, use about half as much kosher salt by volume to achieve a similar sodium chloride content. A general rule of thumb is to use 2 teaspoons of kosher salt for every 1 teaspoon of table salt called for. Taste the food and adjust the saltiness as needed. Also consider volume, texture, and dissolving rate differences when substituting.
To convert 1 teaspoon of table salt to kosher salt: Use 2 teaspoons of kosher salt instead.
This will provide a similar amount of salinity and salty flavor, while accounting for the lower density of kosher salt crystals. Add a bit more kosher salt to taste if needed to achieve the desired seasoning level. With some simple measuring and tasting, you can successfully use kosher salt in place of table salt in your recipes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does kosher salt weight less per volume than table salt?
Kosher salt weighs less per volume than table salt because the crystals are larger and lighter. Table salt crystals are smaller and denser, packing into a teaspoon more tightly.
Can I substitute kosher salt 1:1 for table salt?
It’s not recommended to substitute kosher salt 1:1 for table salt by volume. Because kosher salt weighs about 25% less by volume, this will likely result in under-salted food. Use the general 1:2 ratio, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt for every 1 teaspoon of table salt.
Which salt dissolves faster, kosher or table?
Table salt dissolves faster than kosher salt. The fine crystals of table salt distribute quickly for fast dissolving. The larger kosher flakes dissolve more slowly, providing bursts of saltiness.
Is kosher salt less salty than table salt?
Kosher salt is not less salty than table salt by weight. One teaspoon of table salt contains about 2 grams of sodium chloride. One teaspoon of kosher salt has about 1.5 grams of sodium chloride. So table salt is saltier measure-for-measure. But when properly converted, kosher salt provides a similar salinity.
Can I use table salt when a recipe calls for kosher salt?
You can substitute table salt for kosher salt in recipes, but use about half as much table salt by volume. Otherwise, the food may end up too salty if using a 1:1 conversion. For every 1 teaspoon kosher salt, use 1/2 teaspoon table salt instead.
Converting between table salt and kosher salt requires paying attention to the difference in crystal sizes and densities. But with the general 1:2 volume ratio guideline, tasting as you go, and adjusting for volume and texture, you can successfully substitute these common salt varieties in your cooking.