The Wrong Brand of Kosher Salt Could Ruin Your Dinner

Get to know the different kinds of kosher salt and how to use them.

Published May 12, 2022.

Yes, that’s right: Not only do we need to keep track of the quantities of salt we’re using while cooking, but also the different varieties could make or break your meal. From kosher salt to table salt to sea salt, we’ve already stocked our cupboards with several kinds of this versatile seasoning, and our recipes usually call for one kind over another.

But do we really know the differences between each of them and the effect they might have on a dish?

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How Do You Use Different Types of Salt?

We usually use table salt in baking because of the small grains’ ability to dissolve into batters and doughs more easily, while we use kosher salt to season meats because its large grains help us see just how much salt we’re applying. The largest-grained of the three types, sea salt shines when sprinkled over grilled vegetables or meats and has a deliciously mineral-y flavor, but we rarely call for it to be applied during the cooking process because the irregularities between varieties of sea salt are too large. 

Generally, if a recipe doesn’t specify a type of salt to use, it’s safest to go with table salt and adjust to taste.

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What Are the Conversions for Different Types of Salt?

It can be helpful to keep in mind the equivalents between these types of salt when comparing them: Generally, 1 teaspoon of table salt equals 1½ teaspoons of Morton kosher salt, which is 2 teaspoons of Diamond Crystal kosher salt.

What Is the Difference Between Morton and Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt?

Yes, there are differences between the kinds of kosher salt out there, and it’s important to be aware of the flavor and intensity of the salt you’re using. You would think that the two major brands of kosher salt could be used interchangeably, but that simply isn’t the case, and it all comes down to volume. Since the two brands, Morton and Diamond Crystal, have different flake sizes, the same “pinch” can have a different effect on the flavor of your dinner.

Morton’s kosher salt contains thin crystals that are made by crushing the granules between high-pressurized rollers, whereas Diamond Crystal’s salt is created through a pan-evaporated process, which creates smaller, pyramid-shaped flakes. 

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All this is to say that Morton kosher salt yields a “saltier” flavor than Diamond Crystal because when it’s measured at the same volume, its smaller granules make it denser; you’ll want to keep this in mind while using the two brands. The best practice for using salt in your cooking is to weigh your seasoning rather than relying on measurements. One teaspoon of Diamond Crystal kosher salt weighs 3 grams, while a single teaspoon of Morton kosher salt weighs about 5 grams.

If you’ve ever wondered why a dish tastes a little oversalted despite having used what you believed to be the correct measurements of salt, this could be why. So remember the importance of a scale, and always salt to taste! You can always add more, but it’s a heck of a lot more difficult to take it away.

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