Since table salt and kosher salt are practically identical in terms of chemistry, why do recipes specify one or the other?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that all table salt and kosher salt be at least 97.5 percent sodium chloride. Since the two are practically identical in terms of chemistry, why do recipes specify one or the other? We use table salt for most applications since its fine, regularly shaped crystals disperse and dissolve readily. But the larger grains of kosher salt are easier to distribute evenly in topical applications like seasoning meat, and they cling well to damp surfaces, which is helpful when you’re using salt to draw out moisture from foods such as eggplant or cabbage. You can substitute one for the other, but it’s not a straight swap. There’s even a difference between the two major brands of kosher salt. Here’s how it works out.