What is common salt?

michelle2249, Feb 24, 11:33pm
Hi there, I have a recipe that calls for common salt - am I best to used Iodised salt or sea salt for this?


cookessentials, Feb 24, 11:37pm
common salt is just plain old table salt - the usual "saxa" iodised is fine.

245sam, Feb 24, 11:38pm
michelle2249M, "Common Salt" is the old term for non-iodised salt, now more commonly known as sea salt. :-))

michelle2249, Feb 24, 11:44pm
Hey thanks but... - which one is right? ?

michelle2249, Feb 24, 11:45pm
ah ok sea salt it is thanks!

245sam, Feb 24, 11:45pm
michelle2249, you can take your pick... . . but please note the edited addition to my above post. :-))

oshoman, Feb 24, 11:45pm
Iodised salt is just sodium chloride with a minute amount of iodine salts added. Sea salt will still contain ions of other minerals in very small quantities, but enough to alter (usually favourably) the taste, texture and mouthfeel.
If the recipe calls for common salt I would use ordinary table iodised table salt.

buzzy110, Feb 25, 12:11am
Definitely do not used iodised salt. I spend quite a bit of time making fermented vegetables and iodised salt would seriously hinder that process. Follow 245sam's advice. It is good advice.

245sam, Feb 25, 12:16am
Thanks buzzy110. I've been around long enough to recall the times when there were really only two salt choices on N. Z. shop shelvesi. e. iodised saltandnon-iodised/common salt, and I have never forgotten the advice my Mum gave me re preserving in particular and the NEED to use non-iodised/common salt. :-))

Edited to add... . . oops, that should have been a Smiley face, not a "Winkey' one! ! !

cookessentials, Feb 25, 1:11am
well there you go! you learn something new every day

cookessentials, Feb 25, 1:16am
some salt facts:

Table Salt and Sea Salt

Table salt is the most commonly used salt.
The different varieties of salt available for cooking can be dizzying, but all of them fall into four basic types: table salt, sea salt, kosher salt and rock salt. The first three types are food-grade salt and are required by the FDA to contain at least 97. 5 percent sodium chloride. The other 2. 5 percent is trace minerals, chemicals from processing or anti-caking agents.

Table Salt
Table salt is either iodized or noniodized. Iodine was first added to salt in the mid-1920s to combat an epidemic of hyperthyroidism, an enlargement of the thyroid gland caused by hormonal irregularities due to lack of iodine. Children without sufficient iodine intake can also experience stunted physical and mental growth. Few people suffer from iodine deficiency in North America, although it is still a problem around the world. In some areas, fluoride and folic acid are also common salt additives.

Table salt is the most commonly used salt. It is processed to remove impurities and contains nonclumping agents like calcium phosphate. Because it has a fine texture, table salt is easy to measure and mixes evenly.

Sea Salt
Sea salt is generally more expensive than table salt because of how it's harvested. "Fleur de sel" (French for "flower of salt"), for example, is scraped by hand from the surface of evaporation ponds. Some sea salts are not as heavily processed as table salt, so they retain trace minerals that are usually removed in the refining process. Sea salt can be coarse, fine or flaky. It can be white, pink, black, gray or a combination of colors, depending on where it comes from and which minerals it contains.

Some pink salts, such as the salt harvested in the Himalayas, get their color from calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron, Others contain carotene from salt-tolerant algae and are more peach-colored. Reddish-pink salts, such as Hawaiian alaea salt, have iron oxide added in the form of volcanic clay.

Black salt is often really more of a dark pinkish-gray color. One Indian variety contains sulfurous compounds, iron and other trace minerals and has a strong, sulfuric taste. Hawaiian black lava salt is darker and contains traces of charcoal and lava.

The color of gray salt comes from trace minerals or from the clay where it is harvested, such as the damp, unrefined "sel gris" harvested on the coast of France. Smoked salt is also grayish and is a fairly new offering among the gourmet varieties of salt. It is smoked over wood fires and gives a smoky flavor to dishes seasoned with it.

Some gourmands argue that the higher amounts of trace minerals can give sea salts a unique, earthy flavor. Others say that the taste is about the same but that their different colors and textures can add a lot to presentation. In general, sea salts are used to top or "finish" a dish rather than during cooking.

cookessentials, Feb 25, 1:19am
Cont... .

Kosher Salt and Rock Salt

Kosher salt

Kosher salt is used to make meats kosher by quickly drawing out the blood. Many chefs prefer to use kosher salt. Its coarse texture makes it easy to pick up and sprinkle on food during or after cooking. However, it doesn't dissolve as quickly as table salt, so it's better to use a finer salt when baking. When replacing table salt with kosher salt in a recipe, you usually need to double the amount because the larger kosher salt crystals take up more space.
Kosher salt is not iodized. Some claim that this makes it better to cook with -- iodine makes table salt taste slightly metallic. Because we can usually get iodine from many sources other than the salt that we cook with, there's no reason to worry about using non iodized salt.

Rock salt

Rock salt is a large-grained, unrefined salt that usually contains inedible impurities. It does have one use in cooking: Homemade ice cream recipes often instruct you to sprinkle rock salt on the ice surrounding the cylinder filled with the ice cream mixture. Salt makes ice melt faster, and the resulting salt and water mix freezes at a lower temperature than ice alone. This makes the ice cream freeze faster. Rock salt is also sprinkled on icy roadways and sidewalks to melt the ice.

As an aside, NEVER use rock salt in your salt grinder - this ruins the mechanism - always use sea salt crystals. Dont use a soft "maldo" salt either, it is too wet and clogs the mechanism also.

buzzy110, Feb 25, 5:27am
245sam - I was wondering if you had any of your mother's preserving recipes and whether you would like to share them. She was obviously into fermenting (though she probably didn't know that is what she was doing).

If you do, would you be good enough to post some in the Wild Fermentation thread. I am always on the lookout for new ideas.

I started a thread of Non-Traditional Ways to Preserve Fruit. If your mother had any interesting fruit preserving methods that are markedly different from the modern day chutney, pickle, relish and bottling in sugar syrups, I'd really, really like to learn about them.

Thanks in advance. Am away for two weeks but look forward to any little morsel you care to post in either of those threads.

lythande1, Feb 25, 6:16am
Co-incidence. My mu did and still does, and so do I, preserve everything using iodised salt and we never had any failures.
Thyroid problems are now again on the increase with people using the trendy sea salt.
Just use normal iodised salt, it's not like theres masses of it in there anyway, but enough to keep you healthy.

buzzy110, Feb 25, 8:34am
At this point we are not exactly certain what it is that michelle2249 is making and that is why I and 245sam have erred on the side of the non-iodised salt. Non-iodised, sea salt is not 'trendy'. What is trendy is sea salt salt ready for the salt grinder and this is not what is being recommended.

Not all of us are interested in following the crowds, doing what everyone else is doing, and preserving by the currently accepted methods. Some people do things quite differently and in our experience, we know that iodised salt is not suitable for the processes we use. Therefore, I have erred on the side of caution when recommending non-iodised over iodised.

cookessentials, Feb 25, 8:40am
Agree with you there. I cut out iodised salt many years ago and Inow suffer with hypothyroidsm ( slow thyroid) so I know what you mean

allspices, Feb 25, 8:44pm
I imagine NZ produced table salt is "sea salt" because it will be sourced from Lake Grassmere in Marlborough though I note that there is no geographical source given, often. Isn't sea salt a recent kind of "green" term? I use un iodised salt in preserves (because my Mum did I guess) but have not noticed a difference if I have used our iodised table salt when I've been out of the other. Thanks for the post on salt varieties - found that really interesting.

jag5, Feb 25, 8:51pm
I always use non iodised salt for preserving, as there is a risk with using iodised, of things exploding. Doesn't happen all the time, but sometimes.

So I prefer to err on the side of caution and use non iodised.

cookessentials, Feb 25, 9:49pm
Post #12 should say "Maldon" salt.

wayne472, Sep 9, 7:11pm
Using Iodised saltwhen preparing food can cause some foods to go mushy/soft especially fish & veges.