What Is Canning Salt? Learn All You Need To Know Here

Are you new to cooking? If you are, then you're probably baffled by how many recipes call for canning salt. But what is canning salt exactly? This question had bothered me when I was making brined pickles for the first time!

To the untrained eye, canning salt is no different than kosher and table salt. But it is different! How? Keep reading to find out what canning salt's special purpose.


Canning Salt Vs Other Types Of Salt

Canning salt, or sometimes known as pickling salt or preserving salt, is pure salt because it contains no additives and iodine. Its fine granules make it easy to dissolve in brine but it easily clumps when exposed to moisture. It’s usually used in brined pickles and sometimes in canning vegetables and meat to add a characteristic flavor and provide safety against bacteria.

Unlike canning and kosher salt, table salt constitutes iodine and anti-caking additives. Its grains is coarser than canning salt but finer than kosher salt. You can find table salt in a standard salt shaker, and it’s often used when cooking dishes at home.

Kosher salt, on the other hand, has the largest crystals among the three types of salt. It rarely contains iodine, but if it does, it’s less than table salt. Compared to finely grained canning salt, kosher salt dissolves relatively slow in brine.

Learn more about the difference between canning salt and kosher salt in this video.

Why Use Canning Salt?

Why Use Canning Salt?

Canning salt is specifically used for brined pickles and canned vegetables because it can keep the brine crystal clear. Unlike other types of salt, canning salt can keep the brine liquid clear and prevent the food from changing color to maintain the food's appealing and appetizing appearance. It’s finely grained, so it dissolves quickly into the liquid without leaving any solid sediments at the bottom of the jar.

If you need to store your food for a long period of time, then it's best to use canning salt. According to Penn State Extension, the salt promotes the growth of good bacteria and restricts the growth of bad bacteria. Due to its fine texture, canning salt can also be used to season popcorn and French fries.

Substitute For Canning Salt

Substitute For Canning Salt

Kosher salt can be used as a substitute for canning salt in brines because it contains no anti-caking agents that can turn the brine murky or generate sediments at the bottom of the container. Watch out for any iodine ingredient because it can change the color of pickled ingredients.

As you already know, kosher salt has coarser and flakier grains so using the same amount of canning salt to kosher salt won’t suffice the brine solution recipe. To solve this, substitute kosher salt for canning salt by adding two tablespoons of kosher salt for every cup of canning salt required.

For example, if the recipe calls for one cup of canning salt, use one cup and two tablespoons of kosher salt.

Buying And Storing Canning Salt

Buying And Storing Canning Salt

You can buy canning salt in large boxes or bags in supermarkets. This may be difficult to find in cities, but you can always get them online. The good thing about canning salt is you can store it indefinitely. Even if moisture gets into the container, you can still do something to salvage the salt for use.

For instance, if your salt starts to develop lumps in the container, you can get rid of the lumps by spreading the salt on a baking sheet and bake it in the oven. You can also prevent lumps by adding a few rice grains in your salt shaker to absorb any moisture.

If you have bought several pounds of salt, you can store it in separate airtight one-gallon heavy-duty plastic bags. Never fill the bag all the way because it might break the plastic. You can then keep the plastic bags of salt in a large bucket for safe keeping.

It’s not advisable to store salt in metal containers because you could end up with metal contaminated salt. Never forget to label the bucket or the bag with “salt” because other people might mistake it for something else.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

After reading the article, I hope that you fully understand now what canning salt is. Compared to other types of salt, this is preferred by many in canning vegetables and curing meat because it dissolves easily in liquid and won’t change the color of the food. If you can’t find any canning salt anywhere, you can use kosher salt but make sure that it's truly free from additives and iodine.

If you’ve tried using canning salt, please let us know your thoughts in the comments section. If you liked this article, please share it with your friends and family!

Paula Hughes

I’m Paula, and I’m absolutely in love with food blogs. I’m a foodie at heart but being the mother of two small boys, it’s not always easy to keep up with fancy dinners… so I rely on the support of other blogging moms like me to help along the way.

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