What Is Kosher Sea Salt?

B. Koch
B. Koch
Kosher sea salt.
Kosher sea salt.

The term kosher sea salt can mean a number of different things. It can indicate sea salt that has been manufactured under the guidelines of the Jewish Orthodox Union and has been declared appropriate for kosher diets. Kosher sea salt can also indicate the style of salt, meaning that sea salt was used the produce a light, flaky kosher style salt. It can also indicate that that salt is both kosher style as well as certified kosher. Further examination of the salt's packaging is necessary to finally determine the exact type of salt.

Most table salt is mined from an underground source.
Most table salt is mined from an underground source.

Salt may come from either underground sources or from seawater. The table salt that is typically found in kitchens and restaurants is from an underground source. It is fine grained, and may also contain a small amount of an anti-caking agent, as its texture makes it prone to sticking to itself when in contact with moisture. Table salt dissolves easily making it useful in baking as well as in other types of cooking.

Sea salt is made from evaporated seawater and is usually very coarse. It must be passed through a salt grinder to be made small enough for use and typically contains no added preservatives or anti-caking agents. In its purest form, it has the same chemical properties of table salt. Often, however, the minerals in the seawater will also be present in the sea salt. These minerals give the salt subtle, sought-after flavors. Usually, it is added to a dish after it is finished if the chef wants the coarse salt crystals to add texture to the dish.

Salts are considered kosher if they have been certified as such by the Jewish Orthodox Union. The kosher certification assures that the salt has been produced in the manner outlined by the Jewish faith and is safe for consumption by those on a kosher diet. Salt that is kosher certified may be of any type, including kosher table salt and kosher sea salt.

Another type of kosher salt is kosher style salt which is in the shape of flakes and is less dense than table salt. Kosher style salt is named as such because the shape and texture of the salt is thought to be beneficial in the process of koshering meat and, therefore, is often used for that purpose. Kosher salt is often used by chefs to finish dishes as it adds a delicate salty crunch to foods. Kosher style salt may or may not be certified kosher by the Jewish Orthodox Union and, therefore, is not necessarily recommended for those on a kosher diet. It can be made from either sea salt or underground salt.

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Discussion Comments


The sea salt used for koshering salt should be called and labeled as "koshering salt" and not "kosher salt." The latter will confuse people into thinking that the salt is kosher. This type of sea salt is used to remove blood from meats. The term probably came about because it was used by Jews, as consuming blood is unacceptable. The term stuck, but the salt used for this process is not necessarily kosher now.


@turquoise-- This is a controversial topic. Some feel that almost all salt is kosher. The only exception are salts with additives to improve color or flavor because they may contain ingredients that are not kosher. But any other pure, natural salt is considered kosher by some.

Others feel that salt is not kosher unless its production is supervised by a Jewish body to make sure that it is produced and packed in accordance with kosher rules. For example, if salt is processed and packed in a facility that also processes foods that are non-kosher, then the salt may not be kosher.

This is a sensitive and complex issue. But most people who follow the Jewish dietary restrictions use only kosher certified table salt or sea salt.


Does sea salt really require kosher certification? Isn't sea salt already kosher in its natural form?

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    • Kosher sea salt.
      Kosher sea salt.
    • Most table salt is mined from an underground source.
      Most table salt is mined from an underground source.