Although salt is not essential for canning all foods, it is necessary for fermented pickles and sauerkraut. According to food experts, “when salt is used for pickles and sauerkraut, it not only provides it with a characteristic flavor, but it also helps to deter certain bacteria.
But when you come across a recipe that requires pickling or canning salt and there’s none available, can you use any other salt as a substitute?
In some cases, yes, and in others, no. In cases where you can substitute that type of salt, you have to replace them in the right proportion; otherwise, you may develop the risks of harmful bacteria. But can I use sea salt for pickling?
Yes, you can use sea salt as an alternative for pickling salt if pickling salt is not available. But when using sea salt for pickling, make sure that it is done in the right proportion, so your pickles won’t develop a funny taste or start to brine.
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What Is Pickling Salt?
Pickling salt (also known as canning salt or preservative salt) is simple, pure granulated salt that does not contain anti-caking agents or additives traditionally added to most salts like table salts.
When these additives are added, they can give the container a dirty or darkened look which will affect the outlook of the brine, and we wouldn’t want our pickles to look all clouded up, and that’s why it is left out of pickling salt.
What Is Sea Salt?
Sea salt is a salt that is made from evaporating seawater. It was usually used in prehistoric times and is now commonly found in many kitchens today. Aside from its culinary uses, sea salt is often added to body scrubs, baths, and beverages.
Some people believe it is much healthier than other salts, but there is little research to back up these claims.
Can I Use Sea Salt for Pickling?
As I stated earlier, you can use sea salt for pickling, but there are some rules you must adhere to if you want it done well.
If you don’t use the right proportion of sea salt for the pickle, you will end up messing things up. Therefore, you must always keep that in mind whenever you decide to use sea salt for picking.
However, it’s always better to use pickling salt for this case; but sea salt can also do the job if you don’t have pickling salt.
What Salts Can You Use for Pickling?
Although pickling salt is the best salt to use for your pickles brine, other substitutes can comfortably replace it in your pickle jar or your cooking. other salts you can use includes:
1. Kosher Salt
Kosher salt is the best substitute for pickling salts as there are no additives, iodine, or anti-caking agents. It has a bright and mild taste, and because it is also a very pure salt, it does not discolor your pickles or give them an undesirable flavor.
The major difference between pickling and kosher salt is the grain size. While kosher salt has a larger grain size, pickling salt has a relatively smaller grain size.
So, when substituting kosher salt for pickling salt, you should know that the weight per volume differs, so when you’re measuring, it should be 1 ½ cups of kosher salt should be equated to 1 cup of pickling salt.
So, when using kosher salt in place of pickling salt, you should do well to grind it to a smaller size to obtain better results.
2. Sea Salt
sea salt is a decent substitute for pickling salt as it contains no additives since it is obtained naturally from seawater. There are primarily two types of sea salts that are primarily available; coarse sea salt and fine sea salt.
It would help if you went for the coarse sea salt for pickling because it gives a nicer flavor to your pickles and has high moisture retaining factor.
Sea salt may also have a problem with measurement accuracy, so it is better to know how much you should use.
It is also important to note that 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt equals 1 teaspoon of pickling salt and 1 cup and ½ teaspoon of coarse sea salt equals 1 cup of pickling salt.
3. Non-Iodized Table Salt
Table salts that do not contain iodine are a suitable option for pickling salt substitutes because iodine affects the flavor and color of pickles.
Nonionized table salt contains anti-caking agents and is most likely to make your brine cloudy so do well to add just a little amount of it or a pinch.
Table salt also needs to be further processed and broken down to the grain size of pickling salt, which makes it easier to dissolve into the brine, and due to this finer texture, the salt does not pose any threat to the accuracy of the measurement.
Ensure you do not add too much table salt in your pickle jar because table salt usually has a stronger salty flavor.