When canning or preserving food, one of the most important ingredients is kosher salt. As the name implies, its kosher because it has been certified by the Association of Zinc Company that the kosher standard is followed. Just as there are so many different brands and variations of salt available on the market, there are many different salts available to purchase.
There are several types of salts used for preserving food. Salt is used in several methods, including but not limited to salt mining, melting, freezing, and salting. There are several things to consider when selecting a salt for canning.
What is the salt used for? Is it necessary to use the exact type? For example, if you have a canning recipe that calls for kosher salt, would it be acceptable to use regular table salt? Both types may be used, but the latter may be better for many reasons.
Salt used for canning has a long shelf life. The salt will not react with the food to any degree, but the longer the salt stays fresh, the longer the food will remain edible. This means that the longer you can store the food at room temperature, the longer it will be safe to consume. So is it best to buy a large container of the salt and then heat it up to make it ready to use?
Salts for canning, either prepared or natural, will cook fast. This means that they will get extremely hot while hot! If the salt you bought was hot to the touch, the food you were planning to preserve will burn. So whats the best way to use the salt in canning?
Be sure to use a salt that is certified kosher and is a pure sea salt. Thereare several things to consider. Pure sea salt has a much higher concentration of potassium than regular table salt, and the latter tends to have a lower potassium content. While the former may cost more, it is worth it in terms of quality.
Since many food experts recommend heating the salt, some companies also include special instructions in the label. They will advise you to stir the contents thoroughly before adding the food. If you accidentally do this, you risk killing the food and cooking the salt into the foods. If you dont want to risk damaging your food, the container may be sealed.
Some shakers offer special instructions, making them less desirable to use. These kinds of containers will be clearly marked pressurized canning.
When purchasing kosher salt for canning, be aware that a lot of the sea salts are salty, so some of the preservatives will end up mixed in with the salt. Others might mix with the canned vegetables or other materials.
Depending on the brand, there can be artificial preservatives added to the salt, such as sodium iodide or benzoic acid. These chemicals are not necessary and in fact may actually cause other health problems. Its best to stick with plain salt.
Today, the only essential ingredient required for canning is kosher salt. While the salt will likely not cook, it should be safe to use for a long time, so be sure to include the salt in your canning recipe.