Pretzels vs. Kosher Salt – What’s the Difference?

Salt is a popular ingredient and has a historical significance that predates any other seasoning on our shelves today. The History of Salt is connected to religion, trade, economics, and geopolitics in surprising ways.

While there are many types of salts out there, pretzels and kosher salt have more historical significance and uses than any other ingredients. But, is there any difference between pretzels salt and kosher salt?

Compared to Kosher salt, pretzel salt is less refined and contains trace minerals that are usually removed from kosher salt. Also, pretzels salt flakes have no additives and can stick to baked goods such as focaccia, bread, or hard rolls.

In this article, we’d like to explain their properties, uses, and differences from other types of salt.

What is Pretzels Salt?

Pretzel salt is also known as food-grade coarse salt. It has large-grains and is used widely for making a variety of baked goods including pretzels and salted breadsticks.

Pretzels salt is a super white, clean salt that provides aesthetic appeal to soft pretzels, breadsticks and other topical applications. Whether you are improving the flavor of your snacks or want that satisfying “crunch”, look to pretzel coarse and medium salt.

The unique quality of pretzels salt is that it does not melt during baking, making it a great topping for when you want to bake pretzels without melting the salt.

The crystals of pretzel salt are flat and rectangular, having uniform size.

Pretzel Salt Uses – For Pretzels!

Large grain pretzel salt is suitable for coating soft baked pretzels or other baked goods. There’s nothing like freshly-baked pretzels, accompanied by mustard and the perfect crunch of pretzel salt crystals. Other types of salts just don’t cut it when it comes to complimenting your fresh baked pretzels.

How To Use Salt For Pretzels

Add pretzels salt before baking soft pretzels. Brush the pretzel dough with an egg and water mixture, and then sprinkle them with the pretzel salt. Transfer your formed pretzel dough to the oven for baking.

Other Applications of Pretzel Salt

  1. Cereals & Baked Goods: Topping for bagels, breadsticks, pizza rolls, and pretzels
  2. Seasonings: You can use pretzels salt in coarse rubs for fish, curing different types of meat, and for zucchini fritters.
  3. Meat Processing: Koshering, dry curing
  4. Dairy Applications: Artisan cheeses

But what if you don’t have pretzels salt in the pantry? You can go for one of the best pretzels salt substitute: Kosher Salt.

What Is Kosher Salt?

Kosher salt is a naturally-occurring salt used to season food and to aid in baking. Kosher salt is harvested from salt mines or by evaporating seawater, which leaves sodium chloride behind in the form of clear crystals. Kosher salt is made of crystals that are larger and coarser than other salt crystals.

This coarse-grained salt type is assembled from rock salt crystals. It’s available in many different shapes, so you can have kosher salt shaped like pyramids and other flat structures.

You will love that you can easily pick it between your fingers. So you have more control over the quantity of salt you sprinkle on your food.

Like most salts used in cooking, Kosher mainly has sodium chloride. A good thing about kosher salt is that it improves the flavor of food, especially when paired with bread, baked goodies, chocolate, and caramel.

A Brief History of Kosher Salt

Kosher salt is not a kosher food, but its name is derived from a popular Jewish tradition called koshering. In this culinary tradition, blood is removed from the meat using large-grained, flaky salt. Flakier kosher salt crystal can easily draw out liquid from the meat.

When companies started to package the salt used for koshering meat, they shortened the name to “kosher salt”. A few kosher salt brands are still popular for koshering today including Morton kosher salt and Diamond Crystal kosher salt.

Best Ways to Use Kosher Salt in Cooking

Kosher salt is preferred by professional chefs and home cooks alike. While it is used in cooking as an ingredient and a seasoning, there are many other uses that call for this coarse, flaky salt. The large grains are easy to pinch, which is a superb way of sprinkling salt since it’s easy to check just how much salt is being added.

1. Salting Pasta: You can add kosher salt to boiling pasta water right before the pasta is put in to cook. As the pasta softens, it absorbs the light salty flavor.

2. Brining: This popular food preservation method can make meats more flavorful and tender. You can add a cup of kosher salt for every gallon of water, and then the meat is added to the pot and refrigerated overnight.

3. Margaritas: If you’ve ever ordered a margarita you’ve probably had one with salt on the rim of the margarita glasses. This makes sweet and tart flavors of a margarita stand out. Kosher salt crystals also add a little crunch.

Is Kosher Salt the Same As Pretzels Salt? – Key Similarities

Arguably the best alternative to pretzels salt is kosher salt. It has a striking resemblance to pretzel salt due to its large, flaky crystals. It’s a coarse-grained salt, hence why it looks so similar to pretzel salt.

Kosher salt and pretzel share significant similarities. Of course, all salts are relatively similar when you think about it. However, kosher salt and pretzel salt are surprisingly alike.

For one, pretzel salt and kosher salt come in granular forms. Also, kosher salt has a similar effect on food – instead of making your baked goods taste salty; it enhances your dish’s taste by bringing out its own flavor.

Plus, kosher salt doesn’t contain additives. So, you can see how it is similar to pretzel salt.

Usually, kosher salt is perfect koshering meat. You can use it for canning, brining, and marinating, too.  While it may be perfect for rimming margaritas, kosher salt doesn’t do as well in baking as pretzels salt.

Key Differences Between Pretzels Salt and Kosher Salt

Grain Size

The key difference between pretzels salt and kosher salt is their grain size. Pretzel salt has comparatively large, 1–2 millimeter sized crystals that are perfect for sticking on pretzels and other baked goods. Kosher salt has grains shaped as flat rectangular flakes that are larger (~2–3 mm) but thinner than pretzel salt grains.

Note: Some brands use a different manufacturing process and end up with the diamond-shaped kosher salt grains of similar size.

Melting Point

Unlike pretzel salt,  kosher salt doesn’t melt easily in the oven.

Secrets of Salting Food Like A Chef

Salt is one of the simplest food seasonings to find, and it’s always good to have more than one kind of salt on hand in your kitchen. Pretzel and kosher salt are the most versatile of the bunch and can be used in most recipes. When shopping for pretzel and kosher salts, look for the larger crystals and lighter, fluffier salt flakes. Here are a few tips for salting your food:

1. Adjust measurements depending on the salt type

If a recipe calls for a teaspoon of table salt, you can substitute one-and-a-half teaspoons of coarse kosher salt or pretzel salt due to the larger grain size of these types of salt.

2. Make a test kitchen.

Try cooking with pretzel and kosher salt in different ways to understand the difference or feel how they work in different recipes.

3. Don’t add too much salt.

Remember that you can add more salt but you can’t remove it once it has been mixed. Start with a pinch of salt to taste, adding salt until it reaches your desired flavor.

Use salt to regulate the yeast fermentation process.

Salt helps to control yeast fermentation in bread and helps strengthen the combined ingredients in baked goods and desserts.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you enjoyed reading this guide to keeping your cinnamon rolls fresh and extend their shelf life.

We’ve put together some frequently asked questions and answers in this section and we invite you to check if you might find any of the information valuable.

Related Questions

What’s the difference between pretzel salt and table salt?

Pretzel Salt has large, coarse-grains that take a long time to melt. On the other hand, table salt is simply pretzel salt with a finer, flakier crystal structure.

What type of salt is used on pretzels?

It’s fine to use any type of coarse salt for pretzels. Your main options include kosher salt, bagel salt, and pretzel salt.

Are pretzels soaked with baking soda?

This treatment can gelatinize the pretzels, preventing them from fully setting. Pretzels get their signature chewy crust by “springing” during baking. Baking soda also gives pretzels their unique flavor.

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