It’s pickle day at my house. It wasn’t on the schedule … but our Farmer’s Market was laden with baskets full of cucumbers fresh from the Yakima Valley. After returning home, I realized I was out of my typical kosher salt. I debated using regular iodized table salt … and after a few minutes of indecision… researched it.
In case you find yourself in a similar quandary; here are the basics and differences in salt used for pickling purposes.
Pickling salt, while sometimes hard to find in urban areas, is specifically designed for pickling and canning. It is the most pure and fine-grained form of salt, with less anti-caking additives. Its purpose? To dissolve easily and evenly distribute throughout a brine. Dissolution of salt is especially important to achieve a required salinity that makes pickled foods safe to store and eat. When using other types of salt in this process, it is especially important to make sure all of the salt has dissolved evenly.
Substitutions? Kosher Salt is the best substitution.
What about iodized table salt? It can be used as a substitute, keeping in mind the importance of thoroughly dissolving it in the brine. However, it isn’t as desirable as other forms for an aesthetic issue rather than a safety issue. When used, iodized salt will turn pickled foods dark and the anti-caking agents will cloud the brine.