Friday, June 5, 2009

Canning/Pickling Salt

When you see a recipe that calls for canning/pickling salt, you may wonder, "what is the difference between canning /pickling salt and plain table salt?"

There are two differences.

First: table salt is iodized. People began adding iodine to salt in the 1920's to help prevent goiter in areas where the natural supply of iodine was low. Canning salt does not have iodine added to it because iodine will gradually turn your vegetables dark. This discoloration isn't harmful to your health in anyway, but it does make food look unappetizing.

Second: table salt also has anti-caking agents added to it. If used for canning, these will turn the liquid in your jar cloudy. Again, this isn't unhealthy, just unappetizing.

I confess that I tend to be guilty of forgetting to specify what type of salt, when I write canning recipes, but for the most appealing food, canning/pickling salt should be used. You can usually buy canning/pickling salt at the same place you buy your canning jars. Stores tend to stock them side by side.


  1. Aaaah, good to know. I never would've picked up on that even though I know there is such a thing as pickling salt. thanks!

  2. Good info. I had no idea. Here's another salt to add to the ever growing varieties of salt I have collected.

  3. Does sea salt (since it's non-iodized) have the same properties (enough for canning, at least)? Thanks!

  4. I don't know whether or not sea salt has anti- caking agents. I can't answer that one.

  5. I've seen sea salt in my bulk food store with anti-caking agents (fine sea salt) and corse sea salt without.

  6. Coarse Kosher salt is good to use, too.


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