What is Canning Salt?

A Kaminsky

Salt has been used as a seasoning and preservative for thousands of years. It was so sought-after that, in ancient Rome, soldiers often drew part of their pay in salt. Among its many uses, salt plays a large role in canning and preserving. The particular product used for this purpose is fine-grained and free of iodine and anti-caking ingredients that could discolor foods.

Canning salt.
Canning salt.

Canning salt is a particular variety of salt that is used, as the name suggests, in canning foods. The lack of additives, like iodine and anti-caking ingredients, means that it will not turn vegetables — particularly pickles — a dark color, nor will it make their liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would be perfectly safe to eat, but they wouldn’t look very pretty.

Canning salt is free of additives like iodine.
Canning salt is free of additives like iodine.

This type of salt is also used in preserving meats, like salt-cured ham or sausage. It is vital tat the cook use the specified amount of salt called for in the recipe so the meat (or pickles) will be safely preserved. If not enough salt is used, bacteria can grow in the preserved food.

Salt made for canning can be used as table salt, but without the anti-caking agents, it could clump on humid days. One solution for this is to place a few grains of uncooked white rice in the salt shaker. Salt that has already caked can be separated — the cook just has to spread the salt on a baking sheet and warm it in a moderate oven for a few minutes. The heat will evaporate the moisture.

Canning salt is available in most supermarkets, where other canning supplies are sold. Shoppers can look for canning jars, lids, and bands, and fruit pectin, and chances are, this salt will be in the same area. It is also available from stores in rural areas where canning and preserving food is common.

Salt is used preserve to meats.
Salt is used preserve to meats.

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Discussion Comments

anon139489

i want to start canning my homemade tomato sauce. Would i use the same amount of canning salt as i would regular salt?

anon102545

when canning tomatoes how much canning salt is used per quart?

anon50587

Kosher salt generally lacks iodine and other additives, but it is very coarse. Depending on the application, you may want to grind it more finely. A mortar and pestle works nicely for this.

anon42367

Can you use kosher salt in place of canning salt?

anon41471

I canned green beans last year using canning salt. the green beans sealed but they turned cloudy and a white residue settled on the bottom. when I opened them up they had a sour taste to them. They didn't smell bad; they just didn't taste good.

anon37563

If a recipe calls for unoxidized salt, is this the same as canning/pickling salt?

anon35474

sea salt does have iodine

debraw

Can I use sea salt as canning salt? It does not have iodine.

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