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Has anyone else had trouble with different brands of canning salt having different strengths?  My husband was complaining that the cucumber/dill pickles were too salty, so I thought maybe I goofed a batch and added the salt twice. Then he also thought a batch of dilly beans was too salty, and it seems unlikely that I'd make the same mistake on two different days.  I remember having to buy salt mid-summer last year, when I had used up my jar of Ball (or Kerr?) brand canning salt. I purchased Morton brand (green box) to use for the remainder of the summer.  Does anyone else have experience with Morton developing an off flavor in pickles?

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Hey Donna,


I do know that certain salts have a stronger or weaker strength by weight (not measurement) then others.  In other words, using a tablespoon of kosher salt is not the same as a tablespoon of non-iodized (very important that is is non iodized) salt.  Without running to my books (and a very big favorite is Linda Ziedrich's Joy of Pickling), I can't tell you which is which but you could easily google salt strength comparisons and get that info.   Sorry I'm being lazy.


I also know that not all salts are the same in that some are treated. Natural sea salt will have a sort of crystalized look to it -- a glossy, natural, crystal like appearance.  Sometimes "canning salt" (that that is a bit of a misnomer - you can use regular sea salt for canning) has a near chalky appearance to it that freaks me out.  But the bigger point is....if you are making quick pickles by using a vinegar solution, salt is only there for a flavoring agent.  Unlike fermentation, salt in quick pickling is really there for your taste so let your taste be your guide.  Taste the vinegar solution before adding to your pickles or beans and what it tastes like going in will most likely be what it taste like coming out. 


Something we all need to understand is that somewhere along the line Ball and Kerr and extension agents and "research backed" food preservation guides got into bed with industry and brand names because the norm.  In many, many cases, these brands and the corporations that owned them, actually funded research and publications.  Not to sound all conspiracy theory on you but it is not totally unreasonable to think we pick that "green box" for a reason.  But that is not what you really wanted to know.  The short story is salt in quick pickling is about taste.  Salts have different strengths by volume (1 tea. of one type is different then 1 tea. of another), iodized salt will cloud your mixture (which is an appearance thing not a safety issue) and most sea salts you buy in the bin and your grocery store will suffice.  


Finally, maybe you should ask the husband to make the pickles and dilly beans next time!!!!!!  Okay, I'm just joking but I fell you.

I only buy the green box and have never experiened any off flavors or variation sin strength.




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