What Is Pickling Salt?

Do you have to use special salt when making pickles?

Pickling salt

Here’s a canning question I am often asked; “What is pickling salt?”

Basically, pickling salt is regular, everyday salt with NO additives.

Most regular table salt, iodized or not, contains additives that keep the salt flowing smoothly. I am guessing it hasn’t always been this way, as I can remember my mother adding rice grains to the salt shakers at home. The whole idea being that the rice absorbed moisture from the air, keeping the salt from clumping.

But today most table salt has calcium silicate added to prevent caking/clumping.

The calcium silicate, and other anti-caking agents, will cause your home canned pickles to be cloudy. It won’t cause the pickles to be “bad” and it won’t make them unsafe to eat. It does make them less attractive.

There are other salts that do not have additives like Kosher salt and flake salt. Either can be used for pickling.

So, use pickling salt, Kosher salt, or flake salt, but avoid regular old table salt when making pickles.

Note: It’s also a good idea to avoid sea salt when making pickles. Some grades of sea salt include other minerals. Good for your body, but they also cause cloudiness in pickles.


Do you have other canning questions?

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by Renee Pottle

Renee Pottle, a freelance writer and Home Economist, is fanatic about all things food. She blogs about canning and food preservation at SeedToPantry.com. Find her professional food writing info at PenandProvisions.com.

August 29, 2015

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