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What is Canning Salt?

Amy Pollick
Updated May 16, 2024
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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 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.

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.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Amy Pollick
By Amy Pollick , Former Writer
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at DelightedCooking. With experience in various roles and numerous articles under her belt, she crafts compelling content that informs and engages readers across various platforms on topics of all levels of complexity.

Discussion Comments

By anon139489 — On Jan 04, 2011

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

By anon102545 — On Aug 08, 2010

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

By anon50587 — On Oct 29, 2009

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.

By anon42367 — On Aug 20, 2009

Can you use kosher salt in place of canning salt?

By anon41471 — On Aug 15, 2009

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.

By anon37563 — On Jul 20, 2009

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

By anon35474 — On Jul 05, 2009

sea salt does have iodine

By debraw — On Apr 26, 2009

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

Amy Pollick

Amy Pollick

Former Writer

Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at DelightedCooking...
Learn more
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