Onion salt is a convenient substitute for chopped onions. It’s useful when you don’t have the time to prepare chopped onions, or want to add onion flavor to a dish without the bulk of additional ingredients. Most onion salt is made with a combination of dehydrated powdered onions and salt, and usually a preservative ingredient that keeps the powder and salt from adhering to each other. This seasoning should be differentiated from onion flakes or onion powder, which do not contain salt.
The ratio of table salt to powdered onion is about three to one. If you are looking for lower salt foods, you probably shouldn’t choose onion salt, since a quarter teaspoon (about 1.4 grams) has almost as much sodium as does regular table salt. Average sodium content in this product is about 450 milligrams as opposed to the 575 mg offered in the same size serving of table salt. Alternately, simply remember that onion salt does contain salt and lower additional salt in your recipes when you use it.
In flavor, two teaspoons of onion salt is about equivalent to one small to medium yellow or white onion. But many feel that the seasoning is better than using raw onions because it tends to impart a milder and less sharp flavor than does raw onions. Also if you want to season things like hamburgers, soup, salad dressing, meatloaf, spaghetti sauce or the like, you may not want chunks of onions to change the texture of your dish.
There are also some gourmet onion salts you may want to try. Some feature kosher salt, and a few have organic onions. The more commercially processed onion salts do contain sodium silico aluminate, which concerns some people. It has been potentially linked to greater incidence of kidney disease, and some people fear a connection between consumption of aluminum products and Alzheimer’s. Many of the organic versions of onion salt do not contain any aluminum products, and can be easily found in natural foods stores or online.