Salt…the captain, game-changer, the ultimate judge, a pinch of what is necessary to turn your cooked food edible. There is no game without this player, right?
Throwback to when we messed up either adding too much or too little of this vital ingredient. No need to explain the ramifications, huh. So there you go. People say, ‘take everything with a grain of salt.’ I say, ‘make or break everything with a grain of salt.’
The commonly used salt varieties are kosher salt, Himalayan pink salt, table salt, sea salt, and rock salt. Halite, known to the common folk as rock salt, is a quite popular salt variety. Sourced directly from sedimentary deposits, it has amazing benefits over your regular table salt.
But what if you can’t lay your hands on rock salt as easily as pie? It is always ridiculous to know about the substitutes available (because you never know when the stars turn against you). Some of the best rock salt substitutes are kosher salt, pink Himalayan salt, sea salt, and table salt.
If you are a novice *crossing your eyebrows* wondering about rock salt, the following paragraphs are dedicated to you.
Quick Peek: Rock Salt
The following sections talk about rock salt, its flavor, texture, uses, and health benefits.
What Is Rock Salt?
Time for some geography lessons! Rock salt is a salt variety sourced from nearby lakes or seawater due to the evaporation of seawater.
It is a mineral that comprises sodium chloride in its purest form. It has a coarse texture (the name is rock salt, what else can you expect?) and is wholly devoid of chemicals.
That is to say; it is a much better alternative to the sea salt that comes to us with a party of chemicals during its processing stage.
No wonder rock salt reigns over other salt varieties, especially when it comes to conscious cooking. It is also available in white, light blue, dark blue, purple, pink, red, orange, yellow, and gray.
Describing Rock Salt: Flavor and Texture
Although there are many types of salt that differ based on the minerals present in them, they all basically taste the same—rock salt, when dissolved, tastes very similar to table salt.
You can notice that pure rock salt is white or almost colorless. When found underground, it might be available in yellow or brown colors. It has a crystalline structure – crystals that have different mineral compositions.
Uses of Rock Salt
Other than adding salinity, rock salt is used to melt snow and ice on pavements or houses during winter. The why and how of this statement can be another topic for discussion. Coming back to smells and senses, did you assume that salt and sodium are not the same?
They are not. Sodium is one of the many minerals present in salt. Your table salt is called sodium chloride because that is the dominant component.
Rock Salt on The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
Rock salt has other minerals besides sodium, making it an excellent source of vital nutrients. Rock salt, they say, when consumed in cooking, aids in boosting metabolism and digestion.
Do you not remember when your mother advised you to gargle with salt water to remedy sore throat? It is also believed to regulate blood pressure and relieve stress.
Alright, enough with the chit-chat. Rock salt is colorful, amazing, and truly the best. But what do you do when your pantry is out of rock salt? You can’t go to the mountains for sure. *giggle*
Let me present you with the best substitutes of rock salt for culinary affairs.
5 Best Rock Salt Substitutes
Now it’s time to see the substitutes for rock salt. The five best rock salt substitutes are as follows:
Kosher salt has a unique, coarse, flaky texture frequently used in cooking. As the name of this salt suggests, it is popularly used for koshering (removing blood from meat or poultry before cooking).
It has a pure and clean flavor and is free from chemicals, just like rock salt. It is the best for preservation and flavoring purposes.
The distinctive flaky structure of kosher salt makes it highly versatile when it comes to cooking. It has wider, coarser grains which contribute to enhancing the flavor of your recipes rather than rendering a salty flavor.
Kosher salt is the ideal substitute for rock salt, considering its distinctive texture and flavor. Here’s the recipe for pork picnic shoulder seasoned with kosher salt.
2. Pink Himalayan Salt
This pinkish salt variety is also a fine substitute for rock salt. Loaded with minerals, pink Himalayan salt has large grains similar to rock salt. Even though pink Himalayan salt is mined like rock salt, it is basically sea salt.
Consumption of pink Himalayan salt can help in combating respiratory diseases, balance the pH level in our bodies, control blood sugar and improve the quality of sleep.
Pink Himalayan salt has well-known health benefits and can perfectly replace rock salt in cooking.
Talk about beauty, salty expense? Behold the sea salt. Sea salt, harvested from seawater, has larger, snow-like crystals. Due to the extreme saltiness, it is advisable to use sea salt only at the end of your recipe as a finishing salt. Be mindful that it is quite expensive and thus my least favorite.
Sea salt comprises majorly sodium chloride, which is beneficial in maintaining fluid balance and blood pressure as well. It is not processed much like other salt varieties and contains traces of potassium, iron, and calcium.
Sea salt is a considerable substitute for rock salt due to the intense salty flavor and thus should be used with caution.
Want to make a seasoning for your kettle chips and other bland meals? Here is an extremely easy recipe for salt and vinegar seasoning.
Table salt or common salt is the most familiar salt variety that we often see and use in our homes. It is mostly used to give that final saline touch to your recipes. It is also known as iodized salt. It is mined from underground deposits and is usually processed to remove minerals.
Table salt contains sodium chloride, which is imperative for thyroid health. It enhances hydration, balances the level of electrolytes, and helps in regulating heart rate and blood pressure.
Table salt can be your last resort as a rock salt substitute because it pretty much is not that salty. It is made of fine and consistent crystals and can be used in recipes for a sweet and savory flavor.
Want a recipe that uses table salt? Here is the recipe for holiday only mashed potatoes for you.
5. Coarse Salt
Coarse salt refers to large crystals or granules of salt, which is just a thick version of salt before it is refined. It comes in varying textures which are gritty. Often people assume kosher salt to be coarse salt or vice versa. But neither of them is right. In fact, kosher salt is a type of coarse salt.
Coarse salt has the potential to react mildly to moisture which makes it perfect for storage as it resists caking.
It contains calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which are significant for cardiovascular health. It helps in lowering cholesterol levels and mitigates the risk of atherosclerosis.
Ground coarse salt is a considerable substitute for rock salt due to the flavor, less cost, and easy availability.
A Short Recap
To help you remember the details on the best rock substitutes in a jiggy, look at the following points I made for you:
Flavor: Kosher salt is the best substitute for rock salt in terms of flavor.
Texture: Pink Himalayan salt should be your choice for rock salt substitute in terms of texture.
Availability: Coarse salt and table salt are the better options as alternatives for rock salt when it comes to availability.
Rock salt can be easily replaced with other types of salt because the composition is more or less similar – to that of salt. But, depending on your intended recipe, choose a wise substitution.
In the case of ice creams, you have another whole list of substitutes for rock salt. Stay tuned for the same. Choose a substitute that works for you, and let me know the results. See you soon with another article!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use regular salt instead of rock salt?
Regular salt can be used to substitute rock salt due to the similarities in flavor profiles.
Is Himalayan pink salt and rock salt the same?
Himalayan pink salt and rock salt are not the same. In fact, Himalayan pink salt is a type of rock salt.
What’s the difference between rock salt and coarse salt?
Rock salt is the salt from the ocean which has been formed into a rock. Coarse salt is the thick version of salt before it is refined, with large crystals.
Can I use table salt instead of rock salt to make ice cream?
Table salt can be used in lieu of rock salt to make ice cream.