Fine measurement of coarse salt.

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ChrisGreaves
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Fine measurement of coarse salt.

Post by ChrisGreaves »

So I stopped buying salt three years ago and finally exhausted my supplies.
Then I was given a cabbage and thought to try pickling it.
"Coarse Salt" the recipe said, so (sigh!) I trudged off to Foodland and bought a carton of pickling salt. It's not that coarse - grains no more than 2mm diameter, but a tad too coarse for sprinkling on food.
2023_01_20230123_115422.jpg
Then I remembered that I had a second flexible mustard bottle. The first one is used as a sugar dispenser; one up-ending is about one teaspoon of sugar. Very much like being back in The Montreal Deli, but quite different, really, without Joan being here.

Then i thought "What if I dissolved coarse salt in water?"

It is much easier to measure a teaspoon of saline solution than to measure 2mg of salt, right?

A solution (or in the case of ground black pepper a suspension) of a solid ought to lead to better measurement of ingredients, correct?

Of course, we must allow for the extra volume of water introduced with this measure.

Cheers, Chris
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HansV
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Re: Fine measurement of coarse salt.

Post by HansV »

If you dissolve coarse salt in water, the result will be exactly the same as that of dissolving table salt or powder salt (but the latter will dissolve a lot easier...)
And I don't think you should dissolve the coarse salt at all if you want to use it to preserve/pickle stuff.
Regards,
Hans

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ChrisGreaves
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Re: Fine measurement of coarse salt.

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HansV wrote:
25 Jan 2023, 20:42
If you dissolve coarse salt in water, the result will be exactly the same as that of dissolving table salt or powder salt (but the latter will dissolve a lot easier...)
Correct. But this way if ever I go back to my cruddy GP I can tell him that I no longer have any table salt in my home :evilgrin:

I have maintained for years that NaCl is NaCl no matter what form it takes. I just can't understand the desire to have different "flavours" of salt.
We have here in this little town a shop that distills sea-water and packages the salt. In summer time tourists hang around the store and emerge with lighter wallets. :scratch: :flee: :hairout:
If they did it for the sake of producing distilled water I could understand flogging the dried brine as a by-product.

And I don't think you should dissolve the coarse salt at all if you want to use it to preserve/pickle stuff.
True.
But at $cdn4.79 it is cheaper than table salt.

Apart from that, what do you think of the idea of being able to measure amounts more accurately?
Cheers, Chris
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HansV
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Re: Fine measurement of coarse salt.

Post by HansV »

As an abstract theory, OK. But in cooking, not so much. Salt crystals don't just add flavour to a dish, but texture too. Throwing in a spoonful of saline solution won't have the same effect. And it would ruin some dishes...
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Graeme
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Re: Fine measurement of coarse salt.

Post by Graeme »

Could you make the course salt a little less course by using a mortar and pestle?

And if you did do that world you remove the air from between the grains and make the salt more dense and cause the measure to be inaccurate thus making your cakes too salty?

Regards

Graeme

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ChrisGreaves
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Re: Fine measurement of coarse salt.

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HansV wrote:
25 Jan 2023, 21:08
As an abstract theory, OK. But in cooking, not so much. Salt crystals don't just add flavour to a dish, but texture too.
Hi Hans. I knew that salt (crystals) would add flavour, and figured that the expensive crystals (cardamon, curry etc) would add a dash of those flavours too, but I also figured that the salt crystals would dissolve in any water/moisture that was available, and so be ions held in solution, which our mouths can't detect as texture at that level.

I can see that sprinkling pickling salt on my pork chops as they come off the barbecue would still be crystals, and hence have texture, but would expect that salt crystals stirred into my pate would dissolve well before the pate had been boiled for an hour or so.
Throwing in a spoonful of saline solution won't have the same effect. And it would ruin some dishes...
Too, I can see that spoonful or cup of saline solution won't give texture, but I would expect my tongue to detect the taste of salt.

How would saline solution ruin a dish when used as a substitute for crystals?
If I dissolve a teaspoon of crystals in a cup of water, rather than adding a cup of water and a teaspoon of salt make any difference? Salt dissolves readily in water, so half a minute after adding those two ingredients separately it ought to be the equivalent of mixing them before adding them (to the soup or stew or ...)

Thanks for any extra explanations.
Cheers, Chris
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ChrisGreaves
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Re: Fine measurement of coarse salt.

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Graeme wrote:
26 Jan 2023, 14:30
Could you make the course salt a little less course by using a mortar and pestle?
Hi Graeme, it is true that I could make the salt crystals less course if I had a mortar and pestle.
But I am basically lazy and try to avoid extra work.
If I wanted finer salt I'd just by a new box of table salt.

Part of my thrust is to reduce my salt intake (for a variety of reasons).

The dissolved-crystal route was really a way to cater to the occasional need of salt without buying a new carton that would sit around for twenty years.
For example. I don't add salt to my bread dough, but if someone told me to try it, I could dissolve salt crystals in the two cups of water. I suspect that all evidence of crystals would be gone by the time the dough slipped into the oven, but the salt's chemical effect would be felt.

And if you did do that world you remove the air from between the grains and make the salt more dense and cause the measure to be inaccurate thus making your cakes too salty?
I don't know the answer to that. I still think of salt as "adding ionic reactions to the tongue" or possibly "aiding a chemical reaction in the mixture (as acid does to Sodium [bi-]Carbonate) And so even at that level (acid plus agent) we are still working with what I think of as ionic reactions.

As fr changing the mass, all my cooking, baking, and preserving is performed with slight changes which lead me to a better result. My current bread-making is at the end of ten years of modifying ingredients and actions, timing etc, so if the mass of salt was too great, I would reduce it in the next session.
Thanks, Chris
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HansV
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Re: Fine measurement of coarse salt.

Post by HansV »

Adding crystalline salt or a saline solution to a soup or stew won't make a difference, indeed.
But while sprinkling a bit of salt on a boiled egg or on a pork chop is nice (if not overly healthy), I wouldn't want to replace it with a saline solution.
Regards,
Hans

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ChrisGreaves
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Re: Fine measurement of coarse salt.

Post by ChrisGreaves »

HansV wrote:
26 Jan 2023, 21:25
But while sprinkling a bit of salt on a boiled egg or on a pork chop is nice (if not overly healthy), I wouldn't want to replace it with a saline solution.
Hans, I quite agree.
My thought about dissolving large-grain pickling salt in water was only for water-based cooking mixtures.
A good example is bread-baking which (for me) starts off with two cups of water.

If I dissolve a teaspoon of pickling salt in a 2-cup jug of water, and then use a 1/2-cup of THAT solution as part of the 2 cups of water I use for bread, then I have effectively added one quarter of a teaspoon of salt to my bread recipe. If I am using an eight-cup bottle to dissolve the salt, then a half-cup of the solution gives me a scant 1/16th of a teaspoon.

In that way i can fine-tune my recipe to quite small yet accurate fractions of a teaspoon of salt.
That was my thinking behind using a squeeze-bottle to dispense salt.

Cheers, Chris :chef:
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