If you’re a fan of jerky, you know that the right seasoning can make all the difference. But what about the type of salt you use?
If your recipe calls for canning salt and you only have table salt on hand, can you use it instead? The answer is not as simple as a yes or no.
In this article, we’ll explore the differences between canning salt and table salt, and whether or not you can use them interchangeably when making jerky.
So grab a snack (maybe some jerky?) and let’s dive in!
Can You Use Canning Salt For Jerky?
Canning salt is a pure granulated salt that does not contain any additives like potassium iodide, dextrose, or anti-caking agents. It is commonly used for canning, pickling, cooking, baking, and even for the table. On the other hand, table salt contains additives like potassium iodide, dextrose, and anti-caking agents like calcium silicate.
While both types of salt can be used for cooking and baking, canning salt is preferred for canning and pickling because it does not contain any additives that may affect the preservation process. However, when it comes to making jerky, the difference between canning salt and table salt may not be as significant.
Many people have successfully made jerky using regular table salt instead of canning salt. The main concern with using table salt is its iodine content. If your table salt contains iodine, it may affect the flavor of your jerky. However, if your table salt does not contain iodine, you can use it in place of canning salt without any significant difference in taste or texture.
What Is Canning Salt And How Is It Different From Table Salt?
Canning salt is a type of salt that is specifically designed for canning and pickling. It is made from pure granulated salt, and it does not contain any additives like potassium iodide, dextrose, or anti-caking agents. The absence of these additives makes canning salt ideal for preserving foods because it does not affect the color, texture, or flavor of the preserved food.
Table salt, on the other hand, contains additives like potassium iodide, dextrose, and anti-caking agents like calcium silicate. These additives are added to table salt to prevent clumping and to provide additional nutrients like iodine. However, these additives can affect the preservation process when used for canning and pickling.
One of the main differences between canning salt and table salt is their texture. Canning salt has extra fine granules that easily dissolve into brines, while table salt has larger granules that may take longer to dissolve. Additionally, canning salt does not contain iodine, which may affect the flavor of the preserved food when using table salt.
Why Is Salt Important In Making Jerky?
Salt plays a crucial role in making jerky, as it acts as a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of bacteria on the meat. The dehydration process of jerky-making creates an environment where bacteria cannot thrive due to the reduction in water activity. However, salt helps to further reduce water activity by drawing out water molecules from the meat through osmosis. This reduction in water activity makes it difficult for bacteria to grow, thus extending the shelf life of the jerky.
In addition to its preservative properties, salt also enhances the flavor of jerky. It helps to bring out the natural flavors of the meat and can be used in combination with other ingredients such as spices and herbs to create a unique and delicious flavor profile. When using salt in jerky-making, it is important to use the right amount to achieve the desired effect. Too little salt may not be enough to preserve the meat, while too much salt may result in an overly salty and unpalatable product.
Can You Substitute Table Salt For Canning Salt In Jerky Recipes?
It is not recommended to substitute other types of salt for canning salt in jerky recipes. Other salts contain additives and have varying particle sizes, making accurate measurement challenging. For instance, one cup of fine-grain pickling salt contains more salt by volume than one cup of a coarse-grain salt. However, if you do not have canning salt on hand and need to make jerky, you can use kosher salt or sea salt as a substitute. These salts are more likely to be additive-free and can be used with a measurement converter to ensure the correct amount of salt is added to the jerky marinade.
When making jerky, it is essential to ensure food safety by familiarizing yourself with the USDA Fact Sheet. It is also crucial to choose lean cuts of meat and trim them well before partially freezing them for even slicing. The meat should be cut with the grain into uniform strips no more than 1/4 inch thick. It is important to keep the meat refrigerated while marinating and turn it frequently for even exposure to the marinade. When dehydrating the jerky, low heat and proper air circulation are critical for a good result.
It is worth noting that when making jerky, it is recommended to use non-iodized salt in the marinade recipe. Iodized salt contains iodide and other anti-caking agents that may give off metallic or other off flavors to the finished jerky. Therefore, choosing a non-iodized salt like canning salt or kosher salt is preferable for making jerky.
What Are The Potential Consequences Of Using The Wrong Type Of Salt In Jerky?
Using the wrong type of salt in jerky can have potential consequences, especially if you use a salt that contains additives. For example, if you use table salt that contains iodine, it may affect the flavor of your jerky. Additionally, table salt may contain anti-caking agents like calcium silicate, which can also affect the texture of your jerky.
When it comes to preserving jerky, using the right type of salt is essential. Canning salt is preferred for canning and pickling because it does not contain any additives that may affect the preservation process. However, using regular table salt may not have a significant impact on the preservation process, as long as it does not contain any additives.
Tips For Choosing The Right Salt For Your Jerky Recipe.
When choosing the right salt for your jerky recipe, it is important to consider the type of salt you are using and its impact on the flavor and preservation of your jerky. Here are some tips to help you choose the right salt for your jerky recipe:
1. Consider the type of salt: Canning salt is preferred for canning and pickling because it does not contain any additives that may affect the preservation process. Table salt, on the other hand, contains additives like iodine and anti-caking agents that may affect the flavor of your jerky.
2. Check the iodine content: If you are using table salt, make sure to check its iodine content. If it contains iodine, it may affect the flavor of your jerky. Look for table salt that does not contain iodine or use canning salt instead.
3. Use the right amount of salt: Salt not only helps pull moisture from the meat, it also acts as a preservative. Using too little salt may result in spoilage, while using too much salt may make your jerky too salty. In general, using one teaspoon of salt per pound of meat is considered unsalted jerky, while using a brine solution with 2 1/2 cups pickling salt per three quarts of water is considered salted jerky.
4. Experiment with different types of salt: While canning salt and table salt are the most commonly used salts for making jerky, you can also experiment with other types of salts like sea salt or kosher salt to add different flavors and textures to your jerky.
By following these tips, you can choose the right type and amount of salt for your jerky recipe and create delicious and flavorful jerky that will last for months in the refrigerator or freezer.