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LH 05: How to Use Pickling Salt

Welcome to Episode #05 of the Living Homegrown Podcast!

Listener Colleen has some questions about pickling salt (aka: Canning Salt)

In This Episode You Get the A’s to These Q’s:

  • What exactly is pickling salt?
  • How is it used?
  • What does it do?
  • Can you safely substitute other salt?
  • Where can it be purchased?

Weight Equivalents of Pickling Salt:

As I explain in the podcast, there are several reasons you want to use pickling (aka canning) salt in recipes. That should always be your first choice.

If, after understanding the differences in salt, you still want to substitute a different salt for the canning salt in a recipe, it is always best to measure by weight.

According to the University of Wisconsin Extension Office: one cup of Mortons® pickling (canning) salt weighs 7 3/4 oz (220 g). You would need to use that reference when weighing the same amount in whatever salt you choose.

Here is a PDF on pickling from the extension office. The information on pickling salt starts on page 6.

(More on sea salt & flake salt below)


Resources & Links:

How to Use Pickling Salt -

Where to Buy Pickling Salt:

The prices of pickling (aka canning salt) can vary seasonally. When shopping online, it is easy to look around for the best price.

Amazon* (Morton’s Brand)

Kitchen Krafts (Ball’s Brand)

Kitchen Krafts (Their own Brand)

Lehmans (Do a search on ‘canning salt’ as it regularly goes on sale here)

*denotes an affiliate link


Note on Sea Salt & Minerals

In the podcast, I talk about some general rules for substitutions. I got a follow-up question on sea salt and the fact that its grain size did not allow it to be substituted when measured by volume.

A listener wanted to know:

Is sea salt one of the salts that can be measured by weight as a substitution for canning salt?

First, remember that there are many different instances where salt is used in canning. Sometimes it is for safety and other times it is only there for flavoring.

So since I do not know the exact recipe you are referring to, I will say this:

Although it would be okay from a safety standard to use sea salt by weight, it might not always work well from an aesthetics standpoint. No, it does not have the added anti-caking agents I talked about in the podcast, but it does have natural minerals. It can sometimes make the brine cloudy due to the natural mineral content.

If you are okay with a cloudy brine and want the health benefits of the sea salt (like in fermenting), then it would be okay to use a weight measurement of the salt as a substitution.

But for something like cucumber pickles, your best choice is always a pickling or canning salt.


Note on Flake Salt:

When you look closely at flake salt, it looks like tiny white potato chips of salt. When you measure it, those chips stack tightly on top of each other. But as you can imagine, if you measure tiny chips (with various curves and twists) you would have a lot of air pockets.

That is why when you measure flake salt it takes a lot more in volume to equal the same amount of canning salt by weight. In general, if you need 1 cup of canning salt, it will take 1.5 cups of flake salt to be the same amount by weight. But it is always best to actually measure by weight to be sure.


About This Podcast Series:

Check out podcast Episode 00 to get:

  • The whole scoop on what this podcast series is all about
  • My background, experience & training
  • What to expect going forward

It’s like an audio “about” page for the podcast.


Thank You So Much For Listening!

If you liked this episode, I would love for you to help me spread the word.

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Have a Question You Need Answered?

Do you have a canning/homesteading question you’d like answered on a future podcast episode?

Leave me a message over on my Ask Theresa Page – It’s easy!



Click here for the full transcript for Episode #05


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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy® and is the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two teenage boys and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.


  • Judy says:

    I really enjoyed this podcast on pickling salt. So much good information I did no know about. Thank you so much!

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