Author Topic: A Cheap Source Of Salt  (Read 1270 times)

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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A Cheap Source Of Salt
« on: October 24, 2010, 11:32:10 PM »
A good cheap source of salt that is usually available locally - swimming pool salt. BUT read the label. Some have additives some do not. I use AquaSalt for my brines. Because of the grain size, I still use true food grade salt for salted curds.

The website Product Sheet says not intended for human consumption, but the bag actually says "Food Quality". And it is Kosher certified. Best part - a 40# bag is less than $9 at my local swimming pool store. Ace Hardware and some other home goods stores carry swimming pool salt.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: A Cheap Source Of Salt
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2010, 11:49:15 PM »
Some water softener salt (the solar slat NOT the pellets) is also 99.9%+. Also bakeries can usually order the right size of flake salt from Morton or other companies for you for pretty cheap for surface salting. If you're willing to buy bulk and have a restaurant depot or gordon's food service (or cash &carry/smart &final), they can also usually order it for you.
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Offline Susan

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Re: A Cheap Source Of Salt
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2010, 07:24:34 PM »
If I have a bakery willing to order this,  what is the 'right size' of flake salt?  For brines, does the size of the salt matter, as long as you use weight?  I'm sure it matters more when adding to curd?
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: A Cheap Source Of Salt
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2010, 08:04:34 PM »
Salt size is more about dissolution rate. Always measure salt by weight if possible. A finer flake salt will, of course, dissolve faster. But sometimes you don't want that to be too fast, but gradual.

What happens when you surface salt a cheese or curd is that it draws moisture out from the outer layer of the curd and creates a sort of brine layer all around the cheese. So it brines, but not in a full soak brine, more like there's movement of the salt into the cheese and water is drawn out of the cheese. As that water is drawn out, it dissolves more salt, which moves more salt into the cheese, etc.

If your salt is really fine, like table salt, that movement will be too rapid and the salt gradient will get high very fast, which will slow down the movement of the salt. Similarly, if it's too coarse, it will not move fast enough. Usually, a flake size works well. Most of the flake salts I've seen are the same, so I would use any of them, measuring by weight.

For making brine, use the cheapest salt you can that still dissolves readily. Sometimes using huge salt hunks, it takes forever to dissolve, so smaller bits help with that.

for brine: by weight, up to you on size, whatever you can tolerate to wait
for curd: just about any "flake" size will do. table salt size is too fine.
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