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Iodized Salt vs. Noniodized Salt on Food Flavor

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2018

Is there a taste difference when using iodized or noniodized salt in recipes?

Iodized salt was created in the early 20th century to compensate for a lack of dietary iodine. Though an iodine deficiency is far less of an issue in the modern American diet, supermarkets still routinely carry iodized salt. We stock both iodized and noniodized salt in the test kitchen, and we've often wondered if there's a taste difference. To find out, we tasted a solution of 2 percent iodized salt in water (the maximum concentration in most foods) alongside an identical concentration of pure salt. The majority of tasters could not identify a difference. And when we made similar solutions using chicken stock in lieu of water, no one could tell them apart. Science supports this finding: One study reported that potassium iodide—the most common source of iodine in salt—is detectable only in concentrations thousands of times greater than the concentrations we would find in our food.

The takeaway: Iodized salt is perfectly fine to stock in your kitchen; it won't affect the flavor of your food.