I’m married to a physicist. Usually, that means scintillating conversation about the missing matter of the universe, or tales from underground laboratories involving desiccated bats.

On Thanksgiving, it means a friendly treatise on relative packing fractions, inspired by claims found in a turkey brining recipe regarding the weight of Kosher salt versus table salt.

It is commonly claimed that table salt is up to twice as heavy as the Kosher variety, presumably due to its higher packing fraction. My husband has always been skeptical of these assertions. Anyhow, here are the results of last night’s measurements.

Kosher salt: 1 cup = 8 3/4 oz.

table salt: 1 cup = 10 1/4 oz.

CONCLUSION: Whereas the brining recipe calls for 50% more Kosher salt than plain table salt, that represents a major overcorrection. Rather, 1 cup of table salt equals about 1 1/8 cup Kosher.

Glad we cleared that up.

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