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From here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/homemade-peanut-butter-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

    15 ounces shelled and skinned AB's roasted peanuts, recipe follows
    **1 teaspoon kosher salt**
    1 1/2 teaspoons honey
    1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • What is the purpose of kosher salt in Peanut butter? Can it be replaced with something else?
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A simpler recipe is simply to grind peanuts (roasted or un-roasted) through a suitable grinder (fine meat grinder) and add some normal table salt if you think it needs it (it probably doesn't). Some shops here will grind your selection of fresh nuts at point of purchase, so you can mix and match them, sort of like kids at the soda fountain :-) –  TFD Feb 1 '13 at 23:53

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Alton Brown just generally prefers kosher salt, for reasons that don't really apply to peanut butter, which will be ground down anyway.

What matters is the total weight of salt. Remember, kosher salt tends to weight approximately 1/2 as much (depending on brand) as table salt, per unit of volume.

So you can replace the kosher salt with sea salt, or any locally available salt on a weight per weight basis. The absolute amount of salt to use is also completely a matter of taste and preference.

The purpose of the salt in peanut butter is only to enhance the flavor. It does not participate in any chemistry, and is not sufficiently concentrated to have any preservative effect.

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Salt is there only for taste ? –  TheIndependentAquarius Feb 1 '13 at 10:18
    
Yes, it is far too little to be a preservative. It is only for flavor. The pb would taste quite flat and boring without it. –  SAJ14SAJ Feb 1 '13 at 10:19
    
AH! I had once tasted the pb from market, and I found it to be extremely sweet! I started hating it since then! –  TheIndependentAquarius Feb 1 '13 at 10:21
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Some pb may have more or less sugar or other sweetener added. In the US commercial brands it tends to be about 2% by weight. Controlling the sweetness level is an advantage of homemade. –  SAJ14SAJ Feb 1 '13 at 10:24

Salt is salt if dissolved into a liquid or blended into a paste.

Kosher salt is just larger crystals, it tastes and works the same as any other salt. It is mostly called for because it has become "fashionable".

Kosher salt does have specific culinary uses, but not as a dissolved or blended ingredient.

There is no global standard on table or kosher salt crystal sizes.

As with most recipes that do not specify a weight, use your better judgement on the amount of salt you require. You can always add more latter. Obviously the larger the crystals the less weight per volume there will be.

Also salt that is dissolved or blended tastes stronger than table salt sprinkled on top. Unrelated hint: if you want stronger table salt, grind it a little finer.

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Also, Kosher salt (in the U.S.A.) doesn't have added iodine, while other table salts (in the U.S.A) do have that additive. I guess many recipes call for Kosher salt because it is perceived as purer/healthier, but as far as I know you can't tell is salt has added iodine just by tasting it. –  J.A.I.L. Feb 1 '13 at 11:34
1  
@J.A.I.L. You can get table salt with or without iodine in the US. At least here, they normally sit next to each other at the grocery story. –  derobert Feb 1 '13 at 11:46
    
@J.A.I.L. OP is NOT in the USA, as are most people in the world –  TFD Feb 1 '13 at 20:59
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@TFD Based on his profile, J.A.I.L is not in the US either, but since OP referenced a US recipe presumably using US style ingredients, describing those ingredients seems quite reasonable so she can compare to locally available ones. –  SAJ14SAJ Feb 1 '13 at 23:18
    
@J.A.I.L. The choice to user kosher salt is very often based on the size and shape of the crystals, not the lack of iodine or supposed purity. For example, it is much easier to pinch with one's fingers than table salt. –  SAJ14SAJ Feb 1 '13 at 23:21

The best peanut butter, in my subjective opinion, contains peanuts and nothing else. Liquidize the nuts in a food processor until it's as smooth as you want it; and you're done.

Peanut butter made this way might go a bit stiff if you leave it, but give it a good stir and it'll go back to normal.

Good wholefood brands sell ready-made peanut butter of this kind, with only peanuts on the ingredients list.

In your recipe:

  • Salt and honey are added for flavour
  • Peanut oil is added to make the consistency thinner

If you like those flavours, then by all means add salt and honey.

Kosher salt comes in flakes or large grains. If you add it late, or don't process the mixture for long, then there will be grains of salt in the mixture; you may like this. I'm fairly sure that since peanuts are oily, not watery, it's possible for grains of salt to remain in there a long time without dissolving.

If you use table salt -- or if you use kosher salt and process for a long time -- the salt will fully dissolve and its flavour will be evenly spread through the mixture.

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thanks for your answer. can you tell me the taste of peanut butter which doesn't contain any extra flavour? –  TheIndependentAquarius Feb 1 '13 at 14:19
    
Like peanuts, ground up! :-) Seriously. –  SAJ14SAJ Feb 1 '13 at 14:21
    
@SAJ14SAJ I haven't tasted that ever, that's why I asked. It is salty or sweet? –  TheIndependentAquarius Feb 1 '13 at 14:25
    
Try one of your peanuts--just eat it (but not the shell!) :-) That is what peanut butter without any salt or sweetener would taste like. It is rich and fatty, savory, but not salty and not sweet. Homemade peanut butter also tends to have a somewhat gritty mouth feel. –  SAJ14SAJ Feb 1 '13 at 14:27
    
@SAJ14SAJ Okay, but you had said that without salt it tastes bland! :( –  TheIndependentAquarius Feb 1 '13 at 14:50

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