Popcorn salt is the same salt that you get in regular table salt, which is sodium chloride. The only difference is that it is very finely grained so that it can stick into the little nooks and crannies of the popcorn when regular grained salt will just fall right off the kernel.
If you are using a lot of butter, or fake butter flavored oil, or a seasoned oil, then regular salt will mix with the oil and so coat the popcorn. But if you want a popcorn with no fat, but a nice salty flavor, you might want to try popcorn salt.
This kind of finely grained salt is also available in flavored varieties, including butter flavored, but this will taste like those pre-popped bags of butter flavored popcorn you get in the salty snack isle along with potato chips, corn chips, and pretzels. If you’re looking for popcorn salt in the grocery store, look next to where they keep the popcorn, not in the spice section with the regular salts.
There are many brands of popcorn salt on the market. Popcorn companies will tend to market their own popcorn salt and there are other companies that make it, as well.
Kernel Seasons makes a variety of flavors such as butter, white cheddar, ranch, barbecue, buffalo wing, cheesy jalapeno, garlic Parmesan, kettle corn, and of course, plain salt. However, there may be some ingredients in these that, while I’m not saying they’ll ruin your health, you probably don’t need on your popcorn. For instance, you might want to consider just what “bacon flavoring” is made of, because if the stuff contains bacon, the ingredients will say bacon. It is very easy to flavor your own popcorn with all sorts of ingredients and you can find tons of recipes on the web.
Morton makes a popcorn salt as well, as you can see from the image above, but it’s anybody’s guess whether you’ll find it in your grocery store, but take a look. If you make a lot of popcorn it may be worth buying a box. The good news is that you can use the popcorn salt for most other things in the same way you’d use regular salt. Keep in mind the Morton’s popcorn salt does not contain iodine.
Can I Make My Own Popcorn Salt?
Just kidding. Of course you can. It couldn’t be easier. All you need is either a salt grinder or an electric coffee grinder. A salt grinder is simply the salt version of a fancy-pants pepper grinder. These types of grinders a called burr grinders or burr mills and are true grinders, whereas an electric coffee grinder is really more a blunt chopping blade that spins very quickly. You can, of course, get burr mills for grinding coffee. The problem with the typical salt grinder you might have in your house is it takes a lot of twisting or turning of a handle to get a good amount of salt and if you are making a huge bowl of popcorn, you’d probably rather have a couple of cups of popcorn salt ready to be used when needed.
Therefore, the electric coffee grinder is the way to go, and will certainly be able to reduce the salt crystals down to a fine enough size in no time at all. Just put 1/2 cup or so of regular salt in a coffee grinder and grind it for 30 seconds to a minute. You want a super-fine salt that is almost a powder. Then put it on your popcorn. It works best when the popcorn is just finished popping and there is still a little moisture clinging to the kernels.