Most dishes wouldn’t be the same without a bit of onion. Onions help to imbue a dish with a bit of much-needed texture and taste that can elevate a dish even further. It’s also incredibly versatile when served in other ways.
When eaten raw, onion has a rather spicy and fragrant kick that makes it taste amazing as part of a salad, or even eaten alongside some refreshing dips! And it goes without mentioning that onions cook extremely well, whether you cook them enough to make them soft or cook them until they go a sweet and golden color.
However, sometimes, mid-way through following a complicated recipe, we find that we’ve somehow managed to forget to grab any onions from the grocery store! This is where onion salt and onion powder come in, to save the day. But is there actually a difference between the two? Should one be used over the other? Or are they just interchangeable terms for the exact same thing?
If you have both of these products sitting in your pantry and want to make the most of them, why not find out exactly what each one is intended for?
Are Onion Salt And Onion Powder The Same Or Different Things?
Onion powder and onion salt are remarkably similar, but they do differ in certain ways. Where the two products align is in how they are made. Onion powder and onion salt are both made by drying onions and completely dehydrating them, before then grinding them down into a fine powder.
The difference comes from what is then done with the powder. If the powder is mixed with other spices, and salts, then it becomes onion salt. If the powder is not mixed with anything else and is packaged in its pure form, then it is onion powder.
What Is Onion Salt?
Onion salt is made by taking onion powder, and mixing it with a range of spices, and, of course, most importantly, plenty of salt. The reason this product exists is to breathe a little bit of life into the cooking process. Many of us add salt to our dishes while cooking, to help draw out the flavors that are already there.
Adding a little bit of onion salt, instead, has the same effect, while also giving a dish a slight onion flavor. This is perfect for those who don’t have any onions on hand but still want that recognizable flavor.
Onion salt is perfect when mixed into casseroles and soups, as it can give those dishes an oniony flavor, without the need for any fresh onion. You can even serve these dishes with the onion salt as an alternative extra on the table so that guests can add as much onion flavor as they see fit.
What Is Onion Powder?
Onion powder is dehydrated and ground onion at its most pure form. Onion powder is included as one of the ingredients of onion salt, but onion salt differs in that it is mixed with salt and spices. Onion powder is the perfect solution for those who want the taste of onion, without using fresh onions, and without having to add any extra salt to a dish.
Onion powder is also incredibly useful for those with busy schedules, or those that don’t always have time to cook. Fresh onions need to be eaten quite quickly, after purchasing, before they begin to spoil. The dehydrated and ground form of onion powder ensures that the onion decays or spoils at a far slower rate. At room temperature, an average onion can last for 4 weeks at best, while onion powder would take multiple years to degrade!
Which Is Better: Onion Powder Or Onion Salt?
It would be incredibly difficult to claim that one of these products is definitively better than the other, as they each have very different use cases, but also share a lot of similarities.
Onion salt is best for those who want to inject a bit of excitement into their daily cooking. Many people use salt in their recipes, so using alternative salts, such as garlic salts and onion salts can help to add another realm of flavor, while still imbuing the dish with plenty of salt.
However, a potential downside of onion salt would be its salt content. If you had already added salt to your dish and then decided that you wanted some onion flavor in there, your dish would become overwhelmingly salty after using some onion salt.
Onion salt also isn’t quite as pure in terms of ‘onion flavor’ as onion powder, as it is mixed with other spices, and salt, which causes the taste to be slightly different, though not necessarily in a bad way.
Onion powder is the best way to get a hold of pure and undiluted ‘onion flavor’, and contains very few additives. This makes it the perfect product for purists. However, onion powder would need to be purchased separately from products such as salt, or spices, and thus this makes onion salt far more convenient for some people.
In the end, the decision over which product is ‘better’ comes down to why you are using it. If you want quick convenience, then onion salt is best, but if you want a pure and unfiltered taste, then onion powder is the best.
Onion salt and powder are definitely distinct products in their own right, but they do share a number of similarities, such as how they are produced, and the flavors they create. However, what they are used for, and which one people prefer, can differ very massively. Onion salt is convenient and can be used as a salt alternative, while onion powder has the purest ‘onion flavor’, which makes it perfect for creating popular onion dishes.
Both products are incredibly useful, and make accessing the delicious flavor of onions easy and hassle-free, especially for those with busy lifestyles!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can Onion Salt Be Substituted For Onion Powder?
Absolutely, onion salt can be used as a substitute for onion powder, and you would still reach a tasty end result. However, you should ensure that your dish is already low on salt content before adding onion salt, to avoid sodium overkill!
Can I Substitute Dried Minced Onion For Onion Powder?
Yes. Just about any onion product could act as a good substitute for onion powder. You’d still achieve the same great taste, but the texture may well be slightly different.
Is Onion Powder Unhealthy?
Onion powder, provided it is bought as fresh as possible, is no less healthy than an average onion. In fact, onion powder will keep far better than a fresh onion, as it is in a dry form, and thus is less susceptible to spoiling.
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