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Salt Shakers - What to buy?


Shel_B
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Strangely enough, I've never bought or owned a salt shaker, except for one similar to this

http://www.amazon.com/Commercial-Stainless-Pepper-Shakers-Dredges/dp/B000JUTCEQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384197602&sr=8-1&keywords=salt+shakers which I bought many years ago for salting and applying rubs to large pieces of meat for barbecuing.

What I'd like to get is a small shaker for use on the countertop or table, for salting small pieces of meat or for use at the table. Any suggestion on what to look for, or styles/brands to consider? Thanks!

 ... Shel


 

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The old school one is fun and practical, but I'd go for this one.

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Is the shaker for regular old Mortons or something with a larger particle size?

I think the electric and/or grinder concept is for finishing salts.

I don't own a salt shaker. The only person who ever asks for salt is my stepmom. I put out a little salt dish for her, which is what I was raised with.

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Is the shaker for regular old Mortons or something with a larger particle size?

I think the electric and/or grinder concept is for finishing salts.

I don't own a salt shaker. The only person who ever asks for salt is my stepmom. I put out a little salt dish for her, which is what I was raised with.

Generally, I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt. Never use Morton's in any case. Usually I sprinkle or dip salt from a small dish that sits near the stove, but last night I used a salt shaker at a friend's house to salt a pork tenderloin, and I liked the ease of control I had, so a shaker may be a useful item to sit next to the salt dish.

Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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The old school one is fun and practical, but I'd go for this one.

I don't think so ... cute and fun, perhaps, but, for me at least, totally impractical.

Yeah, I figured. I'm actually going to buy a set as a present for a friend--and maybe one for me.

Is there a particular style, color, or material you'd prefer?

If you like ceramic/stoneware, there are some lovely ones by Denby on eBay. Just do a search for "Denby salt" (w/o the quotation marks).

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Is there a particular style, color, or material you'd prefer?

If you like ceramic/stoneware, there are some lovely ones by Denby on eBay. Just do a search for "Denby salt" (w/o the quotation marks).

As I suggested, I know little or nothing about salt shakers, but from what I've seen here this afternoon, I think the "old school" shaker is just right for my needs and personality. I like the idea of being able to see the contents of the shaker. I will, however, take a look at the Denby items - might find something there ... Thanks!

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 ... Shel


 

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Shel_B, for my kosher salt I use Parmesan cheese shakers. The larger holes work well with kosher salt. In my home I use the smaller one, in the faire kitchen I have both sizes - small near the stoves, large down where I prep larger roasts and such.

IMAG0260.jpg

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Buy your salt in disposable salt shakers.

Funny you should mention that. Yesterday, while at Trader Joe's, I saw that they had sea salt in a small jar with a shaker cap, seemingly perfect for my needs. The size of the jar was fine, but I wasn't sure about the size of the holes in the cap, so I didn't buy it. However, on the way home, I thought about how I could make it work even if the holes were too big, which was my concern.

The salt was 99-cents vs about $5.00 for a salt shaker. Now that I've resolved the issue about hole size, the next time I'm at TJ's, I'll get the salt. The container and top should last a long time, and is recyclable, so there's no need to buy disposable containers, which I wouldn't do.

Edited by Shel_B (log)
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 ... Shel


 

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I am always shocked to read that there are still people using something other than 4 different degrees of coarseness of Himalayan pink salt. Old habits die hard, I suppose! And Shel, whatever you decide on the shaker, make sure that you put some grains of rice in with the salt to keep it from caking. Very 1950s, I know, but it was good enough for my grandmother, and thus, by Jove, good enough for you!

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Bill Klapp

bklapp@egullet.com

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... make sure that you put some grains of rice in with the salt to keep it from caking. Very 1950s, I know, but it was good enough for my grandmother, and thus, by Jove, good enough for you!

Toots keeps some grains of rice in her salt shaker, so I tried to find out why it's recommended to do that. Some citations say it's to absorb moisture and prevent caking, so the salt will flow freely. Other comments say that the rice doesn't absorb water, but that the motions of the grains when shaking the salt physically keep the salt flowing. I don't think it makes too much difference as to why the grains of rice work, just that they do. Still, I'm curious about the real reason grains of rice work. I'm guessing here, but It seems that if the rice absorbs moisture, at some point the grains would become damp, and that dampness might transfer to the salt.

Since I have no white rice in the house, I wonder if brown rice, or other grains, like barley, would work.

 ... Shel


 

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My hands. And fingers. I recommend you consider trying yours too. You're welcome.

If a container of salt clumps up, use another one for scattering salt over your food (with your fingers). Save the clumped-up one for cooking. Or throw it away. Flor de Sal ought not to clump, it is already "wet" so you should not have a scattering problem unless you have strange conditions in your kitchen.

I have salt-n-pepper shakers such as this one (shown below) which I seldom use, however. It's a nice set I'm fond of, for its visual appeal. ;-)

DSCN9941a_800.jpg

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Shel, I think that TJ's salt shaker has a grinder top, which may or may not work for you. Also, it might not be refillable. Some of those pre-filled shakers are, but some of them make it impossible to get the top off.

(Editid ta kerrect speling erer)

Edited by Special K (log)
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Shel, I think that TJ's salt shaker has a grinder top, which may or may not work for you. Also, it might not be refillable. Some of those pre-filled shakers are, but some of them make it impossible to get the top off.

(Editid ta kerrect speling erer)

I wondered about that when I was going to pick up their mixed peppercorns. They assured me that the grinder could be opened for re-filling and it was. Ask to be sure on the salt.

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Shel, I think that TJ's salt shaker has a grinder top, which may or may not work for you. Also, it might not be refillable. Some of those pre-filled shakers are, but some of them make it impossible to get the top off.

(Editid ta kerrect speling erer)

TJ's has a grinder which, BTW, is refillable. I've used their grinder with their pink Himalayan salt. However, they also have a small glass container that holds about 3+ oz of sea salt. The container comes with a perforated cap to allow shaking the salt. I believe it's a new item as I've not seen it before yesterday.

Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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My hands. And fingers. I recommend you consider trying yours too. You're welcome.

I have been using my fingers for years - more than forty years, actually. I now have arthritis, and recently found it's much easier and far less messy to use a shaker.

Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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I like stainless steel cheese shakers for kosher salt, especially the type where the opening can be perfectly adjusted to fit the size of the salt and closed off to slow caking.

I put a one inch square piece of hardwood in the shaker to absorb moisture and as an aid in breaking up any caking.

Looks like the particular shaker that I have is currently unavailable but I'm sure that there must be others that are similar.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Every time my mother filled the wooden salt shaker we had - she'd add a few grains of rice. Imagine her surprise one day when she discovered there was no more room for salt!

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