I made a mistake in my internet order, I should have ordered a pepper grinder, instead I ordered a salt grinder. Personally, I don’t use a salt grinder, and owned already a wet salt grinder (which I didn’t use). I haven’t decided yet if I should keep it or to send it back.
I would like to know anybody has some creative use of a salt grinder? Can it be used to grind other things? Thanks.
(John Hartley - a culinary patriot eating & cooking in Northwest England)
I find salt grinders unnecessary. Unlike pepper, which releases aromatic oils when ground, salt does not benefit from grinding in any way other than changing the size of the crystals. It’s better to buy differently shaped salts (flaked, coarse, chunks) for cooking and finishing, that way you are not limited to the size/shape of your salt grinder.
Return the grinder and get an adorable salt pig instead.
Here is the sample salt in the grinder on the left, next to it on the right is size 3 grind (the medium size, highest setting 7 - more coarse), the grind isn’t very regular, but I guess it’s part of the charm.
I tasted the salt too, I find it slightly better than table salt (there is a slight chemical taste in table salt and slightly more salty). It’s hard to tell what salt they put in the grinder.
Salt grinders often have softer grinding mechanisms than pepper grinders as they use materials (steels, nylon etc) that resist corrosion. Its said that pepper being harder can damage salt grinder mechanisms.
That said I use cheapo Ikea grinders for both salt and peppers and don’t observe much difference - and have used the same ones for 10+ years.
I use my grinder for everyday sea/rock salt and find it good for grinding the lumps - I can change the grind quite easily. I don’t use flakes in it as moisture makes them clump better to use the straight from the packet.
I do use a number of grinders - black pepper, white pepper, and various other petters. Sometimes I put various spices through them if I feel it can add to the dish and I can be bothered to get the coffee/spice grinder out.
Thanks for this enlightenment, I read a bit more on this subject, the Peugeot pepper mills are made of hardened steel, it uses the “process of case hardening to ensure that the grinding mechanism withstands hard peppercorns and that the user doesn’t grind metal along with peppercorns.”
“Peugeot Salt mills, on the other hand, have an 18/10 stainless steel grinding mechanism. The first number, 18, is the percentage of chromium in the stainless steel. The second number, 10, is the percentage of nickel. Both of these elements in this type of stainless steel create a protective layer that is highly resistant to corrosion and rust, which makes it ideal for grinding salt.”
“The pepper grinder is made up of large and small grooves. The large grooves, called channeling grooves, line up the peppercorns and crack them. The smaller grooves, called grinding grooves, do the fine grinding of the pepper.” The salt mill does not have this mechanism.
Looks like it more problematic to use salt in a pepper grinder than vice versa.
Hmmm, just a thought, maybe I can keep it for the lesser used white or red pepper. My main grinder is only reserved for black pepper.
@sck Maybe you have a new usage for your salt grinder.
Trader Joe’s sells various seasoning blends in grinders about whose construction I know nothing. A few years ago they had one that included, if memory serves, chocolate, coffee beans, and rock sugar. Good concept, though the resulting powder looked like sidewalk grit garnishing your sundae. If you had dried vegetable flakes, you could grind them to add to dressings, sauces, etc.
I don’t have the details, but usually speaking a salt grinder can work as a pepper grinder, but a pepper grinder cannot be used as a salt grinder. Give it a try especially if you have no use of a salt grinder. Most things are not as “single use” as advertisement makes you believe to me – that is you must use a special egg fry pan to fry egg and a special grinder to only grind peppercorns.