Best salt grinder?
Please recommend a good salt grinder that will last. Mine seem to last about 2 years and then they get corroded and 'gunked' up. I have learned to keep it refrigerated during humid months and that seems to add some life expectancy to them, but not much.
I always have this question, and you seem to able to answer.
What is the purpose for a salt grinder? Or I should say... does it matter if I grind the salt? I can see why grinding peppercorn is beneficial.
Back to your salt grinder question, you will need to buy the ones with a ceramic grinder or nylon grinder, not a steel grinder. Any steel will eventually get corroded. I have a very good experience with my Vic Firth peppermill, and I can only assume its salt grinder (with a nylon grinder) will be just as good.
I have also heard great reviews for the simple and relatively inexpensive Oxo salt grinder (with a ceramic grinder).
As l collect salt, grinders, wooden boxes for restaurant use, and any other ephemera you could think of for salt, who would have thought, you would think salt grinders were an essential part of my collection not so.
Salt generally comes in three ways, coarse, fine, and 'fleur de sel'.
Coarse salt is used primarily for cooking, adding to water, stews etc.
Fine salt can also be used for cooking or adding a bit at the table.
Fleur de sel is for finishing only, and IMVHO replaces fine salt completely. The reason it is expensive is that it is generally hand harvested and the cost is labor. the advantage of the product is the crunchy texture it gives food, e.g. putting a few flakes on top of sweet buttered bread.
Salt is not pepper, whether a large chunk of mined salt or ground sea salt will still be salt, no inner core of goodness, no freshness issue as pepper.
Thus grinding, while effective, really just makes large smaller with no other benefit.
<Salt is not pepper, whether a large chunk of mined salt or ground sea salt will still be salt, no inner core of goodness, no freshness issue as pepper. >
Thanks. Yeah, that is what I was thinking too. I can understand why one would store whole spices (like whole peppercorn or whole cumin seeds) and only grind them as needed. This is because ground spices lose their aroma rather quickly.
Salt does not do that, so I guess the only benefit of a salt grinder is to produce difference size of salt particles. In my lazy approach, I find it easier to simply keep coarse salt and fine salt.
I purchased the Cole and Mason Derwent Precision Gourmet Mills salt and pepper grinder set about a year ago and they're still working great. The salt grinder uses ceramic parts and the pepper mill, steel parts. The nice thing about both is the grinds are presets. The pepper has five settings and the salt three. This allows you to change and then return to the setting of your choice. My wife likes a fine pepper grind and I a course setting. The presets make changing back and forth a breeze.
I've been satisfied with my OXO grinder. Easy to fill, the rubber is easy to grip and its quick to clean out of it does get gunked up. One thing I have noticed, though, is that over the last 3 years that I've had it, the size dial isn't as accurate as it once was. The smallest setting doesn't grind quite as small as it did when it was new.
I currently have a William Bounds salt grinder and the mechanism is fine, it is the top that two parts that corroded. We could not get the top piece off to fill it with salt. We soaked it in water and when the salt dissolved, I could see the corrosion.
Has anyone ever tried this one? -
http://www.amazon.com/Swissmar-Uma-15... I saw it online last night and it is all plastic with a ceramic mechanism. I have a similar spice grinder, but I do not think it is this brand.
As an FYI, I have the same style William Bounds pepper grinder that I bought in 1987 and besides being a bit grimy, it works great!
I just use a mortar and pestle. Super easy to clean! But then I rarely grind salt. I do regularly grind other spices. I have had mine for over ten years, and no signs of gunk yet.
I have the clear plastic salt grinder with...yes...the metal post. I lost one to corrosion. Got it replaced by Zabar's! and now...same model...I carefully coat the screw threads of the metal post...with a dab of olive oil. Still fine after a number of years.
I got a CIA brand ceramic grinder because I wanted to use Himalayan salt. Mine is stainless, but it's cheaper in black and stainless. Works great, holds a lot of salt, easy to fill, etc.
If you google CIA salt mill you'll find various sources.
There is a mechanism called CrushGrind, which is ceramic and well respected (this is the internal part that does the grinding).
There are some artisans on Etsy using them to make custom grinders, you might find something you like, else have one hand made for you (I did).
I just used WoodCastle to do some custom stuff including a S&P grinder set. He was very friendly and easy to work with.