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Jun 28, 2014 10:18 AM

Tell me how to break up big salt rocks

I've got some large salt rocks (about 1-2" diameter) that I'd like to reduce to a useable size, something that will work with a grinder. Short of buying a molcajete, what are some of the ways I can break these down? Hammer? Food processor? ???

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    I'd probably put them in a heavy duty ziplock bag and whack them with a hammer or a meat tenderizing mallet. I don't know if that'll actually work, but it's what I'd start with and see what kind of mess I made and adapt from there.

    • + 1 CHOW user

    Put a rock into a sack or old pillowcase and hammer away. An ice pick plus the hammer might be the ticket to break larger chunks into smaller ones. Or you could sell 'em as is, for an exorbitant price, as brielikethecheese does on the much-mocked Pasta Rocks thread:

    Oh, OOPS! You're the person who's been trying out said exorbitant pink rocks! Jack up the price and call 'em Mini Pasta Rocks?

    Yeah, just hammer away. If you want to get the salt small enough to sprinkle on finished servings, try putting the chunks in a pan and use a flat-bottomed skillet to grind them as you would when crushing peppercorns to make steak au poivre, then buy a cheap salt jar with built-in grinding cap at the supermarket, dump it, and use that for the final grinding. If the grinding cap gets ruined, no big loss.

    • + 1 CHOW user

    My vote's for the molcajete or other deep mortar and pestle. Whack 'em with a hammer and you'll need a canvas bag, or you'll have salt flying all over the kitchen, and then you might still need to grind them further. As far as using the FP, I'm afraid you might blunt or, worse, break the blades on your FP, depending on how dense these salt rocks are.