Salt & Pepper Shakers?

numbersjunkieOctober 18, 2010

WOW - never thought it would be so hard to find new S&P shakers for my kitchen. Right now I have tupperware shakers - not exactly something I want to dispaly on my new granite counter.

I want something to use when I am cooking - not salt/pepper mills - just shakers to use when I am cooking. Larger size. Something contemporary looking, stainless and/or black would look nice. I like the Oxo mills but it seems like it would be pain to have to grind everytime I want to season something while cooking. What do you use?

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I use a salt pig - just dip my fingers into it to get a pinch or I use a small spoon. For pepper, I just grind.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 10:57AM
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I don't like much of anything sitting on the counters so I just use the Trader Joes grinders. Pepper especially seems to be more flavorful to me if it's ground.

Sorry, I'm no help, huh?!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 11:57AM
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I use a wooden salt keeper for my salt and grind for pepper.

Here is a link that might be useful: Salt keeper

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 12:11PM
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I had the same reaction when I went to buy new salt and pepper shakers. They were/are hard to find. I knew I wanted a pepper grinder but I didn't want a salt grinder and that is how most of them come now. I also wanted a decent sized set but boy can they be expensive. Anyway, I wound up settling for a smaller set from BB&B. It is a salt shaker with a pepper grinder and they are just plain glass. I am on the lookout for a more interesting and bigger set. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 12:23PM
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What about these Williams Sonoma electric mills? Single push button, so you could just use one hand (no more complex than a shaker). Contemporary looking. And you could still get the good flavor of freshly milled.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 12:31PM
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I use little copper tubs for salt. One with kosher salt, one with sea salt.

For pepper, I use an electric pepper mill by Peugeot, one-handed operation. Expensive ($100+) but there are surely less expensive ones around.

Peugeot actually started as a maker of pepper and coffee mills in 1842.

Here is a link that might be useful: Peugeot Electric Pepper Mill

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 1:31PM
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These are what I use and they come in a zillion different colors. Even my ham-fisted DH likes these. Everything else is toooooooo small to suit him :^)
I have red and sunflower ones.

Here is a link that might be useful: I do NOT work for Amazon..just linking

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 1:33PM
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The Fiesta ones are probably more practical for cooking, but contemporary and black and white made me think of these for fun. I use a salt star instead of a pig, a pepper grinder and a pepper shaker with a seasoned pepper blend I use frequently.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fun Salt & Pepper

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 2:14PM
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Timely thread, as I'm looking for a new pepper mill.

I use a small ramekin for kosher salt - just pinch and go - but I loathe our current electric pepper mill. The grind sounds like a vacuum cleaner roar (not that loud but the tone is the same) and the 'on' button is located on the side just where your fingers naturally rest when you pick it up. This means unsuspecting guests are always lifting the mill and flinching as it roars to life, sprinkling a pepper path to their plate as the little light illuminates its work. That little light has always reminded me of police helicopters hovering at night with their searchlights beaming on the ground below, tracking escaping criminals (OK, I used to watch too much "Cops"). I liked the one-handed operation of the mill but that is its only redeeming feature.

If you want an electric mill, test it out before you buy!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 5:27PM
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Seems like the electric mills I checked out don't last very long. I liked the Fiesta colors, but I'm not sure they would fit with my sleek, contemporary decor.

Here's a link to the ones I'm leaning towards - pricey, but what heck - its a drop in the bucket at this point!

I may get the Oxo S&P Mills also for times when I want fresh ground.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blomus Salt & Pepper in Stainless

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 5:55PM
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Numbersjunkie - we are talking about salt and pepper for cooking, right, not at table? I.e. placed next to the stove? In that case, using a pepper mill is only "a pain" as you put it if you don't have a good mill. If you have a mill that will grind the maximum amount of pepper with a minimal amount of effort, you won't regard it as a pain whatsoever. I have to say that once you eat food with pepper you've ground with a mill, you won't go back to that pre-ground stuff--it'll just taste like sawdust, after the piquancy of fresh-ground pepper.

The pepper mills with the most avid devotees are the Unicorn pepper mills. They comes in several sizes, but I like the 6" keytop version (not too big, not too small, easy to grind with wet or greasy hands). I have never had an electric pepper mill, but America's Test Kitchen tested them and said "During research, we came across several electric models. Unfortunately, they had a âÂÂcheapâ construction, which âÂÂfelt like it might fall apart.â Most important, the mills were incapable of producing finely ground pepper. We canâÂÂt recommend any of them. " I don't know which electric mills they tested.

As to salt, I turned against the common table salt like Morton's because of the chemical treatments and anti-caking used in processing--but that's just my hippie-new-age-granola-paranoid-organic-preferring self. (Sidebar for my soapbox: I use sea salt whose only processing is being left in the sun to dry. All of the trace and micro-nutrients are intact. The sodium and chloride are from the sea, as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium and 90 other trace and micro-nutrients--OK, end of soapbox). If I used processed salt, then I would definitely have on my countertop the one similar to what Alton Brown uses, which I'll link below. The one I've linked is only slightly different than Brown's because it has a silicone gasket to seal it shut, even better. When you are cooking, it is MUCH easier, and more precise, to spoon the salt than to shake it into what you are cooking.

If you do decide to try sea salt, then you must use a salt mill because the sea salt crystals are large. A salt mill differs from a pepper mill because it uses ceramic grinders; the metal grinders would corrode from the salt, so ceramic grinders are used. Ikea makes a wonderful one (I learned about it on this forum), very cheap, wonderfully adjustable grind, though not gorgeous. Very utilitarian next to the stove. You can use it for pepper too. It also won't leave salt/pepper dust on your table, like a lot of mills do.

Unicorn Keytop Peppermill

Salt Cellar with Spoon by RSVP

Ikea Salt or Pepper Mill with Ceramic Grinders

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 6:02PM
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Thanks! I may just try the Ikea Mills - they sound like a great deal. Maybe I can get used to using them. I like the fact that they won't leave stuff on the counter, and don't mind the look.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 6:15PM
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I am glad I could be of help Numbersjunkie. We actually keep the humble Ikea mills on the table (even though I said they're not pretty and should be just for cooking). They grind great, and don't leave the salt or pepper dust like I said. Also, my teenagers, who seem to drop everything, and find everything a reason to roll their eyes, like these Ikea mills a lot for some reason. So, teenager-friendly too. And, that price can't be beat.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 6:24PM
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What I like are the kind that have a wide top that screws off so it's easy to put a spoon in. That's why I like the old fashioned ones with the handles.

Bloomingdale's $45:

Amazon $13--Yes, they're shakers:

[Also Amazon $23, the pepper fits into the salt:


Amazon $17:

Amazon $13:

Amazon $24:

Amazon $23--you can't beat the classic Fiesta Stovetop:

Check for classic glass.

Amazon $30--This is very cool looking, both salt and pepper (pour from either end) but it's silver plated, so will probably corrode.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 6:25PM
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Found this set when I was in Kobe, Japan and just love them. They look great on the counter. I know it doesn't look like it but the tops of both are the same color.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 6:48PM
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Jodi you have the coolest backsplash. I'm going to the Finished Kitchens Blog now to find you. plllog your recommendations are perfect!
Numbersjunkie, it is really worth it to grind the pepper when you cook or dress a salad. I have had some like this from for about 8 years and I move them from next to stove to the table when we eat. I guess salt is better ground also but my set is a salt shaker. It's not on their site anymore but this one would be great in your kitchen. I can't bring myself to get a $100+ pepper mill and I'm happy with this price point!

Here is a link that might be useful: nice and practically priced salt pepper set

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 12:24PM
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LOL, while perusing Ikea, I found a much fancier salt and pepper mill there, with the ceramic grinders. They don't really address Numberjunkie's need for salt/pepper for cooking, cause they are "statement" mills. They are tall (15"), come in birch or black for salt or pepper and are dramatic IMO. They somehow remind me of Thai temples, or Angkor Wat.

Ikea PS Spraka Spice Mills

Angkor Wat Photo

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 1:02PM
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