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Old 06-06-2005, 05:01 PM   #1
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Salt and Pepper Grinding Questions?

I have a few questions here.

1st: is fresh ground salt (from crystals) the same improvement that you see when going from pre-ground pepper to fresh pepper? My wife and I LOVE fresh ground pepper and i thought it might be nice to have matching grinders as opposed to a grinder and a shaker.

2nd: Is there a way to tell the capacity of a grinder? We currently have a good sized pepper grinder but the interior capacity is only about 1 Tablespoon of peppercorns. That only lasts us a few days and refilling the thing is a chore.

3rd: What's the best kind of grinding mechanism? I'm seeing many with a ceramic mechanism.

4th: oh, here's one that should have gone up top. Are salt grinders are pepper grinders the same device or different in some way?

Lastly, I'll be looking for these devices in a copper finish if anyone knows of a source for nice copper finish grinders.

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Old 06-06-2005, 05:18 PM   #2
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I will answer #1 and #4, but I will let someone else answer #2 and #3.

The pepper grinders and salt grinders are the exact same thing, however there is no reason to grind salt. Pepper is ground to release the oils that are in the peppercorn. Salt is a different animal altogether. There are no oils to release. Grinding salt is a gimmick. There is no reason you would need to do it other than appearances.
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Old 06-06-2005, 05:22 PM   #3
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1. Not really. There's no such thing as "fresh" salt, like there is fresh pepper. Pepper rapidly loses flavor after grinding. Salt doesn't. The grinder came about because some people use a coarse grain of sea salt and want a finer grain for their food. Most people like sea salt better than table salt, but the grinder itself adds nothing.


2. It generally says on the box you buy it in. 1T of peppercorns is a very small amount for a grinder, unless the grinder itself is small. Obviously the amount of pepper it can hold is a function of size.

3. I'm not sure.

4. I have seen them in stores being sold interchangeably, but there may be special salt-only ones.
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Old 06-06-2005, 05:27 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
The pepper grinders and salt grinders are the exact same thing, however there is no reason to grind salt. Pepper is ground to release the oils that are in the peppercorn. Salt is a different animal altogether. There are no oils to release. Grinding salt is a gimmick. There is no reason you would need to do it other than appearances.
ITA unless you are using sea salt or other large grain salt for table use, then grinding makes sense.
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Old 06-07-2005, 10:04 AM   #5
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i use a grinder for my sea salt. the pepper grinder is a straight wooden one, and the one i use for salt is hour glass-like curvy, made of similar wood to match but distinguisable enough.
i agree with everyone that there's no reason to grind salt as far as flavor goes, unless you plan on storing the salt for years. i've had really old granulated salt acquire a funny taste, but we're talking decades.
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Old 06-07-2005, 06:20 PM   #6
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Ceramic Grinders in theory should last a long time. Ceramics are harder than steel and shoudl hold up to the rigors of grinding pepper longer
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Old 07-10-2005, 10:57 AM   #7
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Copper and Brass grinders are absolutely available. The ones most commonly available I think are made in Turkey, and are very attractive. But of course, are a pain to clean. I owned one for years, but went back to my good old wooden Peugot. For salt I just buy a coarse ground Kosher salt that I just like the texture of, and the ability to grab it with my fingers while cooking. On the table I have a half dozen little salt cellars and spoons, and a few salt shakers and use them depending on the setting. I, too, have never seen the need for a grinder for salt. The fact is that there are a few "super tasters" around who claim to be able to tell differences in salt flavors, but 99% of people don't taste the difference, and to be honest, in a blind test I suspect the other 1% may not either. But some things you do just for fun, and heck, go for it.
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