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These are the various facts that you need to know about salt mills!
In this article, we're going to cover everything you need to know about salt mills (as know as salt grinders). Learn all about the various advantages a mill has in comparison to classic saltshakers, and discover which type of salt you should use in yours!
When's the best time to use a salt mill?
To take something with a pinch of salt is more than just an expression. Salt is one of the most important ingredients in practically every type of cuisine, including sweet foods. That's why, when you're trying to cook the tastiest dish possible, the type of salt you use is one of the most important decisions you'll have to make. To this end, it's worth considering which type of salt is right for you. Sea salt, for example, contains more minerals than regular table salt, which results in its famous lofty aroma when added to food. Even natural rock salt has a unique personality that becomes clear when you compare it to industrially manufactured table salts. But to properly release these flavours and aromas — and to allow the salt to enrich your recipe — you should use a salt grinder. This kitchen tool allows you to grind the salt as finely or as thickly as your dish requires.
Just remember: As any dish will only ever taste as good as the effort you put into it in the kitchen, put a bit of elbow grease into your grinding for the best results and to make cooking fun!
On the table:
Whether at your favourite restaurant or at home in the dining room, you're probably fairly used to seeing salt and pepper sets on the table. As a part of these, aside from the classic salt and pepper shaker, oil, vinegar and, of course, mills are commonly included so you can salt your food to your own tastes. As they are often manufactured from timeless materials like glass or wood, a good grinder can also work as a decorative addition to your table. But no matter how good they look, they are still there for one reason: To allow you to spice your meal to your own taste.
Salt grinders are not suitable for marinades due to one simple reason
An important part of any BBQ is a delicious marinade. To get the best results possible, allow your meat to soak in the marinade for several hours before cooking. In fact, if you let it sit long enough, the result is not only an improvement in the flavour, but also in the consistency of your meat. This is due to the acids present in practically every marinade making your meat more tender the longer it soaks, while the oil in the sauce means it stays juicy, even long after it lands on your plate. Another important component of any good marinade, however, is always fresh herbs and spices, and whether you go for something like rosemary or thyme, you can add these to your blend on the stem. Just don't add salt! Salt has a hygroscopic effect on meat and groceries, meaning it draws the moisture out of your produce. Adding salt to your marinade may make your meat chewier and tougher to eat, so keep your hand off the salt grinder until you're ready to cook or shortly before your meat is done.
More interesting facts about salt mills
The advantages of a salt mill versus a shaker
As we already mentioned, salt out of a grinder is much more aromatic than your regular old supermarket salt from a shaker. This is due to the grinding of the grain, a process that allows you to use thicker and denser grains of salt. These larger grains would never fit through the smaller holes in the cap of a shaker. Another advantage is also that a grinder rarely clogs up, unlike shakers, which often get blocked after several uses. If your grinder is made out of plastic or ceramic, it also won't corrode over time. Unfortunately, corrosion may still occur in grinders made of steel as salt can be very aggressive against metal.
There are mechanical and electrical salt mills!
The vast majority of salt mills are operated by hand. The tip of the mill is covered by a handle of sorts, which is turned manually to grind the salt. And even though little force is required, there are various models that make this process even easier: In some grinders, a battery-operated grinding system works at the push of a button. Whichever you use, both variants will deliver the same outcome: perfectly ground salt.
The advantages of a salt grinder at a glance
- You can spice every dish with delicious and healthy salt.
- Salt grinders work great and look good as part of your broader table setup.
- There are no holes anywhere that will get blocked with old salt.
- You can choose between mechanical and battery-powered versions.
Salt mills have various uses in the kitchen. They let you spice up all of your dishes perfectly, while delivering a rustic feeling that you just don't get when using a shaker. You can also choose between various types of mill. Some are battery powered, while others need to be operated by hand. Whichever you choose, they're guaranteed to improve the aesthetic of your dining table, just be sure to keep an eye out for corrosion over time. When using a mill to spice your food, remember not to salt marinades as this draws the moisture out of your meat. And for the best results, fill your grinder with chunky sea salt or natural rock salt. These contain more minerals and nutrients and allow for a more intense flavour/aroma when used correctly.