Celtic Sea Salt - How To Use by Ian Hilley
Unrefined sea salt like our Celtic Sea Salt® brand salts are not as easy to use as refined salt. Unrefined sea salt includes water-loving minerals that take moisture out of the air and can clump and cake. Refined salt often has anti-caking agents which prevent the attraction of moisture. The extra work needed to make unrefined salt handy at the table is well worth the effort if you know what to do.
We have always been on the hunt for the best grinders and shakers to suit our unrefined Celtic Sea Salt® salts. There is a certain thing to avoid with moist salts. That certain thing is metal, and can corrode when they contact each other. Commonly salt and pepper shakers have a metal lid. Grinders usually have metal parts. One could add rice to their table salt to help it to stay free flowing. With our salts you can not add rice. It will not help one bit. The salt is relentless in its capacity to keep pulling moisture from the air even after the rice has started helping. There must be benefits to the water-loving nature of natural salt, and it can't be good if there are chemicals in there to prevent its natural effect. Moist, natural crystal sea salt has benefits but will not be free flowing like table salt. The moisture is a mineral-rich brine called the "bitterns" or "mother liquor" of the salt.
Each of our salts are unique in their moisture content and crystal size. For the coarse varieties we have found that the best grinders are the ceramic and plastic grinders. For the ground varieties the shaker jar is either all plastic or has a glass container and plastic shaker lid with a cover. Grinders with metal parts inside can corrode and seize up the grinder, and shaker jars with metal lids and holes can also corrode in the threads. Nobody wants rust in their salt or food!
The market is full of attractive salt and pepper shaker and grinder sets, but since they don't work with our salt we can't have as many choices. The original salt accessory is the salt box or pinch dish, and would commonly have one per place setting at the table. Each would have their own little salt container. The salt would be pinched with the fingers or scooped with a little spoon. With the advent of shaker and grinder sets the whole family can share one set.
Even with the right shaker or grinder, there can still be excess clumping and moisture build up with the salt. Here are some ways to bring back the functionality of your salt.
1. Freezer method. The freezer is a dehumidifier, and placing your salt in the freezer overnight with the lid off can help to reduce moisture.
2. Oven method. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and turn it off. Place salt on a plate or oven save container (not metal) and set in oven for a few hours until it gets back to room temperature. It should be drier and easier to grind/shake from there.
3. Cleaning the shaker or grinder top is something to consider doing as well. Soak in hot water for 5 minutes and rinse. Dry well and replace. You can also clean out the grinder gears with a toothpick.
4. Make sure when grinding that you only turn in one direction, like screwing on a lid when upside down. These grinders are not designed to go both ways.