Stay-dry salt for a grinder/mill
December 19, 2014 12:14 PM   Subscribe

The weather where I live is very humid. Which type of salt is most likely to stay dry enough to use in a salt grinder?

The salt that was originally supplied with the grinder was great -- big, dry, white grains that didn't clump or get damp when left out on the kitchen counter. Since that was used up, I've tried two other salts that haven't worked at all. What kind of salt do I need?

Sorry, I don't know the brands/origins of the unsatisfactory salt I used.
posted by wryly to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Morton, the table-salt giant, adds calcium silicate as the anti-caking agent in their ubiquitous table salt. Their slogan "when it rains, it pours," is based on the anti-caking effect of this substances

From their website faq: Calcium silicate is a white, odorless, tasteless, anti-caking agent with no nutritional characteristics. Anti-caking agents absorb moisture inside the package that would otherwise be absorbed by the salt. In this manner, it allows salt to keep its free-flowing characteristics. It is added at less than one half-percent.

I'm not aware of any non-Morton salts that contain the stuff, but you could research them. Morton isn't really appropriate for salt grinders, since it's a small, regular cube, and not well loved for the low surface area compared to the irregular flakes of kosher salt, for example.

Looks like another such agent is ferric ammonium citrate. You can buy calcium silicate by the pound, which will last you a hundred lifetimes of salt consumption.

Also worth noting is that the salt may be a special custom mix, purchased by the grinder manufacturer at the time of production. It may not be something you can buy.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:30 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: For what it's worth, Morton's has a line of salt grinders and they also sell refills. Maybe give that a shot?
posted by mhum at 12:59 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

I've seen several places put uncooked rice in with the salt where it's humid.
posted by brujita at 1:06 PM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

Keep it in the fridge when not in use?
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 1:30 PM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've seen several places put uncooked rice in with the salt where it's humid.

Me too, but not in salt grinders...

I have a canister of this that I got at the normal grocery store; I would be shocked if the big ol crystals would clump with humidity.
posted by supercres at 3:07 PM on December 19, 2014

I thought La Baleine Course Sea Salt, red container, with it's big honking crystals would do you just fine.

Available most grocery stores.
posted by jbenben at 3:49 PM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've used Penzeys extra coarse sea salt for years. I've never had a problem with it clumping or sweating, but it's only humid here in the summer.
posted by cabingirl at 4:46 PM on December 19, 2014

Best answer: I live somewhere very humid year round and get bulk kosher salt in plastic containers with silica sachets from the Jewish shop. I only refill the salt grinder a bit at a time otherwise the salt container stays in the cupboard with the silica. I've never had an issue with clumping.
posted by goo at 7:59 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

I also use La Baleine Course Sea Salt and haven't had a problem in humid weather. but we go through it pretty fast.
Could you put rice or silica drying stuff in a teabag or something that wouldn't fall down into the grinder burr?
I wouldn't store pepper above the stove, but maybe the salt grinder would stay dryer there
posted by Mngo at 2:05 PM on December 20, 2014

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