Pass on the salt please
August 19, 2018 9:33 AM   Subscribe

What else can I put in a salt mill besides salt? I've got a nice Peugeot salt mill that has been sitting idle for a decade. Want to replace the salt with something compatible with its grinder.

I have a nice expensive salt mill that I got as a gift a while back. I never really used it because getting salt out of it seemed to be such a chore, and as everyone now knows, grinding salt is a waste of time.

Is there another spice I can put in there besides salt? I know the mechanism for a salt grinder is a bit weaker than the pepper grinder, but I'm hoping there's something softer than pepper that will work well in it. Couldn't find anything on the Internet about it.
posted by seattlejeff to Home & Garden (14 answers total)
Sesame seeds?
posted by corey flood at 9:54 AM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sichuan pepper- it’s not as hard as piper spp. Black pepper, and also less regularly shaped, so it should work.
posted by SaltySalticid at 9:59 AM on August 19, 2018 [4 favorites]

I’d go with grains of paradise or cubeb.
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 10:01 AM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

I’d sell or donate the salt mill.
posted by ejs at 10:31 AM on August 19, 2018

Sorry, I should have mentioned -- the mill seems targeted to dry things. It warns against grinding anything "damp".
posted by seattlejeff at 10:37 AM on August 19, 2018

Peugeot salt mills use stainless steel, while the Peugeot pepper mills use hardened steel.

So, you can arguably use one of their salt mills for peppercorns, but it would be a bad idea to use one of their pepper mills for salt, since it will corrode.

My recommendation would be to use it for a less frequently used peppercorn like white, pink, green. Or even the Sichuan pepper, if you like spicy food (it makes a good pairing with spicy stuff for a numbing, somewhat citrusy note).

Either way, you should pick one thing and stick to it. It will be difficult to clean it of the oils enough that you won’t be able to taste whatever spices you used in it previously.
posted by nightrecordings at 10:57 AM on August 19, 2018

This is from the bottom of the amazon page you linked to :

Do not use your Peugeot salt mill for grinding pepper or any other spice, or damp sea salt (also known as grey salt, Guerande, Re, etc.) The moisture content is so high in damp salt that it will corrode the mill. .

Now the prohibition against pepper may just be the good people of Peugeot protecting their bottom line, but it seems like the pepper mill has a different grinding mechanism than the salt mill. If I understand correctly, the salt mill rubs the salt crystals between two steel plates and expects them to fracture while the pepper mill is a more toothy affair: I bet the salt mill wouldn't grind pepper very well, or might jam a lot.
posted by each day we work at 11:32 AM on August 19, 2018

One of our neighbours put a "Mediterranean Salt" mill out on the swap table and I picked it up; it's got sea salt and dried Italian herbs; sage, rosemary, basil, oregano etc. Quite pleasant. You could mix salt with any kind of dried herbs and I'm sure your mill would be fine with it.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:57 PM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

•elbows her way to the front•
The answer to this is dried mushrooms. Ideally ones you’ve picked yourself and dried but you can also buy and dry or just buy pre-dried. A grind into an omelette, a casserole or onto some buttered toast? Yes please!
posted by Iteki at 7:00 PM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. @eachdaywework is technically right that Peugeot says not to use it for anything else, but I'd rather have a mill that does poorly than a mill that is never used. So I'll try all these suggestions and see what works best.
posted by seattlejeff at 7:23 PM on August 19, 2018

The fenugreek I have is most physically similar to coarse salt, though I don't know that it would make a great condiment.
posted by XMLicious at 7:59 PM on August 19, 2018

2nding sesame haven't lived til you've had gyoza with fresh-ground sesame seeds on them.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:18 PM on August 19, 2018

We once received, as a present, a set of three grinders - one with salt, one with pepper and one with chili flakes.

If you're into spicing up your food then chili flakes might work.
posted by mr_silver at 2:22 AM on August 20, 2018

nerds hard candy, for desserts.
posted by freethefeet at 3:15 AM on August 20, 2018 [8 favorites]

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