Salt Grinder clogging, good quality unit

Hi everyone, anyone had this problem?
I stopped using our hand powered one as it just clogged up, salt too damp - I realise salt is hydroscopic, but it's very frustrating!
Anyway I've just bought a nice set of battery powered (each grinder has 6 alkaline AAA batteries) English grinders (Cole and Mason), with lifetime guarantee on the mechanisms and I don't want the same problem, so I dried some of my crystals in the microwave and it grinds perfectly.
I'm wondering if my problem is the type of salt I've been using - Pacific Brand Natural Solar Harvested Coarse Sea Salt NZ - comes in 300g resealable blue topped packs from Lake Grassmere - I love their flakey salt! Anyway I've just studied the pack and there's a warning saying it's harder to grind due to the higher moisture content, and to use a good quality grinder. Well my grinder's a good brand but that clogging!
I'm wondering if another brand of salt, from a land mine (yes I realise all salt was originally marine) would solve the problem?
Suggestions, experiences, brands and where from etc please.
By the way, I bought the electric ones as my wife has a muscle weakness problem, medical. Many thanks.

Chef_wron, Feb 1, 4:36 pm

Keep the salt grinder in fridge when not in use

Chef_thewomble1, Feb 1, 5:09 pm

I've ended up using the flakey salt only, but an idea: have you tried sitting the grinder on uncooked rice, ie a shallow plate or ramekin of the right size with rice to keep the grinder when not using, only half fill the grinder too and it should help more. Not sure if the fridge would help would have thought that a more damp environment?

Chef_luvwine, Feb 1, 5:16 pm

Thanks for your ideas - not sure if the batteries would like the fridge! The rice idea could work, will see what others have experienced before trying - also will ring Pacific Salt on Monday and see what they recommend.

Chef_wron, Feb 1, 5:23 pm

wron, I'm not sure if this will or won't help you out but the following is some info' I have kept on file for my info' when I get our salt grinder back in action from where it has been packed since the earthquakes - we're still waiting almost 4½ years later for the fate of our house to be decided.

"As an aside, NEVER use rock salt in your salt grinder - this ruins the mechanism - always use sea salt crystals. Don’t use a soft "maldo" salt either, it is too wet and clogs the mechanism also.
Quote cookessentials (1095 ) 2:19 pm, Thu 25 Feb-10 #12" - thanks Pam. :-))

Chef_245sam, Feb 1, 5:50 pm

I stopped using salt grinders for ages. Until I found Mrs Rogers Naturals salt grinder. They do a pepper too.
Has a hinged lid that keeps out moisture, it's fantastic!
http://shop.countdown.co.nz/Shop/Browse/baking-cooking/herbs-spices?page=9#url=/Shop/SearchProducts%3Fsearch%3DMrs%2BRogers%2Bsalt%2Bgrinder

And refillable, comes in sea salt too.

Chef_wheelz, Feb 1, 6:05 pm

My grandmother did the rice in salt shaker and I do too, it usually is enough but I also remember same grandmother keeping her salt in the hot water cupboard as well.

Chef_cgvl, Feb 1, 6:31 pm

Yes, the Mrs Rogers mills are great, but my wife's wrists are too weak! Hot water cupboard is downstairs, kitchen up, so sadly that won't work.
I wonder what cookessentials uses?
But will try the rice and ring Pacific way down in the South - or rather top of the South.

Chef_wron, Feb 1, 6:43 pm

If you put rice in the grinder wouldn't you end up grinding rice as well as the salt? I've given up having styley grinders - i just use Mrs Rogers refillable ones until they completely give up then buy a new one but they usually last a couple of years. If you hold them a bit higher off your hot food they will get less damp from the steam and also grind on an angle rather than compketely upright.

Chef_sarahb5, Feb 1, 7:05 pm

Yes. The rice is just for shakers!
And my shakers would clog at the holes, having rice in them did nought for that.
Maybe OP needs to buy fine ground salt or flakey salt and keep it in a jar with a lid and use it in pinches over food.

Chef_wheelz, Feb 1, 7:23 pm

keep your grinder in the hot water cuboard it will keep it dry

Chef_whitehead., Feb 1, 8:50 pm


Not everyone has a hot water cupboard these days. Gas infinity.
Gas hot water cupboards don't tend to be warm like the old unwrapped electric hot water ones.
And in OP case. nowhere near the kitchen.

Chef_wheelz, Feb 1, 9:00 pm

We don't bother with a salt grinder, just have a little bowl of flaky salt and use pinches of that both when cooking and at the table. Murray River pink salt is beautiful, Marlborough Pacific salt is good, and if you want a finer texture you can crumble the flakes between your fingers.

Chef_davidt4, Feb 1, 9:53 pm

We find the pink salt too hard for the grinder - not sure what we have now, some type of organic sea salt, looks greyish but soft and easy to grind

Chef_sarahb5, Feb 1, 9:55 pm

Can you remember where you got it from sarahb5? I assumed the rice was in a wee bowl and you plonked the grinding head ie bottom of the grinder in the bowl and that the rice would absorb any water vapour?

Chef_wron, Feb 2, 12:04 am


The salt? Came from the bulk packets at our local Asian greengrocer - solar dried organoc NZ sea salt - about $3 a packet

Chef_sarahb5, Feb 2, 7:48 am

I rang the NZ salt folk, Based at Mt Manganui (long way from Lake Grassmere) no real ideas, but thought my heating the crystals was a good idea, suggested the hot water cupboard trick, didn't think rice would work that well, they only produce salt in bulk and supply others like Greggs. I'm putting a wee bit of Gladwrap over the business end.

Chef_wron, Feb 2, 4:02 pm

The 2 driest places in your house . the fridge and the freezer.
Keep the salt in them.

Chef_thewomble1, Feb 3, 12:45 am

Bit of rice, problem gone

Chef_ross67, Feb 3, 11:54 am


Wouldn't work in a grinder - you'd be grinding rice in with your salt

Chef_sarahb5, Feb 3, 1:20 pm



I tried this and after a while the rice got damp and rubbery them gummed up my grinder. I now only use flakey salt (the Marlborough one is good) and no problems

Chef_arielbooks, Feb 3, 1:36 pm

Couldn't you put the rice in a small bag at the top of the grinder? Just a thought

Chef_timturtle, Feb 3, 8:44 pm

arielbooks, how did you use the rice?
I agree the NZ flakey salt is really nice - I remember a blind test done by a ccoking mag (Cuisine) which gave it top marks ahead of some very prestigious foreign ones.
So do you grind the flakes?

Chef_wron, Mar 31, 5:59 am

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