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Complete your dinner table set up with salt and pepper shakers

What are salt and pepper shakers?

Salt and pepper shakers are small condiment dispensers used for sprinkling salt and pepper on foods before you eat them.

They are made from materials like plastic, glass, metal, ceramic, acrylic, and wood, and are sold individually as well as in matching sets.

They are usually distinguishable from one another by the number of holes at the top through which the seasoning comes out when you turn them upside down or at a 90-degree angle and shake them. A pepper shaker has fewer holes than a salt shaker, though this isn’t always the case, particularly in other regions of the world.

How do salt and pepper shakers differ from salt and pepper mills/grinders?

An alternative to salt and pepper shakers are salt and pepper grinders, also called salt and pepper mills. These are usually (but not always) taller and house larger pieces of salt or pepper, such as full peppercorns. To sprinkle on recipes or dishes, hold the device upside down or at an angle over the dish and turn the bottom of the device with one hand to make two revolving abrasive surfaces grind the pieces before they sprinkle out. You usually end up with coarser material but can make it finer as well if you are able to set the revolving surfaces closer together.

A salt mill is most often used to grind things like rock salt, while a peppermill is ideal for peppercorns, releasing a delicious aroma as they are broken open. While some people might prefer a salt mill over a salt shaker, you can get coarser types of salt like kosher salt that doesn’t require grinding and can easily pass through a shaker with large enough holes.

Keep in mind that there are differences between salt and pepper mills, even if they look similar. A pepper grinder is made using a carbon steel mechanism while a salt mill uses a ceramic grinding mechanism to prevent corrosion from the salt.

What types of salt and pepper shakers are available?

Salt and pepper shakers come individually (if you are eliminating salt from your diet, for example), or in a matching salt and pepper set. They might look identical or each is of a slightly different colour or design so you can easily distinguish one from the other. Salt and pepper mills are also available individually or in sets.

There are manual salt and pepper shakers and mills and electric, and multipurpose mills that can grind other items as well, like coffee beans, which is ideal is you’re grinding to add to recipes versus present on the table for seasoning while eating.

Colours range from black and white to red, silver, and brown, and styles from classic and traditional to funky, modern, and sleek. Some salt and pepper shakers come with accessories, like other condiment holders, are housed in quirky tabletop ornaments, or have trays for displaying them together on the table.