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What Is A Salt Pig And Why Should You Use It Instead Of A Shaker?

Updated: May 13

(C) 2024 by the Author

A moniker such as salt pig invites speculation. Thankfully, it's nothing to do with snouts, salted pork, or actual pigs. Traditional salt pigs may resemble snouts, but they're really just adorable and surprisingly practical receptacles for regular or specialty salt. After accepting these strange eating partners, some chefs discard the very dull salt shakers that were previously resting on kitchen surfaces and dining tables.

A salt pig, also known as a salt cellar, is not just a faddish novelty item for your cooking repertoire. They've been around for ages, with the name reportedly deriving from an ancient Scottish term pronounced like the English word for pig. The word referred to an earthenware container, which is still the material of many salt pigs today. A salt pig is traditionally a ceramic or clay pot for holding salt with an unglazed interior to help absorb moisture and keep salt from clumping. 

That's not the only reason to welcome that little salt piggie into your culinary family. The gaping open mouths of most salt pigs are large enough for fingertip access to your favorite salts, allowing quick pinches while whipping up masterpiece meals. Compared to salt shakers or grinders, it helps you more accurately gauge how much salt is actually entering the food. These pigs often come with scoops, and some designs even include a knoblike handle on top for easy table-side passing.

Salt pigs are made of a variety of materials and styles, some of which deviate from the norm. The majority still have an exposed front entrance, usually curved upward but usually rounded, to keep debris or splatters of stovetop grease from getting inside and tainting the salt's purity. Nevertheless, there's nothing wrong with selecting a less snout-ish salt pig with a straightforward cover on top, especially considering how common closed-top shakers and salt grinders are already.

Instead of ceramic, clay, or pottery, these useful salt box containers can also be constructed of marble, wood, glass, or bamboo. However, earthenware is still an excellent option if you want the dehumidifying effect. Selecting a salt pig that is sizable enough to be easily accessible is crucial, particularly for specialized salts that aren't always ground and processed to have the same texture as regular table salt. There is a growing variety of sea salts available, such as smoked and kosher sea salts, coarse Himalayan pink salt, French fleur de sel, Japanese shio salt, and the flaky Malden salt found along the English coast.

You can carefully preserve those salty gems and keep them in plain sight for inspiration when cooking with a salt pig. You can even get one made in the likeness of a real pig, to further capitalize on the playful moniker. They're also available in small sizes for tabletop dining, and they're referred to as salt piglets with affection.


This article was written by Michael R. Grigsby, one of the news editors for LCTI, LLC. Michael is passionate about the outdoors, photography, strength sports, bodybuilding, and powerlifting, and he is dedicated to bringing you accurate and insightful news reports on a wide range of topics. He loves connecting with readers and is always happy to answer any questions you may have. If you have any questions about this news article, please feel free to contact Michael or by leaving a comment below.


Copyright 2024 LCTI, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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