Salt box chronicles

Our salt box cracked. It was a Click Clack brand rectangular plastic box with a blue lid, and it served us well for many years. But you can’t get sentimental about your salt boxes or grease jars or utensil crocks. Actually, you can–I’m so sentimental about my grease jar, which was a present from Laurie and is shaped like an ear of corn, that I don’t keep grease in it.

Corn jar

In a cosmic coincidence (not that cosmic, since we made do with the cracked box for weeks), the same issue of Fine Cooking that gave us paprika potatoes and Asian-glazed short ribs also spotlighted a charming little salt box from Crate and Barrel. It looks like this:


The little dot embedded in the rim of the bowl is a magnet. There’s a matching magnet in the lid, so when you swing it mostly shut, it pops into place. Time will tell whether this salt box is as durable as a Click Clack, but we’re enjoying it so far. I showed it to Iris, and she wanted to taste the salt. Then she wanted to taste it again. I’m really curious how much salt she would have eaten if we’d just let her go to town. I’ve started calling her Salty Sam, which along with her mastery of the word “arrrr” should transition her smoothly into her nautical career.

Do you have a salt box? The single most important thing I’ve ever done to improve my cooking is to switch from table salt to kosher and keep the salt box close at hand. Kosher salt doesn’t taste any different from table salt (people who think it does are the same kind of people who buy $500 audio cables, and if you have a list these people’s names and addresses, please send it to me), but it’s much easier to pick up with your fingers and therefore more likely to be used throughout the preparation of the meal rather than added in a lump. Plus, if you get into the habit of sprinkling salt by hand, you’ll look like a Food Network personality without having to pick up any annoying signature exclamations.

I like Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt best, but Morton is fine too. And you don’t have to spend $15 on an admittedly smoove-looking salt box; a Gladware container would work fine, too, as long as you’re careful not to melt it.

2 thoughts on “Salt box chronicles

  1. Andrew Feldstein

    How is that thing at operating one-handed, or greasy-handed?

    I use sugar shakers (diner style, with the hole in the center of the top, not the flap kind) for salting.

  2. mamster Post author

    It’s really easy to do one-handed. When I’m working with something greasy I try to remember to pour some salt into a little Pyrex bowl so I won’t grease up my salt.

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