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I would like to use salt that is ground to a very fine / small grain size.

What do I look for in a grinder to achieve this? Is there a grain size?

I have seen coffee grinders, but their grain output is much more coarse than what I want to achieve.

Is there a specific kind of grinder that will do the job for me?

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    Some questions to help you get a more specific answer: How did you judge the grain size of the coffee grinder output? What kind of grinder did you examine? Exactly what grain size are you looking for and/or what are you hoping to use it for? Commented Dec 12, 2023 at 16:41

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You should consider whether sourcing finely ground salt would be easier than sourcing a high-quality grinder. In the US, "popcorn salt" is available and is an extremely fine grind. A grinder capable of a smaller grain size than that would likely be fairly expensive and difficult to source as a consumer, to say nothing of the humidity-controlled environment you'd need to use it effectively.

Though, for small amounts, a decent ceramic mortar and pestle is capable of grinding salt arbitrarily finely (until it absorbs water and clumps).

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  • I can never understand why salt is ground at the table.. is there any advantage? There are no volatiles to escape, or are there? Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 10:26
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    @RobinBetts I suppose (though doubt) it may be useful to freshly grind coarse salt to reduce caking. There is no taste difference. I would expect a salt grinder to be primarily useful in the kitchen in order to choose a level of fineness for a given use. I haven’t owned one in a long time.
    – Sneftel
    Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 11:08
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    @RobinBetts - it looks posher than most regular salt cellars & can accompany a nice matching pepper mill. Even though I'm a big fan of my own salt mill, I can see no significant advantage at all. [btw, I'd never heard of popcorn salt. Pretty sure you can't get it in the UK.]
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 12:31
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    @Tetsujin regular old Saxa salt isn’t far off it in fineness. US granulated salt is distinctly more granular.
    – Sneftel
    Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 17:15
  • This answer accepts the premise that a high quality grinder is needed, but I really think that you can use any electric grinder for this. Salt is fairly easy to grind. Commented Dec 12, 2023 at 16:48
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You can use any electric coffee or spice grinder to get an arbitrarily fine salt grind. The longer you grind it the finer it will get, and since salt is not very tough to grind it doesn't take long at all especially if you start with standard table salt which is already pretty small in grain size.

I use a cheap spice grinder to turn salt into a fine powder for using on popcorn.

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    Salt is sometimes recommended for cleaning grinders as well (by knocking out stuck bits of spice, and itself not sticking badly), so that should give you some confidence that it's not a bad idea for the grinder. Hand-cranked spice grinders should be OK too.
    – Chris H
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 10:09
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I've only ever known one properly adjustable salt [or pepper] mill.
Most of them just work on how tight you fasten the knob on the top.

For the past 25 years or so , I've had one made by William Bounds, a US company, though I got mine straight out of a UK department store.

The knob doesn't dictate the grind, there's a dial on the side, Coarse, Medium, Fine. Looking at their web site - which looks like something from the early 90s & is a nightmare to navigate - they seem to do ones with 5 levels of adjustment now.
I have no way of knowing whether you'd consider the 'Fine' fine enough. I use mine on coarse, for that crackly top presentation.

Here's a link to how their mechanism works

Just to note that, though I have a pair of these, I don't use the other one for pepper, I don't think it's particularly great at that; it's not fast enough for me - though I see they now make a high-output 'pro' mechanism [bottom of the linked page] which I'd be tempted to try.

I also must add that I don't spend a lot of my time researching salt & pepper mills - so there may be many things out there that have completely eluded me over the years.

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