Is there any reference for the sizes of holes for salt shakers? For cooking I should think that the holes would be larger than for table shakers.

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This question is not, "Would you recommend using a shaker?"

  • 4
    Not an answer, but for cooking I don’t use a shaker at all.
    – Stephie
    Jul 29, 2018 at 21:48
  • 3
    For cooking I have a salt caddy with a flip lid filled with kosher salt (just like Alton Brown on Good Eats). I find dealing out salt "by the pinch" is ever so better than relying on clogable salt shakers. Jul 29, 2018 at 21:49
  • 3
    Yes, why would you ever use a shaker for salt when cooking? Jul 29, 2018 at 23:38
  • We have a wide-mouthed ceramic jar to dip salt out of with fingers or a spoon, and we keep a spoon with table- and tea spoon measurements inside for easy measuring. It drives me nuts if I end up using the table saltshaker instead of the jar (if, say, it's closer to hand) because its harder to figure out how much was added.
    – Megha
    Jul 31, 2018 at 1:41

2 Answers 2


I don't think there is any set standard for the size of the holes. Most of the salt and pepper shakers I've seen sold to be used at the stove or grill don't necessarily have larger holes, but they have a lot more holes. They also hold more salt or pepper than table sets. This is an example similar to most I've seen:

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If you look at the vast amount of salt and pepper shakers available, you will see that they come with very few holes, lots of holes, different size holes, etc. I think the key in what to use is to find what you feel comfortable with.

Also, consider what type(s) of salt and pepper you are using. Most shakers are sold for use with table salt and ground black pepper. But if you are using a more coarsely ground salt or pepper you would obviously need larger holes.

I, like most of the others who commented, don't use shakers while I'm cooking. The only time I would use shakers is perhaps when seasoning food before or after it is cooked. The real downside is that if you try to shake salt or pepper over hot foods while cooking, steam can cause the salt or pepper to clog the holes.


The only situation I can think of, where a shaker for seasoning might help you during cooking, is where a.) you need a quick,even, distribution, and b.) you can see how much you seasoning you have applied. At the moment, the only example of that which comes to mind is seasoning raw meat before browning, grilling, or roasting.

If you have to do that repeatedly and quickly, there may be an advantage in using a shaker, and the size of the holes would be geared to distributing the right amount for that job in one or two passes.

I wouldn't want to shake seasoning into a pot (which is going to be stirred anyway) or even on to browning meat or vegetables in the pan, because it would be hard to estimate how much I was applying.

In general, seasoning by hand is as quick and convenient as I would ever need - and if I need an even distribution, then doing it from enough height to let the air disperse the particles on the way down is quite good enough. And applying my other rule - keeping equipment to an absolute minimum to do every job you might want to as quickly as you need to, preferring skills to equipment wherever possible - I wouldn't use a seasoning shaker at all. (I don't even like them at the table!)


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