The Best Salt and Pepper Shakers for Your Kitchen (2023)

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The Best Salt and Pepper Shakers for Your Kitchen (1)


With so many salt and pepper shakers on today’s market, you don’t have to settle for generic, throwaway shakers. The best salt and pepper shakers are those that not only make it easy to flavor your meals but also brighten up a dining room table and complement your kitchen and dining room decor.

For professional and home chefs alike, a set of salt and pepper shakers is a kitchen staple. This guide reviews the types of shakers you can find while shopping and factors to consider before making your selection. This list of top picks is a good place to start your search for the best salt and pepper shakers for your home.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Smart House Salt and Pepper Shakers
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Juvale Salt and Pepper Shakers
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Cuisinart SG-3 Stainless Steel Rechargeable Mill
  4. BEST SMALL: Tezzorio Mini Salt and Pepper Shakers, 0.5 oz
  5. BEST WITH HOLDER: Modetro Salt and Pepper Shakers with Silicon Stand

The Best Salt and Pepper Shakers for Your Kitchen (2)


What to Consider When Choosing the Best Salt and Pepper Shakers

So many salt and pepper shakers are on the market that choosing a set may soon overwhelm the most dedicated shopper. Before purchasing a set, consider the material, size, and capacity; and, of course, style is a factor as well. Some home chefs want plain, utilitarian shakers, while others favor salt-and-pepper sets that match their kitchen decor.


Salt and pepper shakers are often made of glass, stainless steel, and ceramic because these materials are durable, easy to clean, and attractive. Ceramic and glass shakers are not ideal for households with young children, however, because they can break if dropped. Plastic shakers are affordable, travel-friendly, and relatively sturdy, but they don’t last long and are of lower quality.

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Size and Capacity

Most salt and pepper shakers range from 1.5 inches to 4 inches tall, while decorative sets can measure 8 inches or more. The glass silver-top shakers often found in restaurants hold about 2 ounces of salt or pepper, while most home salt and pepper sets hold a total of 3 to 8 ounces of seasoning.

Small salt and pepper shakers are ideal for compact kitchens and picnic baskets. Larger shakers are often used by those who prefer less frequent refilling.

Combination Design

Salt and pepper shakers usually come in two-piece sets, with a dedicated shaker for each. A set of combination (or two-in-one) shakers is a single kitchen tool with two connected storage canisters and a shaker opening on both ends with a cover. Combination shakers reduce clutter and make seasoning easier.


Salt and pepper shaker holders keep both shakers together in one neat place. A holder can be made from stainless steel, wood, silicone, or plastic. Handy in households with children, holders also can help prevent salt and pepper from being knocked over.


The best part of choosing a new salt and pepper shaker is finding an attractive style. Salt and pepper shakers are available in fun, wacky shapes and styles and even characters. Most users find, however, that the best salt and pepper shakers are those that complement their home’s dinnerware set or match the kitchen appliances and decor.

Our Top Picks

These top picks are made from quality materials that should hold up to frequent use. They suit a variety of preferences: two-in-one, gadget style, small, and more.

Best Overall


Smart House Salt and Pepper Shakers



With stainless steel top portions and glass bottoms, these salt and pepper shakers from Smart House look sleek, and a quick peek at their glass bottoms reveals when it’s time to refill them. The lid, which has a wide opening to ensure mess-free refilling, can be adjusted to three different pour settings: light sprinkle, normal sprinkle, and pour.

When not in use, twist the shakers’ lids closed to keep out moisture. This set comes with two shakers designed for regular table salt and ground pepper, but it can also accommodate coarser Himalayan or kosher salts. The shakers hold approximately 5 ounces. For longer life, hand-wash only.

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Best Bang for the Buck


Juvale Salt and Pepper Shakers



These Juvale salt and pepper shakers look like other stainless-steel-and-glass shaker sets but are more competitively priced. Each shaker is labeled “Salt” or “Pepper” in a script font, and the lid holes also spell out “S” or a “P” to reduce confusion as to which shaker is which. The vessels are made from stainless steel with a glass bottom to reveal when they’re nearly empty.

Each shaker is 4 inches tall and holds about 4 ounces of spice. They’re not dishwasher safe, so washing by hand is recommended.

Upgrade Pick


Cuisinart SG-3 Stainless Steel Rechargeable Mill



Cuisinart’s stainless steel rechargeable salt and pepper mill has two grinding containers in one body that are activated with the touch of a button. Each canister is made from strong, clear acrylic plastic and can hold about 5 ounces of salt or pepper. The lid can hold about a teaspoon of ground spice.

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The Cuisinart combo can accommodate coarse peppercorns and sea salt as well as finer salts and spices. It comes with a charging stand with a removable crumb tray and a light that illuminates when the tool is fully charged. Wash this grinder by hand.

Best Small


Tezzorio Mini Salt and Pepper Shakers, 0.5 oz



These glass shakers by Tezzorio are made with a strong glass body and a stainless steel cap. These shakers measure 3 by 2 by 2 inches and hold approximately ½ ounce of salt or pepper. The caps are cylindrical instead of the usual flat shape. This set of salt and pepper shakers is dishwasher safe.

Best with Holder


Modetro Salt and Pepper Shakers with Silicon Stand



Modetro’s salt and pepper shakers come neatly packaged in a space-saving silicon stand. Each shaker has an all-glass canister with a stainless steel exterior and a non-corrosive ceramic grinder. The shakers can hold about 8 ounces of salt or pepper.

(Video) Explore the Best Small Salt and Pepper Shakers for Your Kitchen!

These shakers have easy-to-refill wide mouths, and their tight-sealing lids keep out air and moisture. Adjust the coarseness level to fine, medium, or coarse with a simple twist.

Best Combination




The OXO Good Grips two-in-one salt and pepper shaker makes seasoning food easy. The salt canister has a stainless steel lid with five holes in it, while the bottom canister holds whole peppercorns and has a built-in ceramic pepper mill that can grind to five levels of coarseness.

The OXO grinder’s canisters are made from thick plastic, and the lids are stainless steel. To refill the peppercorns, simply remove the salt container and access the base for refilling. This grinder-shaker can hold up to 3 ounces of salt and 1¼ ounces of whole peppercorns.

FAQs About Salt and Pepper Shakers

After reading about these top picks, you may still need further information. Below are answers to some common questions about choosing and maintaining salt and pepper shakers.

Q. Which shaker should have more holes: salt or pepper?

Salt goes in the shaker with the fewest holes, and pepper goes in the shaker with the most. On classic shakers, salt shakers have two holes in the lid, and pepper shakers have three.

Q. Do I need to clean my salt and pepper shakers?

Over time, salt and pepper shakers can get grimy, so wash them occasionally. Because many shakers are not dishwasher safe, it’s safest to wash them by hand with soap and water.

Q. How long do salt and pepper shakers last?

When properly maintained, salt and pepper shakers can last for many years, especially those made of stainless steel, glass, or ceramic.


Which Shaker gets the salt and which the pepper? ›

The short answer is that it varies by culture and also current health trends. Those wishing to limit their sodium intake (aka, those in the United States) use the top with the fewest holes in it for the salt. Practically speaking though, the real answer is to use whichever top gives you the result you want.

What is the best material for a salt shaker? ›

Plastic and acrylic are easy to clean, lightweight, available in various colors, but can break over time. These materials are ideal for kitchen tables and simple table settings. Ceramic salt and pepper shakers come in numerous designs and patterns and go well with vintage table settings.

Do you put salt in the 2 hole or 3 hole shaker? ›

Salt goes in the two-hole shaker, not because it is used more often, but because more of it is used.

What are the oldest salt and pepper shakers? ›

The earliest known salt shaker debuted in 1858, shares The Intelligencer, and was credited to John Mason, who was also the inventor of the mason jar. Despite this revolutionary design, it still took more than 60 years for salt shakers to break into the mainstream and become the kitchen table staple they are today.

Should I put rice in my salt shaker? ›

Rice comes into play because it absorbs moisture even faster than salt. You're familiar with the lifesaver of putting your water-damaged phone in a bag of uncooked rice? It's the same concept. By adding just a few grains of rice to your salt shaker, restaurants can guarantee that your salt will pour with ease.

Which shaker has the most holes? ›

The number of holes in salt and pepper shakers varies by culture, health and taste. Here in the US excessive salt is considered bad for you, so the salt shaker is the one with the fewer holes, but in parts of Europe it's the other way around.

What is the best material to keep salt in? ›

Ceramic or clay container: You can safely store salt in ceramic or clay containers if sealed with a plastic lid. Glass container: Glass containers are another good option as long as you seal them with a plastic lid.

Why do chefs not use salt shakers? ›

Many say it's because a truly chef-focused restaurant should serve food that is seasoned to perfection. Others eschew the cheap, iodized table salt used in shakers. Some also swear by the cleaner aesthetic achieved by a table set without extra adornments.

What type of salt is used in professional kitchens? ›

The vast majority of professional chefs and cookbook authors prefer kosher salt to table salt. "It has a cleaner flavor than table salt, which is iodized and contains anti-caking agents," Santopietro says. "And kosher is actually less salty." It's also easier to wield with your fingers, thanks to its coarser texture.

Why does pepper shaker have 3 holes? ›

The number of holes varies by culture, health, and taste. In the United States where excessive salt is considered unhealthy, salt is stored in the shaker with the fewer holes, but in parts of Europe where pepper was historically a rare spice, this is reversed.

What do you put in a salt shaker to prevent clumping? ›

Add raw rice grainsWhen storing it in a shaker, add a few grains of uncooked rice to avoid salt from clumping. The rice grains are known to absorb the moisture and keep the salt dry. This is considered to be one of the most effective tricks that can even help in reviving damp salt.

How many holes should a salt shaker have? ›

A: There isn't a definitive answer. Some sources say the salt goes in the one with the most number of holes because you use more of it. But others say since salt was so valuable, it went in the shaker with one hole.

Should you wash salt and pepper shakers before use? ›

Should I wash the inside of new shakers before I fill them? Yes, but make sure that the shaker is dried completely. If it is not dried properly, it will cause the salt/pepper to clump or the holes to plug.

Do people still collect salt and pepper shakers? ›

Today, vintage salt and pepper shakers are a joy to collect for many of the same reasons they were when people first started collecting them - they come in an astounding array of styles, colors, and materials, and are still quite affordable.

What is the oldest salt in the world? ›

Archeologists have recently shown that the Duzdagi salt deposits, situated in the Araxes Valley in Azerbaijan, were already being exploited from the second half of the 5th millennium BC. This is the most ancient exploitation of rock salt attested to date.

Is it better to add salt during or after cooking? ›

Adding salt at the beginning of cooking gives it time to migrate into the pieces of food, seasoning them throughout. Meanwhile, if you add salt only at the end, it provides a more concentrated, superficial coating that immediately hits your tongue.

Why do Asians put salt on top of rice cooker? ›

1. This can prevent over-bloating of the rice due to over-absorption of water, and perhaps prevent grain damage. 2. Since osmosis squeezes out water from lower to higher concentration, it might be able to 'squeeze' out the flavor molecules of the rice better, which might come along as water passes out..

Does salt go in shaker with bigger holes? ›

Since salt crystals are larger (and tend to clump in humid conditions), their holes should be bigger.

Can salt expire? ›

While salt itself has no expiration date, salt products that contain iodine or seasonings that contain other ingredients such as spices, colors and flavors can deteriorate over time.

Does salt need to be stored in the refrigerator? ›

Salt should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark location.

Is pink Himalayan salt mineral salt? ›

Pink Himalayan Salt Contains More Minerals

Both table salt and pink Himalayan salt consist mostly of sodium chloride, but pink Himalayan salt has up to 84 other minerals and trace elements. These include common minerals like potassium and calcium, as well as lesser-known minerals like strontium and molybdenum.

Why do chefs drop salt from high up? ›

When chefs allow the salt to fall from farther away, the dish is more uniformly seasoned. Seasoning from an elevated position can also improve how your food cooks, because you don't have to stir as much to distribute the seasoning, shares The Kitchn.

Why do chefs put salt in boiling water? ›

Key Takeaways: Adding Salt to Boiling Water

The best reason to add salt to water is to improve the flavor of food cooked in it. Salting water also helps it boil (slightly) faster. While salting water does increase the temperature at which it boils, the effect is so small that it really has no impact on cooking time.

Why do chefs pour salt on the floor? ›

We have all heard the 'throw spilt salt over your left shoulder to ward off bad luck' superstition. We cooks just spill salt more than most. Second, practicality. Lots of slick things get spilled over the course of a shift.

Is pink Himalayan salt better than regular salt? ›

Research has not shown that Himalayan salt has any unique health benefits compared to other dietary salt. The mineral impurities that give it a pink color, often promoted as healthful, are far too low in concentration to help with your nutrition.

What is the healthiest salt to use for cooking? ›

Some salts are considered healthier than others, such as pink Himalayan salt and different types of sea salt. These are revered for their taste and texture compared to regular table salt. They are also preferred by some because most (but not all) are less processed and may contain more trace minerals.

Why are there bumps on the bottom of a pepper shaker? ›

To prevent that condensation from causing the container to slide on the surface it sits on, Smith claims ridges are added to prevent breaks and spills in the kitchen or on the dinner table.

Is pepper 3 holes or 1? ›

Others make the ratio a little more balanced, with three holes for salt and two for pepper. In some countries, such as the UK, however, it is not unusual to find a salt shaker with only one hole and its pepper partner displaying four or more holes.

How long do pepper shakers last? ›

Black pepper is one of the most popular spices, second only to salt.
How Long Does Pepper Last?
Whole peppercorns (black, white, pink, green)3 – 4 years or Best-by date
Ground pepper1 – 2 years or Best-by date
9 Apr 2021

How does rice keep salt from clumping? ›

A few grains of rice in a salt shaker keep the humidity in the air from dissolving the surface of the salt crystals. The rice traps water vapor molecules, protecting the salt from clumping.

How do you remove hardened salt from a shaker? ›

Some people swear by ketchup or lemon juice. Others advise using salt, flour and vinegar, with about 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ cup of vinegar and enough flour to make a paste. Either way, rub it on, wait a few minutes and rub again, then rinse and dry.

How long does salt last in a shaker? ›

The short answer is that salt does not expire. Remember, the microbes that lead to spoilage and food poisoning all need water to grow. But pure salt doesn't contain water, which means it never goes bad.

Why do people put salt and pepper shakers upside down? ›

It seems there are tiny ridges at the bottom of your salt and pepper shakers, that when rubbed together allow for a lot more salt and pepper to flow out with minimal effort. So if you'd like to add salt to your meal, simply tip the salt shaker upside-down and rub the bottom of it with the bottom of your pepper shaker.

How do you dry the inside of a pepper shaker? ›

Rinse the shakers with warm water. If you see there's still some grime left, use a cotton swab to remove any residue. Next, create a cone out of paper towel and let sit in the empty shaker. This will help draw out the moisture and ensure your S&P won't stick to a damp shaker.

What are the best brands of salt and pepper grinders? ›

The Best Salt and Pepper Grinders of 2022
  • OXO Good Grips Sleek Adjustable Salt and Pepper Mill Set.
  • Urban Noon Electric Salt and Pepper Grinder.
  • FinaMill Battery-Operated Pepper Mill and Spice Grinder.
  • OXO Good Grips Contoured Mess-Free Salt Grinder.
  • Urban Noon Electric Salt and Pepper Grinder Set.

What can I do with old salt and pepper shakers? ›

Alternative uses for salt and pepper shaker
  1. Tiny Terrariums. Once you add small pebbles, moss, soil, and tiny plants and figurines, your shakers will transform into their very own decorative microcosm.
  2. Miniature Vases for Flowers. ...
  3. Seed Dispenser for Gardening. ...
  4. Air Fresheners/Aromatherapy.
6 Sept 2017

What did humans before salt? ›

Salt through the Ages

Early human hunters obtained their salt from eating animal meat. As they turned to agriculture and the diet changed, they found that salt (maybe as sea water) gave vegetables the same salty flavour they were accustomed to with meat.

What is the purest salt on earth? ›

Himalayan Pink Salt: This salt is harvested from the Punjab region of Pakistan from the Khewra salt mine. This rock salt contains all 84 trace minerals which are also responsible for its pink color. It is considered to be a healthier alternative to regular table salt.

What country has the most salt? ›

China is the world leader in terms of salt production, with 64 million metric tons of salt produced in 2021.

Which shaker has 3 holes? ›

Others make the ratio a little more balanced, with three holes for salt and two for pepper. In some countries, such as the UK, however, it is not unusual to find a salt shaker with only one hole and its pepper partner displaying four or more holes.

How many holes does salt shaker have? ›

A: There isn't a definitive answer. Some sources say the salt goes in the one with the most number of holes because you use more of it. But others say since salt was so valuable, it went in the shaker with one hole.

Does salt go on the left or right? ›

In reference to your first question: Yes, the salt and pepper should always be passed together, even if only one is requested. The pepper shaker is on the left and the salt on the right.

How do you identify an antique salt and pepper shaker? ›

To identify antique salt and pepper shakers, you have to turn them upside down to get a look for the manufacturer's mark or stamp. If you find “Made in USA” or “Occupied Japan” then you are definitely looking at a vintage salt and pepper shaker.

Where should salt be stored in a bedroom? ›

Sea salt is known to be a healer. Keep a bowl of sea salt in every corner of your house to absorb all the negative energy. Also, you could keep sea salt rocks in the corners of your home.

Why throw salt over left shoulder? ›

A superstition says spilling salt will bring you bad fortune. As legend has it, you should take a pinch of the spilled salt and throw it over your left shoulder to cancel the bad luck. The left shoulder was where the devil was supposed to be sitting and tossing salt in the devil's eyes kept the devil away.


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