This Makes Sense! A Better Container For The Salt Sitting On Your Counter.

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We've come across some pretty dumb and useless kitchen gadgets (see: banana slicers and baggy racks), but the salt pig — perplexing name aside — is not one of them. We'll get to the name in a bit, but let's talk about function first. Since the days of Molto Mario (RIP!) and Emeral Lagasse's seasoning bombs ("BAM!") you've probably kept a small container of salt within arm's length of your stove or your cutting board. Basically, wherever you do most of your prep work and cooking. Because that's how the pros do it. But chances are, you don't go through your salt supply nearly as fast as the professionals, leaving whatever stays in the pot exposed to moisture, dust and stray bits of whatever. This is why you need a salt pig, a small vessel with wide opening to let you get your pinching fingers in there, but it's also covered to protect your salt from moisture and clumping.

Plenty of cookware and kitchen brands make them too. Check out three examples below, from classic, versatile porcelain to a more modern spin-top take on the old piggy. So why the name, you ask? An inquiry on Cooks Illustrated revealed that "pig" derives from Scottish and English dialects, meaning an earthenware vessel (the origins are actually the same as those for "piggy bank."). Now you know.

Williams Sonoma's basic porcelain salt pig ($20) is a classic example of what should be a countertop fixture. William's Sonoma's[/caption]
To match its colorful range of iconic cast iron enamel-covered cookware, Le Creuset makes its own salt crock too ($45).[/caption]
Joseph Joseph's "Ovi" salt container features a spinning lid to further protect your salt from moisture (and bits of anything else) when you're not using it ($12).[/caption]