Sunday, January 04, 2015

Ikea PLATS Salt and Pepper Shaker Review

At some point in a person's life, he or she gets tired of having to go to the source just to get a little salt and pepper for a meal. Lifting a half-liter container of pepper or having to spoon salt out of a smaller open-top container just gets tiring. This person may also really prefer a spice mill but not be happy with the options he or she has for the price he or she is willing to pay. That person may just decide to find a really cheap and adequate solution to fill his or her salt and pepper shaking needs.
Package for Ikea PLATS Salt and Pepper Shakers
A package of two cylinders with holes on one end for use with salt and pepper. It was boxed in a clear, plastic, rectangular container with flaps closed by tape. In my package, one cylinder had its holes arranged as the letter S and the other cylinder's holes resembled a P. The former also had a white base while the latter had a black base. According to the website at the time of writing, the "insert" was polypropylene and the "main parts" were stainless steel.

IKEA PLATS Salt & Pepper Shaker, set of 2:  CAD$ 3.49 (US$ 3.99)

Two Tubes of a PLATS Shaker
I unpacked it from the plastic box, gave them a good wash with soap, let them dry, and filled them with salt and pepper. One thing that surprised me was that the stainless steel was really just an exterior shell or liner. The shakers were actually plastic tubes inserted into stainless steel tubes. I didn't like how thin the plastic was, it looked easy to snap or crack when washing or filling. Nothing happened with the first fill though. Should be a while until the next fill.

We had fine ground pepper on hand, so that was used. The salt was simple table salt that looked fine but coarser than the pepper. A canning funnel was used -- didn't work that well. I also put some popcorn kernels into the salt shaker to, hopefully, avoid clumping issues. It was popcorn or rice from my research. The kernels sounded like a better idea because of their larger size. Once done filling, I reinserted the plastic tubes into the steel. There was some resistance when taking out and pushing in the plastic, so I wasn't immediately concerned about the plastic tube falling out the bottom while holding the steel shell and making a mess. Not sure how wear and tear would affect it over time.

Top Holes for Salt and Pepper Shakers
The containers appeared to be on the slender side, but when loaded up, they felt fairly stable on a level surface. They looked like they could easily fall over with a knock or shaky table though. And their cylindrical bodies would probably make them easy to roll. Not being glass, this didn't worry me too much.

Expandability / Customizability

Everyday Use
Pepper? Check. Salt? Check. Did the shakers release salt and pepper when turned upside down or onto their side? Yep.

Testing out the Pepper and Salt Shakers
Both shakers felt good in my hands. They didn't feel oversized or difficult to orient. When tipped over, they intuitively released a bit of salt and pepper. I was satisfied with the quantity of salt and pepper each shaker released. It was on the sparser side, which was good because having to add more is more easily corrected than having added too much -- I could see myself getting impatient though. From what I could see, both shakers released the most amount of particles when first turned over. Holding them still while upside down did not appear to let much more out. Shaking them while upside down seemed to release less than the initial load.

The only concern I had dealt with durability. Though they were stainless steel on the outside, they used a thin plastic on the inside. During regular use, the steel would probably protect the plastic. Problems could arise during washing or refilling. But for CAD$ 3.50, I could afford to replace them?

Salt and pepper shakers with a stainless steel shell for CAD$ 3.50 that work? Not bad. I did have concerns about long-term durability due to the plastic used to hold the salt and pepper though. For CAD$ 3.50 though, it wasn't that big an issue.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    I will use this kit for one of my diy project and care the exact diameter. I have to order them online and have no opportunity to see them.
    If you still use them, could you tell me what is the diameter (stainles tube) in cm.