Salt and pepper are essential ingredients for a flavoursome, enjoyable meal! Pre-ground spices are easy to use, but don’t underestimate how much a pinch of freshly ground salt and pepper will increase the culinary pleasure.
Use a spice grinder for larger amounts of salt and pepper, or use table grinders or mills in the kitchen, and use them as stylish utensils on the dining table too.
Grinders crush coarse salt and peppercorns through burrs to grind at the required size and most grinders are adjustable. Whether you choose a manual or electric model, grinding salt and pepper will intensify flavours on the spot!
There are a multitude of models and designs on the market, and here are our chosen favourites.
List of best salt and pepper grinders
- Most popular – Grinder Set – Stainless Steel Refillable Salt & Peppercorn Shakers
- Best budget – HOME EC Premium Stainless Steel Salt and Pepper Grinder Set
- Best overall – Peugeot – Paris u’Select Salt and Pepper Mill Set
- Best stainless steel – OXO Good Grips Salt and Pepper Grinder Set, Stainless Steel
- Best electric – Gravity Electric Pepper and Salt Grinder Set
- Best with stand – Electric Salt and Pepper Grinder Set – Automatic Salt Pepper Mills with Light
Things to consider before buying best salt and pepper mills
Materials of grinder and body
Not all pepper mills are made the same way. A pepper grinder is an important tool that should be made of sturdy materials such as ceramic or high-carbon steel to ensure consistent grinding, especially for peppercorns. Salt doesn’t have any benefit from being freshly ground, but aesthetically it is nice to have a beautifully designed set on the table.
Besides the grinder mechanism, it is equally important that the body of a grinder is made of good quality materials. Transparent designs are popular and attractive but not ideal when kept in sunlight as flavour and aroma are easily affected. Wooden models mean your condiments are stored in a cool, dark and dry place.
Size and refill
Salt and pepper grinders range in size and you should take care to choose a size that is suitable for your needs. Consider available storage and if you plan to display it. Large sized mills or grinders can hold more, but will lose freshness and flavour over time if not used regularly, while smaller models will need refilling often.
We suggest buying a model that is easy to refill through a chute or by removing the head.
Coarseness and price
From very fine to chunky coarseness, most models have a mechanic or automatic mechanism to adjust the grinder to your preferences and prices vary. A fancy design will come with a higher price as will a superior quality model that is designed to last a lifetime. As much as we like beautiful designs for the table, for the kitchen we personally prefer the classic Peugeot model which has travelled with us around the world.
Maintenance and ease of cleaning
As with all kitchen tools and appliances we recommend keeping your grinders and mills clean. Keep moisture away to avoid clogging and jamming of the grinder, and wipe away grease and other grime regularly. Avoid using salt in a stainless steel grinder as this might make your tool rust and oxidise.
Overview of best manual salt and pepper grinders
If you like a traditional approach to season your meals, manual salt and pepper grinders are the way to go. They come in different designs, are adjustable to coarse or fine grinding, and are long lasting and never need battery change!
Refillable salt and pepper grinders
Once you’ve paid for a set of grinders, it’s always more economical to be able to fill them up again instead of having to throw them away and buy new ones!
This good looking salt and peppercorn set is made of durable, clear glass and is designed with the grinding mechanism on the top. These are large enough not to need refilling frequently, although this is made easy with a twistable stainless steel top. The sleek design looks great on any table or in the kitchen but might be a bit of a hassle to take from the stand.
Read also : 15 essential herbs and spices
Set as our best budget, but of high quality, and equally popular as the Willow and Everett brand. This set looks very similar too. The rotor is made of heavy duty ceramic and a twist of the knob at the top sets the desired coarseness of salt, pepper, or other spices.
Stainless steel lids keep the salt and spices away from moisture. Unscrewing the grinder from the bottle allows easy refilling. Never run out of batteries or get problems with the electric mechanisms as cranking is manual. There is a one year guarantee!
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Best overall – Peugeot – Paris u’Select Salt and Pepper Mill Set
Peugeot invented the pepper mill in the 1840s, and it is the oldest brand of salt and pepper mills. This brand comes at a higher price but will stand the test of time. Most professional chefs use this brand, and classic high quality restaurants mostly display Peugeot mills on their tables. They are sturdily built of beech wood with a specially treated stainless steel grinding mechanism to protect against corrosion. The U’Select option makes it easy to adjust coarseness. Any pepper can be used, however, it is not recommended to use sea salt, but use rock salt instead. Our top pick in this list.
Best stainless steel – OXO Good Grips Salt and Pepper Grinder Set, Stainless Steel
OXO is a popular brand for kitchen tools and gadgets and this stylish grinder performs equally well. Five different positions adjust with a rotating tab from fine to coarse grinds. The grinders rest flat when upside down for easy refilling and best of all, they are filled with sea salt and black peppercorns upon delivery.
Overview of best electric salt and pepper grinders
Electric salt and pepper grinders might still be seen as gadgets, they are functional and add extra fun to the table. Some say it’s faster compared to manual grinders but our experience is added fun and often some lights or other extras.
Best electric – Gravity Electric Pepper and Salt Grinder Set
This battery powered (6AAA batteries, not included) grinder set is funny to use as grinding happens by simply flipping the tool. Several grinding levels allow the ceramic rotor to grind from coarse to fine. The transparent acrylic material is fashionable and allows you to see the remaining spices. The blue LED light adds a fancy touch without any extra function. This brand offers a 100 days free replacement and money back if any dissatisfaction.
Best with stand – Flafster Kitchen Electric Salt and Pepper Grinder Set – Automatic Salt Pepper Mills with Light
These elegantly designed grinders are delivered in a gift box and are the perfect present for any occasion. The battery (4AA batteries each) operated salt or pepper mills with ceramic grinder has different levels of operation with an additional built-in light. The grinders can be used with or without the rubber caps because the wooden part of the stand will catch stray particles. A beautiful grinder set but the motor is a little weak and we wouldn’t recommend it for intense usage.
Highlights of the best salt and pepper grinders
Being able to grind fresh salt and pepper is a necessity for many cooks and diners. Lots of people prefer to add their specific seasoning at the table or when their food is on their plate.
With this great selection above to choose from, it should be easy to pick out the best salt and pepper grinders.