The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Salt Grinder: From Le Creuset to Electric Options, Uncover the Perfect Seasoning Companion
Looking to add the perfect pinch of flavor to your favorite dishes? Look no further than the best salt grinder options on the market! Whether you're a gourmet chef or simply appreciate a well-seasoned meal, these salt and pepper grinders will take your culinary creations to new heights. From sleek and stylish designs to innovative features, we've rounded up the top contenders that will elevate your seasoning game. Get ready to embark on a flavorful journey as we unveil the crème de la crème of salt grinders.
Le Creuset Salt Mill
Discover the Le Creuset Salt Mill. It provides the best quality for grinding salt and adds a touch of elegance to any kitchen or dining table. Get yours here.
Cole & Mason Ardingly Wood Pepper Grinder
Introducing the Black Rain Pepper Mill by Cole & Mason. This remarkable grinder offers powerful performance and a sleek design. Although it has a limited number of grind settings, its simplicity and efficiency make it a popular choice. Learn more about the Black Rain here.
Unicorn Magnum Pepper Mill
Join the legion of enthusiastic fans of the Unicorn Magnum Pepper Mill. This stylish grinder produces a generous amount of pepper with each turn and has gained recognition from experts like test kitchen head Chris Morocco. While its adjustment mechanism may take some getting used to, its performance is still impressive. Find out more here.
Chubbie Salt and Pepper Grinder
Experience the Chubbie Salt and Pepper Grinder by Addison Ross. With its glossy finish and chunky silhouette, this grinder combines style and functionality. It's perfect for adding seasoning at the table and comes in a variety of complementary shades. Check it out here.
Kuhn Rikon Adjustable Ratchet Grinder
Discover the Kuhn Rikon Adjustable Ratchet Grinder. This unique grinder uses a lever to provide an efficient grinding experience. While it may not offer as much grinding capacity as other models, its convenient loading mechanism and durable construction make it a reliable choice. Learn more about it here.
Fletchers' Mill Border Grill Pepper Mill
Experience the Fletchers' Mill Border Grill Pepper Mill. Made of sleek cherrywood, this model stands out with its attractive hourglass shape. While its adjustment mechanism may not be the most precise, it offers a functional and visually appealing addition to your kitchen. Find out more here.
Peugeot Paris u'Select Pepper Mill
Discover the Peugeot Paris u'Select Pepper Mill. As one of the earliest designs in the market, this classic mill offers a combination of quality wood and a stainless-steel grinder. Although it has a limited number of grind settings, its timeless design and quality materials make it a popular choice. Learn more about it here.
Versailles Salt & Pepper Set
Elevate your tablescape with the Versailles Salt & Pepper Set by Jonathan Adler. These shakers feature striking geometric details and gilded gold accents for a touch of glamour. They are a perfect addition to your dining setup. Explore the Versailles range here.
Cat Salt & Pepper Shakers
For cat lovers, the Cat Salt & Pepper Shakers by Hannah Turner are a perfect choice. These ceramic shakers feature playful expressions and vibrant colors. They add a touch of charm to any kitchen. Discover more about the grey tabby cat shakers here.
Habitat Herbalist Salt & Pepper Mill Set
Enjoy the Habitat Herbalist Salt & Pepper Mill Set. These wooden mills bring a natural and rustic touch to your kitchen. They are the perfect choice for those who appreciate both style and functionality. Explore more about them here.
Tower Electric Salt and Pepper Mill
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Cuisinart Rechargeable Seasoning Mill
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Peugeot Paris-rama Salt and Pepper Gift Set
Peugeot invented the first table top pepper mill in the 1800s, so, naturally, we had to include the iconic French brand in our roundup.
This bundle comes with a pair of hardy wooden mills, a handy refill funnel, salt and pepper sachets and a glossy gift box. We loved the mills when we tried them — if you want something that's sturdy, produces great results and looks good, they’re hard to beat. They come with a lifetime guarantee, too, so they’re fantastic value in the long run.
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Electric Salt and Pepper Mills
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Joseph Joseph Salt and Pepper Mills
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Magic Mushroom Salt & Pepper Shakers
Are you looking for shakers that don’t look like shakers? Reminiscent of a mystical woodland setting, these sweet mushrooms could easily be mistaken for decorations. Pair them with forest green dinnerware or a wildflower bouquet for an enchanting fairy tale aesthetic.
|Size||H8cm (small); H9.5cm (large)|
Home and Garden Writer
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An electric option: Eparé Battery Operated Pepper Mill
Photo: Michael Hession
The Eparé Battery Operated Pepper Mill operates on four AA batteries and is a highly efficient electric model that produces finely ground pepper. It is also the quietest electric mill we tested.
If you have difficulty with manual mills due to hand-strength issues or chronic hand pain, or if you simply prefer the convenience of using a one-handed mill, we recommend the Eparé Battery Operated Pepper Mill. This mill is extremely easy to use. Simply insert four AA batteries (not included), press the button on the top, and the ceramic grinder will slowly dispense pepper. While the grind size knob does not have predefined settings, it provides clear guidance on which direction to turn for fine or coarse grinding. Among all the electric models we tested, the Eparé achieved the most consistent results.
The sleek stainless steel cover of the Eparé mill is visually appealing and suitable for use on a table. However, it can become slippery when handled with greasy hands in the kitchen. The slim and elongated body of the mill is easy to grip, especially for individuals with small hands. However, it is worth noting that like other electric models, it has a slightly top-heavy design. To prevent pepper dust from causing a mess, the Eparé also includes a cap.
Most electric models on the market feature a built-in light bulb to illuminate the amount of pepper added to food. The Eparé model has an LED light that automatically turns on during grinding. While this light may not be as effective as overhead lighting, it is the brightest among the models we tested. In the event that the light burns out, Eparé offers a replacement service. Additionally, the Eparé mill is backed by a limited lifetime warranty, which is not commonly provided by other electric mills.
Despite its advantages, it is worth noting that electric pepper mills, including the Eparé model, have some downsides. They tend to be loud, slow, and top-heavy. Furthermore, the internal components of electric mills are often made of cheap plastic that can easily break if dropped.
The Eparé mill exemplifies these shortcomings. It operates relatively slowly, taking close to two minutes to grind one teaspoon of finely ground pepper. While most electric models are quicker when set to coarse grinding, producing a larger quantity of ground pepper still requires holding down the button for an extended period, which can be cumbersome. For recipes that require larger amounts of pepper, it may be more practical to use pre-ground pepper. Nonetheless, the Eparé mill was the only electric model we tested that consistently achieved a fine grind, and it was quieter compared to other electric grinders.
Refilling the Eparé mill is not as straightforward as with most manual mills. To access the refill opening, the base of the mill must be twisted off from the top stainless steel cover, followed by separating the base from the battery pack. Before refilling, it is advisable to consult the instruction manual (PDF), as this process can be slightly complex. Individuals with limited dexterity or chronic hand pain may require assistance from someone else to refill the grinder. Alternatively, acquiring a spice grinder, such as the Krups Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder, as mentioned earlier, could be a more viable option. This grinder can be refilled without disassembling it and can still be operated with one hand. Grinding a batch of pepper using the Krups grinder and storing it in a container ensures a fresher product compared to pre-ground pepper bought from stores.
The grind size knob of the Eparé mill (pictured above) is located on the bottom. Photo: Michael HessionThe Eparé mill is equipped with a cap to prevent pepper dust from making a mess. Photo: Michael HessionThe grind size knob of the Eparé mill (pictured above) is located on the bottom. Photo: Michael Hession
Avoid using your pepper mill to grind salt or other spices. Salt can corrode untreated metal. There are specific salt mills available, often equipped with ceramic or treated stainless steel burrs. (It is also worth noting that a grinder may not be necessary for salt, as the taste remains the same whether it is factory-crushed or milled.) Different spices and herbs are better suited for specific types of burrs; sticking to pepper will help prevent clogging in your mill.
In the case of red, pink, or green peppercorns, Peugeot recommends mixing them with black peppercorns to prevent clogging. Colored peppercorns have usually undergone treatment and may have higher moisture content compared to black peppercorns. This advice is applicable to all types of pepper mills.
If you encounter difficulty turning the knob on your mill, try loosening and gradually tightening the screw at the top of the grinder (if applicable) as you grind the peppercorns. This should assist in dislodging any peppercorns stuck in the mechanism.
To clean the exterior of a pepper mill, simply wipe it with a damp cloth in most cases. For certain models, using a natural all-purpose cleaner or a small amount of dish soap may be necessary to remove oily residue. Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions before cleaning the interior of a mill, and never place a mill in the dishwasher.
The quickest and simplest way to fill a pepper mill is by using a folded piece of paper as a funnel. Photo: Michael HessionIn case you encounter difficulty when filling your mill with peppercorns, using a folded piece of paper as a funnel can be very helpful. This allows you to neatly direct the peppercorns into the mill without any spillage.
If you prefer a metal pepper mill: Peugeot offers a stainless steel version of our top pick, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind before purchasing. According to Peugeot, the internal grinding mechanisms of the metal model are the same as those in the wooden model (which we confirmed in our tests). However, the metal model lacks a plastic brace to secure the spindle in place. While the spindle appeared well secured at the base and did not move significantly when tested, this minor difference should be acknowledged before making a purchase. Additionally, unlike the wood versions, the stainless steel model features a plastic ring around the base. This design choice enhances water resistance but increases the risk of the plastic cracking if the mill falls from a counter.
The stainless steel version of the Peugeot u'Select lacks a plastic brace to secure the spindle. Photo: Michael HessionThe base of the stainless steel version features a plastic ring. Photo: Michael HessionThe stainless steel version of the Peugeot u'Select lacks a plastic brace to secure the spindle. Photo: Michael Hession
If you desire a pepper mill that is more ergonomic: We previously tested an earlier version of the Kuhn Rikon Adjustable Ratchet Grinder. However, we did not recommend this mill due to its noisy grinding and the fact that even its coarsest setting produced a relatively fine grind. Additionally, the elongated handle was top-heavy and prone to tipping over with minimal force. However, it is worth noting that the newer model has a shorter handle, and although we have not yet tested it, we anticipate that individuals with chronic hand pain may find it easier to operate compared to models with twisting knobs.
We had high expectations for the Cole & Mason Forest Capstan Pepper Mill, but its lack of a plastic guard to secure the center spindle led to positioning issues caused by the pressure applied by the peppercorns, making it impossible to attach the top of the mill.
The Zassenhaus Berlin Pepper Grinder proved challenging to adjust for different grind settings. The plastic twist knob used to adjust grinding settings was prone to clogging with pepper dust, resulting in inconsistent grinding.
The Zassenhaus Speyer Pepper Mill has received positive reviews on Amazon. However, in our previous tests, we observed that hand-crank models often scattered pepper everywhere, which led us to dismiss this mill as an option.
The IKEA Ihärdig mill struggles to transition from coarse to fine settings, and its grinding consistency is not very uniform. Additionally, the bottle is made of glass and does not come with a warranty.
Although the Unicorn Magnum Plus has received positive reviews from reputable sources, including ours, we discovered metal shavings in our ground pepper after grinding. While these shards likely originated from the manufacturing process, we did not appreciate the performance of the Magnum Plus due to this issue.
The Olde Thompson Senator pepper mill has a classic design and an affordable price. However, when we loosened the nut at the top to achieve coarser grinds, the top felt unstable and prone to falling off the body. Additionally, the model was challenging to handle with slippery hands due to its flatter top knob.
The OXO Good Grips Radial Pepper Grinder features a thin plastic housing that does not feel very durable. We also experienced difficulty turning the top handle with greasy hands, and the crank action resulted in pepper spray over a wide radius.
The OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder offers five grinding positions, but regardless of the setting, it delivers a similar coarseness level. During our tests, some pepper dust got trapped in the threading of the opening, causing it to become jammed (it could only be opened using needle-nose pliers).
The easy-to-fill OXO Good Grips Sleek Pepper Mill grinds pepper from the top and refills from the bottom, eliminating any dust rings on the counter. If you are bothered by such residue, this model may be appealing to you. Nevertheless, it is one of the slowest manual pepper grinders we tested, and its transparent body exposes peppercorns to light. At present, it is only available as part of a salt and pepper set.
The Atlas Brass Pepper Mill was another model that produced metal shavings during the initial grind (which we attributed to receiving a defective unit). Apart from this issue, the mill's refill system can be somewhat fussy.
The William Bounds Key Mill is a compact 4-inch mill with only three coarseness settings. Furthermore, its clear body exposes peppercorns to light.
We were disappointed with the Trudeau Graviti Plus, our former top pick for an electric grinder. Despite its five grinding positions, each setting produced only coarsely ground pepper. This mill is unable to achieve a fine grind.
This article was edited by Marguerite Preston and Marilyn Ong.
- Christine McFadden, Pepper: The Spice That Changed the World
- Faith Durand, The Kitchn Reviews: Our Favorite Pepper Mills, The Kitchn, March 11, 2011
- Best Pepper Mills: There’s One for Every Taste, SpiceLines
- Sarah Perry, How to Choose a Pepper Mill, Chow, October 29, 2012
- G. Stephen Jones, Pepper Mills, The Reluctant Gourmet, September 16, 2012
- Katherine Cancila, Pepper Grinders, Wall Street Journal Test Kitchen, January 28, 2012
- Diane Morgan, James Beard–award-winning cookbook author, phone interview, January 7, 2014
- Jennifer Jasinski, James Beard–award-winning chef, email interview, 2014
- Stephanie Coyle, former culinary director for Sur La Table, email interview, 2014
- Patty Erd, former spice merchant and co-owner of The Spice House, interview, 2014
by Anna Perling
In the quest for the perfect seasoning experience, we've explored some of the best options out there, from the elegant design of the Le Creuset Salt Mill to the effortless grinding of the OXO Good Grips Mess-Free Pepper Grinder. Whether you prefer a classic manual grinder or the convenience of an electric option like the Eparé Battery Operated Pepper Mill, there's a salt and pepper grinder on this list to suit every taste and kitchen. So go ahead, elevate your dishes and add a touch of flavor with the perfect salt grinder for your culinary needs. Bon appétit!
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