Like coffee beans, freshly ground pepper has a much purer and more pleasant taste than pre-ground pepper. That is why pepper mills are very useful and highly appreciated by those who use this spice frequently. They also have the advantage that they allow you to adjust the amounts ground just before you put them on your plate to the taste of each diner.
Thus, having a good pepper and salt grinder means giving it a touch of distinction and comfort at your table and a basic help in your kitchen if you like to use spices in your dishes. And that is why we have thought it convenient to review in this article everything you need to know about these spice grinders (or multipurpose grinders). A complete shopping guide, so you don’t have any doubts when choosing a model.
Before we start, we have to remember that, although pepper is the most frequently ground spice, in reality, almost all spice grinders also serve as pepper grinders (and vice versa). In the case of salt, the needs are different, as we will see later on.
And no, coffee grinders are not the same as spice grinders. So, don’t get too carried away with the idea of buying one of those multi-purpose blade mills. In short, we are starting:
- 1 Guide to buying a spice grinder
- 2 The 3 best manual spice grinders
- 3 The 3 best electric spice grinders of 2021
- 4 The 3 best pepper grinders 2021
- 5 Wooden grinders for peppercorns
- 6 The best salt grinders 2021
Guide to buying a spice grinder
Spice grinders work in a similar way to classic manual coffee grinders, but they have a number of peculiarities that you need to take into account if you don’t want to mess up. If you want to buy a spice grinder, what should you look at first? Here are some basic guidelines if you are thinking of buying one of these instruments to give more quality to your table:
- The grinding must be fine and homogeneous: Unlike coffee, with spices the ground pieces go straight to the plate, so if we find a half ground bean or a larger than normal piece it can be quite unpleasant. That is why you should avoid plastic grinders, and opt for steel or ceramics.
- The size: normally we do not need to grind a large amount of spices at the same time, so it is better to opt for small, compact grinders that can be easily stored in the kitchen. We leave the huge grinders to the professionals. And if you are going to use them at the table (not in the kitchen), the smaller the better.
- That can be refilled: It seems unbelievable, but many users buy grinders that are already filled with a specific food, without realising that they cannot be refilled when they are emptied.
- The material of the casing: a grinder should never take on smells or flavours, so again we have to run away from the plastic, and look for a wooden or steel grinder.
Finally: if you want to know how a pepper mill is made and how it works, in this didactic video, you have all the information:
And we’re already going through our rankings, which I’m sure you were expecting:
The 3 best manual spice grinders
These are the most comfortable and economical versions of all. A manual spice grinder is usually shaped like a cylinder, and to use it; you only need to hold it with one manual and operate (turn) the upper body in the direction of the grinding. These are the best options for buying a manual spice grinder online:
Aicok 2 in 1 pepper and salt grinder
This is a great invention! Of all the manual spice grinders we have found, this Aicok 2-in-1 grinder is the one we like best because it is actually two appliances in one. It has two transparent compartments, so you can grind separately from both without mixing the flavours and the remains of one grinder altering the next. And it also has a super affordable price.
E-Prance salt and pepper grinder
As with the coffee grinders, E-Prance is at the top of the sales charts thanks to a very cheap, very practical grinder that fulfils its function perfectly. The E-Prance manual grinder is a multi-purpose grinder that can be used for salt or other spices. The blade is ceramic, the body is stainless steel, and it has an integrated grinding selection mechanism – and all for just over 10 pounds!
Set of 3 WMF Ceramill spice grinders
The most demanding can see their expectations fulfilled with this set of 3 spice grinders. The WMF grinders have a ceramic blade (more resistant than steel) and are already marked so that we know which ingredient is inside: salt, black pepper, and the third one in white for us to label. The three WMF Ceramill Deluxe grinders are identical and dishwasher safe.
The 3 best electric spice grinders of 2021
If you’re looking for a little more convenience and speed, then what you need is an electric spice grinder. They offer similar results to manual ones but with less effort. They have an electric motor of greater or lesser power, which determines both the time you need to be grinding and the type of grain or ingredient that can be ground with it (some can grind very hard grains, and others do not go that far). This is our selection of electric spice grinders:
SimpleTaste electric spice grinder
We start our list with the SimpleTaste electric pepper grinder and other spices. We have chosen it because it is the cheapest electric grinder we have found. No wonder it sells so much. It is battery operated, has an adjustable grinding mechanism, and the body is made of stainless steel. In addition, there is an LED on the base that lights up when grinding. Little more can be asked for at this price, right?
Anmer multi-purpose electric grinder
This Anmer CG-8120 is a multi-purpose electric grinder for grinding spices, coffee beans, cereals or coarse salt. Although, naturally, if you grind ingredients frequently, we advise you to use it for only one thing, to avoid mixing flavours. Be that as it may, this electric Anmer grinder is one of the best sellers. There is a reason for this.
About its features: it has a capacity of 30 grams, a 200-watt motor and stainless steel blades.
We liked the Lacor electric grinder because it is a dual grinder. It has two compartments (they can be for salt and pepper or for two different types of spices) but still remains compact in size and affordable. Very practical if you often grind a variety of ingredients and want to avoid mixing them. One of the best peppercorn grinders on the market today.
The 3 best pepper grinders 2021
If we talk exclusively about pepper, we enter the so-called pepper grinders. A pepper grinder has a compartment, and a mechanism adapted to the hardness and size of the unground peppercorns. Of course, with a good pepper grinder, you can grind other spices, but you will be wasting it and also running the risk of mixing the flavours with the remains of each grinding.
Peugeot pepper mills have an immense reputation in the industry, and it’s no wonder. This Peugeot Paris is a faithful exponent of what we are saying. Reliability, durability and homogeneous grinding are its hallmarks. It is made of dark beech wood and is 23 cm high. It incorporates the exclusive USelect system that allows us to define the thickness of our grinding by simply turning the mechanism a little. Quality in abundance.
Of course, its price is not affordable for everyone, but this pepper-specific Perfex grinder is perhaps the best option you can take home if you grind this spice often. The Perfex N4153 pepper mill is 100% stainless steel, and it is crank-operated (you do not turn the upper body of the cylinder, as is the case with more conventional manual pepper mills).
Cole & Mason transparent
Cole & Mason is a reference manufacturer within the grinder sector (both spices and coffee), and we have included this model in our ranking because of its attractiveness. As you can see, it is a totally transparent pepper grinder, which allows you to see the beans inside at all times. It is made of acrylic plastic material and has a height of 8.5 cm.
Wooden grinders for peppercorns
These are a classic among the classics. If you like to use pepper in your meals, then you will be one of those who notice the difference in taste between ground pepper cans and freshly ground peppercorns. And you get that thanks to a wooden pepper grinder, like these:
Wooden grinders for peppercorns are also a traditional decorative element for good food.
The best salt grinders 2021
Yes, salt is also ground. If you like the purest seasoning, you can always buy the flaked salt and grind it at home before serving it. And, of course, you need a special salt grinder for this purpose. You can grind the salt with any other grinder, but the result will not be ideal to use it on your dishes and preserve the purity of the taste. And, above all, salt is more corrosive than spices and cereals, so the blades should be ceramic or have a suitable treatment to withstand it. Salt corrodes steel.
Here are the best salt grinders currently available on the market.
Le Creuset salt grinder
This grinder from Le Creuset is very elegant, white in colour and made of ABS plastic. It is available in several colours, and the blades are made of hardened ceramic. This is why it is more suitable as a salt grinder than one with conventional steel blades.
Peugeot Elis electric grinder
This spectacular specimen is a professional grinder, more oriented to intensive use in restoration than to domestic chores. It is an electric spice grinder made of stainless steel. Despite being electric, you do not need to have it plugged in to use it. It works with a rechargeable battery, and it also has a built-in current adapter. This Peugeot Elis is the best spice grinder you can find right now, without a doubt.
Russell Hobbs Classics grinders
These are not one but two mills. It is a set of two salt and pepper grinders from the prestigious Russell Hobbs firm. They are made of stainless steel, their blades are ceramic, and they have a grading system to control the grinding thickness we want. In addition, they have the classic transparent viewfinder so that we can see the ingredient inside the mill at all times, and they have a light on the base that lights up when we grind! Priceless.