10 best salt and pepper grinders that will give your kitchen a bistro-vibe (2022)

Salt and pepper are two of the most crucial ingredients in any kitchen; just a dash of these everyday seasonings can take a dish from zero to hero. Not only are they imperative at the stove but they’re also staples on the dinner table, where everyone likes to season their food to taste.

As with spices, freshly ground seasoning always far outshines the powdery pre-milled versions. It takes a dish’s flavour to the next level – and a coarse grind can also up the ante in terms of texture, too.

That’s why salt and pepper mills are important bits of kit that are well worth investing in, yet they often get overlooked.

When you’re in the market for new mills, there are a few things to bear in mind. First, that grind: lots of mills nowadays are adjustable so you can choose how fine or coarse you’d like your seasoning. Then there’s whether you want a manual or electric option, two separate mills or an all-in-one, or whether you’ll want to use them for spices as well as salt and pepper.

That’s not to mention aesthetics – are your mills going to stay in the kitchen or do you want them to bring a bit of style to your dining table, too?

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How we tested

We’ve kept all the above in mind when testing our grinders. The ones we’ve selected have been chosen for their practicality, ease of use and looks. We also considered consistency of grind, distribution and price.

The best salt and pepper grinders for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Peugeot Saveurs Paris u select salt and pepper mill set 18cm: £74.99, Peugeotsaveurs.com
  • Best budget grinder – Masterclass electric gravity mill: £9.95, Hartsofstur.com
  • Best stylish design – Menu bottle grinder set: £74.95, Beut.co.uk
  • Best for ease of use – Oxo good grips accent mess-free grinder: £22.04, Mahahome.com
  • Best for cooking with – Dreamfarm ortwo: £36, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best mess-free – Joseph Joseph milltop salt and pepper mill set: £26.88, Connox.co.uk
  • Best for space-saving – Cole & Mason clevedon duo mill: £18, RobertDyas.co.uk
  • Best wooden grinder – Habitat acacia round wooden mill: £9.33, Argos.co.uk
  • Best electric grinder – Cuisinart rechargeable stainless steel seasoning mill: £49.99, Lakeland.co.uk
  • Best battery operated – ProCook electric soft touch salt or pepper mill set: £19, Procook.co.uk
  • Best: Overall
  • Rating: 9/10
  • Design: Classic bistro-style
  • Quality: Sturdy, built to last, smooth grind
  • Extras: Patented U Select function to choose coarseness of grind

Peugeot Saveurs is one of the oldest and most respected brands of salt and pepper mills out there – they’ve been making them since the 1840s. If you’re at a really decent restaurant, take a look at the underside of the grinders on your table and it’s pretty likely you’ll see that lion logo.

These modern versions of classic bistro-style mills will show you why the brand is such a big deal in the world of seasoning. Smooth and tactile, they balance sturdiness with refinement and are built to last, with specially designed grinding mechanisms for both salt and pepper (which come with a lifetime warranty).

The U Select function is patented and lets you adjust the coarseness of the grind to suit what you’re cooking, too. They might be pricey, but they really feel incredible and dare we say, you may never have to buy another salt and pepper mill again.

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  • Best: Budget buy
  • Rating: 7/10
  • Design: Stylish, soft-touch, sleek
  • Quality: Sturdy
  • Extras: Mess-free dispenser at the top

Priced at less than a tenner, this is the mill for you if you want an affordable and stylish electric option for salt or pepper. It might be wallet-friendly but looks and feels pretty spenny. We love the black, soft-touch finish – this mill will blend in seamlessly with any kitchen aesthetic or table setting.

Operated by a button on the underside, it’s ideal for those who usually find their hands full when cooking. And, as the dispenser is at the top, it won’t leave residue behind when placed on the counter or table.

It does take six AAAs – which is worth bearing in mind if you’re not one to always have backup batteries in the kitchen drawer – but for the price, we think it’s a solid choice.

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  • Best: Stylish design
  • Rating: 8/10
  • Design: Minimalist, unique, chic
  • Quality: You lose no function for form here
  • Extras: Easy to fill, have a large capacity

These stylish mills, with a minimalist Scandi-inspired design, are perhaps the chicest on our list. Their matte finish and soft nude hues mean they’ll enhance any table spread, taking the aesthetics up a notch or three. That said, it’s not all about looks here: as much thought has gone into their function as their form.

The mills are great for grinding spices and seeds as well as seasonings, and you can easily adjust the size of the grind. Because you invert them to use – the ground ingredients fall from the top of the “bottle” – you won’t get left with any debris where they’ve been standing, either. They’re also easy to fill, have a large capacity and distribute ground ingredients evenly and consistently.

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  • Best: For ease of use
  • Rating: 8/10
  • Design: Practical, easy to handle
  • Quality: Sturdy and robust
  • Extras: Easy to refill

These mills feel sturdy and robust, and the soft rubber grip makes them super easy to handle. Changing the size of the grind is really simple – there’s a dial at the top which clicks satisfyingly through the range of options. The chamber where the peppercorns are stored is a decent size – hooray for fewer refills – and, as it’s clear, you have a heads up on when you’re running low so you won’t get caught out mid-grind.

Topping up the grinder is easy: just open the twist cap on the underside and you have a wide opening to pour into. A great shout for those of us who aren’t that nimble-fingered – and there’s a version for salt too if you fancy the set.

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  • Best: For cooking
  • Rating: 9/10
  • Design: Unique and versatile
  • Quality: Strong, durable, lasting
  • Extras: Can be used one handed
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This is a nifty and versatile bit of kitchen kit – one of those things where you’ll wonder how you ever did without, especially if you cook with whole spices regularly. Cleverly designed for pepper as well as all whole spices and seeds, this grinder has a ceramic milling mechanism that won’t ever rust and a screw-on glass spice jar that’s been tempered to make it strong and durable. Although if you do manage to break it, you can easily get hold of a replacement as opposed to having to buy a whole new mill.

If you’re using it for seasoning your meal, go one-handed, squeezing the wooden arms together. To amp up the output – say, if you’re grinding whole spices for cooking – you can use two hands, pulling the arms far apart before squeezing them back together. This mill’s function makes it great for the kitchen, while its cool design earns it a place at the table, too.

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  • Best: Mess-free
  • Rating: 8/10
  • Design: Neutral, contemporary, matt finish
  • Quality: Sturdy
  • Extras: Mill from the top

This salt and pepper mill set is a great example of what you get when practicality meets good looks. There surely isn’t a kitchen or dining table that these minimalist, neutral-coloured grinders wouldn’t fit in with.

Their matte finish gives them a whisper of Scandi style and a contemporary look – not to mention helps create a good grip for grinding. The size of the grind is easily changeable by twisting the silver cap on top, while refilling is a doddle too, thanks to the screw cap at the base. That said, the large capacity means you won’t find yourself needing to top it up often. Another mess-saving design, these grinders mill from the top, and the seasoning is disbursed nice and evenly.

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  • Best: For space-saving
  • Rating: 8/10
  • Design: Modern, compact, sleek
  • Quality: Lifetime guarantee
  • Extras: Two in one

If you’re all about minimising clutter from your work surfaces and avoiding a crowded dining table, a two-in-one grinder may be the way to go. Cole and Mason is another heavyweight in the world of salt and pepper mills, and we love this modern-looking, double-ended grinder it’s come up with.

Designed to dispense different seasonings, it has a brushed chrome middle and matte black, easy-grip ends. It’s around the same size as some of the other single grinders on this list, so much less bulky than you might expect, but still with a decent capacity. The ceramic grinding mechanism – which dispenses efficiently and consistently – comes with a lifetime guarantee, so this relatively small investment will really pay off.

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  • Best: Wooden mill
  • Rating: 7/10
  • Design: Rustic, curvaceous, minimal
  • Quality: Heavy and tactile
  • Extras: Feels more expensive than it is

After a mill with a natural, rustic look to match your kitchen scheme? This acacia grinder shows off the wood’s gorgeous grain with its curvaceous shape and smooth finish. It’s larger than you might expect and has just enough weight to it to feel hardy and expensive.

The grind is consistent and the mechanism is suitable for both salt and pepper, so you can grab two if you’re after a matching set. However, the chamber is probably the smallest of all the mills we tried, so will definitely need refilling more regularly. But what this grinder may lack in capacity it makes up for in tactility and style.

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  • Best: Electric grinder
  • Rating: 9/10
  • Design: Futuristic
  • Quality: Professional
  • Extras: Rechargeable

This futuristic-looking electric mill won’t ever see you stealing batteries from the TV remote – it’s rechargeable and comes with a smart-looking dock that can plug into your countertop electricity socket (luckily, it’s good-looking enough to keep on show). Each full charge will give about 20 minutes of operating time.

Another great all-in-one option, this mill has two chambers that easily twist off the main body for refilling and are clear so you can see which seasoning is in each side. To operate, hold down the button in the centre – this clever mill will grind whichever side is pointing down at your meal or pot. It will happily mill spices and dried herbs as well as seasoning and comes with a measuring cap which you can grind directly into – really handy for when you’re following recipes.

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  • Best: Battery-operated
  • Rating: 7/10
  • Design: Contemporary vintage
  • Quality: Hefty and built to last
  • Extras: Long-life ceramic grinding mechanism

Combining a vintage-style sage colour with contemporary design, this pair of battery-powered salt and pepper mills would be right at home in a chic kitchen. They feel hefty, like they were built to last – and it seems they are, as they come with a long-life ceramic grinding mechanism and 10-year guarantee.

Super easy to use one-handed, their soft-touch finish gives a good grip and the button to operate is located at the top, easily reached by your index finger as you grasp the mill. The coarseness of the output is adjustable too. They do take four AA batteries each (so remember to stock up) but at less than £20 for the set, these mills are really fairly priced.

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FAQs

What is a good brand for salt and pepper grinders? ›

Our Top Picks
  • Best Overall: Peugeot Paris u'Select 9-Inch Pepper Mill.
  • Best Value: Modetro Salt and Pepper Shakers with Silicone Stand.
  • Best Stainless Steel Pepper Grinder: Oxo Good Grips Pepper Grinder.
  • Best Electric Pepper Grinder: FinaMill Pepper Mill and Spice Grinder.
14 Apr 2022

What kind of pepper grinder does Ina Garten use? ›

PepperMate Pepper Mill

The Barefoot Contessa's favorite pepper mill will soon be the one you swear by, too.

What is the difference between a salt grinder and a pepper grinder? ›

The main difference is the grinding mechanism's material. However, they can also have different shapes. At Cole & Mason, we use ceramic mechanisms for salt and carbon steel Precision+ mechanisms for pepper, so they are not interchangeable.

Who makes the best salt grinder? ›

Our 5 Favorite Salt & Pepper Grinders
  • OXO Good Grips Salt and Pepper Grinder.
  • Russell Hobbs Electric Salt and Pepper Mill Review.
  • COLE & MASON Gourmet Precision Derwent Salt and Pepper Grinder.
  • Gravity Automated Salt and Pepper Grinder by Chew Fun.
  • Grind Gourmet Salt & Pepper Grinder.
  • Latent Epicure Battery-Operated Grinders.
30 Jul 2021

What is the best material for salt and pepper shakers? ›

Salt and pepper shakers are often made of glass, stainless steel, and ceramic because these materials are durable, easy to clean, and attractive. Ceramic and glass shakers are not ideal for households with young children, however, because they can break if dropped.

Can a pepper grinder be used to grind salt? ›

When you can put salt in your Cole & Mason pepper mill and vice versa ...

Is Peugeot the best pepper grinder? ›

The Peugeot mechanism has a lifetime guarantee. It is designed specifically to deal with peppercorns; is made from the highest quality materials and because it provides a perfect grinding consistency time-after-time, is the choice of leading chefs worldwide.

What kind of food mill does Ina Garten use? ›

Garten likes them “finely puréed.” According to Garten's official Barefoot Contessa website, she uses a Moufi brand food mill which she “highly” recommends.

What kind of blender does Ina Garten use? ›

Waring Pro Blender

When Ina needs to get her blend on (to make celebratory frozen daiquiris, butternut squash soup, and much more), she turns to this beauty from Waring.

How do you adjust Peppermate? ›

Tool Time: Peppermate Pepper Mill - YouTube

What should I look for in a pepper grinder? ›

The Criteria: What we Look for in a Pepper Mill

Pepper mills should be able to grind efficiently, meaning you get a lot of ground pepper in relatively few cranks or turns of the mill. Also, a good pepper mill should be able to grind peppercorns to coarse, medium, and fine texture.

Do pepper grinders wear out? ›

Yes, it turns out. Once spices are ground, they start to oxidize, and their aromatics evaporate quickly, so you'll get the most flavor and aroma out of them when they're ground right before you prepare or consume your meal.

Where are Cole and Mason pepper Mills made? ›

Where are Cole & Mason products made? All of our product design & development is based here in the UK. Our products are physically produced in China and we only work with very reputable manufacturing partners, who adhere to our very high quality standards.

What should I look for in a salt grinder? ›

  • The Questions You Need to Ask First.
  • Considering Salt Grinders.
  • Anatomy and Grinding Mechanism.
  • Coarseness Settings.
  • Ease of Use.
  • Cleaning.
  • Capacity.
  • Style.
6 Jul 2022

Can you put ground pepper in a pepper grinder? ›

Yes, it's still pepper in a pepper mill, but freshly grinding these addictive peppercorns makes their mouth-numbing potency even more potent. Try grinding some into a burger, on top of popcorn, or on a chocolate mousse. Yes, like the kind you eat with salsa.

How do you choose a salt and pepper shaker? ›

Leaving the salt and pepper sitting around for quite a while will cause them to lose their flavor. Choose shakers and mills that are easy to use and clean, as well as water and steam resistant if they're for cooking use.

Which salt and pepper shaker is for pepper? ›

The short answer is that it varies by culture and also current health trends. Those wishing to limit their sodium intake (aka, those in the United States) use the top with the fewest holes in it for the salt. Practically speaking though, the real answer is to use whichever top gives you the result you want.

What else can I put in salt and pepper shakers? ›

Air Fresheners/Aromatherapy

The holes in the lid of shakers can draw in ugly odors and freshen the surrounding air if you fill the base with vinegar, baking soda, and coffee grounds. To add additional aromas you can fill the base with potpourri or a cotton ball soaked in your preferred essential oils.

What is most popular spice in the world? ›

The infographic above shows that, surprisingly, cumin is the most popular spice in the world, and coriander (or cilantro) is the most commonly used herb. In Europe and Africa, garlic is the most common among all dishes considered, and—no surprises here—oregano is common in the Mediterranean regions.

What country eats the most black pepper? ›

The Value of Black Pepper

These days, Vietnam is the leading country in pepper production, producing about one-third of the world's pepper. It's followed by India. Vietnam is also the leading consumer of pepper at 166 thousand tons per year.

What peppercorns do chefs use? ›

Here's a small grouping of some of the most interesting options:
  • Tellicherry. Called Tellicherry after a town on India's Malabar Coast, this version of the spice is considered gourmet and is often preferred among chefs and others with high culinary standards. ...
  • Lampong. ...
  • Muntok. ...
  • Brazilian. ...
  • Vietnamese. ...
  • Sarawak. ...
  • Talamanca.
7 Sept 2015

What's the difference between a salt and pepper shaker? ›

Salt grains are thought to be larger than equivalent ground pepper flakes, so they should be put in a shaker with fewer, but larger, holes. Since ground pepper is lighter and dustier than salt, it requires more holes in order to flow out at a comparable rate.

Does Unicorn make a salt grinder? ›

The grinder holds a lot of salt crystals, so it doesn't need to be refilled often. The Unicorn Magnum throws out a large quantity of salt per grind.

Are Peugeot salt and pepper grinders the same? ›

It's no wonder that Peugeot mechanisms are guaranteed for life. Peugeot Pepper Mills utilize case-hardened steel, Peugeot Salt Mills use corrosion resistant materials including stainless steel. Pepper mills use durable case-hardened steel, with exacting machining for long term performance.

How do you grind a lot of peppers? ›

The best method for quickly and reliably grinding lots of black pepper is to use a burr coffee grinder. Burr grinders utilize two revolving abrasive surfaces that can be set closer or further apart, allowing you to select the perfect grind for your recipe.

What kind of pepper do you put in a pepper grinder? ›

To get the best results, we recommend you to use only dry, hard, whole peppercorns that are 5 mm (1/4″) or less in diameter. Black, white and dry green peppercorns can be ground in Peugeot pepper mills.

Can I refill Mccormick pepper grinder? ›

Easiest Way to Open and Refill McCormick Pepper Grinder / Salt ...

Does Ina Garten use Le Creuset? ›

I own an entire rack of Le Creuset because I use it all the time,” says Ina. She breaks out her orange Dutch Oven when she's making “wintery things: soups and stews and things like that.”

What kitchen towels does Ina Garten use? ›

White Kitchen Towels

Ina lists white dish towels under her "Equipment" must-haves. White dish towels are great because they cut down on paper towels and can be endlessly washed and reused.

What kind of pots and pans does Ina Garten use? ›

Ina Garten uses Le Creuset cookware. According to Williams-Sonoma, Garten has been using this brand since the 1970s. Some of her favorite Le Creuset colors are orange, cream, and lime green. The retailer says she uses a different color based on the meal she's cooking at the time.

What KitchenAid mixer does Ina Garten use? ›

Kitchenaid Artisan Series 5-quart Tilt-head Stand Mixer.

What baking sheets does Ina Garten use? ›

herofiber Half Sheet Pan (set Of 2)

Garten reportedly uses half sheet pans for everything from cooking vegetables to baking brownies to roasting her famous “engagement chicken,” which even worked for Meghan Markle. And according to enthusiastic Amazon buyers, you can't go wrong with HeroFiber's version.

What spatulas does Ina Garten use? ›

No Kid Hungry® Silicone Spatula - Ina Garten | Williams Sonoma.

Is ground pepper better than grinding? ›

Grind as needed in cooking or offer in a peppermill at the table. Freshly ground pepper is more flavorful than pepper sold ground, enhancing the taste of any dish where pepper is used. Whole peppercorns are also used without grinding in pickling, marinades, stocks, blends, pot roasts and soups.

How do you open a Le Creuset pepper mill? ›

Adjust the grind setting with a turn of the knob – clockwise for a finer ground and counterclockwise for a coarser grind. Ceramic grinder is strong enough to crack peppercorns, and corrosion-resistant – ideal for grinding salt. To fill, unscrew the metal knob and take off the top.

How long does a pepper mill last? ›

The mill has a lifetime warranty. Reviewers on Amazon generally report that the pepper mill lasts. Overall, this is a classic, high-quality pepper mill with two modern updates: easily adjustable grind settings and an easier refilling system.

Which is better ceramic or steel pepper grinder? ›

Carbon steel grinders start out sharper than ceramic, which means you have a more precise outcome in your grinding, keeping their sharp edges longer than other varieties, which makes your slicing and grinding easier.

Where are Cole and Mason pepper Mills made? ›

Where are Cole & Mason products made? All of our product design & development is based here in the UK. Our products are physically produced in China and we only work with very reputable manufacturing partners, who adhere to our very high quality standards.

What are the best electric salt and pepper mills? ›

  • Best Overall: OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder. ...
  • Best Budget: Kuhn Rikon Adjustable Ratchet Grinder. ...
  • Best Automatic: Latent Epicure Battery-Operated Pepper Mill. ...
  • Best for Coarse Pepper: Peugeot Paris Chef u'Select Stainless Steel Pepper Mill. ...
  • Best Classic: Le Creuset Pepper Mill. ...
  • Best Design: Cole & Mason Derwent Pepper Grinder.
17 Jun 2022

How long does a pepper mill last? ›

The mill has a lifetime warranty. Reviewers on Amazon generally report that the pepper mill lasts. Overall, this is a classic, high-quality pepper mill with two modern updates: easily adjustable grind settings and an easier refilling system.

Can you use a pepper grinder as a salt grinder? ›

When you can put salt in your Cole & Mason pepper mill and vice versa ...

Do pepper grinders wear out? ›

Yes, it turns out. Once spices are ground, they start to oxidize, and their aromatics evaporate quickly, so you'll get the most flavor and aroma out of them when they're ground right before you prepare or consume your meal.

Are Peugeot salt and pepper mills different? ›

It's no wonder that Peugeot mechanisms are guaranteed for life. Peugeot Pepper Mills utilize case-hardened steel, Peugeot Salt Mills use corrosion resistant materials including stainless steel. Pepper mills use durable case-hardened steel, with exacting machining for long term performance.

Do you wash pepper mill? ›

Always check the manufacturer's instructions. But in general, start by wiping down the outside with a soft, damp cloth. If there's gunk stuck to the body of the mill, we've used a drop of dish soap or some natural, all-purpose cleaner to clean it. To replace peppercorns, unscrew the knob.

What kind of pepper do you put in a pepper grinder? ›

To get the best results, we recommend you to use only dry, hard, whole peppercorns that are 5 mm (1/4″) or less in diameter. Black, white and dry green peppercorns can be ground in Peugeot pepper mills.

Can I wash pepper grinder? ›

How to clean your Cole & Mason salt & pepper mills - YouTube

How do you grind a large amount of pepper? ›

The best method for quickly and reliably grinding lots of black pepper is to use a burr coffee grinder. Burr grinders utilize two revolving abrasive surfaces that can be set closer or further apart, allowing you to select the perfect grind for your recipe.

Does pepper expire or go bad? ›

Black pepper doesn't expire, and the date on the label only informs you how long the spice should retain quality. You can use pepper for months (or even years) past its date, but remember that the taste will slowly fade away. If you follow decent storage practices, chances of black pepper going bad are slim.

Why do salt grinders stop working? ›

The most common salt mill malfunction is clogging. This is caused by moisture in either the salt or the grinding mechanisms. Moisture can enter a salt mill when it's placed in liquid or used over steam. Fortunately, clogging is easy to fix or prevent.

Does salt and pepper go out of date? ›

The good news is that most spices, especially those that are ground and dried, don't ever spoil in a way dairy does. But they will lose some of their taste over time, and definitely won't last forever (MC).

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