The Best Pepper Grinders for Fresh and Flavorful Ground Spices
Peppers grinders are arguably one of the most important tools to have in your kitchen. After all, nearly every recipe calls for salt and pepper, and you probably use it every time you cook. That's why selecting an effective spice grinder—and not just a plastic one from the grocery store—is so integral for everyday cooking.
Knowing which pepper grinder to select can be confusing. There are so many choices and price points to consider: Do you opt for the standard wooden mill or select the stainless steel one that's comfortable to hold and easy to turn?
To narrow down the options, we've rounded up the best pepper grinders for everyday use, from wooden classics to automated electric grinders. Overall, the classic Peugeot 9-Inch Pepper Mill outranked the rest for its versatility, sleek design and two-stage grinding system that produces fresh, flavorful ground pepper. Read on for more of our favorite grinders, and find out why these handy gadgets mean we'll never buy pre-ground pepper again.
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
- Best Splurge: Menu Bottle Grinder with Steel Lid Set of 2
- Best Design: Le Creuset Pepper Mill
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 Accent Mess-Free Pepper Grinder
Best Electric Pepper Grinder: FinaMill Pepper Mill and Spice Grinder
Best Splurge: MENU Bottle Grinder with Steel Lid Set of 2
Best Design: Le Creuset Pepper Mill
Peugeot's streamlined and classic aesthetic makes for an elegant addition to any kitchen or dining table. The ceramic grinder cracks pepper without crushing it, helping to increase flavor and preserve freshness. If you're looking for the best pepper grinder to add to your collection of kitchen tools, you can't go wrong with a Peugeot Paris pepper mill.
Factors to Consider
Pepper mills should be easy to use, fill, hold, and clean. They should be fast and lightweight, and should be an easy gadget to reach for during any cooking project. Before selecting a pepper mill, it's important to assess the material it's made from and the different grind sizes it offers. Most of all, a quality pepper mill should produce consistent, fresh spices no matter how often you use it.
What some people may not realize is that selecting the right material for the grinding mechanism is more important than selecting the material of the body. Some pepper mills come with wood bodies, while others are plastic or glass. Body material is a matter of preference. Wooden pepper mills are classic and make an elegant addition to any table, but pepper mills with glass bodies allow you to more easily see when you'll need to refill it.
The best-quality pepper mills come with ceramic grinders because they are strong, durable, and don't absorb the flavor of the spices. That way, pepper gets cracked rather than crushed, and flavor and freshness are preserved.
Before selecting a pepper grinder, make sure that it allows you to control the coarseness of the ground spices. Some grinders have a variable mechanism that you turn, while others have multiple set coarseness options to choose from. Either way, choosing grind sizes offers more versatility, especially if you intend on using the grinder with other whole spices like coriander or cumin.
For this piece, our editors relied on their personal culinary experience to determine what's needed in a spice grinder and what characteristics make up an efficient one. We performed competitive research and assessed a variety of different brands and price points. We focused on selecting products that are functional, versatile, and durable, while being aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-use.
Amy Schulman is a writer and editor who focuses on making informed, thoughtful shopping recommendations for publications like Real Simple, Travel & Leisure, Chowhound, and Thrillist. She utilizes her personal cooking experience to scour the internet to find the best gadgets that help home cooks elevate their culinary skills.
This piece was updated by Laura Denby, a professional chef and food writer with years of experience cooking in home kitchens as a caterer and private chef. Laura relies on her professional culinary experience and culinary school degree to select products that are efficient, functional, and versatile. You can find more of her product reviews on Food & Wine, Real Simple, Allrecipes, and Southern Living.