You don’t have to be a gourmet-guy to tell freshly-ground spices from pre-ground spices. The robustness of flavor and intense aroma of freshly-ground pepper, that kick in the very first bite are unmatched. However, let’s face it. We are living in a fast-paced world, and having essential spices like salt and pepper pre-ground makes things easier.
But if you genuinely appreciate food rather than just gorge on it to fill your tummy, investing in a suitable pepper mill will be truly worth it. These days, brands are manufacturing easy-to-use mills with multiple coarseness settings, easy refilling, and even a base for holding ground pepper. Not to mention the unique and eye-catching designs that’ll get instantly up the glamor quotient of your dinner table.
Reviews of the Best Pepper Mills of 2019
Since you are reading this article, we are assuming that you are thinking about buying a pepper mill too. Great going! Not sure how to find the right model? Leave it on the experts.
1. Latent Epicure Battery Operated Salt and Pepper Grinder Set
The first product to grace our list is not just a regular, manual pepper grinder. Instead, it is a set of two mills, both battery-operated, one for pepper and one for salt. So, you are getting to purchase two different products at the price of one. This alone is a good enough reason to invest in it. But the thing is, there is much more to Latent Epicure set than just cost-effectiveness.
This elegantly designed mill employs a ceramic grinding mechanism to ensure quick and effective grinding. The salt and pepper grinders feature an electronic push button along with coarseness adjustment options. Your job is to set your preferred grinding level, push the button, and voila!
Some people hate pepper mills because they can make your kitchen workstation dirty as Dirty Diana if you are not careful enough. To fix this problem, the manufacturer has included a mill tray in the set. You can also use this tray to quickly and safely store the grinders anywhere in your kitchen.
Now comes our most favorite part, the LED lights. They illuminate every time to sprinkle some salt and pepper on your food, helping you keep track of how much you are putting in. This is a great little addition to prevent you from over-flavoring the dishes. You should use non-rechargeable batteries instead of rechargeable ones as the latter ones might not be compatible. We liked how easy it is to push the cells in place and get started immediately.
- All it takes is a push of a button to get the job done.
- Works with regular, non-rechargeable batteries.
- From fine to coarse cuts- allows everything.
- It comes with a tray for secure storage and to keep the kitchen clean.
- LED lights to prevent you from over-flavoring your food.
- The plastic at the bottom of the mill is soft, therefore tough to remove for cleaning purposes.
2. COLE & MASON Derwent Pepper Grinder
There are several ways in which COLE AND MASON pepper grinders outshine its competitors. First is the bright acrylic design with stainless steel accents. It looks like sort of a modern twist on an old classic. The see-through design not only looks uber cool on your dinner table but also helps you keep an eye on the amount of spice left in the mill.
The second best feature is the machine-cut carbon steel precision grinder. You don’t have to twist the mill with all the strength in your body to get the desired grind. The mechanism is smooth and works in a slightly different way than ordinary mills. Instead of simply crushing the peppercorns, it roughly cuts through each layer of spice to juice out maximum flavors.
That’s not it. The adjustable mechanism of the grinder is designed with precision, as well. It has a scale marked on it to leave the guesswork out of the scenario. In short, you will exactly know how fine or coarse the grind would be once you choose a particular coarseness setting. There are six of them, by the way.
Each setting provides a distinct and even grind, allowing you a truly gourmet experience without breaking the bank. Refilling the mill is a breeze. You have to open the top, refill, close it, and done! We also loved how it doesn’t leave any mess on the table when you put it down.
- Easy to twist and grind.
- See-through acrylic body.
- It doesn’t leak pepper all over the table.
- Coarseness adjustment with scale.
- Easy to refill.
- The markings around the adjustment mechanism might start fading with time.
3. OXO Good Grips Accent Mess Free Pepper Grinder
Simple yet efficient design, check. An effortless grinding mechanism, check. Easy refilling, check. OXO Good Grips offers everything you would want it a top-shelf pepper grinder, that too without drilling a hole in your pocket. Let’s start the review with the design aspect first. Like the previous product, it also features a see-through canister. This will make sure you never run out of spices mid-grind.
The base of the mill is coated in plastic, which results in a firm grip while you turn it (hence, the “Good Grips”). The base can be unscrewed in a jiffy for a refill. Talking about a refill, you don’t have to do it often as the mill hopper has a decent capacity.
It’s undoubtedly a smart idea to allow the dispenser face up when you rest it on a table, helps you steer clear of the unwanted mess. Another striking feature we noticed was the placement of the coarseness adjuster. Keeping it on the side of the canister instead at the base was a genius move. This way, you will be able to see the selector more clearly.
And while we are on the topic, adjusting the coarseness is a breeze on this mill. From finely ground pepper to coarse granules, it lets you season your dishes with Gordon Ramsay level precision. Need we say more?
- The upward-facing dispenser helps to prevent pepper leakage.
- Good mill hopper capacity.
- Easy to turn and grind.
- Fuss-free refill.
- Clearly visible and easy-to-use coarseness adjustment setting.
- The grinder teeth are relatively aggressive. Not the most practical option if you like your pepper on the coarser side.
4. Unicorn Magnum Pepper Mill
Be it performance, practicality, or value for money- this lavish-looking pepper mill has a lot of great things going for it. The grinder is neatly cased in a solid synthetic casing. It prevents the moisture from sneaking in and diminishing the flavor of peppercorns. The size of the pepper holder is relatively large, saving you the need for frequent refilling.
The steel grinding mechanism is as powerful and smooth as it gets. Honestly, even a child can turn it with almost zero effort. Another significant addition is the grinding size adjustment system, which looks like a thumbscrew. Unlike most common pepper mills, the coarseness setting will remain set still until you change it.
It only takes a few seconds to get fine ground pepper for your salads or coarsely crushed peppercorns to rub on your steaks. Refilling is a cakewalk, and last but not the least, it includes a tray to spare you the trouble of sweeping the tabletop every time you put it down.
- Spill tray included.
- Fast and easy grinding.
- Multiple grinding sizes available.
- It doesn’t require frequent refilling.
- Easy-to-operate coarseness adjustment.
- You may end up overloading your food with pepper if you are not careful enough while grinding.
5. CHEW FUN Stainless Steel Battery Powered Pepper or Salt Grinder
This mill is an out-an-out professional-grade product, best suited for professional cooks who work against the clock. It sports a large spice container and refilling it is as easy as eating a piece of cake. Among all the fancy little features, the one that stands out the most is the one-handed use feature. It is beneficial to be able to season your food with one hand while the other one is dirty, which is always the case in busy restaurant kitchens.
While the grinder is as powerful as it gets accompanied by varied coarseness settings, we would recommend using large peppercorns and salt granules for consistent results. It also sports an LED light, which blinks every time you dispense the spices. This way, you can be assured that you are not over or under seasoning the dishes. The machine operates on 6 AAA batteries, which is overkill but far from being a dealbreaker.
- Large spice container.
- Grinds both salt and pepper.
- Can be used single-handedly.
- LED lights to help you monitor the amount of seasoning you’re using.
- Quick and efficient.
- Takes 6 AAA batteries to work.
Things to Consider While Buying a Pepper Mill
1. Adjustable Coarseness Setting
Different recipes require different levels of fineness or coarseness of pepper. You can’t season a chunk of meat with dust-like fine pepper. On the other hand, roughly crushed flecks of peppercorns on carbonara or salad can be a significant turnoff. That’s why a high-quality pepper grinder should have a grind size adjustment mechanism that allows you to tweak the coarseness level depending on your taste.
2. Grinding Mechanism
A distinct and even grind with every coarseness setting is the mark of a genuine product. If you want an absolute bang for your buck, invest in a mill that utilizes heavy carbon steel or stainless steel grinding mechanism. These grinders provide unmatched consistency and durability. If you are a little short on budget, you can also consider ceramic grinders. These are not as aggressive as the previous two but still gets the job done quite well.
3. Manual vs Electric
Unless you have some physical limitations like joint pain or arthritis, a manual pepper mill will serve you just fine. For regular use at home, a hand mill is the best option as you can effectively control the amount of seasoning in your food. Plus, it is also affordable.
However, a battery-operated mill is the best option if you struggle with arm muscle pain, handgrip, or need a device for bulk grinding.
4. Ease of Use
Cranking and twisting a pepper mill for several minutes, only to receive a tony sprinkle, has to be one of the most annoying things in the world. So save yourself the trouble and find a model has utilizes the classic method of grinding i.e., twist the top part a couple of times, sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle. Done! In this regard, electric mills take extra points as they get the job done with a mere push of a button.
5. The Capacity of the Peppercorn Holder
Talking about the most annoying things in the world, how can we forget the feeling of running out of peppercorns in the middle of seasoning a dish? For regular kitchen use, a small to medium vessel with a capacity of ¼ to /1/8 will be ideal. However, if you work in a restaurant, you should aim for a size of 1 to 1 ½ cups.
6. Ease of Refilling
A complicated refilling procedure can be a significant turnoff while shopping for a pepper grinder. Devices that offer a narrow opening for refill create a risk of spillage. Having to unscrew an unscrewable metal cap is also a common problem faced by many users. So make sure whichever product you are opting for features a quality twist-and-open metal cap and a full opening.
Fail-safe Pepper Mill Cleaning Hacks
You need to clean your salt and pepper mill from time to time. It is because one, a dirty, clogged up grinder will gradually lose its grinding strength. Two, it’s straight-up weird to be too lazy to clean your spice grinders.
So here goes a step-by-step cleaning guide that’ll help you get the best out of your pepper mill:
- Open the top metal cap.
- Shake out the remaining bits of condiments.
- Either use a mixture of antibacterial soapy water or only a dry brush to clean the interiors.
- If you are using the wet cleaning method, make sure to sundry it, or use a hairdryer to dry the interior before re-using it.
Note that the above is a general method, whereas some products may require a different approach while cleaning. Therefore, always refer to the user’s manual before cleaning your pepper mill.
Now that you know about the factors that can make or break a deal, we hope the road from here will be easier for you. And as long you know what your exact requirements, finding the right model won’t take you long. If you want value for money, make sure you are only investing in the features you’ll be using. That’s all for today.