Few homemade dishes are complete without pepper. This essential spice is likely already in heavy rotation in your kitchen, but are you getting the most out of the product? The right pepper mill can take this seasoning from barely noticeable to a pop of flavor.
So, why opt for a pepper mill over a typical shaker? Freshly cracked pepper holds more flavor than pre-ground. You can enhance every dish and potentially use less of the spice in the process. Pepper mills also look more stylish on your counter or table. And of course, you can swap the pepper out for salt and other spices if you so choose.
Pepper mills are typically available in stainless steel, wood and plastic finishes. Some grind mechanically, while others you’ll need to twist by hand. All of these pepper mills create delicious flavors, so the specific style you buy will come down to personal preference.
Here are some of the best pepper mills for every kitchen.
1. Cole & Mason Derwent Pepper Grinder
Cole & Mason’s pepper mill is stylish and versatile, featuring six adjustable coarseness settings. This product uses a two-stage grinding process to crack and shave the peppercorn, which enhances the flavor. You might notice some pepper on the counter when you set it down, but the grinds are consistent. You can choose from stainless steel, wood, gunmetal and copper finishes when purchasing. The company has a matching salt grinder available as well.
Pros: The pop-off top makes the mill easy to refill. The product comes pre-filled with peppercorn.
Cons: It can take a while to grind the right amount of pepper onto your food. You might not notice a drastic difference between coarseness levels.
Cole & Mason Derwent Pepper Grinder
2. Kitchen-GO Pepper Grinder
This clear pepper mill is just five inches tall but holds three-quarters of a cup of spices. The adjustable grinding mechanism has three coarseness options. However, there aren’t markers labeling these levels, so you’ll have to eyeball it. While most of the product’s construction is plastic, the mill has a stainless steel lid to seal in freshness. You simply unscrew the grinder to refill the mill with peppercorn, salt, coriander or mustard seeds.
Pros: The small size of the pepper mill fits in your hand well. The mill holds quite a bit of pepper, so you won’t need to refill it often.
Cons: The coarse grind setting may be too fine for some users, especially when grinding salt.
Kitchen-GO Pepper Grinder
3. OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder
OXO’s pepper mill has a clear acrylic body and a stainless steel grinding mechanism. The soft grip is easy to hold while you grind the pepper, the mill won’t slip out of your hands. This product holds almost five ounces of peppercorn, salt or other whole spices. You can adjust the coarseness of the grind, and you’ll notice a clear difference between the various settings. Just keep in mind that the finest setting might still be on the coarser side.
Pros: The grinding mechanism is easy to turn. This grinder is a great option for sea salt as well.
Cons: This pepper mill might not work as well with extra-large peppercorn. The cap might start popping off with extended use.
OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder
4. Chew Fun Electric Gravity Pepper Mill
If you’re looking for an automatic pepper mill, this is a great option. Featuring a stainless steel grinding mechanism and glass chamber, this product has a hyper-modern design. Simply flip the mill upside down to dispense pepper onto your plate. It has a blue light around the rim that lights up when the mill is in use. This feature might be annoying to some users, but it turns off when you place the product upright.
Pros: You can use this pepper mill with one hand. The design of the product will look elegant on your counter or table.
Cons: The grinding mechanism might jam easily. The blue light doesn’t have a clear purpose (unless you’re eating in the dark).
Chew Fun Electric Gravity Pepper Mill
5. Yugefom Stainless Steel Pepper Mill
This versatile pepper mill has an elegant design and can grind most whole spices. The thick glass chamber, stainless steel cap and ceramic grinding mechanism hold up to regular use. The tightly sealed cap keeps the spices fresh, and the glass won’t absorb the flavors inside. You can choose from three coarseness settings when grinding pepper. This product is 7.5 inches tall.
Pros: This pepper mill has a large capacity. The glass feels sturdier than plastic alternatives.
Cons: It can be tricky to adjust the coarseness level. The grains of pepper or salt may come out too large.