If you want to add some spice to your kitchen, you may look to pre-ground pepper and other spices. If you go that way, though, you'll miss out on a world of flavor! Grinding your spices fresh is the way to go for deeper flavor, even with everyday black peppercorns. And the best pepper mill is here to help you achieve that.
Grinding spices fresh takes their flavor and scent to a whole new level. But how do you choose the best pepper mill? Some of them are sturdy, stainless steel pillars while others take on an ergonomic design with a crank. Others still are electric, dispensing spices at the push of a button.
Which one is the best pepper mill for you?
How To Pick the Best Pepper Mill For Your Spices
They say that variety is the spice of life, and for a good reason. Spices completely change the flavors of your dish. They bring out depth and add incredible, exciting flavors to everyday dishes.
One of the best ways to elevate your cooking is to have a well-stocked spice rack. With an array of spices and herbs, you can go from being an average cook to an amazing home chef in no time at all.
But to get the most out of your spices, you can't just buy them pre-ground. Even your everyday black pepper is better whole! For this, you need to use a pepper mill. And since spices are not cheap, you should use the best pepper mill you can get your hands on!
Why You Should Use A Mill For Your Spices
A pepper mill doesn't just have to work on pepper, although most of them are made for that purpose. But have you ever wondered why pepper often comes whole when other spices are more common in their pre-ground forms?
Spices are easier to store ground than they are in whole form. Buying ground spices also cuts out a step from your preparation process. For a lot of people, this time saver is worth buying spices ground.
But think about how much time grinding pepper takes out of your day. Not a lot, right?
Starting with whole spices preserves their flavor and scent. Pepper and other spices that are ground and sold impart some flavor to their food. The longer spices sit after being ground, the longer their oils are exposed. This makes them deteriorate until they are bland versions of their former selves.
You've probably brought ground black pepper in a pinch if you didn't have any whole on hand. And you've surely noticed the lack of flavor when comparing the two.
If you grind fresh, you can get away with using less of the same spice than if you bought them ground. Plus, you get a different and deeper flavor. If you buy ground black pepper, they all taste more or less the same.
But whole black peppercorns have different flavors based on their variety and where they grew. These are the kinds of nuances which you miss with pre-ground spices. The best pepper mill will help bring them out.
How We Picked The Best Pepper Mill
The best pepper mill was chosen using a few different sources, to make sure we picked the absolute best options for you.
Our first step was the professional review. Professional reviews from places like the New York Times' Wirecutter, Epicurious, and the Spruce Eats were all consulted to help us pick the best pepper mill.
From these choices, we made sure that the pepper mills we were recommended to you could be trusted by people who know what they're looking for.
After making our initial selection based on professional reviews, we went to you, the customer. Customer reviews let us know that the thousands of people who use these mills every day trust them.
The mills that don't break after regular use or get stuck grinding tough spices come through here. Professional reviews can lack the scope that customer reviews offer.
As for customer reviews, we do have a lower limit. The best pepper mill needs to be quite well reviewed. Since the customer is the most important part of our process, we removed any pepper mills that had too low of a customer rating even if they were rated well by review sites.
How Much These Pepper Mills Will Cost
The best pepper mill won't exactly be the biggest investment in your kitchen. But, they can often cost a bit more than you may expect for such a simple instrument.
A pepper mill's cost may vary based mainly on the materials of which they are made. The least expensive we will cover costs around $ to $$, while the costliest is as much as $$.
For the most part, the least expensive pepper mills are made of plastic. They may have either a ceramic or a metal grinder. More expensive grinders are either made of solid wood or entirely from metal.
Although the most attractive pepper mills are often more expensive, there are plenty of inexpensive mills available. These are great for the other spices you use for cooking. They have a low enough cost that you can easily add them to your kitchen without spending too much!
Our Selections Of The Best Pepper Mill
Our choices for the best pepper mill span from inexpensive, utilitarian models to more aesthetic ones. We have listed them in alphabetical order.
Cole And Mason Capstan
The Cole and Mason Capstan pepper mill is an attractive, wood-carved grinder. It comes with a machine cut steel mechanism which turns smoothly and will easily crack any peppercorn you can put inside.
You can finely tune the grind on your pepper by adjusting the knob on top. This sets between a coarse and a fine grain. The Capstan comes in 5-inch and 6.5-inch sizes for more compact use. It also comes in a 12.5-inch size, which is easier to handle.
If you're looking for a table set, the Capstan has a matching salt grinder which can be bought separately.
The Capstan is well-reviewed on Amazon. It has Amazon's Choice award and a total of 4.3 stars out of 5 from 429 customers. The Capstan costs $$ to $$.
Cole And Mason Derwent
Cole and Mason's Derwent pepper grinder comes in a stainless steel finish which will work with many kitchen settings. If stainless isn't your setting, the Derwent can come in three additional treatments.
The copper, gunmetal, and wood options will make sure your Derwent pepper mill fits in with your kitchen.
This pepper mill is clean, attractive, and it easily lets you see inside to know how much pepper is left in your mill.
The Derwent is also very adjustable and precise. You can set your grinder to one of six grind settings. With this dial, you can change the coarseness of the grind to any degree you need.
One important feature of this pepper mill is how easy it is to refill. Its top is simple to remove and has a wide mouth. That will keep your peppercorns in the mill and not on the counter.
On Amazon, 1,625 customers reviewed the Derwent pepper grinder. It earned an overall rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. The Cole and Mason Derwent Pepper Mill costs $$ to $$.
Kitchen GO Pepper Grinder
To describe Kitchen GO's pepper grinder in one word, it would be "compact." This clean, stainless pepper grinder holds a sizable 3/4 cup of spices in its clear reservoir. It is also only five inches tall, which makes it fit easily into your hand.
Kitchen GO's grinder comes with a stainless steel lid that maintains freshness. It also gives you a place to grind and measure out spices without putting them straight into your food.
The grinders in this mill are ceramic. They won't rust or corrode, and will still grind your pepper to a customizable setting. You can also select a setting to adjust the quantity of spice that will come out.
As a bonus, Kitchen GO guarantees this grinder for 90 days. If you don't like it, you can return it. However, the 293 Amazon customers who reviewed this grinder did like it. They gave it a total of 4.5 stars out of 5.
The Kitchen GO Pepper Grinder costs $$.
Latent Epicure Battery-Operated Pepper Grinder
Latent Epicure's electric salt and pepper grinder set gives you a combination so that your pepper grinder doesn't have to be alone. This saves you a good amount of money, as this set costs about the same as some other mills on the list.
These electric grinders are easy to use. Latent Epicure includes a tray to keep pepper and salt from getting on your counter. Also, the fact that they are battery operated means you won't have to twist to grind your spices anymore. With the push of a button, you'll have ground pepper with no fuss.
If you have trouble seeing your food, the Latent Epicure grinders also come with a convenient LED light so you can see exactly how much pepper is on your food. Everything about these grinders is focused on accessibility.
The Latent Epicure Battery Operated grinder set earned 4.4 stars out of 5 from 1,947 customers on Amazon. It also earned an Amazon's Choice award.
The Latent Epicure Battery Operated set costs $$.
OXO Good Grips Accent
If you're not familiar with OXO's products, you may want to start here. OXO makes clean, attractive kitchen products that have secure silicon grips. This helps make their products, like this pepper grinder, suitable for anyone's hands to hold, even when wet.
The Good Grips Accent pepper grinder is easy to hold and has an adjustable grind. You can select from any of five grind settings with a simple switch on the front of the grinder.
As convenient as it is to grind with, it is also convenient to refill. This grinder sits flat upside-down, so you can easily put pepper into its 4.75-ounce reservoir. If stainless steel isn't your preferred finish, this pepper mill also comes in copper and dark stainless finishes.
The OXO Good Grips Accent grinder earned a rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 on Amazon. A total of 1,346 reviewers gave it a score.
This pepper mill costs $$.
OXO Good Grips Lewis
Perhaps even simpler to use than the Good Grips Accent is the OXO Good Grips Lewis pepper mill. It's good if you have trouble with average pepper mills, or if you want something with a little more leverage. That's because instead of twisting to grind your spices, you turn a crank.
The Lewis's crank mechanism gives you a solid, non-slip surface to grip. The knob on top makes it comfortable to use, and the ceramic grinder inside is adjustable for coarse and fine grinds.
On top of everything, there's the easy refill system. Rather than having to unscrew the whole mill to refill your spices, you can simply flip open the door.
This door gives you a quick way to refill the mill. Plus, if you want to use your mill for multiple spices, you can grind the right amount without any hassle.
The OXO Good Grips Lewis pepper mill earned 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, as well as the Amazon's Choice award. 2,579 customers reviewed this pepper mill, more than nearly any other on our list.
The OXO Good Grips Lewis costs $$.
Pepper Mill Imports Atlas
The Atlas pepper mill by Pepper Mill Imports is one of the most visually striking pepper mills we have covered. This mill is copper from top to bottom, making it a beautiful addition to your kitchen.
This is one of the only pepper mills that is entirely metal, including its steel grinding mechanism inside. It also has a metal handle to help with grinding. Much like the OXO Good Grips Lewis, the handle will make grinding easier. It gives some much-needed stability and leverage, plus a bit of aesthetic flair to this pepper mill.
This mill is handmade in Greece with 300-year-old techniques. If the 9-inch grinder is too large for your kitchen, you can also find this pepper mill in 7.5 and 8-inch sizes.
On Amazon, this pepper grinder earned the Amazon's Choice award as well as a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.
The Pepper Mill Imports Atlas Pepper Mill costs between $$ and $$.
Peugeot Paris Chef u'Select
Peugeot's Paris Chef u'Select stainless steel pepper mill is a beautiful and sturdy mill. It is entirely stainless steel from the exterior body to the grinding mechanism.
When they come off the line in France, Peugeot fills them with pepper as part of the testing process. You can trust that this mill is top quality and works well as a result.
The grinding mechanism has a helix shape, which secures peppercorns so that they can be properly ground. Peugeot also treats the grinding mechanism with a patented coating, which reduces corrosion and maintains sharpness.
The u'Select in this grinder's title refers to the six settings you can choose for the grinder. Like others we have covered, you can set this pepper mill from very fine to very coarse depending on your preferences.
Peugeot's Paris Chef u'Select Stainless Steel pepper mill has a rating of 4.1 stars out of 5 on Amazon, with a total of 69 customer reviews.
This pepper mill costs $$.
Unicorn Magnum Plus
The Unicorn Magnum Plus Pepper Mill is made of plastic with a metal grinding mechanism and is one of the largest volume pepper mills on our list. Coming in at a whopping 1 and 3/4 cups of interior volume, you won't have to refill your Magnum Plus for a long time.
The plastic body makes this pepper mill durable and easy to clean, while the metal grinding mechanism powers through pepper. This is one of the fastest-grinding mills Unicorn has ever made.
The Magnum Plus uses parts from both Italy and the United States. Unicorn constructs them in Nantucket. With nine inches, you can be sure you'll have leverage, making the grinder easier to use.
Unicorn's Magnum Plus Pepper Mill has a rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 from 907 customers on Amazon. This makes it the highest-rated pepper mill of any we have mentioned. It also received an Amazon's Choice award.
The Unicorn Magnum Plus Pepper Mill costs $$.
Urban Noon Electric Pepper Grinder
The Urban Noon Electric pepper grinder has everything you need for a convenient pepper mill experience. This battery operated pepper mill is, above everything else, easy to use.
The grinding mechanism is ceramic, which means you don't have to worry about corrosion. Its exterior is stainless steel and acrylic glass, so this pepper mill is both sturdy and attractive. You can also adjust this grinder to fit the coarseness you desire.
If you need accessibility in the kitchen, you can operate this electric pepper grinder with just one hand. The light makes it so you can see your food easily, which is especially helpful if you normally have difficulty seeing.
This electric pepper grinder earned a rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon. It also earned an Amazon's Choice award as well as ratings by 285 customers.
The Urban Noon Electric Pepper Grinder is available for $$.
The Best Pepper Mill For Your Kitchen
Choosing the best pepper mill for your kitchen is ultimately all about preference. Many of the mills we have covered are fairly utilitarian. They grind pepper and other spices, but they don't go a long way towards being attractive table settings.
For many people, this is more than enough. You want the best pepper mill for a low cost. It should grind spices well, and not break after a short time. If this is you, the best pepper mill for you is the OXO Good Grips Lewis. OXO designed its crank handle to be ergonomic. It's also the simplest pepper mill to refill of any on this list. As a bonus, it doesn't even cost $$.
If you're looking for something with a little more flair, why not try the Cole and Mason Derwent? This pepper mill is a little more expensive but also has some aesthetic appeal. You can customize it to fit your kitchen. It's also adjustable and lets you see how much pepper is left inside.
Whatever pepper mill you decide is the best pepper mill for you, rest assured you need to look no further than the ones we have shown you.
What's your favorite pepper mill? Do you own one of the ones we have gone over? Sound off in the comments.