Pepper. Once upon a time this fragrant spice could only be found in its native India, but today, it can be found in almost anyone’s cupboard. Pepper is THE number one selling spice in all of America. Regardless of the color (red, green, black or white) pepper adds a familiar and undeniable punch to any meal. We’re not talking about the ashy stuff you get in a packet at a fast-food restaurant. Real pepper comes in the form of a fragrant, crunchy little peppercorn that tastes the best (in our opinion) coarsely ground. If you love pepper as much as we do, investing in a quality pepper grinder is a must. We realize that there are tons of options out there, and finding the right pepper mill can be a real GRIND, but don’t you worry, we’ve narrowed it down to a list of our top five choices.
Best Pepper Grinders
Our Top Pick – COLE & MASON Derwent Pepper Grinder
If the form is just as important to you as the function, and you appreciate both a modern and unique style, you will love this pepper grinder. It doesn’t matter which finish you choose (Copper, Gunmetal, Stainless Steel or Wood) this high-quality, clear acrylic pepper mill will add smart refinement to your dinner table.
The COLE & MASON Derwent Pepper Grinder has the added benefit of six adjustable settings that allow precise grinding levels, depending on your personal preference (from very fine, to very coarse).
This grinder will keep your pepper fresh and safe from moisture and dust, and its clear acrylic shaker body will easily highlight when you need to add more peppercorns.
Simply refill by pulling up on the top, and carefully pouring more peppercorns inside.
The Gourmet Precision Mechanism on this particular grinder is made of stainless steel and is designed to strip down each peppercorn layer by layer as it works (as opposed to crushing it) in turn releasing maximum flavour.
Have peace of mind knowing that your grinder comes with a lifetime mechanism guarantee, so you never have to worry about the $50 investment you made on your pepper mill.
- Multiple grinding levels (six, to be exact)
- Attractive design with multiple finishes to choose from
- An acrylic body that makes refills easy
- A grinding mechanism that is made of high-quality stainless-steel
- A Gourmet Precision Mechanism that is designed to strip down each peppercorn layer by layer as it works to release maximum flavor
- A Gourmet Precision Mechanism that comes with a lifetime guarantee
- The price is steeper than some other options
- There are no other warranties aside from the mechanism guarantee
Best Acrylic Pepper Grinder – Unicorn Magnum Plus Pepper Mill 9″
This Peppermill is sort of a celebrity, both extremely beautiful, and very popular. If this one looks familiar to you, it’s probably because you’ve spotted it recently at a fancy restaurant.
The Unicorn Magnum Plus Pepper Mill has a unique design that has made it a top choice at many restaurants because, not only it is attractive and compact, but it’s exceptionally lightweight and very easy to use and refill. While the outside is entirely acrylic, the inner grinding mechanisms are made of high-quality stainless steel which makes it a very durable choice.
The unique side-load system makes reloading the Unicorn Magnum particularly easy.
There is also an adjustment mechanism that allows you to easily change your grind from very coarse to very fine (and vice versa) and who doesn’t like having that option?
- Very attractive and sleek design
- Made of lightweight Acrylic
- Very easy to use and refill
- Easy to clean
- Durable stainless steel grinding mechanism
- Adjustment mechanism that allows you to easily change your grind from very coarse to very fine
- On the more expensive side
- No warranty on the device
The Best Stainless Steel Pepper Grinder – Peugeot 32470 Paris Chef u’Select Stainless Steel Pepper Mill
This stainless steel pepper mill’s sleek, and classic exterior makes it both beautiful, and a little intimidating. When you first lay eyes on this stylish pepper mill, you won’t be surprised to learn that it is French.
The Peugeot 32470 Paris Chef u’Select Stainless Steel Pepper Mill isn’t necessarily a cheap option, but with that said, it IS an incredible value! With a five year warranty on the body of the device, AND a lifetime warranty on the grinding system, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal anywhere. This sophisticated beauty is absolutely worth the investment and the peace of mind the warranties bring is priceless.
From top to bottom, this pepper mill is constructed of high-end brushed stainless steel (even inside).
It goes without saying that stainless steel is a heavy material, and therefore, this pepper grinder is heavier than others on the market. But, with its heft, comes some serious durability, which makes the extra weight very much worth it (just don’t drop it on your toe!)
With six different grind settings and an extra row of helix-shaped teeth, this pepper mill gives you tons of options, along with the ultimate grinding power.
- Made in Europe
- Classic and timeless design
- Entirely constructed of high-end brushed stainless steel (inside and out)
- 5-year warranty against damages to the body and a lifetime warranty that protects the grinding system
- A more expensive option that others on the market
- Much heavier than other grinders on the market
The Best Battery Operated Pepper Grinder – Eparé Salt or Pepper Grinder
This battery-operated grinder can really do it all.
The Eparé battery-operated grinder can tackle both salt and pepper with its extra-large (and very durable) ceramic core. The great thing about a ceramic grinding mechanism is the fact that that ceramic can’t rust or dull (like metal, for example). Another benefit of a ceramic grinding mechanism is the fact that it won’t taint the flavor of your salt or pepper. It is also very durable, which makes grinding a breeze!
Battery operated grinders are very easy to use (you can literally use them with one hand!) All you have to do is simply push a button, and the batteries will do the rest.
This unit has a very cool feature that many others do not have, an LED torch light that allows you to see exactly how much seasoning you’re putting onto your food (which is great for evening BBQs, and low light dining rooms).
The see-through acrylic container makes refills nice and easy, and the rubber cap on the bottom of the grinder will ensure your seasoning stays dust and debris free.
Each battery-powered Eparé grinder takes four AA batteries that (unfortunately) are not included with your purchase.
- The price is low and affordable
- The LED Light is unique and makes it easy to see how much seasoning is on your food
- The acrylic body makes it easy to see when it is time for a refill
- The ceramic core can’t rust or dull
- It grinds slower than a manual grinder
- It is battery operated so you incur an additional expense for the batteries
- There is no warranty
- Some customers complain about pepper leakage
Best Wooden Pepper Grinder – Zassenhaus Speyer 5.1-Inch Dark Stained Beech Pepper Mill
This pepper mill is a pricey option, but there is something so comforting and classic about a wooden pepper grinder. When I think back to family dinners as a kid or fancy nights at a restaurant, I always picture a great big wooden pepper mill hovering over my pasta.
The Zassenhaus Speyer Pepper Mill has a very classic and rustic design, a design that has been the same for over 100 years! This pepper mill is made in Germany and is impeccably crafted to last for a very long time.
The outside of the pepper mill is constructed from beautiful dark beech wood, and the grinding mechanism inside is made out of ceramic (which is an excellent choice for many reasons, including durability and longevity). Zassenhaus Speyer is so confident in their ceramic grinding mechanism that they offer an unheard-of twenty-five-year guarantee to give you peace of mind.
This wooden pepper mill is heavier than others on our list, which is considered a negative to some people, but due to its solid wood construction, it is very sturdy (and we feel that cancels out the negative).
It offers the modern benefit of having a six-position grind changer that will allow you to adjust the coarseness of your grind (which is a must!)
On the top of the pepper mill there is a brass hand crank that is very easy to use, and makes grinding a breeze.
Although you can find cheaper options on the market, the quality guarantee, and timeless design of this grinder make it a no brainer investment.
- Timeless and nostalgic design
- Crafted in Germany by the same company for over 100 years
- The inner grinding system is ceramic and comes with a 25-year guarantee
- There is a six-position changer that allows you to control the coarseness of the grind
- The brass hand crank makes grinding very easy
- Because it is solid wood, it is quite heavy
- Wood grinders are harder to clean and you can’t easily see when it’s time to refill
- Expensive compared to other options on the market
Who needs a quality pepper grinder at home?
Everyone! If you’re prone to using pre-ground pepper, or pre-packaged pepper mills from the grocery store, you are missing out, my friends! A quality pepper mill with a ceramic or stainless steel grinding mechanism can easily grind fresh peppercorns to your desired coarseness, in turn releasing their aromatics and providing the freshest flavor. Pepper elevates the taste of even the simplest dishes, and a good pepper mill should be a staple in every home. When purchasing a pepper grinder it’s really important to do your research, as some of the options on the market are prone to being notoriously hard to refill, getting clogged, and producing an inconsistent grind. If this sounds like your pepper mill, it’s time to try out a new model that will save you many headaches, and elevate your cooking game.
Things to consider when buying a new pepper grinder:
Do you like the design?
Peppermills belong on the table at a dinner party. Make sure you choose a style that will fit your personal design aesthetic (so you don’t have to be embarrassed when your grinder joins you and your friends for dinner!)
Is it easy to clean?
Once you fall in love with your pepper grinder you’ll find yourself using it A LOT, and before you know it, it’ll be pretty gross and in need of a good wipe down. Make sure you choose a model that is made out of a material that is easy to clean and wipe down with a damp cloth. Acrylic or any type of hard plastic is usually very easy to clean, while materials like stainless steel and real wood will require a little bit more care and attention.
Can you adjust the grind?
When it comes to the coarseness of the grind, it often boils down to personal preference, and in some instances, a recipe will call for a particular grind. Having the ability to manually change the grind setting on your pepper mill is a game-changer, and will set you up for success in the kitchen. The vast majority of pepper mills on the market offer this function, but some grinders have up to six different settings, allowing much more variety to choose from.
Is the pepper mill easy to use?
Traditionally, using a pepper grinder is as simple as twisting the top with one hand, while holding the body firmly with the other hand. Today, there are many variations of this design, including hand cranks with non-slip grips, and even battery-operated models. Make sure to read all about how to use the pepper grinder you’re thinking about purchasing, and always go with an option that is easy to use, and cranks easily with little effort.
Is it easy to refill?
Once you get used to having freshly cracked pepper on your favorite dishes, you’re going to be refilling your pepper mill A LOT! Make sure you purchase a model that is easy to refill. Some offer convenient see-through acrylic bodies, or clear windows on the side so that you can see when it’s time to add more peppercorns. Others, like the wood or metal versions, don’t have this luxury, however, they usually have easy to remove tops with a wide compartment that is easy to pour peppercorns into with little to no spillage.
There are many options to choose from when it comes to finding the perfect pepper mill. If you want a classic option with various different finishes to choose from, we think that the COLE & MASON Derwent Pepper Grinder is an excellent choice. If you want to impress your friends at your next dinner party, the Unicorn Magnum is sure to do the trick. Whichever you choose, we promise that once you take the leap and purchase a quality pepper grinder there is no going back. Any of our picks are sure to elevate your dinnertime routine in just a few cranks of the wrist!