Features a unique grinding mechanism to release fuller flavor and lids to keep contents fresh. Pepper grinder boasts a hardened carbon steel mechanism and offers 6 easy to adjust grinding levels, ranging from course to powder-fine. Salt mill features a diamond-cut ceramic grinder with 3 settings, and effortlessly takes on large, hard sea salt chunks. Acrylic and stainless steel construction beautifully balances elegance and durability.
Pricey, but the quality and performance is unrivaled.
Push button operation is ideal for single-handed use. LED lighting conveniently allows you to see just how much or little you're adding. Features adjustable coarseness settings. Ceramic grinding mechanisms offer improved durability and are suitable for use with most salts. Sleek and stylish design. Includes lids and an acrylic holder to to keep surfaces clean.
Battery-powered operation requires replacements from time to time. Compact size holds less pepper/salt.
Elegant and attractive design is pleasing enough to earn a permanent spot on any counter top. Top positioned grinding mechanism eliminates surface mess. Non-corrosive ceramic grinder is suitable for all types of salt. Large capacity cuts down on refill frequency, yet it is slim and contoured for comfortable handling. Variable coarse. Clear glass and stainless steel design is clean and modern. Includes stand for easy storage and lids for freshness.
Glass can break if dropped. Stand could be sturdier.
Ergonomic design with a non-slip base provides superior grip to make grinding a breeze. Offers a generous 5 coarseness settings. Ceramic grinders deliver versatile use and are resistant to corrosion. Wide openings for mess-free refills and upper grinding mechanism ensures surfaces remain clean. Stainless steel accents add a modern appeal.
No lid to keep contents fresh. Grind selection could be easier to use.
Variable coarseness settings are among the easiest to adjust. Standout stainless steel with copper finish is unique and attractive. Magnetic lid is convenient and does a superior job of staying put. Sturdy glass body, stainless steel top, and ceramic grinder with reinforced housing delivers all-round quality and durability. Includes a trendy stand.
Somewhat heavy. Included stand is angled for aesthetic appeal but isn't the most practical as grinders are easily knocked over.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Salt and pepper are two of the most vital seasonings in a home cook's arsenal. Whether you add them during the cooking process or at the table, a quality salt and pepper grinder set lets you season in style.
A salt and pepper grinder set on the table lets diners season their food to suit their taste buds. A decent set should allow you to adjust the coarseness of the grind to how you like it.
Other factors to consider when picking the perfect salt and pepper grinders include the material they're made from, their capacity, and their overall appearance.
While the majority of salt and pepper grinders are manual, you can also find some electric battery-powered options. These automatically grind your salt or pepper while you hold down a button. You might think electric grinders would grind your salt or pepper more quickly, but they tend to be much slower than manual options, and they're more expensive.
As such, we'd recommend buying a manual salt and pepper grinder set, unless you have difficulty grinding by hand. Within manual grinder sets, you'll find different operation types. With the majority, you must grip and twist to grind, but you can also find grinders with hand cranks or occasionally, with manual press-button operation.
It's important to consider the overall dimensions of your chosen salt and pepper grinders, plus the internal capacity. Some buyers enjoy extra-large grinders, while others prefer something more compact. However, the smaller your grinders, the less unground pepper and salt they can hold. Grinders with a tiny capacity can be frustrating, as you'll need to refill them more regularly. Think about how much salt and pepper you generally use and choose a grinder size and capacity accordingly.
If your salt and pepper grinder set is a pain to use, you'll be more likely to reach for the pre-ground stuff instead. Opt for models that make it quick and easy to grind your salt and pepper. They should also be easy to fill, with large openings to pour your unground salt and pepper.
You can buy salt and pepper grinder sets in a wide range of materials. Some are made of a single material — wood or stainless steel — where others are made from mixed materials, such as a glass body with a stainless steel cap.
Wood: If you want a salt and pepper grinder set with a traditional appearance, opt for wood. Wooden grinders are durable and long-lasting, but they can be trickier to clean, as wood is porous and can soak up liquid and retain stains.
Metal: The most common metal for salt and pepper grinders is stainless steel, but you can also find copper options. Metal grinders have a modern appearance and are a sturdy choice, but you won't find salt grinders made completely from metal, as salt corrodes metals.
Glass: A large number of salt and pepper grinders have a body made from glass with metal components elsewhere. Glass can't be corroded by salt and is transparent, so you can see when you're getting low on salt or pepper and need to refill. It is fragile, so you could crack, chip, or shatter a glass grinder.
Electric pepper and salt grinders often have LED lights in the base which illuminate your food as you grind onto it, helping prevent over- or under-seasoning in low lighting.
For pepper grinders, metal grinding burrs are the superior choice. They're sharper than ceramic and grind pepper more quickly and easily. Metal isn't an appropriate choice of grinding mechanism for salt, however, since salt corrodes metal.
You can find pepper grinders in a range of styles, from modern to traditional. This doesn't affect performance in any way, so choose whatever style you like best.
A salt or pepper grinder should allow you to change the coarseness of the grind, so you can have extremely finely milled salt or pepper, a coarse grind, or anything in between. Some grinders have clear settings, whereas others let you adjust the grind. You'll need to experiment to discover which positions equal which degrees of coarseness.
A quality salt and pepper grinder set should have at least some degree of moisture resistance to prevent ambient moisture in the kitchen — such as steam produced by cooking — from penetrating the grinder and making the contents damp.
Inexpensive: Basic glass and stainless steel sets start at around $10 to $20. These usually feature ceramic grinding burrs for both salt and pepper.
Mid-range: Mid-range options cost about $20 to $40. You can find a variety of sets in this price range made with a host of different materials. These usually feature higher quality grinding mechanisms, too.
Expensive: High-end salt and pepper grinder sets usually cost between $50 and $100, but a tiny handful of top-of-the-line sets cost up to $200. At this price point, you can expect to receive an attractive-looking set that performs exceptionally, with grinding burrs made from the highest quality materials.
Some salt and pepper grinder sets have subtle differences, so you can easily tell the salt from the pepper without looking at the contents.
The grinding burrs on your salt and pepper grinders can start to clog over time if you don't occasionally clean them out.
Choose salt and pepper grinders with an ergonomic grip. These are much more comfortable to hold and use, making it easier to grind your salt and pepper, especially when you need a large amount for a recipe.
Consider purchasing a couple of salt and pepper grinder sets if you regularly entertain large groups. You can have one set either end of the table, which will cut down on the "pass the salt" talk.
Check if both grinders are the same, or if one is for salt and the other for pepper. The best salt and pepper grinder sets should have metal grinding burrs for the pepper and ceramic burrs for the salt, so it's important not to confuse the two grinders. Lower end sets, however, will use ceramic burrs for both salt and pepper, so the grinders are interchangable.
There are so many salt and pepper grinder sets on the market that picking out just our five favorites was a challenge. We came across several other options that almost made our top spots. On the more inexpensive end of the spectrum is the Home EC Premium Stainless Steel Salt and Pepper Grinder Set. With a six-ounce capacity, these grinders hold more than other options in this price range, and the ceramic grinding burrs are effective. Another great inexpensive choice is the Bennici Salt & Pepper Grinder Set, which holds approximately five ounces apiece and includes a bonus stand. If you'd prefer something more stylish, the Grind Gourmet Salt and Pepper Grinder Set has a sleek, modern appearance with simple push-button operation. We also love the COLE & MASON Oldbury Wood Salt and Pepper Grinder Set, a high-end set with a classic look. They perform excellently, too, with carbon steel grinding burrs in the pepper shaker and diamond-sharpened ceramic for salt.
Q. Why should I use a pepper grinder instead of pre-ground pepper?
A. Pre-ground pepper oxidizes over time, which makes it less flavorful and aromatic. When you grind whole peppercorns, you end up with fresher pepper that just tastes better. You can also adjust the grind size to produce coarse or fine pepper, whereas the majority of pre-ground pepper is finely ground.
Q. Can I use my salt or pepper mills to grind other spices?
A. You can grind the majority of spices in ceramic or metal salt or pepper grinders. That said, the flavor of whatever spice you grind will linger, so you'll generally want a dedicated grinder for each spice, rather than switching between salt or pepper and other spices.
Q. Do I really need to grind salt?
A. Unlike ground pepper, ground salt doesn't oxidize, so you don't need to grind it fresh for a superior flavor. However, plenty of people like to have pepper and salt grinder sets anyway, so they match and look attractive on the dining table. You may also choose to grind salt so you have control over the coarseness of the grind.
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