Two-stage mechanism to release flavor. Manual twist design is perfect for traditionalists. Adjustable coarseness. Great for Himalayan pink salt.
Coarse setting leaves some crystals too big. Some users accidentally touch settings wheel during operation.
Comes in several heights. Knob on top helps adjust granular size. Stainless steel and ceramic interior mechanism. Doesn't jam easily. Turns nicely.
Model is a little harder to fill than others on the market, but can be filled easily with a funnel.
Won't corrode or absorb unwanted flavors. Clear acrylic chamber shows amount of salt left. 5 settings from fine to coarse. Pre-filled with salt that should last several months.
Not cross-compatible with pepper. Some wish coarseness settings had more range.
Top is easy to unscrew for filling. Slick modern design. Adjustable salt grain size function. Also comes with pepper mill. Easy to refill. Good for a gift set.
Tends to leave a trail of grindings after use. Markings tend to wear off.
Single-hand operation for multitasking. Simple flip operation. Adjustable grain size. Solid construction with powerful grinding for coarse salt crystals.
Takes 6 AAA batteries, and some reports of broken grinding mechanisms after less than one year.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Salt is considered the first and foremost kitchen staple, and it has taken up permanent residence in spice cabinets and on dining room tables around the world. Nearly every recipe calls for this nifty little substance that draws out flavor. You can step up your salt game, and experience the freedom of choosing grain size and texture, with a salt grinder.
These handy tools take larger grains or crystals of salt and grind them down. While the flavor of salt doesn’t change with a salt grinder, the adjustments it makes can improve your dining experience. You can enhance a beautifully plated seafood meal with some fancy salt flakes, and sprinkling steaks with rough, grainy salt granules will give them a hearty finish.
As basic as salt grinders are, there is a wealth of options available, both in manual and electric. There are also plenty of different designs and finishes, so choosing which model best suits your culinary needs can be difficult. Luckily, we've compiled all the details you need to take into consideration when shopping for salt grinders.
Salt grinders are either manually operated or electric. Manual grinders are easy to control when it comes to output, but twisting and turning can be hard on the hands and wrists if you have arthritis. Electric grinders twist and turn at the push of a button. They’re battery-powered, and a few even have a rechargeable battery.
If you’re shopping for a salt grinder, then you’re probably interested in experimenting with different grain sizes and textures. Basic manual salt grinders have rudimentary crank functions to adjust grain size up to six sizes. However, it’s sometimes hard to gauge the size without some trial and error or looking at the mouth of the grinder. Other models, both manual and electric, have a more accurate size adjustment feature, also up to six sizes. More advanced salt grinders offer texture selection, so you can choose between flaky, coarse, or varied.
Salt grinders vary in capacity. An average salt grinder holds about half a cup of salt. There are some compact models that hold less than a quarter cup, and large models that hold as much as a cup or more. Because they’re often designed to be ergonomic or decorative, salt grinders can appear much larger than their actual capacity for salt.
Illuminated salt grinders have LED lights that turn on when you grind so you can see exactly where salt lands on your food. LED lights are usually blue so you can see the whiteness of the salt in contrast to your kitchen lighting.
Covers or trays
Some salt grinders come with covers, cases, or nesting trays. These are especially common when the mouth of the grinder is located at the bottom. The added coverage of a cover or tray prevents the grinder from being contaminated by food or particles on counter surfaces. Typically, these covers or trays are plastic, which means they can be washed frequently to maintain optimal cleanliness for your salt grinder.
Salt grinders range in price from $10 to $100. Those between $10 and $30 are typically manual models, though there are some electric grinders in this range.
Between $30 and $60, you’ll find superior wood models and above-average electric grinders. The blades in these models tend to last longer.
The $60 to $100 range is where you’ll see high-end, restaurant-quality salt grinders. They have stronger grinding mechanisms and operate more quietly.
We like the simplicity and compact design of the PepperMate Turnkey High-Volume Salt and Gourmet Peppercorn Grinder. This elegant and functional grinder has a basic turnkey mechanism and comes in four colors. A small but effective salt grinder, it will fit in any corner or cupboard of a kitchen.
Q. Can I grind salt in a peppercorn grinder and vice versa?
A. Each model is different, and the manufacturer typically specifies whether you’re able to use salt and peppercorns interchangeably in a grinder. There are some reports of salt corrupting the internal parts of pepper grinders, and it seems that certain types of blades get worn down more quickly by salt. As for using peppercorns in salt grinders, it’s not recommended as it’s very difficult to clean tiny pepper particles from the device. Your best bet is probably to buy a salt and pepper grinder set.
Q. What type of salt should I buy for my salt grinder?
A. It’s mostly preference, though some salt grinders hold up better to larger salt crystals than others. Coarse salts, such as sea salt or Himalayan salt, are recommended since they’re less sensitive to moisture and dry more easily due to their density.
Q. I need to grind a lot of salt at one time. What is the best way to store freshly ground salt?
A. Salt is non-perishable, and it’s best kept in airtight containers like glass jars. Some people also opt to keep ground salt in wood containers with lids. Though if you’re going this route, make sure the wood bottom doesn’t get wet.
Q. What’s the difference between pink Himalayan salt and regular table salt?
A. Regular table salt is pure sodium chloride. Pink Himalayan salt includes trace elements of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It also has mineral impurities like rust, which is what causes its recognizable color. Pink Himalayan salt comes from the Punjab region of Pakistan, and because it’s only found in an isolated area it tends to be more expensive as well.