Welcome to our big spice grinder test 2023. Here we present all the spice mills we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.
We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best spice grinder for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a spice mill.
- The right spice mill brings great cooking pleasure and offers new culinary experiences through the fresh grinding of spices. In addition, it is also a very decorative element in the household
- In addition to classic salt and pepper mills, you can also fill your mill with other spices or spice mixtures. There are hardly any limits and you can experiment freely according to your taste.
- Whether small, large or made of wood or acrylic glass – no matter what you decide, the most important thing about a spice mill is its grinding mechanism.
The Best Spice Grinder: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a spice grinder
What is a spice ginder?
Basically, a spice mill is a mill that processes different types of spices.
Peugeot invented the spice mill in 1842, and the first spice mill was a pepper mill. Here, the spices are freshly ground as needed – one of the most popular examples is the pepper mill. The spice mill replaces, for the most part, the classic mortar in today’s households.
Which spices can be used in a grinder?
Below we have listed a small list of possible spices for your spice mill:
- Curcuma (turmeric)
- Himalayan salt
- Dried ginger
- Dried garlic
- Caraway seeds
- Ground nutmeg
- Mixed pepper
- Cinnamon bark chopped
Also try your own freshly made curry spice. For this, put a spice mixture of fenugreek seeds, cardamom, chillis, cumin, turmeric, ginger, garlic, coriander, sea salt, cloves, pepper, mustard seeds and cinnamon bark, already dried and crushed, into the grinder.
How do I use a spice grinder?
The ground spice can be like fine powder or slightly grainy. Decide on the appropriate use depending on the grain size. If you like to season directly while cooking, the grinder should be protected from steam.
With the individually adjustable grind, you can always give your food the right seasoning.
So you should not grind directly over the cooking pot, but first grind the pepper in your hand or in a bowl. However, there are also special attachments that are open on the sides and thus protect the grinder from direct moisture.
What does a spice grinder cost?
Decision: What types of spice grinders are there and which is the right one for you?
Basically, you can distinguish between four types of spice mills:
- Spice grinder in wooden cone
- Spice grinder with glass container
- Spice grinder with lid
- Electric spice grinder
Due to the design, the respective functioning of these spice mills is slightly different. Therefore, there are advantages and disadvantages with each of these types. Depending on the intended use and preference, one or the other spice mill is more suitable.
In the following section, the differences between the individual types are briefly explained so that you can decide for yourself which spice mill is the right one. The advantages and disadvantages of the individual spice mills are also described.
The spice mill with lid is available in both classic and modern versions. The use of the spice mill depends on the type. However, the additional lid provides a considerable advantage, as closing the mill with a lid is very practical. Unlike the classic wooden mill, no spice crumbs remain on the table.
The planned amount of salt or pepper, for example, can be ground without any problems with the lid closed. The ground material collects in the lid and can be quickly poured into the pan or pot. This keeps the spice mill dry and means that it does not have to be emptied or cleaned all the time. In addition, the grinder is available in a wide variety of designs, from classic wooden cones to chic and modern glass or plastic.
What distinguishes a spice grinder in a wooden cone and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
The classic spice mill is reminiscent of a wooden cone. The grinding mechanism is located at the foot of the cone and is connected to the head of the mill by a long threaded rod. The grinding process is started by holding the body of the mill and turning the head. This causes the ground spice to trickle out of the bottom of the mill.
If you put a mill like this on a shelf or table, it usually leaves a few spice crumbs underneath. This is not a problem, however, as its classic design makes it a very decorative element in the kitchen or at the dining room table.
What distinguishes a spice grinder in a glass container and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
The more modern type of spice mill offers more insight into the filling quantity. Here, the spices are placed in a glass container onto which the grinder is screwed on top. Since the mill is placed with the grinder facing upwards, it must first be turned over for seasoning.
What distinguishes an electric spice grinder and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
The spice mills already described are manual mills that are operated by your own muscle power. With an electrically operated spice mill, you press a button to start the grinding mechanism. Some models have a so-called toggle switch that starts the grinder. This is made possible by a built-in gravity sensor.
When the grinder is turned or tilted, the spice automatically trickles out of the mill. Furthermore, many electric mills offer additional light. The spice mill with automatic light offers an additional effect for evening cooking. Basically, a great advantage of the electric mill is that only one hand is needed to season the food.
Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate spice grinder
This chapter describes the most important factors that can be used to compare and evaluate spice mills. The following criteria will help you to find the right spice grinder for you and thus make your purchase decision easier:
The right grinder
The most important feature of a spice mill is the grinder. High-quality mills are characterised by a durable, abrasion-resistant and long-lasting grinding mechanism. The grinder is usually made of one of the following materials:
- Stainless steel
This grinder is extremely hard and robust and is ideal for grinding various spices, making it universally usable. Even use over a steaming pot or pan cannot do much damage to a high-quality ceramic grinder. Note that very high-quality models usually last longer, but have a higher price.
Often, cheaper models have the problem that the grinder wears out more quickly. Decide for yourself whether this is worth the extra cost. When buying, also look at the reviews of other buyers, as the quality is not immediately obvious.
Grinders made of ceramic have the advantage that they are odourless and tasteless. This means that the taste of the aromatic spices cannot be adulterated.
Stainless steel grinder
Grinders made of stainless steel are very robust and offer a long service life. Another advantage is that they are also well suited for grinding other foodstuffs such as herbs, nuts, salt or similar, as they are completely rust-free if it is a high-quality treated steel. Inexpensive stainless steel grinders can develop rust over time due to moist contents, especially if more aggressive substances such as salt are put into the grinder.
Often, a grinder made of plastic is not very durable. You can find very inexpensive models here in particular, but these are not particularly recommended for regular use. With this important kitchen utensil, a larger investment is worthwhile for convincing handling and long-lasting enjoyment of the grinder.
The selection of spice mills is diverse, from large mills to very small mills made of wood or acrylic glass, whether electric or mechanical. Everyone has their favourite model and their own technology. As a quality feature, the outer material also plays a role. Whichever exterior material you choose, pay attention to the workmanship and the quality of the material used. The following questions should help you:
- How stable is the material?
- Is the material of my spice mill waterproof?
- Is the spice mill easy to clean?
Of course, the design of a spice mill is a matter of taste. Some models are ergonomically shaped, which makes them particularly comfortable to hold. The shape and size of a spice mill have no influence on the grinding result. However, a small model offers the advantage that not too much spice is stored in the container.
A long storage time usually also means a loss of quality in the taste of the spices. It is therefore better not to fill spice mills completely. There are hardly any limits to your choice of design. You can decide whether you prefer rustic or modern and stylish. Do you prefer stainless steel, wood, plastic or a mix of materials? You can arrange the mill to match your kitchen furnishings. This way, your salt and pepper mill can become a real eye-catcher on the table.
The equipment criterion refers especially to the scope of delivery of electric spice mills. Make sure that a set of batteries is included in the price. In most cases, electric mills are powered by AAA batteries. In most cases, up to six batteries are needed. Find out where you can buy the batteries and how much they cost. Sometimes grinders come with a lid for the opening at the end of the grinder, but this differs depending on the model and manufacturer.
The warranty is an important point and should be considered before you buy. Therefore, when buying your spice mill, make sure it comes with an appropriate warranty period. Many well-known manufacturers offer a ten to 25-year guarantee on ceramic grinders. This often speaks for well-made products with high quality.
Facts worth knowing about spice mills
What is the difference between pepper and salt grinder?
Compared to other spices, salt is a rather aggressive mineral that puts the grinding mechanism of your spice mill to the test in the long run. Therefore, the grinding mechanism of your salt mill should be made of a material that protects against corrosion. Nowadays, any high-quality, stainless steel spice mill can be used equally well as a salt or pepper mill.
However, titanium or ceramic grinders are particularly suitable for use as salt mills. Both materials are very hard and definitely rustproof, so that the hard salt crystals cannot harm the grinder and a constant grinding result can be maintained.
How can I clean the grinding mechanism of my spice grinder?
Two methods are particularly suitable for cleaning spice mills. One is cleaning with rice and the other is cleaning with salt. However, it is important to note that the mills should not be cleaned under water or in the dishwasher, as this can damage the materials. Regular cleaning of the grinder is a prerequisite for long-lasting enjoyment of the product. In pepper mills, for example, essential oils can stick to the grinder and become rancid over time. It often happens that grinding is done over a steaming pot and the grinder becomes damp and sticks.
If it is a high-quality grinder that can be disassembled, this should be left to a professional; in many cases this is part of the customer service.
To give your grinder a long life, cleaning once a year is recommended. For cleaning the outside, a damp cloth with a little washing-up liquid is sufficient. Then dry the spice mill carefully with a kitchen towel. Both electric and mechanical spice mills cannot usually be disassembled. Therefore, the methods described below offer an optimal solution.
Cleaning with rice
The method of cleaning spice mills with rice is often recommended because it is gentle on the mill’s grinding mechanism. To do this, fill the empty mill with dry, uncooked white rice. Grind it once completely. This process cleans the grinder, leaving oil and spice residues on the rice.
Cleaning with salt
The salt method should not be used for steel grinders, as the salt could damage the grinder. For such grinders, the ideal variant is cleaning with rice. Instead of rice, coarse salt is used. This is filled into the empty spice mill for cleaning. Just as with rice, the salt is ground through the mill once to absorb all residues.
Picture source: 123rf.com / 100816066