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10 Best Salt and Pepper Grinders UK 2023

Freshly ground black pepper atop a steaming bowl of pasta takes some beating, as does seasoning your sauces with home-milled sea salt instead of regular old table salt. Nowadays you’ll find sleek electric battery powered options, traditional manual wooden grinders and everything in between, but how do you know which are the best for the job?

In order to give you a hand choosing this essential piece of culinary kit, we’ve come up with a buying guide that will teach you everything you need to know to ensure you end up with a quality grinder or grinder set. We’ve also scoured the reviews and sussed out the brands to bring you our 10 top picks from eBay, John Lewis and Amazon, including entries from cookware stalwarts OXO Good Grips and Peugeot. Let’s get cracking!
Last updated 28/01/2023
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Products or services listed have been independently ranked by the mybest Editorial Team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide as of 16-01-2023.

How to Choose Salt and Pepper Grinders in the UK – Buying Guide

There are a few factors that make for a top quality salt or pepper mill that gives you the right grind consistency to season your food to perfection. Material, adjustability and blade construction play a part, as well as some personal preferences such as the style and appearance, so let’s get started.

① Decide on Whether You’d Prefer Manual or Electric Grinders

To start with, you’ll need to decide whether to go with a traditional hand-operated grinder or an electric version that does the hard work for you. Both have their pros and cons, so we'll break it down and help you to make the right choice for your culinary needs.

Manual Grinders Are Classic in Appearance and Better Draw Out Flavour

Manual Grinders Are Classic in Appearance and Better Draw Out Flavour
Many chefs prefer a manual grinder for peppercorns for the same reason they use a pestle and mortar for other spices — the gradual crushing and grinding of the ingredients brings out the flavours and aromas better than an electric blade that hacks them into small pieces.


So, we’d recommend them for cooks and diners who want their freshly ground pepper to pack a flavoursome punch and who want a simple, classic grinder. They’re also less likely to become faulty, and they’ll never run out of batteries!

Electric Grinders Are Easy to Operate and Can Handle Other Spices

Electric Grinders Are Easy to Operate and Can Handle Other Spices
Electric grinders are normally battery operated, so even though they don’t use much power you will have to make sure you always have some batteries in the house, particularly if you’re a family using them several times each day. They are ideal for those with joint or hand issues, and their single button operation can often be activated with one hand.


Because they have the power of electricity behind them, and a slightly different blade system, automatic grinders will be able to handle spices other than pepper or salt such as Szechuan peppercorns or dried aromatics making them a great multi-use kitchen gadget.

② Choose Between Individual Grinders for Salt or Pepper, or a Set for Both

Choose Between Individual Grinders for Salt or Pepper, or a Set for Both
Next on the agenda, think about whether you’d like a set of salt and pepper grinders, or just one or the other. If you’re happy with your current salt grinder or are content just buying pre-ground salt then you can just go for an individual pepper grinder, and likewise if you only require a salt grinder.


Purchasing both together as a pair will be useful if you’re wanting to upgrade from your current set or just like the idea of having a matching duo to complement your kitchen or dining table.


Whichever you go for, an important thing to remember is that you should not use salt and pepper grinders interchangeably, as each has blades designed specifically for use with the intended seasoning. Rock salt especially is too hard and tough for some pepper grinders, and salt in general can also corrode metal mechanisms over time.

③ Consider the Material of the Grinder that Suits Your Style and Practicality Needs

So, you’re probably already aware that wooden, metallic or plastic grinders are some of your options, but before you make your mind up based on appearance alone it may be worth identifying their strengths and weaknesses — sometimes literally.

Wood: Timeless and Traditional

Wood: Timeless and Traditional
A simple, timeless classic, a wooden salt or pepper mill will never go out of style and will sit pretty whatever decor or kitchen it resides in. Look out for painted or dyed wooden mills instead of plain, if you’d like something with a bit of character or to match a specific colour scheme you have going on.


Wood is strong and won’t chip or scratch if you drop it, and should stand the test of time physically as well as aesthetically. It’s only downfall is that care should be taken not to let it get wet, as it can attract mould or start to rot. This also means you can’t wash it, but brushing it out from time to time should be sufficient.

Plastic: Light and Best for Transparency, or go for Glass for a Hardier Alternative

Plastic: Light and Best for Transparency, or go for Glass for a Hardier Alternative
Firstly, if you are going to opt for a plastic or acrylic grinder, we’d recommend making sure it’s a good quality one otherwise it may not last too long.


The useful thing about plastic is that it’s transparency means you can keep an eye on when it needs refilling, and easily spot which seasoning is which between a pair of identical mills. However, it is said that the flavour and potency of the contents can weaken with too much exposure to light if they’re not used up quickly.


If you’re not keen on plastic we would recommend glass as an alternative, as it will share the same visibility qualities but will be much less likely to cloud over time or crack.

Metal: Modern, Sleek and Robust

Metal: Modern, Sleek and Robust
Good old strong stainless steel: a kitchenware staple that you know won’t rust or break easily, and that will complement any contemporary kitchen with it’s sleek appearance. There are also some copper models out there for a grinder that’s right on trend and just as hardy.


Metal grinders can be somewhat heavier than others, so if this is concern for you try to look for those that also incorporate plastic into the design to bring down the weight. Often used for the grinder’s salt or pepper storage section, it can also give you the benefits of being able to check when to top up.

④ The Ideal Burr Materials Are Steel or Ceramic

The Ideal Burr Materials Are Steel or Ceramic
The blades that grind your salt or pepper are referred to as burrs, the very same system that is used in old-fashioned hand operated coffee grinders. We are mainly referring to the burrs in manual grinders here, as automatic grinders have electricity to back them up so don’t need to be as sharp.


The short of it is, if you want a quality model that grinds efficiently and evenly, and doesn’t fall to pieces after a few uses, then ceramic and steel burrs overtake plastic by a mile. They are both durable, non-corrosive, and will produce a consistent grind without letting too much of the salt or pepper through at a time.


In terms of comparing the two they are fairly similar, but some experts believe steel burrs are sharper than ceramic and won’t dull or blunt as quickly.

⑤ Look for Adjustable Grinders or Precision Grinders to Set the Coarseness

Look for Adjustable Grinders or Precision Grinders to Set the Coarseness
The coarseness or fineness required of the salt or pepper will be dependent on both your personal preferences and the dish you are seasoning, so having the ability to adjust the grind is very important.


Most basic grinders will utilise the well known screw-top adjustment that is simply tightened for a finer grind or loosened for a coarser chunk, which may be enough for most with minimal cooking or seasoning needs.


These days there are some more advanced options on the market, such as those with numbered or marked grind adjustments, known as precision grinders. So, have a look out for these if you’d like something a bit more accurate.

⑥ How Does the Grinder Refill? Some Are Easier to Top Up Than Others

How Does the Grinder Refill? Some Are Easier to Top Up Than Others
Traditionally, grinders are refilled from the top, only giving you a narrow opening to siphon in whole salt crystals or peppercorns. If you have a steady hand and the patience to place the spices in carefully, then this method of refilling should be sufficient for you.


Otherwise, you could seek out those that refill at the base or with a wider opening, that do not require the construction of a DIY paper funnel or end in a sea of spilt peppercorns!

Top 10 Best Salt and Pepper Grinders in the UK

With a better idea of what to look for, you’re now ready to find the best grinder for your seasoning needs. In our ranking we’ve provided options for salt grinders, pepper grinders, and sets of both, as well as a variety of designs to appeal to tastes both classic and modern.
Products
Image
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Points
1

OXO

1. OXO Good Grips Steel Salt and Pepper Grinders

OXO  1. OXO Good Grips Steel Salt and Pepper Grinders 1枚目

The Perfect Mix of Functionality and Style

2

Peugeot

2. Peugeot Paris Pepper Mill, Chocolate

Peugeot  2. Peugeot Paris Pepper Mill, Chocolate 1枚目

Old-Fashioned Dark Wood With a Twist

3

Cole & Mason

3. Cole & Mason Gourmet Precision Derwent Salt and Pepper Mill Set

Cole & Mason  3. Cole & Mason Gourmet Precision Derwent Salt and Pepper Mill Set 1枚目

Elegant Manual Grinders to Last a Lifetime

4

Le Creuset

4. Le Creuset Classic Pepper Mill, Volcanic

 Le Creuset  4. Le Creuset Classic Pepper Mill, Volcanic 1枚目

An Iconic Kitchenware Piece in Lightweight Plastic

5

Cole & Mason

5. Cole & Mason Precision Richmond Electric Salt and Pepper Set

Cole & Mason  5. Cole & Mason Precision Richmond Electric Salt and Pepper Set 1枚目

Exceptional Quality Electric Grinders

6

T&G Woodware

6. T&G Woodware Tip Top Mill Set

T&G Woodware  6. T&G Woodware Tip Top Mill Set 1枚目

A Compact and Practical High Performance Set

7

KitchenCraft

7. KitchenCraft Masterclass Hammered Copper Salt and Pepper Mill Set

KitchenCraft  7. KitchenCraft Masterclass Hammered Copper Salt and Pepper Mill Set 1枚目

For the Style-Conscious Diner

8

Oliver's Kitchen

8. Savisto Illuminated Electronic Salt and Pepper Mill Set

Oliver's Kitchen  8. Savisto Illuminated Electronic Salt and Pepper Mill Set 1枚目

Best Value Electric Grinder Set

9

OXO

9. OXO Good Grips Lily Salt Mill, Light Wood

OXO  9. OXO Good Grips Lily Salt Mill, Light Wood 1枚目

A Smart Take on Tradition

10

Premier Housewares

10. Premier Housewares Large Rubberwood Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

Premier Housewares  10. Premier Housewares Large Rubberwood Salt and Pepper Grinder Set 1枚目

A Classically Handsome Budget Wooden Set

Product details
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No.1

OXO 1. OXO Good Grips Steel Salt and Pepper Grinders

£50.15

The Perfect Mix of Functionality and Style

OXO’s manual steel and acrylic are our clear winners, utilising non-corrosive ceramic burrs, precision adjustment, and soft non-slip grips for ease of use. They’re also great looking and a good size for any household or kitchen cupboard space.

The grinder is also positioned on the top of the mill so you won’t be forever wiping up excess pepper and salt, and it even sits completely flat when upturned so you can rest it securely while refilling. A brilliant all-rounder with plenty of care and quality craftsmanship in it’s production.
No.2

Peugeot 2. Peugeot Paris Pepper Mill, ChocolateChocolate

£39.69

Old-Fashioned Dark Wood With a Twist

The very same Peugeot we know as car makers actually began as a mill and grinder producer in the 1800’s, so if it’s tradition that appeals you can’t go wrong with this sophisticated beechwood model. The updated version features 6 precision grind adjustments too, so you don’t have to forego the latest features for French good looks either.

The burr mechanism has a corrosion-treated double row of helix-shaped steel teeth for expert grinding and falls under a lifetime guarantee so you know they’re serious about the quality of their products.
No.3

Cole & Mason 3. Cole & Mason Gourmet Precision Derwent Salt and Pepper Mill Set

£47.99

Elegant Manual Grinders to Last a Lifetime

If you’re looking to buy a set for a special gift or to last you for the long haul, we would highly recommend this tall and elegant pair. They can both be adjusted through several precision coarseness settings, making them a fantastic pick for aspiring cooks who want total control of their seasonings.

Similarly to all the brand’s designs, there are bespoke ceramic and carbon steel burrs to match each spice and a wide opening for less messy refills. They’re up there with our most expensive sets, but will certainly outlive several of their cheaper competitors.
No.4

Le Creuset 4. Le Creuset Classic Pepper Mill, VolcanicVolcanic

£28.95

An Iconic Kitchenware Piece in Lightweight Plastic

Every kitchen needs at least one item from iconic brand Le Creuset, right? Their elegant take on a pepper mill looks like classic wood but is actually made of ABS plastic for strength and durability. Choose from their signature fiery orange-red as pictured, or a variety of other colours from white to teal.

The hardened ceramic burr effortlessly grinds every peppercorn, and there’s a traditional metal screw adjustment atop the unit. It’s our favourite pick for simple souls, and an investment that gives back all the quality you’d expect from the brand. A salt mill is also available should you like a set.
No.5

Cole & Mason 5. Cole & Mason Precision Richmond Electric Salt and Pepper Set

£45.00

Exceptional Quality Electric Grinders

Ideal for busy kitchen multitaskers or those who want a smart set to grace the table, this high quality pair from Cole & Mason are made from brushed chrome steel with an easy-grip pad and acrylic seasoning compartment.

With individual tailored blades, the diamond sharp burr will make short work of salt, and the carbon steel will slice peppercorns for flavour preservation. The grind is also adjustable via several precision settings, and it isn’t too tricky to refill either.
No.6

T&G Woodware 6. T&G Woodware Tip Top Mill Set

£27.92

A Compact and Practical High Performance Set

Don’t be fooled by the cute size of this pair, as they certainly don’t lack in features. As well as being compact enough for even the smallest of dining tables, the burr itself is positioned on the top of the grinder meaning any debris falls back into the grinder and not all over your surfaces.

The spice compartment is actually made from glass, which is more robust than plastic but also allows the contents to be monitored. Featuring ceramic burrs with a lifetime guarantee, this set promises a consistent yield and has an impressive 12 grind adjustments.
No.7

KitchenCraft 7. KitchenCraft Masterclass Hammered Copper Salt and Pepper Mill Set

£24.99

For the Style-Conscious Diner

This gorgeous set would make a great gift for a style-conscious loved one, or as a statement piece of your own. They’re a nice size too at 13cm, and have labelled screw tops to identify the contents. Grind is adjusted via these screws akin to a traditional-style mill.

We especially like the fact that each seasoning has it’s own burr material to properly match it’s grinding requirements: salt gets a ceramic burr and pepper is treated to carbon steel that will extract it’s maximum flavour potential. They can also be purchased separately if you wish.
No.8

Oliver's Kitchen 8. Savisto Illuminated Electronic Salt and Pepper Mill Set

£24.99

Best Value Electric Grinder Set

This steel pair are a great pick for those wanting to test out electric grinders without shelling out too much money. Comprised predominantly from stainless steel but with a plastic viewing window, they’re sleek-looking and easy to operate with one hand.

The refill opening is fairly narrow, but we can forgive that fact as these mills can be used for any dried herb or spice you like. You can also adjust the grind via a screw. A light shines from the base upon activation, which we’re not sure what to think of, but some may like the visibility and novelty!
No.9

OXO 9. OXO Good Grips Lily Salt Mill, Light WoodLight Wood

£17.47

A Smart Take on Tradition

This chic wooden design from OXO adds a touch of style to traditional wood, and it’s shape cleverly incorporates a larger top for mess-free top-ups. The ceramic burrs are designed for expertly crushing any salt variety, although there is a pepper grinder available too if you’d like the matching set.

There are also five adjustment notches to choose from between coarse and very fine. It’s a tad on the pricey side for a single grinder but should last you for the foreseeable future, as the brand is very reliable and the grinder itself is carved from durable one-piece beechwood.
No.10

Premier Housewares 10. Premier Housewares Large Rubberwood Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

£14.32

A Classically Handsome Budget Wooden Set

No matter the occasion or number of times you redecorate, this classic pale wooden set will never look out of place. They’re made from rubberwood, an eco-friendly and naturally anti-fungal (e.g. mould resistant) material, and at 22cm tall are large enough to limit refilling frequency without being too bulky.

The price is reasonable for a pair, and feature durable ceramic burrs and letters to denote which mill contains which seasoning, albeit small ones. The main peeves are the narrow refill space, and the fact they will leave debris on the counter or table if you don’t sit them on anything.

Thinking of Other Ways to Spice up Your Kitchen?

Thinking of Other Ways to Spice up Your Kitchen?

Be the envy of all your friends and neighbours and deck your kitchen out with the latest and best products! We've got something for everyone's culinary ventures, so take a look and get inspired.  

Summary

Whichever style you decide will look the part in your home, the best salt and pepper grinders include practical and useful design additions to make grinding your seasonings much easier, leaving you more time to concentrate on your cooking. Hopefully you’ve been able to choose between all of our recommendations!


Author: Natasha Dziubajlo

When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.

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