• Top 10 Best Salt and Pepper Grinders to Buy Online in the UK 2020 1
  • Top 10 Best Salt and Pepper Grinders to Buy Online in the UK 2020 2
  • Top 10 Best Salt and Pepper Grinders to Buy Online in the UK 2020 3
  • Top 10 Best Salt and Pepper Grinders to Buy Online in the UK 2020 4
  • Top 10 Best Salt and Pepper Grinders to Buy Online in the UK 2020 5

Top 10 Best Salt and Pepper Grinders to Buy Online in the UK 2020

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: 31-10-2019
  • 215 views
Table of Contents

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.

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.

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.

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.

Think About the Material of the Grinder

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.

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.

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.

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 to Buy Online 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.

10. Premier Housewares Large Rubberwood Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

£13.95

Manual/ElectricManual
Single Grinder or SetSalt and pepper set
Grinder MaterialWood
Burr MaterialCeramic
Adjustable/PrecisionAdjustable
Refill MethodTop of grinder
Height22cm

9. OXO Good Grips Lily Salt Mill, Light Wood

£24.00

Manual/ElectricManual
Single Grinder or SetSingle salt grinder
Grinder MaterialWood, plastic
Burr MaterialCeramic
Adjustable/PrecisionPrecision
Refill MethodTop of grinder
Height15cm

8. Savisto Illuminated Electronic Salt and Pepper Mill Set

£12.95

Manual/ElectricElectric
Single Grinder or SetSalt and pepper set
Grinder MaterialStainless steel, plastic
Burr MaterialPlastic
Adjustable/PrecisionAdjustable
Refill MethodMiddle of grinder
Height22cm

7. KitchenCraft Masterclass Hammered Copper Salt and Pepper Mill Set

£31.99

Manual/ElectricManual
Single Grinder or SetSalt and pepper set
Grinder MaterialCopper
Burr MaterialCeramic, steel
Adjustable/PrecisionAdjustable
Refill MethodTop of grinder
Height13cm
Manual/ElectricManual
Single Grinder or SetSalt and pepper set
Grinder MaterialGlass, plastic
Burr MaterialCeramic
Adjustable/PrecisionPrecision
Refill MethodTop of grinder
Height12.5cm

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

£25.99

Manual/ElectricElectric
Single Grinder or SetSalt and pepper set
Grinder MaterialStainless steel, acrylic
Burr MaterialCeramic, steel
Adjustable/PrecisionPrecision
Refill MethodMiddle of grinder
Height21.5cm
Manual/ElectricManual
Single Grinder or SetSingle pepper grinder
Grinder MaterialPlastic
Burr MaterialCeramic
Adjustable/PrecisionAdjustable
Refill MethodTop of grinder
Height21cm

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

£36.97

Manual/ElectricManual
Single Grinder or SetSalt and pepper set
Grinder MaterialSteel, acrylic
Burr MaterialCeramic, steel
Adjustable/PrecisionPrecision
Refill MethodTop of grinder
Height19cm

2. Peugeot Paris Pepper Mill, Chocolate

£39.69

Manual/ElectricManual
Single Grinder or SetSingle pepper mill
Grinder MaterialWood
Burr MaterialSteel
Adjustable/PrecisionPrecision
Refill MethodTop of grinder
Height22cm
Manual/ElectricManual
Single Grinder or SetSalt and pepper set
Grinder MaterialStainless steel, acrylic
Burr MaterialCeramic
Adjustable/PrecisionPrecision
Refill MethodTop of grinder
Height14cm

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!

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