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The best spice grinders

The best spice grinders
  • Freshly ground spices brighten just about any dish, so if you love to cook, you may want a versatile spice grinder.
  • The Secura Electric Coffee & Spice Grinder is our top pick with its strong motor that is resistant to overheating and two bowls for chopping and grinding.

The idea of grinding your own spices may seem like a hassle when it's just so easy to pick up pre-ground options at the grocery store. Yet, taste test after taste test reveals that freshly ground spices produce dishes with a superior roundness of flavor, vibrancy, and aroma. Therefore, a good spice grinder provides a fairly simple way to step up your culinary chops.

We looked at dozens of different alternatives while researching the best spice grinders. The grinders included in our guide are highly rated by buyers and experts alike because of their ease of use, consistent performance, and how painless the cleaning process is.

Here are the best spice grinders:

Prices and links are current as of 7/6/20. We added a product showcase at the top of the guide to make our picks easier to see at a glance.

The best spice grinder overall

The best spice grinder overall
Secura
If you are looking for an effective, mess-free way to grind spices quickly, the Secura Electric Coffee Grinder & Spice Grinder is an excellent option.

The Secura Electric Coffee Grinder & Spice Grinder comes with two stainless steel bowls. One has two stainless steel blades, which are designed for grinding spices. The other "chopper" bowl has four blades for chopping vegetables, oats, and nuts. The exterior of the grinder is also made of stainless steel.

The grinder is relatively easy to use because there is only one switch for turning the device on and off. For safety, the plastic, transparent lid must be in place in order for the motor to run. And, the motor features built-in overheat protection, which is meant to extend its lifespan. Secura backs up the grinder with a one-year limited warranty.

You can use it to grind just about anything from pepper and sea salt, to coffee beans and nuts.

Pros: Motor resistant to overheating, removable bowls for chopping and grinding

Cons: Motor can only run for several seconds at a time

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The best manual spice grinder

The best manual spice grinder
Kuhn Rikon
The Kuhn Rikon Ratchet Grinder is ideal for people who don't want to waste electricity on tasks they can easily perform with a little muscle.

Unlike most manual spice grinders that utilize a rotating crank, the Kuhn Rikon grinder works using a back-and-forth motion.

First, you load the spices you want to grind into the front door. Then, you adjust the desired coarseness by turning the knob on the bottom of the device either clockwise for a finer grind or counterclockwise for a coarser grind. To operate, you move the ergonomic BPA-free hard plastic handle back and forth. This causes the ceramic stone grinder to break the spices into smaller particles.

You can use it to grind all kinds of spices, including pepper, sea salt, and more. Its ceramic grinder won't corrode, and the large capacity makes it easy to grind a lot of your favorite spice quickly. On the finest setting, the grinder produces a true powder.

Pros: Doesn't require electricity/batteries, easy on the hands

Cons: Reports of durability problems

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The best electric grinder on a budget

The best electric grinder on a budget
KRUPS
The KRUPS Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder is a fast grinder that is easy to use and can double as a coffee grinder in a pinch.

The KRUPS Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder features a strong 200-watt motor with stainless-steel blades. It's able to achieve uniform grinds thanks to the unique oval design. For ease of use and safety, the grinder is activated only when the lid is on and the button is pressed. The grinding compartment holds up to three ounces of grains, nuts, herbs, spices, coffee, and more. KRUPS backs up the quality of this product with a two-year warranty.

The Insider Reviews Deputy Editor, Malarie Gokey, had a chance to test the KRUPS grinder for her guide to the best coffee grinders you can buy. Though much of her review was based on its usability for grinding coffee, Malarie noted that the unit was surprisingly easy to clean with nothing more than a pastry brush.

In Cook's Illustrated's look at the top electric spice grinders, the KRUPS grinder came out on top. In its testing, the grinder was able to grind all spices exceptionally fine and left little on the lab screen. It received high ratings for ease of use and grinding abilities. The Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder was also the top choice at Serious Eats. Though the reviewers found it annoying to clean since only the lid is removable, the grind was the best compared to the other options they tested.

Pros: Affordable and achieves an even, fine grind

Cons: The grinding bowl is not removable for cleaning

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The best manual grinder on a budget

The best manual grinder on a budget
Bazaar Anatolia
If you are looking for a compact, affordable spice grinder, the Bazaar Anatolia Turkish Grinder is a stylish option.

At 4.2 inches tall and 1.9 inches in diameter, the Bazaar Anatolia Turkish Grinder is the smallest grinder in our guide, and it is also the only option made entirely of metal. It is designed to handle spices like rice, sumac, cumin, mustard, cardamom, salt, coriander, and pepper. But, this grinder does not do well with wet items or big seeds, including corn or nutmeg.

You feed the spices through a small door on top of the grinder, turn the crank, and the spice grounds collect in the bottom bowl. Or, you can remove the bowl and add the seasoning directly to your meal.

Because of its petite size, it may be difficult to load because the door on top is rather small. The small size is a plus, however, if you're grinding your spices fresh each time you cook — which you should be. You can grind exactly what you need instead of having to grind a larger batch as you might have to with electric grinders.

Pros: Stylish design, inexpensive, durable

Cons: Small capacity, sensitive to water, cannot adjust grind size

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The best pepper and salt mills

The best pepper and salt mills
Peugeot/Business Insider
Peugeot's Paris u'Select 9-inch Pepper and Salt Mills set the gold standard with their gorgeous, durable design and adjustable grind settings.

Peugeot's pepper grinders and salt mills are out top pick in our buying guide on the subject. Insider Reviews Deputy Editor Malarie Gokey has been using them for years and loves them despite how expensive they are. She writes, "Peugeot has been making pepper and salt mills since 1840, so the French company knows what it's doing. When I first started my hunt for pepper mills, I was trying very hard not to buy from Peugeot because of the high price tag. However, having tried many others before I finally caved and bought these exact mills, I can confidently say that they are the very best you can buy."

The Paris u'Select mills have six different grind settings from very coarse to very fine that you select by twisting the ring on the bottom of the grinder. It's so simple, you can customize your grind from person to person as you pass it around the dinner table.

The actual grinding mechanism is made up of helix-shaped grooves that crack open the peppercorns to release their oils. They're then ground using a burr-style grinder to your desired fineness.

The salt grinder works by using two ribbed plates to crush large salt crystals to a fine grind. The plates are made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel so you don't have to worry about the moisture content of your salt gumming up the mechanism.

Malarie recommends the finer settings for the pepper mill and the middle setting for your salt grind. She found those performed the best and gave her the seasoning she wanted without a ton of effort.

If you have any problems with your purchase, just contact Peugeot. The mills and grinders have a lifetime guarantee on the grinding mechanisms and a two-year warranty on the entire mill.

Pros: Gorgeous wood construction, strong steel grinding mechanism, durable, adjustable settings, lifetime guarantee for grinding mechanism

Cons: Expensive

Read our full guide to the best pepper mills and salt grinders.
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Manual vs. electric grinders

There are two main styles of spice grinders: electric and manual. Electric grinders are excellent because they make quick work of a variety of spices. Most can also do double duty chopping nuts and grinding grains and coffee beans. But, they can only be used for a few seconds at a time before the motor starts to heat up. , and many models are difficult to clean. Also, electric grinders obviously require the use of electricity, and environmentally-conscious people may have trouble justifying using one when there are several suitable manual options.

Manual grinders take the cake when you want a more portable solution that isn't tethered to an electrical outlet. Most electric grinders use blades, whereas their manual counterparts work by crushing the spices with gears made of ceramic or metal. They commonly have a knob you can turn to adjust the size of the grind. The downside to manual grinders is that they may be a pain for individuals with arthritis, carpal tunnel, or other hand/wrist conditions.

Though we did not include any in our guide, the herb grinder is a third type of spice grinder that is mainly designed for larger seeds, teas, tobacco, and herbs, including basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and more. Herb grinders are manually operated and generally have trouble handling most whole spices. If you decide to go this route, we recommend Zip Grinders.

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Check out our other great kitchen guides

Check out our other great kitchen guides
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