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Recommendations on the best ceramic pepper grinder.

MobyRichard Jan 8, 2007 01:18 PM

I have had three regular pepper grinders in the last two years and want a ceramic grinder. What and where is the best to be had, please?

  1. c
    citizenconn Aug 8, 2008 03:43 PM

    I have tried a number of brands & kinds and the absolute best S&P mills I've found are made by Iittala.


    They are pricey, but they are a great investment. Their output is unsurpassed by any other brands I've ever used.

    1. puzzler Aug 2, 2008 09:08 AM

      The Ikea is hard to beat -- $6.99 and the grinder is ceramic. I use two, one for coarse sea salt and one for pepper. Love 'em. Also they have extra matching jars w/ lids that fit the grinding head.

      1 Reply
      1. re: puzzler
        Zeldog Aug 8, 2008 02:37 PM

        If "best" means gets the job done, doesn't fall apart, and is a good value, those ugly IKEA grinders are indeed the best. I also have two. One has been grinding pepper for 4 years, the other salt for 1 year. Those extra jars are great if you grind your own spices (although you need to clean the grinder head if you don't want your coriander to taste like black pepper).

      2. j
        JodyKirby Aug 2, 2008 02:20 AM

        If you haven't already purchased a grinder to your satisfaction, you might try out the new one coming to the general public on September 1 from The Pampered Chef. As a Pampered Chef Consultant, I already have mine and have been LOVING them! They do have a ceramic grinding mechanism (one of the first in the marketplace and it is also adjustable) Advantages: the grinding is so smooth and efficient - I'm a pepper grinder guru and have never used anything like it before (and I'd say that even if I wasn't a PC Consultant!). Say good-bye to that "nails on the chalkboard" feeling of most grinders! I have more about this product at www.pamperedchef.biz/jodykirby [even how you can get a set of 2 grinders, along with our new Sea and Himalayan Salt and our Peppercorn Medley at 60% off retail, as a Host of a Cooking or Catalog Show in AUGUST you'd be one of the first to get them!] After Sept 1, 2008, you may purchase them through my website as a set or 2 or individually. www.pamperedchef.biz/jodykirby. Visit for more information.

        1. s
          SGFoxe Apr 1, 2008 08:47 AM

          i bought a crank driven 3 or 4 inch zassenhaus at a garage sale for a buck -- wunnerful

          1. Candy Mar 29, 2008 01:58 PM

            I sell a lot of Graviti's. They are about $19.99 and come in a variety of colors. Battery operated, just ibvert and grind. The grinder is ceramic and you can use it for salt or pepper. We are constantly reordering them. I have only had one returned. The customer could not figure out how to get the bottom off. Put it back on the shelf after checking it over and opening the bottom with no trouble. It re-sold the same day.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Candy
              grant.cook Mar 31, 2008 07:15 AM

              I love my Unicorn Magnum.. have given it as gifts to 2 family members, both of whom rave about it..

            2. NYchowcook Mar 12, 2007 07:30 PM

              I can't help saying: I love my unicorn. The pepper gun was fine. And then after many yearsI upgraded to the magnum which is outstanding and prodigious in its output. I've given them as gifts and everyone loves them.

              1 Reply
              1. re: NYchowcook
                mateo21 Mar 30, 2008 10:25 AM

                The Magnum is a beast of a pepper mill -- I highly recommend this if you're looking for solid performance -- not looks, becuse it's ugly! I use the Magnum in the kitchen and a Peugeot on the table.

              2. El Puerco Mar 12, 2007 02:28 PM

                Sorry it's not ceramic, but I've had a Puegeot for 6-7 years and I've used it at almost every meal. It could have stood replacement about 2 years ago, but I'm too cheap. I'll be watching this thread for other recs.

                1. m
                  MoxieMarlo Mar 12, 2007 11:09 AM

                  Oddly, I have had the same salt and pepper grinder for the past 10 years.
                  I bought it at IKEA. They were about $8 each. I am looking to upgrade for a different reason. Now why they didn't think of this sooner.... Grinder mechanism at the top - anyone try that? (no mess on the counter top)
                  Kuhn Rikon Vase Grinder

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MoxieMarlo
                    bolivianita Mar 12, 2007 05:49 PM

                    I have the grinder at the top peppper mill from Ikea and doubt i will ever find a better one. i think I should buy some back-ups in case they quit making them.

                    1. re: MoxieMarlo
                      Mich Bill Mar 29, 2008 01:49 PM

                      I recently got the Kuhn Rikon Vase grinder that has multiple vials so that you can use a single grinder mechanism with many different spices. It comes with three vials with plastic caps and they sell additional sets of six vials. You just slip the vial into the base of the grinder, remove the plastic vial cap, and screw the base into the grinder mechanism. It works very well on the usual hard spices (peppercorns, coriander seeds, etc) but also works very well on chilis and some softer spices and herbs. The only drawback that I found is that you can have carryover from one item to the next unless you tap it thoroughly to remove any remnants.

                      Here is one link-


                    2. b
                      Buckethead Jan 8, 2007 07:33 PM

                      I really like William Bounds grinders, they are also not ceramic, but I've had one for about ten years and it still works like new. The reason is that they're not actually pepper grinders, they're pepper crushers.

                      1. Candy Jan 8, 2007 06:12 PM

                        I have a Perfex and 2 Peugeots. A black lacquer one for black pepper and a white lacquer for white pepper. They are almost 20 years old and grind like they were new.

                        1. t
                          tritium Jan 8, 2007 04:22 PM

                          I also have used the same Perfex mill for about 3 decades now. I just gave a Perfex salt and pepper mill as a Xmas gift. I am sure that it will last a life time.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: tritium
                            PhoebeB May 1, 2007 05:55 AM

                            Perfex here. Nearly 45 years of hard use and still perfect. Looks like old pewter now instead of new pewter, but still handsome enough to wipe off and move from the kitchen stove to a formal dinner table.

                            1. re: tritium
                              ktcolt May 1, 2007 10:28 AM

                              Holy cow! The Perfex mills are of Williams and Sonoma now and are expensive! Even the IKEA ones which I would expect to be on the cheaper side are $30 a piece. Are there any good mills on the cheaper side or did I just say something wrong?! :o)

                              1. re: ktcolt
                                PhoebeB May 1, 2007 03:15 PM

                                They've always been relatively expensive. I know I paid about $30 for mine in the early 60s. But when I average it out it's cost me about 75 cents a year.

                                I love the neat, small, stable size and classic styling. I've watched pepper mills--and I mean good pricey ones--come and go (i.e., break/crack/scratch/chip/cloud up) in my five children's homes. I hate the tall skinny ones that are always getting knocked over. (One once fell on and cracked a VERY expensive antique dinner plate.) The colorful contemporary plastic ones stick out like sore thumbs on any kind of dressy table/buffet setting, get absolutely filthy looking in a working kitchen, and at least twice my children's or friends' plastic mills have melted from the heat of the stove (which is exactly where cooks use them most).

                                The Perfex's beautiful pewter and simple traditional shape never looks out of place with sterling & crystal, and the thing is simply indestructible. Not a dent or scratch on mine after constant daily use for nearly a half-century.

                                IMO, it's either ONE Perfex or TWO other pepper mills: one for the table, one for the cook. So maybe it's not that expensive after all.

                                (A Perfex is my favorite wedding gift. For a grandson's high school graduation I had one engraved w/his initials. He is a professional chef now and his little Perfex and his set of knives go with him everywhere.)

                                1. re: ktcolt
                                  PhoebeB May 3, 2007 06:58 PM

                                  ktcolt, I just noticed that a Perfex can be bought for $43 plus $8.99 shipping at http://www.ismartshoppe.com/

                                  That's not exactly free but much better than most places.

                              2. toodie jane Jan 8, 2007 03:10 PM

                                again, not ceramic, which I suppose you are desiring for longevity?

                                I use a Perfex mill purchased at Peet's in Berkeley 40 years ago. Small, easy to use (one-handed, even) and grinds copious amounts of pepper with just a few twirls of the handle. Easy side-load chute.


                                1. HaagenDazs Jan 8, 2007 01:48 PM

                                  While not ceramic, this is what I've been using for years. Great product. So great, they even use them in the White House Kitchen! Worth a look.


                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: HaagenDazs
                                    MobyRichard Jan 8, 2007 02:33 PM

                                    Thanks for the link. Which one do you have? I guess you don't have their 'gearly different' peppermill then, because it has a ceramic mechanism, so thanks for the recommendation.

                                    1. re: MobyRichard
                                      HaagenDazs Jan 8, 2007 02:52 PM

                                      That's funny, I didn't even look at the new items! I use the 12 inch Presidential Walnut. It looks great and works great!

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