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Dec 9, 2011 10:29 PM

One-Handed Salt & Pepper Mills

I need recommendations on one-handed salt & pepper grinders. We have one that when you tip it upside down it begins to grind. It has worked well for years but tends to get clogged and stop working if used over a steamy pan (particularly the salt). It has also stopped working when you tip it.

I would like to replace them and get a new set but don't want to spend a ton of money and have them be no better than what I have.

I like the concept of grind on movement like we currently have but am also find with a push-button mechanism. It *must* be one-handed use though.

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  1. Hi, eperdu:

    In the words of Nancy Kerrigan, "Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?"

    LOL. If you hold out a little longer, I'm sure there will be mind-melding antigravity mills that will perfectly season your food of their own accord. Or an iPhone app.

    Seriously though, why limit your choices to one-handed?


    5 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Not all people in this world have two hands to use ... that's why.

      1. re: eperdu

        Really! I just ordered my husband some Knorks, a knife and fork in one, as he can only use his left hand now. He is totally psyched! I'm watching to see if there are any other gadgets like this out there.

        1. re: eperdu

          Hi, eperdu:

          My apologies if you cannot use both hands. It was insensitive of me.


          1. re: kaleokahu

            And think of this this way: if you had one hand handling raw meat, you can salt and pepper it with your clean hand if your mill is one-hand operational.

          Vic Firth, and Pepper Mate look good. The peppermate has a one thumb one. There are also those that look like rabbit ears....

          3 Replies
          1. re: wyogal

            My husband has stopped putting so much pepper on everything, and I think I just realized why. Duh on me! so much to learn.

            1. re: wyogal

              Thanks. I was specifically wanting recommendations not just a list of products. I've found quite a few that look nice but figured the 'hounds here would know more than I do.

              1. re: eperdu

                I had the smallish rabbit ears ones, the big ones are better. They work well.

            2. Any battery operated one should be one handed use as you can hold it and push the button at the same time. You might need a little help in changing the batteries, or filling it though.

              Here's 70+ of them on amazon along with reviews.


              3 Replies
              1. re: blondelle

                "Any battery operated one should be one handed use "

                Agree. You may want to change the amazon link.

                1. re: blondelle

                  Thanks! That's so odd. I pasted the right link directly back into Amazon and it's fine, but pasting the exact same link here and clicking on it, redirects it to a general page there. Amazon is messing with it somehow. Sorry!

                  1. re: blondelle

                    No....I think it is CHOWHOUND fault. It basically changed your original link.

                    But I do see that very cute turtle in your link which is cool:


                2. I've tried various one-hand pepper mills (both the squeeze-lever type and the push-button type), but haven't been happy with any of them.

                  IME, they don't put out a lot of pepper per squeeze or push, the pepper they do put out is flaked or shaved rather than properly ground, and the flakes are of inconsistent size. I think this is because they don't use conventional rotating grinding wheels, but some sort of sliding blade mechanism.

                  The electric Peugeot pepper mill works pretty well, but having to replace the batteries is a pain.

                  I think the best solution might be to get an "upside-down" pepper mill with a cap. You can grind the pepper directly into the cap in advance (just use it normally, but without removing the cap first), and then use the cap as a little bowl of freshly ground pepper. The cap is designed to hold up to a tablespoon or so.

                  I personally use this one from WMF.

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: wyogal

                      Well, even though the pepper mill isn't one-handed, the little capful of pepper you've ground in advance certainly is.

                      I guess the main issue is the reason for wanting a one-handed pepper mill.

                      One reason is simply convenience. Personally, I wanted one for things like peppering the insides of small whole gutted fish, so I could have a "fishy" hand to hold each fish open and a "clean" hand for operating the pepper mill. Since the one-handed mills didn't work well for me, I now grind a capful of pepper in advance and use the cap as a little pinch bowl.

                      Another reason is a medical condition such as arthritis. Since the OP mentioned "we", the other person could presumably use the WMF mill to grind a capful of pepper for the other to use while cooking or at the table.

                      If there is some other reason, the electric Peugeot pepper mill I mentioned will at least produce properly ground pepper.

                  1. You mentioned you have a battery/gravity operated pepper mill. Is it this one from Trudeau?


                    We have had this one for some time niw and it seems to work well. It has good output and seems to have a consistent grind. I don't know how it would perform over a steamy kettle but I have a solution for that. Grind the pepper (or salt) over a small plate adjacent to the stove and then sprinkle into the kettle. I would skip the salt grinder altogether and put a dish of salt (or salt pig) near the stove. The thumb operated grinders are kind of fun, we have one for both salt and pepper, but there output (at least the pepper) is quite light and more suitable for additional seasoning at the table and not great for use while cooking. Plus I think the pepper would need refilling quite often as the capacity is small. I've used the Trudeau one-handed lever model. It is almost all plastic and seemed flimsey. The pepperball might be the way to go for that type.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: John E.

                      That is the set we have. At this point, only the pepper mill works, the other is just ... dead. I have another one with the lever style, super cheap from crate & barrel that works but ends up not being fine enough. I use it when I want a lot of chunks of pepper.