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Sep 27, 2012 04:15 PM

Grinder For Spices, Including Pepper and Salt

Dear Readers,

I would like something that I could use to grind/mill spices, pepper and salt.

I would like to be able to vary the degrees of fineness.

I am considering getting a Peugeot grinder from France; however, I am still uncertain of it and am considering purchasing an OXO grinder in the mean time.

In essence, it seems as though I want a good, adjustable grinder/mill soon.

If its helpful, there is a Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Penzey's, Cost Plus World Market, and Whole Foods, as well as rather average large grocery stores near the area I live.

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  1. For spices, go with a cheap electric coffee grinder IMO.

    Can't help with the salt and pepper mill - have artisan wood ones that I use for that.

    1. We have a few threads about spices grinders. Most of the responses were about using inexpensive electric coffee grinders. While a pepper mill may work well for certain spices like allspice, it may have difficulty with coriander seeds or dried peppers. It will be slow. Blade coffee grinders are fast, and they work well with tablespoons volume. They can grind one spice after another, and are "easier" to clean if needed.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        I apologize, I did realize that this might have been a repeated question. I read through a couple and they seemed to mention the same thing - that an inexpensive coffee grinders are a good solution.

        I think I would prefer something that isn't electric though and I read that there was difficulty in cleaning the coffee grinders.

        I apologize that I did not specify my preference for a grinding device that was not electric.

        How did people grind spices when there were no electric coffee grinders?

        1. re: CHOWEZ

          With a lot more effort.

          Seriously, coffee grinders aren't hard to clean at all. You wipe em down as best you can, then take a piece of old bread and grind it up in there to get any residual. Everybody uses them these days.

          Or if you are really anal about it, buy a slightly nicer coffee grinder that has removable parts and a burr grinder instead of a blade grinder.

          I paid $10 for the coffee grinder that I use exclusively for spices like...8 years ago. Even if it died tomorrow (which is unlikely), a buck something a year for it was a steal.

          1. re: CHOWEZ

            Don't apologize. I wasn't criticizing at you at all. When I said there are other threads on this topic, I was using it as a "support" for my view -- that is to say that other people also use electric coffee grinders, not just me.

            There are manual grinder, but I have no idea how good they are:


            As for your specific questions about how people grind spices before electric grinders, there are several options really. One of which is pestle and mortar which is most popular for household use.


            There are stone grinders too, but those are for high volume grinding:


        2. I bought that same pepper grinder and spent that year regretting why I did not spring for a better unit. The problem is grinding pepper with that is okay for the occasional use but when you're grinding a decent amount for steaks or other items, it takes too long. Plus it jams and you have to constantly tap it.

          I ended up getting the 9inch unicorn pepper mill and it was money well spent.

          1. If you want to grind salt, you need a non-metallic, often ceramic, grinder inside. I used to work in a kitchen store and the Kuhn Rikon Spice Grinders were very popular. They are manual. You can shop around for the best price, but here's their website to see selection:

            3 Replies
            1. re: escondido123

              For salt, I've always found that it's easier to keep a few different sizes on hand, table, sea and Kosher. Easier to get the right amount by feel rather than grinding.

              1. re: ferret

                I agree. I use Kosher for everything but the original OP wanted a grinder that would also do salt.

                1. re: escondido123

                  With the three sizes (admittedly "sea" isn't a size but it's generally a heavier grain than Kosher) I listed it really covers the majority of uses.

            2. The Cooking Issues Blog had an interesting article back in 2010 about the cheap hand held grinders used by potheads to break up their weed.

              Turns out they do an excellent job and are dirt cheap.