All products and services featured are independently selected by Forbes Shopping contributors and editors. When you make a purchase through links on this page, we may earn a commission. Learn more
If you are still shaking stale, pre-ground pepper from a jar, now is the time for a kitchen staple upgrade. Freshly grinding peppercorns releases their heat and flinty aroma, adding life and verve to anything you season at the stove or table. And a sturdy pepper mill plus a supply of your favorite peppercorns is all you need to bring your dinner to the next level. To take the guesswork out of finding your new go-to kitchen lifesaver, we’ve rounded up the 8 best pepper mills on the market right now below.
The OXO Good Grips Radial Pepper Grinder ($12) is our pick for the best radial pepper mill.
From the exaggerated, sky-high mills found in some restaurants to super modern wood and ceramic options, there is a pepper mill out there for every type of home cook and entertainer. However, as with any kitchen tool you’ll be reaching for often, you want a solid pepper mill that won’t fall apart after a few uses or drop whole peppercorns on a ribeye when all you really wanted was a dusting. Pepper mills (also called pepper grinders) should allow home chefs to grind easily and efficiently and allow you to adjust the grind size from fine to coarse. Most importantly? Make sure your pepper mill is easy to reload or risk having it sit empty on your kitchen counter because you can’t be bothered to carve out 20 minutes to reload the thing.
Whether you’re after a handsome wooden statement for the table or an easy-to-use kitchen workhorse, our list of the best pepper grinders has something for you. Not only will these pepper mills heighten your Caesar, but many of them look so sharp you’ll want them out on display.
Made from sustainable beech wood and sharp steel, this hourglass pepper grinder has a classic restaurant look. Most importantly? It gets the job done efficiently (Peugeot pepper mills have been the gold standard since the 1840s). Each peppercorn is cracked prior to being ground, which releases maximum flavor. The grind mechanism is also fully adjustable, allowing the cook to choose between a powdery fine to very coarse grind.
This dramatic wooden pepper mill almost doubles as a design object and is meant to make a statement on any dinner party table or a gorgeously curated kitchen counter. It also delivers even, consistently-ground pepper. Bonus? Olde Thompson offers a lifetime guarantee for their pepper grinders and if yours breaks, they will repair or replace it without charge.
Multi-tasking home cooks will appreciate the ease of using this one-handed pepper mill. Fill the glass base can with whole peppercorns, screw it onto the ceramic, rust-resistant grinding mechanism, select the grind size, and then squeeze the handles together for quick and easy seasoning. This mill can also be used for grinding whole spices and seeds.
This sleek, brushed stainless steel electric mill does all the heavy lifting for you. To operate, simply flip the mill upside down and it automatically begins grinding. When in use, the grinder shines a ring of blue LED light so you can see how much pepper is going into the pot or onto your dinner plate. The mill can easily be adjusted to grind peppercorns to different levels of coarseness, and can be used for other spices and salt as well.
Measuring out a specific quantity of freshly ground pepper for a recipe can be a pain. But this mill grinds directly into a detachable plastic cup, allowing you to grind and then measure with ease. (You can grind ahead of time and store your freshly ground pepper until dinner, too.) The ceramic grinding burrs resist corrosion, giving the mill long-lasting durability.
OXO is known for turning out kitchen appliances with smart, durable design, and this pepper mill is no exception. The mill’s no-slip base and wide filling door lets you pour in peppercorns easily (and avoid the too-common mishap of spilling them all over your counter).
Home cooks who can’t get enough of Sichuan peppercorns’ tingling heat should add this mill to their arsenal of cooking tools. The grinders are especially designed to pop, crush, and grind the ridged peppercorns, but also work equally well on regular black pepper. The cast iron body also stands sturdily on the table and looks gorgeous on any dinner party table too.
THE RELUCTANT TRADING EXPERIMENT
This pepper mill by Danish ceramic artist Svend Hammershoi looks so sleek you’ll probably just leave it at your table even after dinner is over. The ridged ceramic top and oak wood base have a clean, minimalist aesthetic. Inside, the ceramic CrushGrind mechanism mills pepper, salt, or spices as fine or coarse as you need. Loading in the peppercorns is as simple as pulling the ceramic top straight up.