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The best spice grinders can help to create meals that satisfy your cravings and ignite your senses. To take your recipes to the next level, we suggest investing in a good quality and easy-to-use spice grinder.
Spices get their flavors from the oils contained within them, so the moment they’re broken down, some of those oils will be lost. By freshly grinding your spices (as opposed to buying preground ones), you’ll retain more of the flavors, and subsequently, enhance your recipes. Meggan uses a spice grinder to help recipes like her Grilled Chicken Rub or Homemade Ancho Chile Powder come alive.
After spending hours researching the best spice grinders currently on the market, Meggan and I have come up with our top 5 spice grinders, including the one from the same brand that Meggan uses in her own kitchen. Additionally, we’ve listed other top-rated spice grinders you might want to consider for your cooking needs.
Our Top Picks:
- Meggan’s Top Pick: KRUPS Fast Touch Grinder – $34.97 at Walmart
- Best Electric: Cuisinart SG-10 Electric Spice & Nut Grinder – $39.95 at Walmart
- Best Pepper Mill: OXO Good Grips Mess-Free Pepper Grinder – $17.95 on Amazon
- Best Manual: Kuhn Rikon Adjustable Ratchet Grinder – $23.95 at Amazon
- Best Large: Mueller HyperGrind Electric Spice Grinder Mill – $21.97 at Walmart
Reviews of The Best Spice Grinders
1. Meggan’s Top Pick: KRUPS Fast Touch Electric Grinder
Meggan bought her first Krups spice grinder in 2003, and she still uses it to make recipes like her Homemade Celery Salt and Lemon Pepper Seasoning. In fact, she even has a second one now for grinding coffee.
“My husband is a coffee drinker and I believe in keeping separate grinders for coffee and spices,” she says. “Luckily the grinders are small and compact, so it’s easy to keep two around (just be sure to make labels so there’s no thinking involved).”
Although the exact model Meggan uses is no longer manufactured, the Krups Fast-Touch is a similar, updated version. The large-capacity grinder creates a fine grind in less than 10 seconds, making it fast and convenient. The one-touch system is easy to use for beginners or spice grinding experts alike. “It’s powerful, gets the job done, and is easy to clean when you need to,” Meggan says.
What Meggan Says:
“It works perfectly for grinding spices, but I also love how economical it is.”
- Capacity: 85 grams
- Operation mode: Electric
- Material: Stainless steel
- Item dimensions: 4.02 by 3.15 by 6.69 inches
- Quick grind
- Easy to clean
- Easy one-touch system
- Grinds spices, herbs, and nuts
- Short cord
What Others are Saying:
Serious Eats found the Krups Fast Grinder to be the best fixed-cup spice grinder they tested.
Buy the Krups Fast Touch Grinder:
2. Best Electric: Cuisinart SG-10 Electric Spice & Nut Grinder
If you prefer the spice grinder to do the lion’s share of the work, the Cuisinart is a versatile and effective electric spice grinder. It can chop almost any spice you put into it, making it stand out among the other electric grinders we researched.
While the powerful 200-watt electric motor makes light work of chopping up your fresh herbs, it can also handle tougher spices such as cloves and cocoa beans. The Cuisinart also grinds down cinnamon sticks to a fine powder and can also tackle grinding nuts (which some other spice grinders can’t handle).
Plus, it’s easy to assemble and has dishwasher-safe parts — which helps to cut down the cleaning time. The extra large capacity makes it the perfect gadget for meal prepping or batch cooking.
- Capacity: Bowl holds up to 90 grams
- Operation mode: Electric
- Material: Stainless steel
- Item dimensions: 5 by 6 by 9 inches
- Large capacity
- Powerful motor
- Removable parts are dishwasher-safe
- Compact size, easy to store
- Only designed for nuts and spices
- Not ideal for lightweight herbs
- Main grinder is not dishwasher-safe
Buy the Cuisinart SG-10 Electric Spice & Nut Grinder:
3. Best Pepper Mill: OXO Good Grips Mess-Free Pepper Grinder
Known for exceptional (and affordable) kitchen products, OXO is one of Meggan’s favorite brands, and this pepper grinder is a cut above the others. It’s ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hand but is also long enough for you to hold it with two hands, making grinding easier on the wrist. Unlike other pepper grinders, it doesn’t leave a trail of pepper flakes everywhere and the ceramic interior won’t absorb the flavors of the peppercorns.
This pepper grinder has five grind sizes, ranging from coarse to fine, that can be adjusted with the flip of a button. It holds just under ½ cup of peppercorns which lasts quite a while, so you won’t waste time constantly refilling. Although it comes pre-filled with peppercorns, the clear window makes it easy to know when it needs refilling. To do so, simply flip it over and unscrew the cap, making for a hassle-free process.
- Capacity: 55 grams
- Operation mode: Manual
- Material: Ceramic
- Item dimensions: 2.5 by 2.5 by 7.8 inches
- Five grind sizes
- Easy to refill
- Top grind design means less mess
- Arrives pre-filled with black peppercorns
- Hand wash only
What Others Are Saying
Buy the OXO Good Grips Mess-Free Pepper Grinder:
4. Best Manual: Kuhn Rikon Adjustable Ratchet Grinder
Manual spice grinders are quiet, compact, affordable, and portable, so they’re also good for camping trips or if you’re staying at a vacation rental with a not-so-stocked kitchen. The Swiss-made, Kuhn Rikon Adjustable Ratchet Grinder is an all-in-one piece with no removable parts. Due to the simple nature of this grinder, it’s renowned for being one of the easiest manual grinders to use. It works really well for smaller spices such as salt, pepper, cumin seeds, and flax seeds.
That being said, you’re limited on what types of herbs and spices you can grind in it. Certain spices such as cloves or anise will damage the plastic, large spices like nutmeg won’t fit in the grinder, and you should avoid leafy herbs because these may clog the mechanism.
- Capacity: 115 mililiters
- Operation mode: Manual
- Material: Plastic
- Item dimensions: 2.5 by 2.5 by 9 inches
- High-performance ratchet operating system
- Ergonomic so it’s easy on the wrists
- Can adjust from fine to coarse
- Quick and hassle-free refilling
- Hand wash only
- Doesn’t work well with large spices or leafy herbs
What Others Are Saying
This Kuhn Rikon Adjustable manual grinder has a 4.7 rating on Amazon from over 2,700 reviews.
You Can Buy the Kuhn Rikon Adjustable Ratchet Grinder:
5. Best Large: Mueller HyperGrind Electric Spice Grinder Mill
The Mueller HyperGrind Spice Grinder has a larger-than-average capacity, so it’s able to process up to 11 tablespoons of whole coffee beans, or your favorite spices, herbs, and nuts. It’s perfect for tackling hard-to-grind spices such as cardamom or cloves. However, as with most grinders, you should break up nutmeg and really large spices with a hammer or rolling pin first before putting them in a grinder.
The compact design means it fits nicely on your kitchen countertop without taking up too much space. The Mueller has three different grind settings: coarse, medium, or fine grind, and is available at an affordable price — particularly for a more heavy-duty grinder. It’s worth noting that it can be a bit loud, but that is to be expected with larger grinders.
- Capacity: 60 grams
- Operation mode: Electric
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Item dimensions: 7.72 by 4.41 by 4.33 inches
- Large grinding bowl
- Easy to use one-touch operation
- Long cord
- Long lasting blades
- A bit loud
- Added cleaning is needed (or coffee can get stuck)
What Others Are Saying:
The Mueller HyperGrind Electric Spice Grinder Mill has a 4.5 rating on Amazon from over 19,100 reviews.
Buy the Mueller HyperGrind Electric Spice Grinder Mill:
Other Spice Grinders to Consider
This spice grinder is a good option for anyone who regularly grinds tough spices such as cloves, cocoa beans, and cinnamon. Despite its small and compact design, it creates a very fine ground. However, the small capacity could also be considered a downfall for anyone that wishes to grind a lot of ingredients. Lastly, because it’s a manual grinder, it does take time to grind the spices down. The Microplane 48060 Manual Spice Mill is available on Amazon for $20.99.
If you’re looking for the best budget spice grinder then the Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind could be a good option for you. It’s easy to use, versatile and has a removable, dishwasher-safe grinding chamber. The Hamilton didn’t make our top picks list is it can be messy and the cord is very short in comparison to other grinders. The Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind Electric Coffee Grinder is available on Amazon for $17.99.
The Secura Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder regularly gets rated as a great multi-purpose spice grinder because it copes well with both wet and dry ingredients. However, it’s quite a bit more expensive than other electric grinders that will perform similarly. The Secura Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder is available on Amazon for $41.98.
If you’re in need of a quieter spice grinder, we recommend looking at the Krups Silent Vortex, which has the convenience of an efficient electric grinder without all the noise. However, the design of the unit leads to a couple of minor inconveniences. The lid is difficult to clean, and ingredients can leak from the container. The Krups Silent Vortex is available at Amazon for $43.90.
Why You Can Trust Us
I’m Georgina, an award-winning content creator, sustainable living expert, and certified vegetarian and vegan nutritionist. Over the last 12 years, I’ve researched and created hundreds of product guides to bring my audience the best home goods on the market. I’ve been featured in numerous publications including House Beautiful, Ethical Consumer, Apartment Therapy, Huffpost, The Sunday Times, and many other home and lifestyle publications.
Meggan Hill, the founder of Culinary Hill and classically-trained chef, has developed dozens of spice blends, rubs, and seasoning recipes. Together, Meggan and I compiled a list of her favorite spice grinders, beginning with the ones she uses regularly, and then scoured the internet for noteworthy products from reliable kitchen brands. In making our decisions for the best spice grinders, we also evaluated trusted reviews from other culinary experts and focused on performance, design, versatility, cost, ease of use, and overall value.
What to Know Before Buying Spice Grinders
What to Consider Before Buying a Spice Grinder
Before you buy a spice grinder, decide what you’ll be using it for. Grinders can be used for grinding herbs, spices, or salt and pepper to add to recipes, for grinding coffee beans, or for chopping nuts for baking. It’s best to familiarize yourself with the different types of grinders before making your decision. The three main types of grinders are a mortar and pestle, a modern manual spice mill, and an electric grinder.
Mortar and pestles are the most traditional type of grinders (dating back to the Stone Age) that consist of a heavy handle and sturdy stone or ceramic bowl to grind spices by hand. A modern, manual spice mill — like a peppermill — has an internal mechanism (typically made from steel or ceramic) to aid in hand grinding by using a crank or rotating top. It’s worth noting that if you plan on grinding salt, a ceramic grinder is a better choice (salt can corrode the steel). Lastly, an electric grinder does all the work for you and can often double as a coffee grinder.
Other things to consider are how much you want to spend and how much storage space you have. Some spice grinders, like electric ones, are quite bulky.
How to Use a Spice Grinder
How you use your grinder will depend on the type, but when in doubt, always check the manual. Electric spice grinders are easy to operate with simple on and off buttons. A manual grinder requires more effort: you’ll need to grind the spices by turning a lever or crushing them with a pestle. Manual grinders can be a better option for keen campers or people who travel a lot. Common spices to use in a grinder include turmeric, rosemary, black pepper, cumin, and oregano.
How to Clean a Spice Grinder
Before you attempt to clean your spice grinder, check the manual to see if it’s dishwasher-safe. If it requires hand washing, remove the bowl and clean it with warm water and dish soap. Make sure the bowl is dry before reattaching. If your grinder doesn’t have a removable bowl, wipe the bowl with white distilled vinegar and let it air dry overnight.
Do You Need a Spice Grinder?
While it’s easy to reach for an already-prepared jar of spices, it can also be expensive, and some varieties (like bay leaves and sage) can be difficult to find in ground form but are often available in whole, bulk options — at significantly cheaper prices. Plus, the moment a spice is ground, it begins to break down the flavor, so by using a spice grinder you get the best flavor out of your herbs and spices.
Meggan says, “In a perfect world, we would all grind all of our spices fresh when we needed them, every time… but there are times when it really makes sense. For example, there are certain spices that I don’t use daily, such as allspice, cloves, and coriander. It’s easy enough to buy the whole spices and just grind them when I need them (or a small portion) so they really are fresh and I’m not letting a full, expensive jar get stale.” By doing this, you can improve your cooking with the best possible flavor while also saving money on spices.
Alternatives to using spice grinders include a mortar and pestle, microplane grater, the back of a spoon and a small dish, hammer and a chopping board, a food blender, or smashing the spices in a zip-lock bag with a rolling pin. However, a spice grinder is the most effective and least time-consuming way to grind spices, plus you can grind other food items like coffee beans and nuts.
Can You Use a Coffee Grinder for Spices?
Yes, you can use a coffee grinder for herbs and spices, but they must be dry. Wet ingredients will clog up the grinder and may cause it to jam or break. Examples of items that can be ground in a coffee grinder include cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, and cumin. It’s important to wash out the grinder thoroughly after use to remove any leftover ingredients that may alter the taste of the coffee. For this reason, Meggan prefers to have two separate grinders for coffee and spices.
Is an Electric Spice Grinder Better Than a Manual Spice Grinder?
Electric grinders are more expensive than manual grinders but tend to be more efficient and quicker to use. If you frequently add herbs and spices to your recipes and only want to do so in a limited quantity, then an electric spice grinder may be the best option for you.
The Best Recipes to Use Your New Spice Grinder
Using a spice grinder can transform the taste and flavors of your recipes. It’s a simple but effective way to create delicious and mouth-watering meals for you and your family. Once you’ve found your favorite, try it out with one of these seasoning recipes:
- Margarita Salt
- Italian Seasoning
- Homemade Ancho Chile Powder
- Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- Homemade Poultry Seasoning
Prices were accurate at time of publication.