10 Best Pepper Mills in 2020 – Reviews

The OXO Good Grips Lewis Pepper Mill is an easy-to-use, lightweight, portable grinding device. Featuring a long arm that rotates surprisingly smooth, it makes grinding easy and effortless. Equipped with a high-quality ceramic grinding mechanism, it can be easily adjusted to grind peppercorns from a coarse consistency to a fine, powdery texture. Thanks to its large-sized knob at the top of the rotatable arm, it makes it easy to grip and turn and is resistant to slipping. It also comes with a transparent door that enables easy visibility of the number of peppercorns remaining, so that you can refill it when necessary.

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What To Look For In A Pepper Mill

Even though you shouldn’t have too many issues finding a decent pepper mill if you go looking, the chances that you’ll get a really good one are kind of small given how diverse the offer is and how many such mills the market has to offer. What you want instead is to first find out what characteristics best recommend a pepper mill so that you’ll know precisely what to look for when buying one. For starters, you should understand that pepper mills differ from one another on account of their design and particularities. To be more precise, here is what the perfect pepper mill should look like:


The first thing to consider when buying a pepper mill is how sturdy it is and how comfortable it is when you’re gripping it. Given that you will have to hold it rather tightly when using it, you want one that’s just as easy to use as it is easy to hold. Bear in mind that top-heavy versions are rather difficult to hold which makes them prone to tipping over and losing all of their contents. A decent pepper mill should possess non-slip grips paired with an ergonomic design to prevent any accidental slips.


Another thing you want to consider is how easily it can grind out fresh pepper when needed. With manual mills, in particular, the idea is to produce a lot of ground pepper in a timely fashion. With an electric version, you might be forced to wait up to a whole minute to barely get enough pepper for a small pot of food. In this respect, manual mills with a decent crank are preferable to an electric model for practical reasons.


It isn’t just the cranking that should worry you but the actual grinding as well. In principle, a decent pepper mill must be easy to operate regardless of what grinding mechanisms it employs, especially if it’s an electric version. Manual models are widespread because people can crank them up for as long as they need in order to grind not just pepper but other similar spices, a versatility that electric models sometimes do not have. However, for people who for one reason or another cannot operate the manual grinder, an electric grinder might be the thing to choose.


You also want to ensure that the mill can be easily filled with peppercorns or any other spice source of your choosing. It is common for these devices to have small openings that enable users to safely insert the peppercorns in a quick fashion. Having said that, let us point out that electric mills usually require that you remove the battery pack in order to fuel the mill with whatever spices you want it to grind. Other than that, try to get a mill with a big enough chamber for the peppercorns so that you won’t have to constantly replenish it.

Grinding Mechanism

The grinding mechanism needs to be equally efficient and reliable regardless of the type of pepper you need it to grind. If possible, try to avoid grinding mechanisms made of softer materials like nylon, because these mechanisms are more prone to breaking down. Instead, try to get a pepper mill with a ceramic grinder or even steel if you don’t mind the extra weight. A good pepper mill should possess a grinding mechanism that will process other spices as well as pepper.


Keep in mind that you may not always buy the same type of pepper, nor will you have the certainty that each batch enjoys the same texture and rigidity. This means that a lesser pepper mill might not be able to grind specific types of pepper, whether it’s too hard or too soft. The ability to produce consistent grinds is specific to high-end, quality pepper mills, which is why you need to read up on as many reviews as you can before committing to a purchase.

Buying Tips

  • The Design – Some people prefer pepper mills that don’t just work well but mills that also possess certain aesthetic attributes. If you’re conscious about a pepper mill’s design, then perhaps you should get one that you can easily replace when needed, or several that you can rotate on a regular basis. Seeing how many people prefer to grind pepper straight at the table, it kind of makes sense for the pepper mill to be pretty to look at.
  • The Operation – With most traditional pepper mills being manually operated, people have come to expect newer versions to possess the same mechanisms. Not many people understand that new, high-end pepper mills can also be battery-operated and retain their compact form. You can also go for a rechargeable model, one that you can use without putting any effort into it. Such a pepper mill might not even be too expensive provided that you scout the market thoroughly.
  • The Versatility – People often want pepper mills that they can repurpose on a moment’s notice. In other words, many are those who buy pepper mills that can be used to grind a lot more than just pepper. You will find that many of the good ones also handle other spices or even salt, just as long as the texture of the spices isn’t that much different. Keep in mind that pepper mills with metal grinding mechanisms are prone to certain issues if you use them to grind salt.

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