The right spice can make or break a recipe. Without spice, why even eat? While it’s true that food is just fuel, spice makes food a source of pleasure, excitement, and variety. Why else do we say that variety is the “spice of life”?
Any self-respecting home chef knows that spices are at their best when they are ground right before cooking and/or consumption. For that, you need a spice grinder. Spice grinders come in different varieties, but they have a function in common—to unlock the flavors of the world’s finest spices and add their flavor in its purest form to a sumptuous dish. You haven’t really tasted your favorite spice until you grind it yourself.
Spice grinders can be humble mortars and pestles, like you would imagine on the table of a medieval apothecary or they can be state-of-the-art electrical appliances that look at home installed next to a world-class refrigerator or oven range. Different machines are best suited to different functions. To choose the best spice grinder, you need to understand your spice needs and tailor your purchase to that need. There’s no one-size-fits-all best spice grinder. In fact, the best spice grinder may be multiple spice grinders.
Here are our picks for the 17 best spice grinders to have in your kitchen.
1- KitchenAid BCG211OB Blade Coffee and Spice Grinder
KitchenAid BCG211OB Blade Coffee and Spice Grinder Combo Pack - Onyx Black
$44.99 in stock
- One-touch control for easy grinding - push down on cover to begin and release to stop. The clear cover lets you view beans and stop grinding when you reach your desired consistency.
- The stainless steel blade performs powerfully, quickly grinding enough whole coffee beans to make up to 12 cups of coffee.
- The 4 oz. stainless steel bowl features markings to measure beans needed for 4, 8, 10 or 12 cups of coffee. Removable for easy transfer to coffee maker.
- Add fresh flavor to any dish with the stainless steel spice grinding bowls - grind whole peppercorns, cumin and more. Keep everything fresh with lids, or add to your recipe with the shaker lid.
- Model BCG211 includes (1) Burr grinder, (1) Coffee grind bowl, (2) Spice grind bowl, (1) Shaker lid, (2) Airtight storage lid
KitchenAid is another trusted name in kitchen appliances, and the BCG211OB does not disappoint in terms of function or versatility. It features easy operation with a one-touch activator on the top of the unit. The removable bowl is marked on the inside to measure the grinding of coffee beans. More exciting to spice lovers, however, is the included spice-grinding accessory kit with a separate blade optimized to grind cumin, coriander, and other delicate spices.
The motor draws 160 watts. KitchenAid backs this unit up with a one-year hassle-free replacement guarantee. The accessory kit is also sold separately if you have the coffee grinder but not the spice grinder.
2- Microplane 48060 Manual Spice Grinder
Microplane 48060 Manual Spice Mill - Cinnamon Grinder and Nutmeg Grater - Black
- SPICE GRATER: Use the technology of Microplane's photoetched blades, which are made in the USA, to grind cinnamon and grate nutmeg as a flavor boost to your favorite drink or dish.
- SPICE SAVER: A convenient airtight compartment sits at the top of the mill, just unscrew the lid and put your unused or partially used whole spices into this large onboard container.
- TWIST TO GRIND: Our original grate and shake nutmeg grater was a huge success, and this one is even better. Just put the whole spice into the silo, place the plunger on top, then twist in one direction with light pressure to quickly end up with the amount of fresh ground spice you need. No batteries, no worries about hurting your knuckles on an open blade - just an easy twist.
- LUXURY FINISHES: if you want a velvety smooth finish, we got it! By adding an additional layer of material, Microplane gives this spice mill a luxuriously soft finish satisfying two senses, smell and touch.
- EASY TO CLEAN: We don't recommend the dishwasher, but you can use the top rack. Instead, rinse (don't soak) in warm soapy water to dislodge the dried spice particles and rinse off the natural oil build-up.
This handheld manual spice grinder by Microplane was designed to grind cinnamon and nutmeg for a dash of holiday cheer. It will also do well with peppercorns, coriander, and other hard spices. The upper chamber is airtight and opaque to preserve the potency of the spices against both air and UV rays. You operate it by twisting, effortlessly creating the perfect dash of spice with one twist.
Affordable and finished in matte black, the Microplane spice mill also feels great in your hands and looks fantastic on the counter of a modern kitchen.
3- Skeppshult Cast Iron Spice Grinder
Skeppshult Cast Iron Spice Grinder | Circular
- Grinds Pepper & Other Dry Spices
- Made From Iron Ore
- Exceptionally Long Lifespan
- Made In Sweden
If you have a cast-iron mortar and pestle already, pairing it with this matching herb grinder adds dashing flair and impeccable functionality. A mortar and pestle is overkill for the grinding of dried herbs. The Skeppshult cast iron spice grinder is made in Sweden from iron ore and will outlive all of us.
4- SHARDOR Coffee & Spice Grinders
SHARDOR Coffee Grinder Electric, Electric Coffee Blade Grinders with Removable Stainless Steel Bowl, Black
$22.98 in stock
- 【Grinding Coarse or Fine Coffee Beans as you Please】Just by simply pressing the lid for different seconds to get coarse or fine coffee powder.
- 【Rapid Grinding】High power with 20000-24000 r/min allows you to get your desired coffee powder within 8-15 seconds.
- 【Dishwasher Safe】The stainless steel cups can be removed from the base. The removable cups are dishwasher safe and easy to clean as well.
- 【Multipurpose】Use the small counter top grinding machine as a grain mill grinder in the kitchen, a nut grinder, a pepper grinder, a salt grinder or an all purpose spice grinder.
- 【What you get】You will get a coffee grinder, a 2-blade cup, a 2-in-1 coffee spoon with brush, a user manual, the 2-year warranty and our friendly customer service.
Many spices, like coriander, cinnamon, and peppercorns, do great in a coffee grinder. You can use a grinder like this one by SHARDOR to produce fresh spice grounds for your recipes. Grind for a shorter time for coarse grounds, longer for fine grounds. Make sure to rinse it out before you make coffee to keep your spices from cross-contaminating the flavor of your coffee (and vice-versa!)
Further preventing cross-contamination, this 200W grinder features a two-bladed dry-grinding bowl, as well as a separate four-bladed bowl for wet-grinding and mincing of ingredients like fresh garlic. This ELT-approved device comes with a dual-function spoon/brush and a 6-month hassle-free replacement policy.
5- Coffee Grinder with Brush
Electric Coffee Grinder Spice Grinder - Stainless Steel Blades Grinder for Coffee Bean Seed Nut Spice Herb Pepper, Brushed Stainless Steel Texture and Transparent Lid
- Lid Switch Button: Just by simply pressing the lid with different seconds to perfectly control the precision of the grindering. Through the transparent cover, you can observe the grindering process and get coarse or fine coffee powder for cold brew coffee, French Press, Pour over, Moka pot, Espresso.
- Powerful Motor: Multi-purpose coffee grinder 150W powerful motor is designed to grind coffee beans, spices, herbs, nuts, grains and more. Ensure continuous and even grinding for better maintaining the original rich aroma and oil of the coffee bean. 2.1 oz (60g) capacity yields up to 12 cups of coffee one grind.
- Stainless Steel Blade: Food grade sharp stainless steel blade for fast and uniform grinding. Works great to control your coffee bean from coarse to fine in seconds. Simply grinds coffee beans for french press, espresso, Turkish or drip coffee.
- Easy Operation: The lid is easy to open, and the blades pulverize with precision from whole to coarse or fine in seconds, depending on how long you press the "push button". Grinds up to 2.1 ounces (60g) of coffee beans once.
This compact grinder by LinkChef stands at only 6.6 inches tall and takes up minimal counter space. It nevertheless has the capacity to grind up to 80g of spices. The 200W motor is tough enough to make short work of coffee beans, peppercorns, nuts, and other hard, dry spices, reducing them to a fine powder in as little as 25 seconds. The activation switch includes a safety lock. The grinder comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
6- Brentwood Electric Spice/Coffee Grinder Mill
Brentwood CG-158B 4oz Coffee and Spice Grinder, Black
- Use our powerful 150 watt coffee grinder for coffee beans, spices, herbs and nuts
- Generously sized 4 ounce capacity
- Simple one-touch operation
- Clear top provides easy view of what’s inside
- Sharp and durable stainless steel blades are used
If you are tired of inconsistency in your spice grind, the Brentwood is the spice grinder for you. It offers precision control over the coarseness of the grind so you don’t accidentally overgrind or discover huge jagged shells in your fine grind. Designed in USA, Brentwood products must pass a rigorous three-step quality check—one of the reasons this grinder comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.
7- CGOLDENWALL Electric Herb Grain Spice Grinder
CGOLDENWALL 300g Electric Grain Mill Spice Herb Grinder Pulverizer Super Fine Powder Machine for Spice Herbs Grains Coffee Rice Corn Sesame Soybean Fish Feed Pepper Medicine 110V
$87.00 in stock
- GRAIN MILL WITH UPGRADED SAFETY LID - Open-Cover-Stop type grain grinder will automatically stop operation when its lid is opened, largely enhancing security and protecting the user from injury. There is two induction switches in the buckles on the both sides, which make the machine get started only when the lid is closed completely. So if the grinder cannot turn on the first time, please adjust the lid like steps in image 5.
- HAND-HELD IN SMALL SIZE - Power: 1500W; Capacity: 300g; Speed: 28000rpm; Grinding Fineness: 70-300 mesh; (Except extremely hard material takes 2-3min to grind, normal grains only needs 30s to be ground finely, so don't use it for too long. It takes 5-10 minutes to rest after every 3 minutes of work.) NOTE: The material recommended to grind one time must cover the long blade in the middle and NO MORE THAN 2/3 of the tank. 1/2 of the tank is the best.
- ONLY DRIED MATERIALS APPLICABLE - The grinder can deal with various dried materials, including ①grains (soy, corn, barley, rice, wheat, oats, rye, peas, mung beans, coffee beans), ②spices (star anise, fennel, pepper, cinnamon, rosemary) ③herbs (ginseng, astragalus, medlar gelatin, gastrodia, Shijie, Ganoderma lucidum) When using machine to grind panax notoginseng, Chinese herbal medicine and other tough items, please slice them to small pieces first.
- OVERLOAD PROTECTOR & 0-5 MIN TIMER SWITCH - When grain grinder is in an overloaded/overheat state, the overloaded protector will work automatically to stop the operation. It's easy to solve by replacing the carbon brushes on the both sides and then pressing the overload protector again, then the grinder could work well.
- IMPORTANT ATTENTION - 1. Our grinder can only be turned on after the lid is fully buckled. Please follow the steps of How to Close Lid on manual, video or listing image 5. 2. The materials ready for grinding must be DRY enough. 3. Rest the machine for 5-10 minutes after every 3 minutes operation. We will provide you with the best products and services. If there is anything we can help with,warmly welcome to contact us.
If you like to stock your kitchen with Rube Goldberg contraptions of whimsy and wonder, has CGOLDENWALL ever got a spice grinder for you. With capacities ranging from 150g to 500g to 700g, the CGOLDENWALL features a stainless steel pot mounted atop a motor that looks like a distant cousin to a Saturn V rocket. The Giraffe-X is also great for people hungry for power—even the smallest CGOLDENWALL draws a whopping 850 watts of power.
This kind of power makes the CGOLDENWALL suitable to render spices, cereals, grains, and even pressed medicine pills into a fine powder or flour. The CGOLDENWALL comes with several interchangeable blades, as well as a wooden brush. Designed for dry grinding.
8- QUELLANCE Electric Coffee Grinder & Spice Grinder
QUELLANCE Electric Coffee Grinder, Stainless Steel Blades Coffee and Spice Grinder with 2.5 Ounce Removable Cup, Powerful 200W Electric Mills for Most Efficient Grinding, Black
- Versatile Grinding: With one-touch operation, the transparent lid acts as a switch for the unit. All you need to do is press down on it to start and release it to stop once you are satisfied with the fineness of the grind. The grinding machine is also perfect for grinding nuts, seeds, beans, wheat, rice, spices and other small dry food.
- Powerful & Efficient grinder: 200 Watts powerful motor and double stainless steel blades, make it easy to grind whole coffee beans to perfection in a matter of just 20 seconds. Equipped with durable and sharp stainless steel blades, the electric grinder is able to grind ingredients without leaving any big chunks in the grinding recipient after the job is done.
- Large Capacity Coffee Grinder: Comes with 2.5 Ounce food-grade stainless steel grinding chamber, removable for easy filling of whole beans and mess-free pouring. Cleaning becomes easier with a small brush. Transfer the coffee powder to the storage tank and make your countertop much more exquisite.
- Splash-proof Design & Cable Management：Other special features include rubber feet for gripping onto your worktop, cable management at the bottom of the unit, and a clear lid with rubber grips so your hands do not slip. All of these features are incorporated into a contemporarily designed coffee grinder finished in sleek black.
- A Must-Have in Your Home: You will get 1 coffee grinder,1 brush and our friendly customer service. Order today while supplies last. Really a perfect gift for a wedding or housewarming!
Epica adds an extra safety feature of a safety lock so you don’t accidentally grind your fingers when the lid is open. It also helps you keep your counter space clean with a retractable cord that reduces cable clutter on your cooking surface. Add to that an extra-powerful motor with 250 watts of power behind it, and you have one of the safest and best spice grinders in its class.
9- Kuhn Rikon 20477 Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Ratchet Spice Grinder
Kuhn Rikon Essential Adjustable Ratchet Grinder with Ceramic Mechanism for Salt, Pepper and Spices, 8 x 2.5 inches, Black
1 used from $26.88
- Features a high-performance ratchet operating system and efficient ceramic grinding stone
- Simply move the ratchet handle back and forth to grind
- Quick and hassle-free filling via the door on the front and contents are easily visible
- Attached spice jar automatically collects freshly ground spices in order to avoid mess
- Dimensions: height = 8 (9.5 with spice jar attached) inches; diameter = 2.5 inches
Kuhn Rikon makes one of the coolest manual spice grinders money can buy. The 20477 includes a top-mounted ratchet lever which you crank to grind your spices. It also includes a hand-twisted dial that you can use to toggle between several settings of “coarse-ground” and “fine-ground” settings. Get the perfect grind every time with this handheld device made from BPA-free materials.
The Kuhn Rikon 20477 is filled through a front-door in the chamber and includes a detachable spice jar with an included air-tight lid.
10- KINGTOP 3.0″ 4 Pieces Herb Grinder Aluminium Spice Grinder
KINGTOP Spice Grinder Large 3.0 Inch Colorful
$20.99 in stock
- Large Capacity: 3.0" & 3 Piece spice grinder can hold a large amount of spices for easy grinding.
- Smooth Operation: Glide rings and 45 diamond shaped sharp teeth make grinding much smoother and efficient.
- Versatile Design: No spice catcher required. Grind upright for a coarser texture or upside down for a finer grind.
- Easy to Handle: Spice grinder with economic design and large size offers comfortably handle and use.
- Durable Material: Made of solid, high-quality zinc alloy material, solid and long-lasting.
You may have never thought of adding this kind of spice grinder to your collection—or at least, not to your kitchen collection–but this kind of spice grinder is perfect for quickly and easily grinding dried herbs and roots.
KINGTOP makes a 3.0-inch aluminum grinder with a stainless steel mesh, ultra-sharp teeth, and a magnetic-locking lid. It’s practically indestructible and easy to operate with a grip-friendly “wave” bevel around the edges. In the unlikely event that you need it, VIVOSUN offers a 1-year warranty and a satisfaction guarantee.
11- FREETOPHOME Herb Grinder
Freetophome Electric Herb Grinder, Spice Crusher Mills, Rechargeable Small Portable, Black, 1.7inch
- 1 ** Updated Version: 6th generation newly aluminum metal alloy portable kitchen small electric grinders.
- 2 ** Fast Grinding: Four-leaf stainless steel blade - high-speed motor - faster grinding, you'll get more time to do other things.
- 3 ** Longer Life: made of high-grade metal aluminum alloy, high transparent plastic cup, easy to use and clean, act in concert with screen catcher, don't worry about it breaking or broken, friendly great for anyone who had arthritis of the hands. It would be a lifesaver for your hands and arms.
- 4 ** Led Lamp: press switch for 3 sec to work,blue is on-start grinding,40 sec automatic stop, red is on-charging,green is on-fully charged need 2-3 hours to work 45-65 times. If blade is stuck or energy is low,automatically stop, blue flash 3 times.
- 5 ** Travel Sized: easy to carry, replace it with these electronic grinders! Get this instead! Saves a lot of time! But not grinder seeds or beans, large or hard of the piece, Do not water washing. It's a great gadget !!!
FREETOPHOME’s line of hand-held herb grinders fit easily in a kitchen drawer or backpack and charges by USB. Not only that, this herb grinder has a built-in USB-compatible external lithium-ion battery, which you can use to charge your phone or other USB-powered appliance in a pinch! This makes the FREETOPHOME Herb Grinder the best spice grinder for camping trips. Charge your devices and don’t skimp on the seasoning just because you are in the backcountry.
Available in four configurations, this herb grinder can also charge from wireless battery chargers. A built-in three-color LED indicates the herb grinder’s charge and operational status.
12- OMO Powder Spice Grinder Hand Mill Funnel
OMO Spice Tools Kitchen Powder Spice Grinder Upgraded Version Large 3 layer 2.5 inch Cleaning Brush
- This package includes:Kitchen grinder*1,Cleaning brush*1
- It is suitable to grind all kinds of kitchen spices into coarse powder, and then grind all kinds of coarse powder several times to form fine powder
- Funnel bottom design, fast and convenient to put spice into storage bottle
- The top grinding part is made of aluminum alloy, suitable for grinding all kinds of kitchen spices
- Diameter:2.5 inches,Height:3.5 inches,3 Layers
This awesome manual spice grinder by OMO pulverizes spices with its heavy steel grinding surface, then allows them to drop through a sieve through a funnel-shaped enclosure and directly into an adorable spice jar, which attaches to the grinder and then seals with a separate lid. This manual spice grinder is perfect for the cook who loves to strut his or her stuff—a world-class conversation-starter.
13- Cali Crusher Spice Grinding Set
Cali Crusher 2 Piece Hard Top Herb Grinder- Purple (CC-2-P)
- 100% Authentic Cali Crusher Brand Grinder 2 piece
- Made from Heavy Duty Aircraft Grade Billet Aluminum.
- Poly O ring, Neodymium Magnets.
- Color: Anodized Purple.
- Size: 2 " wide.
Some cooks prefer to skip the newfangled technologies and get in touch with an older, more traditional way of doing things. For those old souls, the Cali Crusher spice grinding set is perfect. Adding rustic tones of cast-iron and wood, the CC-2-P relies on elbow grease, rather than electricity, to grind spices into a fine powder.
Cali Crusher also produces numerous sizes of mortar and pestle, one of the most beloved spice grinding tool sets—also great for muddling, as well as rendering pressed pills into powder like a medieval apothecary. Makes a great gift for the connoisseur cook on your list. They look great on a kitchen counter as well.
14- Braun Hand Blender Attachment Coffee and Spice Grinder
Braun MQ5025 Hand Blender Multiquick Vario, MQ5025, Black
$59.96 in stock
14 used from $54.87
- Maximum Control. Multiple Possibilities
- VarioSpeed Technology One-handed design lets you easily adjust the 21 distinct speeds, with extra TurboBoost speed maximizing possibilities for cutting, chopping and puréeing
- High-Precision Durability The high-precision, German-engineered 400 watt motor is evenly balanced for power and long-lasting durability, keeping operation smooth and comfortable
- SplashControl Technology The unique floral bell shape and the position of the blades inside the bell virtually eliminate splashing, keeping cleanup easy
- EasyClick Accessory System Attachments switch out with the click of a button; with Braun’s line of accessories, you can shift to blending, chopping, whisking, crushing, mashing or puréeing in seconds
If you have a Braun hand blender, this attachment is all you need to turn your hand blender into a spice-and-coffee grinder, a convenient way to get the most out of an appliance you already have. It attaches to either the Series 5 or Series 7 blender with easy click technology and can even act as an airtight jar for your just-ground spices. Fits in a kitchen drawer along with the blender itself. Blender sold separately.
15- Shardor Stainless Steel Coffee Spice Grinder
SHARDOR Electric Coffee Bean Grinder, Spice Grinder, 1 Removable Bowl with Stainless Steel Blade, Silver
- Press the lid to start with different grinding time to custom grind settings. Fastest: 5 seconds to get coarse powder.
- High quality stainless steel housing and blades, also with 200W powerful motor guarantee continuous and even grinding for better maintaining the original rich aroma and oil of the coffee bean.
- One removable bowl with Measurement Markings 70g capacity - enough for 12 cups of coffee.
- With nice sealing ring in the lid to prevent powder splashing, no worry of being messy in kitchen.
- ETL approved ensures your safety. 2 in 1 spoon with brush. One bowl for dry grinding. 1 year hassle-free replacement.
The Shardor stainless steel coffee/spice grinder comes with two different cups to settle into its 200-watt motor—one for dry herbs and spices, coffee, and nuts; the other for wet herbs, spices, and aromatics like garlic, basil, and thyme. Its compact design allows it to efficiently grind up to 2.5 ounces of spice at a time with easy push-down operation. The detachable cups eliminate mess and can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
16- Cordless Coffee Grinder
Cordless Coffee Grinder Electric, DmofwHi USB Rechargeable Spice Grinder Electric with 304 Stainless Steel Blade and Removable Bowl, Coffee Bean Grinder for Spices and Seeds-Black
- 【Cordless & Portable Coffee Grinder】~DmofwHi electric coffee grinder is designed to be cordless, and USB rechargeable. The cordless coffee grinder comes with a large capacity for repeated usage. A battery indicator helps you check the battery whenever you grind. Put the coffee bean grinder into your suitcase, and enjoy the quality coffee when traveling.
- 【Powerful & Evenly Grinding】~ The powerful 200W motor of DmofwHi's small camping coffee grinder let your every-time grinding finer and more evenly. A 170ml removable grinding bowl can provide you with enough ground coffee powder to get 12 cups of coffee at one time.
- 【Grind without Splashing】~The portable coffee grinder comes with an anti-splash lid that effectively prevents the coffee powder from splashing everywhere when working. Pour the beans into the bowl of the coffee bean grinder, cover the lid, press to activate grinding, and you will quickly get an evenly ground coffee. You can monitor the desired coffee powder as you like, based on 6 seconds for coarse powder, 10 seconds for medium powder, and 15 seconds for fine powder.
- 【Detachable Grind Bowl for Quick Cleaning】~The electric mini coffee grinder comes with a food-grade 304 stainless steel grinding blade and removable bowls that have the advantage of material safety, durability, and superior grinding performance. The detachable cup can be removed from the base for directly rinsing. A specialized brush helps you thoroughly clean the powder that let the cleaning easier for you.
- 【Grind Quietly in the Morning】~The compact coffee grinder equips with a low noise motor, that is quieter than most traditional electric coffee grinders on the market. You don’t have to worry create too much noise and disturbing your family when grinding fresh ground coffee in the early morning.
This large-capacity, dishwasher-safe grinder by Brolly features patent-pending Vortex grinding technology, a fast and quiet way to break down peppercorns and other hard spices into coarse grounds or a fine powder. The GX332850 also includes the added feature of a removable bowl with a dedicated lid for mess-free operation. Based in USA, Brolly has been in the kitchen-appliance business since 1846, so they know what they’re doing.
17- Hamilton Beach Fresh Electric Spice-and-Nut Grinder
Hamilton Beach 4.5oz Electric Coffee Grinder For Beans, Spices & More, Stainless Steel Blades, Silver (80350R)
5 used from $9.07
- DISHWASHER SAFE GRINDING BOWL: The grinding bowl on this coffee bean grinder is designed with durable stainless steel. It's removable for easy filling and pouring and is dishwasher safe.
- GRIND ENOUGH TO BREW UP TO 12 CUPS OF COFFEE: If you love the delicious taste of coffee made from freshly ground beans, this electric coffee grinder is perfect for the job whether you're grinding coffee for a quick cup or a full pot
- SIMPLE & INTUITIVE: The coffee grinder is so easy to use that you'll want to drink flavorful coffee made from freshly ground coffee beans everyday. Just place the lid on the grinder and press the button to grind coffee. Release to stop grinding.
- DURABLE STAINLESS STEEL BLADES: With the durable stainless steel blades, this grinder makes easy work of grinding everything from coffee beans to herbs and spices
- REDUCE CLUTTER WITH HIDDEN CORD STORAGE: Hideaway cord storage at the bottom of the grinder stores the cord neatly and out of sight when it's not in use.
Bearing the stamp of approval of one of the most trusted names in kitchen appliances, the Hamilton Beach can make short work of up to 90 grams of spices or nuts in its machine-washable lid and bowl. Its 200-watt motor is built to North American electrical standards, the stainless steel blades designed to handle dry spices and nuts.
The Hamilton is easy to activate with its push-top trigger and comes with an 18-month limited warranty from the manufacturer.
Tips on Selecting the Spice Grinder that Best Suits Your Needs
As you can see, you have many choices when it comes to picking the best spice grinder for your needs. You may already have a spice grinder in your arsenal, but you need a different one to perform specialized functions. Do you really need more than one spice grinder? Where does it stop?
By considering how your new spice grinder will fit into the bigger picture of both your cooking skills and the environment of your kitchen, you can identify what is the best spice grinder (or spice grinders) to add to your kitchen arsenal. Here are nine questions to ask yourself when shopping for spice grinders:
1. What Spices do you Need to Grind?
Not every spice grinder is suitable for every kind of spice. Take into account the different kinds of spices that might make their way into your recipes:
- Hard Spices and Aromatics. Brittle and crunchy spices like peppercorns, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, etc. These hard spices require a lot of power to grind, either in the form of an electronic grinder or the mechanical advantage of a mill or manual spice grinder.
- Dried Herbs and Aromatics. Dried rosemary, thyme, parsley, tarragon, bay leaves, etc. A hand-operated manual spice grinder is usually plenty to break apart these herbs. An electric spice grinder is overkill.
- Wet Herbs and Aromatics. Fresh ginger, garlic cloves, live spices like basil or parsley. An electronic grinder can be useful for harder wet herbs, but it should be cleaned thoroughly after each use.
2. Do You Need a Spice Grinder for the Dinner Table?
If what you need is a spice grinder for the table, a salt or pepper mill is probably the best spice grinder for you. It’s important to consider that ground spices are best when they are fresh, and even the unground spices can begin to lose potency when exposed to air or light. Consider how much protection you want to offer to your spices if they are going to live on the table in a mill. If you don’t care about whether your spices get exposed to air, a mortar and pestle might be a clever solution.
3. How Will You Protect your Fresh-Ground Spices?
Even if your spices won’t go on the table, consider the effects of air and light on your spices. Do you want to grind spices and then keep the grounds in reserve for later use? If so, some spice grinders come with airtight jars or bottles to preserve the potency over time. If you choose a hand-operated mill, make sure the hard-spice storage tank is airtight. A transparent spice reservoir can help you keep track of how much spice you have left in reserve, but opaque reservoirs will protect your spice from UV rays more effectively.
4. Do You Need a Separate Grinder for Coffee?
Many consumer coffee grinders make ideal hard spice grinders. You might be tempted to repurpose your current coffee grinder into a grinder for your fresh cinnamon or ginger. That said, if you don’t clean your coffee maker thoroughly between uses, you could end up with an unintentionally spicy cup of coffee, or extra coffee flavor in your spiced recipes. Maybe this results in a few happy coincidences of flavor, but those can be hard to replicate. And you probably don’t want coffee oils in your coriander. To avoid cross-contamination, you might have to do more cleaning than is worth your while. Consider a separate grinder for your coffee and hard spices, or a grinder with separate bowls for spices and coffee.
5. Does Your Kitchen Have Enough Power?
Electric spice grinders require a lot of power to chop up hard spices, often in excess of 200 watts. Most modern kitchens can handle this, but if you live in a historic building or if the wiring is faulty, make sure you shop for an electric spice grinder that your outlet can handle or consider a manual spice grinder.
6. How Much Space Does It Take Up?
Some spice grinders are small enough to fit in a drawer; others take up a huge footprint on your counter. If the spice grinder you choose is too big to hide away in a cupboard or drawer, pay attention to whether the spice grinder will fit on the counter space you have, and/or if the spice grinder is attractive enough that you won’t be embarrassed to have it out there like a bruise on your kitchen.
7. What Are the Maintenance Requirements?
Simple spice grinders like mortars and pestles require very little maintenance. But the more mechanically complex the machine gets, the more complicated it becomes too. Some manual spice grinders like spice mills can break down—they have moving parts. Durability is an important issue. When we get to the world of electronic spice grinders, most of them have motors that would need to be serviced by a professional if they break down. Some have parts that can be dishwasher safe; others are only partially dishwasher safe, others might be ruined if fed through a dishwasher. How much maintenance are you prepared to sign up for?
8. Form vs. Function
Everyone likes an attractive appliance, especially if it has to live on the kitchen counter in public view. However, the best-looking spice grinder may be ill-suited for the task you need it for. Meanwhile, the best spice grinder in terms of function may be an ugly eyesore on your counter. Some spice grinders may be too retro, others too modern, others too bland. Consider your tolerance in terms of form vs. function.
9. Is There a Guarantee or Warranty?
Many products available online come with a “satisfaction guarantee,” which means you can return the product if it doesn’t meet your expectations. A manufacturer warranty is a different story. Many electric spice grinders may offer a limited warranty, which only covers some parts of the spice grinder. If a part that falls outside of the limited warranty breaks, you may be out of luck in terms of getting it repaired or replaced.