In 1842, the pepper mill was invented in France, and with it, people could easily ground peppercorns with their meals, as easy as whipping up their meals with the best nonstick frying pan.
Fast-forward to the present day, pepper mills are still as popular in kitchens, and most pepper mills are on display in the retail store. But what goes into selecting one peppermill over the next?
Seemingly, there are tons of facts and figures that go into making one "better" than the other, such as did you know that after three months peppercorns can lose their flavor? This means, your purchase may (or may not) be as great as you thought.
It's true: the pepper mill has come a long way since 1842, so to help you navigate the good from the bad, we've rounded up a list of signature selections to help make you master the art of cooking.
The best pepper mill: Our top picks
From budget-friendly picks to stunning designs, here are the best pepper mill options on the market.
You can’t talk about pepper mills without talking about Peugeot – the company that invented pepper mills in 1842. We’ve included this classic design by the original pepper mill creators because it’s sleek and made of PEFC-certified beech wood, which makes for a traditional and charming addition to your kitchen.
Unscrew the brass top nut to fill this grinder with peppercorn. It has a two-stage grinding mechanism made of steel to protect it from corrosion and can be adjusted for a finer grind. Turn the mill clockwise over your dish and enjoy fresh pepper.
If you’re looking for a pepper mill that’s a little bit sleeker in design, the Kitchen-GO Pepper Grinder with its clear glass holder and brushed stainless steel top is a perfect choice. This pepper mill isn’t particularly large, but it's outfitted with an adjustable ceramic grinder that can be set on various levels to achieve a fine, medium, or coarse pepper. A cap catches the grounded peppercorn, allowing for accurate measurements of freshly-ground pepper in certain recipes.
You’ve probably seen the PepperMate Pepper Mill advertised on TV for its unique design that makes it easy to grind pepper. Fill this pepper mill with 1.7 ounces of peppercorns making sure to adjust the grind to your preferred coarseness -- super fine to 1/16th of an inch. Twist the turnkey handle on the side to begin grinding. There’s a bottom cup that catches the pepper so you can measure or sprinkle it in your dishes as you like.
Keep a compact pepper mill on the dining table at all times with the OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder. This pepper mill is only five inches in height and holds about four and three-fourths ounces of peppercorn at a time. That’s a large enough capacity to handle your table peppering needs.
The ground pepper actually comes out of the top of the mill so you don't have to worry about ground pepper left on the table when you place it back down. Though it may be small, it can be adjusted to get a fine or coarse grind.
This Le Creuset pepper mill comes in the same style and color options as their ceramic cookware but take note, this pepper mill is not ceramic; it's plastic. That said, it's made of a material that resists scratching, stains, chipping, grease, and odors. Turn the cast metal knob on the top clockwise for a fine grind and counterclockwise to get a coarser grind.
Grind peppercorn with even more ease with this battery-powered Gravity Pepper Grinder. After filling the stainless steel pepper mill with peppercorn, press a button, and – voila – it begins to grind. You can even hold it with one hand if you'd like or use it as a salt grinder.
Like the other pepper mills on this list, you can adjust the level of coarseness. Unlike the others? This pepper grinder has a blue light that lets you see exactly how much pepper is going in your food.
What is the best pepper mill?
The classic design of the Peugeot 0870422 Paris Classic Pepper Mill is why it's our top pick for this list. Peugeot invented the pepper mill for centuries and though this may be an old-fashioned design, it does the job well and offers an almost nostalgic element to cooking. If you're looking for something a bit more modern and sleek, the Electric Gravity Pepper Grinder is the way to go because it does all the hard work for you and doubles as a salt grinder.