The best spice grinders on test
If you like cooking with spices, you’ll know all too well the importance of a good grinder. Read our review of pestles and mortars and mills to find our best buys.
If you enjoy cooking, there’s nothing quite like using freshly ground whole spices in your recipes. They taste and smell so much fresher than the shop-bought ones, and whole spices last longer. However, the type of grinder you’ll want to buy depends on your style of cooking, how often you intend to use it and how much cupboard space you have for storage.
We tested twist-action and traditional mortar and pestle-style grinders to find out which made light work of crushing spices to fine powder. Read on to discover which came out on top. For more, visit our review section to find over 200 practical buyer’s guides offering unbiased advice on what equipment is worth investing in.
The best grinders for spice 2019
Oliver Hemming Spice Boy manual spice grinder
Pros: intuitive twist function and handy funnel shape for filling
We liked this award-winning spice grinder that you twist like a pepper mill. Use it for small quantities of spices like cardamoms, coriander and cumin. It’s easy to fill as the top works like a funnel – measure your spices into it then pull out the plug to load it. The ceramic grinder can be adjusted to a coarse or fine setting.
Available from Amazon (£31.48)
Judge solid marble spice grinder
Pros: good for small kitchens and simple twist function
This 10cm marble pestle and mortar is ideal if you just want to crush a few spices at a time and don’t have space for lots of gadgets. The pestle is cleverly designed to snuggly fit the mortar so the spices are trapped beneath it. Just rotate the pestle to grind them. We found this best for achieving a slightly coarse-grained spice texture for spices like cardamoms and coriander rather than hard spices like nutmegs. Works well for crushing garlic too.
Harts of Stur (£20.24)
Cuisinart electric spice and nut grinder
Pros: no elbow grease required, plus dishwaster-friendly bowls
If you are seriously into your curries this spice grinder comes with two bowls so you can have two spice mixes on the go at once. The bowls also detach from the machine (not all do) so they will go in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Once the lid goes on you just press down to activate the machine – it couldn’t be easier – then take off and check to get the coarse or powder grind that you are after. Works well with both wet and dry spices as well as nuts. We whizzed up garam masala in seconds using whole nutmegs, cardamoms and cinnamon sticks to a fine powder, as well as a wet paste in the other bowl using fresh ginger, garlic, chillies and spices – we added a dash of water and wiped down the sides for an even blend and we thought the overall result was excellent.
Available from Cuisinart (£50)
James Martin by Wahl spice and coffee grinder
Pros: attachment that allows you to grind very small amounts of spice
This spice grinder efficiently turns a selection of whole spices into a powder with just a few pulses. However its real selling point is the clever attachment that you fit into the main bowl if you only want to grind 1 teaspoon of spice. Many other grinders on the market require a larger quantity to react efficiently with the blades. The bowls are also removable for easy cleaning, which we think is a must for all electric grinders to avoid cross contamination of flavours.
Which spice grinder should I buy?
First think about what type of cook you are and how hands on you like to be. Some cooks enjoy the tactile quality of cooking and always prefer to chop an onion with a knife rather than use a processor, so spending the time and effort grinding spices by hand in a pestle and mortar or mill would be a pleasure for them rather than a chore.
Others want to eat well, but would prefer to whizz through the prep, so here an electric grinder fits the bill, however small the amount of spice is required for a recipe. Electric grinders are also essential for the keen curry lover who wants to whizz up fairly large quantities of dry and wet ingredients to make spice blends and pastes, which are often still too small for a food processor to cope with.
What we looked for when testing spice grinders:
A spice grinder that gave an even result whether it was a mill, pestle and mortar or electric grinder.
An electric grinder that has removable bowls that could be washed up to avoid cross contamination of flavours.
An electric mill that can cope with a wide range of spices from nutmegs and whole cinnamon sticks to cardamoms and cloves without the fear of the machine overheating. Do read instructions before using it as it is often advisable to pulse the machine to crush the spices rather than turn it on full blast.
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This review was last updated in September 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at [email protected]
Do you prefer a manual approach or do you have a grinder you can’t live without? Leave a comment below…
If you like cooking with spices, you’ll know all too well the importance of a good grinder. Read our review of pestles, mortars and mills for the best buys.
The 8 Best Spice Grinders of 2021
Add fresh spices to your meals with ease
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Whether you’re looking to blend up your favorite whole spices, or wish to create a custom marinade, spice grinders are a fun and easy tool that will take your dishes to the next level. A cousin to the trusty food processor, choose any spice of your choosing, from whole spice leaves to coffee beans, and watch it transform into a ground spice blend before your eyes.
The options for this handy tool are endless, and you can choose how finely you wish to grind your favorite spices. From electric grinders to manual models, we’ve researched the best spice grinders for your needs.
Here are the best spice grinders for your kitchen.
Best Overall: Secura Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder
There are several great spice grinders out there, but the Secura Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder earned the best overall spot for a few reasons. One of the biggest is that it has two separate milling bowls, one that’s designed for chopping and the other that’s made for grinding.
Aside from the fact that having two bowls helps prevent melding of flavors while grinding, the different blade systems ensure that you’re getting the right grind for whatever spice or ingredient you’re using. The bowls also have measurement markings on the inside so you can easily add what you need without using separate measuring spoons (unless you want to).
The Secura also brings power in a compact, counter-friendly size. The 200-watt motor can easily handle most spices as well as larger items like nuts or coffee beans, while the built-in overheat protection extends its lifespan so you can keep it around for a while.
Best Large Capacity: Cuisinart Spice and Nut Grinder
If you need a spice grinder that can handle larger quantities of spices for batch cooking or meal prepping, the Cuisinart Spice and Nut Grinder is one of the largest and most powerful options out there. It has a 90 gram (or just over 3 ounce) bowl size and a 200-watt motor that was designed to tackle bigger spice-grinding jobs.
The powerful motor also makes easy work of larger, harder items, like nuts and coffee beans, if you’re looking for a multi-purpose machine.
While there are no bells and whistles here—the grinder has one stainless steel bowl and a push top on and off control—we think its simplicity is one of the things that adds to its appeal.
Best Multipurpose: KitchenAid Blade Coffee and Spice Grinder Pack
Probably unsurprisingly, KitchenAid, one of the leaders in kitchen gadgets, earned the spot of best multipurpose spice grinder with its dual coffee and spice grinder. Unlike other grinders, which require thorough cleaning between different spices—or when you switch from coffee grinding to spice grinding—the KitchenAid comes with three separate stainless steel grinding bowls.
These bowls allow you to quickly grind three different spices at a time without the transfer of flavor that inevitability happens when you’re using the same bowl for the entire job. There are also two storage lids, so if you grind more than you need, you can pop a lid on two of the bowls and save it in your pantry for later.
Although there aren’t any programmed settings that allow you to control grind size, the grinder comes with a clear lid that allows you to see what you’re doing so you can stop grinding when your spices reach the desired fineness.
Best Quiet: Krups Vortex Electric Coffee and Spice Blade Grinder
Unlike other grinders, which can be obnoxiously loud, the Krups Silent Vortex Electric Grinder was designed with quiet in mind. If you’re an early morning cook or you need something that gets the job done during a child’s afternoon nap, the Krups is probably the best choice for you.
It comes equipped with patent-pending Vortex Spin Technology that helps pull ingredients into its blades for grinding that’s as quiet as it is efficient. It has a one-touch push button that you can hold down for continuous grinding or tap to pulse grind.
The stainless steel grinding bowl is removable and comes with a storage lid, so if you need to store spices, you can pop the lid on and put it right into your pantry. However, unlike the KitchenAid, the Krups only comes with one grinding bowl, so you won’t be able to grind new spices while you’re storing any.
Best for Wet and Dry Grinding: Shardor Coffee and Spice Grinder
The Shardor Coffee and Spice Grinder was expertly designed to be the perfect cooking multi-tasking tool. It comes with two stainless steel bowls. The first is a two-blade grinder bowl that handles dry items, like spices and coffee beans. The other is a four-blade chopper bowl that can wet-grind garlic and herbs like basil, eliminating the need for manual mincing as you cook.
This also makes the Shardor an excellent choice for anyone with problems with manual dexterity, especially since, instead of pressing down on an on/off button, you can activate the motor by pushing down on the entire lid instead.
Best Budget: Brentwood Coffee and Spice Grinder
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to freshly grind spices, the Brentwood Coffee and Spice Grinder gets the job done at a great price. While most electric spice grinders cost around $40 to $50, you can get the Brentwood grinder for under $20.
The 150-watt motor is slightly less powerful than some of the others on this list, but it easily can give you a medium-fine to coarse grind. It may have a little trouble pulling off a super fine grind, but that’s generally not necessary for most cooking needs anyway.
As an added bonus, it comes in black or a minty blue color, so you can choose the option that best matches your kitchen aesthetic and leave it on display on the countertop if you want.
Best Manual: Kuhn Rikon Ratchet Grinder
If you don’t need the power of an electric grinder, but you still want an easy and effective way to add some freshly ground spices to your dishes, the Kuhn Rikon Ratchet Grinder is one of the most user-friendly manual spice grinders on the market.
It has a door on the front of its body that you can open and use to easily fill the spice chamber with one dried spice or a combination to create your own spice blend. Unlike other manual spice grinders that require you to turn the handle in a full circle, the Kuhn has an ergonomic ratchet handle that you toggle back and forth to grind.
And it’s made of ceramic stone so, even after frequent use, it won’t break down and corrode. Out of all the best spice grinders on the list, the Kuhn may also be the easiest option to clean. Instead of washing or putting it through the dishwasher, all you have to do is add some coarse salt to the chamber and grind it to clean the blades.
Best for Salt and Pepper: eparé 2-in-1 Salt & Pepper Grinder
If you need a spice grinder mainly for salt and pepper, the Epare Dual Manual Mill can handle both at the same time. Its dual design combines two separate chambers in a sleek space-saving device that has separate milling blades on each end. Dials on the end of each blade cap allow you to independently control the fineness and coarseness of each spice.
And even though the design is sleek, each chamber, which can handle even the toughest spices like rock salt and whole peppercorns, is large enough to fit a full cup of spices. The chambers are also clear, so you can easily see when you’re running low and need to refill.
You’re not limited to just salt and pepper, though. You can fill the chambers with any dried herbs or spices that are a staple in your kitchen for easy access to fresh grinding.
If you need a spice grinder that can do it all, the Secura Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder has two grinding bowls that can manage all of your kitchen tasks. If you need a bulk-grinding option, you might want to go with the Cuisinart Spice and Nut Grinder, which has a larger capacity, instead.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist with extensive nutrition knowledge and cooking experience. She’s developed over 1,000 original recipes and is constantly on a mission to find the best kitchen gadgets, at the best prices, to help make life in the kitchen more streamlined and efficient.
From large capacity grinders to multi-purpose, we've researched the best spice grinders to help you master the kitchen.