Pepper mills first appeared in European kitchens in the 14th century. Today the concept of pepper grinding remains much the same, but the look of the mill and the inner workings have evolved. Here are our favorite salt and pepper grinders from around the world, the US included.
Above: The classic Peugeot “Paris” U’Select Pepper Mill–made in France before the company got into the race car and bicycle business–allows users to grind the pepper from fine to coarse thanks to its U’Select twist feature. It comes in chocolate and natural; $42 from Provisions. We’re spotlighting French kitchen design today; stay tuned for more Gallic cooking essentials.
Above: The Atlas Copper and Brass Pepper Mill was invented as a portable coffee grinder for soldiers in the Greek army a century ago; $95 from Provisions. To learn more, see our post Object Lessons: The Atlas Pepper Mill from Greece.
Above: Makers and Brothers worked with Irish woodworker (and friend) Matt Jones to create their own Pepper Mill. The size of the grind is adjusted by an internal Danish ceramic mechanism; €90 (US $147) from Makers and Brothers.
Above: David Mellor’s Salt or Pepper Mill comes in natural or black hand-turned European beech. The design has an adjustable ceramic grind mechanism; $60 at Canoe.
Above: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen and Kasper Rí¸nn of Norm Architects created the Bottle Grinder for fellow Danish company Menu. It has a high-performance ceramic mechanism, and the mill is located at the top of the bottle, an unusual detail that assures no leftover spices on your table. The small grinders come in pairs and are offered in several color combinations; $59.95 from Menu.
Above: Made of stainless steel, rubber, and aluminum, the black and white Vipp Salt and Pepper Mill Set is $189 from Vipp.
Above: The Avva Salt and Pepper Mills set is made by Oslo designer Thea Mehl. A pair of mills with ceramic grinders is $82 from Teroforma.
Above: Handmade by De Jong & Co., in LA, these elegant White Oak Salt and Pepper Grinders are available in a variety of shapes and sizes; $150 each from Nickey Kehoe.
Above: Designed by Ladies and Gentlemen Studio of Seattle and made in the US, Cylinder Shakers are available in brass (shown), copper, and aluminum (with a protective coating to prevent tarnish); $70 a pair.
Above: Inspired by Moroccan lanterns, Crate and Barrel’s Kiki Beechwood Grinders are made from single blocks of sustainably sourced wood from Eastern Europe. Available in tall and short, they’re sold individually; each one has an adjustable grinder feature that allows for different coarseness settings. The tall is $34.97, marked down from $49.95, and the short is $29.97, marked down from $44.95.
Above: The Large and Small Salt and Pepper Mill by Lostine is made in Philadelphia and has a noncorrosive grinding mechanism that can be adjusted for a fine or coarse serving. To fill the mill, simply pull it apart and add a spice; $225 for the small size, and $248 for the large.
Prefer to use a Mortar and Pestle instead of a grinder? We’ve rounded up five of our favorites. How do you store your pepper and salt? Perhaps these 5 Quick Fixes For Your Spices will help you stay organized. Over at Gardenista, they’re stirring up Sweet and Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, and no, you don’t have to wait until Halloween to test the recipe.