Salt and pepper mills

You don’t have to be a master chef to know how a little bit of seasoning can transform any meal. But with quality, function and style varying greatly among cruet sets, choosing the right one for you might not be as straightforward as you think.

Best electric

ProCook Electric Stainless Steel Salt or Pepper Mill, £19,

Made from satin stainless steel, this looks smart at the dinner table. To operate, you simply pull it apart, insert four batteries – which does make it a little on the weighty side – and fill with salt or pepper. Under the base of the mill there is a screw in the centre which allows you to alter the coarseness of the seasoning. A simple press of the button and you’ve got ground salt or pepper – at the same time, a light is activated so you can see what you’re doing. Despite its weight, this is a good choice for anyone with arthritis. It is good value too, particularly as it comes with a ten-year guarantee.


Best manual

Oxo Good Grips Salt/Pepper Grinder, £23,

These grinders come ready-filled with either sea salt or black peppercorns for immediate use. They are made from durable stainless steel with an acrylic window so you can see when they need a refill. The soft, non-slip grips make them easy to hold and to adjust the grinding setting from coarse to fine. The grinder is positioned at the top of the mill so it won’t leave a mess on the table. It’s really easy to refill too – the mill rests flat upside down so you can unscrew the bottom. A great choice for a modern kitchen.


Best luxury

Wesco Salt, Pepper & Spice Grinder, £49.95,

This retro-look grinder is solidly made from a high-quality, powder-coated sheet steel, and weighs in at an impressive 137g before you add its contents. It’s simple to fill – pull it apart, unscrew the cap and fill with salt, spice blends, pepper, dried herbs, whole peppercorns. Then take off the top, turn the mill upside down and grind. When positioned the right side up, it sits on the table and leaves no bits behind. It has a crushing and grinding mechanism with a wheel which is easily adjusted for setting the coarseness of the grinding – the lowest setting sees it come out beautifully fine. The priciest of those we tested but it looks great and grinds well.


Best compact

VonShef Duo Salt & Pepper Mill, £9.99,

This cleverly designed mill separately grinds salt and pepper from a divided central chamber. It has a twist-top function, which means you just hold the mill over food and turn left to dispense pepper, or right to dispense salt. Twist the dials at the base of the mill to adjust the coarseness settings. There is one for each chamber with three settings: fine, medium and coarse. You do have to be very careful when filling it up – it’s easy for salt to mix into the pepper chamber and vice versa. Made from hard-wearing stainless steel, it looks good too and is ideal if space is at a premium.

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