Best spice grinders

April 29, 2024
Best spice grinders

As a keen cook, you will know that whole, freshly ground spices are always best. The flavour and aroma of the whole spices come from the volatile oils inside, which, as you grind, are released directly into the food, adding an incredible depth of flavour, and making your meals even more delicious. Pre-ground spices, however, lose their potency quickly and even sooner when not stored properly or kept too long in the cupboard.

To develop the depth of flavour in your cooking when using whole spices even further, whether you grind them or not, is to toast them quickly beforehand, which is quick and easy. Heat a dry frying pan to hot but not scorching. Add the spices and swish them around the pan until you smell their aroma or they start to pop; this may only take a few seconds, so do not leave the pan or you risk burning them. Tip them immediately onto a cold plate or bowl to stop them from further cooking. Store the spices, unground or ground, in an airtight storage container in a cool, dry place until needed.

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Best spice grinders at a glance

  • Best handmade spice grinder: Skeppshult Swing cast iron grinder bowl , £44.95
  • Best for versatility: FinaMill rechargeable, £69.95
  • Best handheld spicemill: Cole and Mason Stadhampton chilli and spice mill, £28
  • Best smooth grinder: Zwilling Enfinigy electric spice mill, £59.95
  • Best spice grinder for versatility: Lakeland two-jar grind and chop, £29.99
  • Best spice mill: Microplane spice mill, £24.66
  • Best spice grinder for small spices and coffee: Salter coffee and spice grinder, £22.05
  • Best compact spice grinder: Krups coffee and spice grinder, £27.20
  • Quietest electric spice grinder: VonShef coffee grinder, £19.99
  • Best pestle and mortar: Judge solid marble spice grinder, £12.44

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Best spice grinders to buy in 2024

Skeppshult Swing cast iron grinder bowl

Best handmade spice grinder

Available from Amazon (£44.95)


  • Solid cast iron
  • Includes a lidded storage bowl
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Each one is unique
  • Perfect for small amounts


  • Heavy

Star rating: 5/5

The simple and effective method of grinding spices of the Skeppshult is centuries old. Each of their spice grinders is a one-off, as they are individually cast. The small cast iron grinder is hand-held and by twisting the top bowl, the spices in the lower bowl are ground quickly and easily. There are no components to go wrong; it’s easy to adjust the grind, and switching spices is simple; all that’s needed is to brush out the bowl. Plus, there’s built-in storage to keep your spices fresh.

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FinaMill rechargeable

Best for versatility

Available from Amazon (£49.95), Harrods (£54.95), Finamill (£69.95)


  • Rechargeable
  • Individual pods for spices
  • Pods double up for storage
  • One-handed operation
  • Can buy more accessories
  • Sustainable


  • Takes a few goes to open the pods initially

Star rating: 5/5

The FinaMill is an inventive, multi-purpose rechargeable spice mill in three colours. The mill is eco-friendly, with one charge lasting two months with regular use. The USP of the Finamill is its interchangeable pods, which also serve as storage for the spices. This model comes with two PRO Plus pods plus a recharging cable, but buying more pods online, including those for harder spices and other accessories, is possible. The mill is super easy to use with a one-handed operation and can be used both in the kitchen and at the table.

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Cole and Mason Stadhampton chilli and spice mill

Best handheld spice mill

Available from Harts of Stur (£24), Dunelm (£28), John Lewis and Partners (£29), Amazon (£29.99)


  • Small and well-built
  • Easy to see the contents
  • Impressive stainless steel
  • Does not finger mark
  • Easy to adjust


  • A little hard to grind some spices

Star rating: 5/5

Cole and Mason Stadhampton chilli and spice mill is a sleek, contemporary looking, stainless steel mill at an astonishing price. Being hand-held, the power of this mill is in the grinder, which is easy to fill, grind and clean. These aspects of its design have been carefully thought through to produce a well-priced spice mill that can cope with most spices, including cinnamon sticks.

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Zwilling Enfinigy electric spice mill

Best smooth grinder

Available from Currys (£58.99), Zwilling (£59.95), Robert Dyas (£59.99), Fenwick (£60), Selfridges (£60), Amazon (£67.67)


  • Elegant design
  • Smooth grinding
  • Powerful motor
  • Fast recharge
  • Effortless to use


  • Finger marks
  • Hard to open

Star rating: 4.5/5

The Zwilling Enfinigy electric spice grinder is ready to go straight from the box following a quick charge. It is an elegant design in black with a small window to see the spice level within. With its great looks, the grinder can sit perfectly in the kitchen or on the table. The Zwilling has a ceramic wear-free grinder and a powerful motor, resulting in a smooth, quiet and effortless grind.

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Lakeland two-jar grind and chop

Best spice grinder for versatility

Available from Lakeland (£29.99)


  • Two bowls provided: one for dry ingredients another for wet
  • Bowls are removable
  • Lid provided to keep food fresh
  • Cord storage


  • Minimum quantity still quite large
  • A little loud

Star rating: 4.5/5

Like our first place spice grinder, this Lakeland model also comes with two bowls. But, one bowl has a grinding blade for dry ingredients like spices and coffee and another has a chopping blade for pastes and tougher ingredients like garlic and ginger.

Both bowls have a minimum capacity of 60g which, for occasional or single spice grinding, is large. So this model is best suited to those looking to blend larger quantities. But, it made light work of small and large spices, grinding them into fine powders. And our curry paste was silky smooth. This versatile spice grinder is great for those looking to batch grind or those with large quantities to make.

Read our full Lakeland two-jar grind and chop review

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Microplane spice mill

Best spice mill

Available from Harts of Stur (£19.95), ManoMano (£23.45), Amazon (£26.25)


  • Storage space for spices
  • No nutmeg waste
  • Grinds finely
  • Easy to grind


  • Not the most versatile

Star rating: 4.5/5

If you regularly cook with nutmeg, cinnamon and nuts, this spice mill is a must-have. Microplane are famous for their exceptionally sharp graters and this spice mill features the same grater technology in the base. It’s hand cranked and works just like a pepper mill. It also comes with a silicone lid to prevent mess and hidden air-tight storage for spices.

Nutmeg and cinnamon were a super-fine texture and looked better than any electric spice grinder could have produced. The waxier foods, like nuts and tonka beans, came out in little curls. It’s a specialist piece of kit, but the results are second to none, so it’s a must-buy for bakers.

Read our full Microplane spice mill review.

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Salter coffee and spice grinder

Best spice grinder for small spices and coffee

Available from Amazon (£22.05), Robert Dyas (£24.99), Currys (£25.99)


  • See-through lid to check on progress
  • Cord storage
  • Not too loud
  • Large 60g capacity
  • Sturdy


  • Can’t grind wet or oily ingredients
  • Can’t remove main bowl

Star rating: 4.5/5

This simply designed spice grinder is easy to use thanks to the single on/off button. It has a large see-through lid so you can easily check on the progress of your spices or coffee. Whilst you’re not able to grind any wet ingredients, this cheap and cheerful model did a fantastic job when grinding a range of spices and coffee.

Large and small spices were ground in a matter of seconds in this model. It consistently produces fine and evenly milled results – ideal if you’re looking to grind a single spice or make a spice blend. This model grinds coffee very well, taking less than 30 seconds to do so. The main bowl isn’t removable, so cleaning this model is a little difficult. But if you want something to grind dry spices and coffee only, this Salter spice grinder is a good choice.

Read our full Salter coffee and spice grinder review.

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Krups coffee and spice grinder

Best compact spice grinder

Available from Amazon (£27.20)


  • Large viewing window
  • Oval design
  • Responsive button


  • Bowl is not removable

Star rating: 4.5/5

If storage space is lacking, this little Krups spice grinder is a good option. The oval design means that ingredients are forced into the spinning blades so they’re chopped evenly. The bowl isn’t removable, which is a shame, plus this model can’t be used for wet ingredients, like spice pastes.

Krups is a coffee brand, so we weren’t surprised to find this grinder produced ground coffee quickly and efficiently. It did a brilliant job when grinding small spices, even managing to break down the woody husk on coriander seeds. It struggled to produce the same even results when grinding larger spices and can’t grind nutmeg. For small spices and coffee, this model is worth considering

Read our full Krups coffee and spice grinder review.

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Vonshef coffee grinder

Quietest electric spice grinder

Available from Vonhaus (£19.99), Amazon (£19.99), Wayfair (£19.99), The Range (£21.99), B&Q (£27.99), Debenhams (£27.99)


  • Grinds small spices exceptionally well
  • Very quiet


  • Bowl is not removable
  • Can’t make wet pastes

Star rating: 4/5

Although billed as a coffee grinder, this model can also grind spices. Unsurprisingly, when grinding coffee, it produced perfectly milled and even results.

While spice grinders tend to be fast, many can be loud and unpleasant, even for a few seconds. That’s not the case with this VonShef model as it’s the quietest we’ve tested. It excelled when grinding small spices, producing fine and sandy powders in a matter of seconds. Larger spices weren’t as fine, but well blended nonetheless. It’s budget friendly and quiet, and a good choice if you’re looking to grind dry spices and coffee.

Read our full VonShef Coffee Grinder review.

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Judge Marble spice grinder

Best pestle and mortar

Available from Harts of Stur (£24.95), Amazon (£25.52)


  • Good for small kitchens
  • Simple twist function


  • Small capacity

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.

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How to choose a spice grinder

There are different types of spice grinders at differing price points, from simple pestle and mortar or handheld mills to electric or battery-charged ones. Choosing one that suits you depends on your budget (costing around £12.50 – £70), how often you use one, and what quantities you want to grind.

A pestle and mortar is super simple to use, needs no power except your biceps and is superb for smaller amounts.

For larger quantities, you may want to think about electric or battery-powered grinders, which tend to cost a little more but are also more versatile as they are easier to clean, so switching spices is easy.

Some electric or battery-powered can also grind coffee beans, used for curry pastes or to grind harder spices like nutmeg or cinnamon.

Spice mills are super easy to use and great for smaller amounts or grinding or storing a spice often used, such as pepper. They are also handy for the smaller seeds such as coriander, cumin or cardamom but will rarely be used for the harder spices unless they are specific devices such as a nutmeg mill.

What is a spice grinder?

A spice grinder or spice mill in its most basic form is a tool used to grind spices, nuts and seeds into powders. These powders can be used to season or flavour foods or used in place of wheat flour. What ground spices in particular offer is intense flavour without the texture of the seed or husk of the spice when whole.

Types of spice grinders

There are three different types of spice grinder:

  • Pestle and mortar: Made up of a heavy bowl (mortar) and a club-shaped tool (pestle), this is a primitive and centuries-old means of grinding spices and other foods. These come in a range of sizes, from no bigger than a teacup to large Mexican molcajete. Pestle and mortars are versatile as both dry and wet mixes can be ground in them.
  • Spice mill: Like the pestle and mortar, a spice mill is manual. These have a similar design to a pepper mill in that the device is hand-cranked and the ground spices come out of the bottom. They’re a great option if you’re looking to grind small amounts. Spice mills are not suitable for wet ingredients.
  • Electric spice grinder: These powerful bits of kit are like miniature food processors. They’re made up of a small bowl with a spinning blade at the bottom. When turned on, the blade spins super fast to pulverise anything inside the bowl. If the bowl of your electric spice grinder is removable (and if the manual says so, too), you can blitz wet ingredients like pastes for curries and even onions, garlic and ginger.

What can a spice grinder be used for?

A whole world of new aromas and flavours open up when you swap shop-bought, pre-ground spices for freshly ground ones. Like herbs, spices can be used in myriad ways.

Whether you’re using spices to in Tom Kerridge’s madras curry paste or you’re looking for something bright and fragrant, like a Thai green curry paste, freshly ground spices are the best choice for punchy tasting food.

All around the world, spice blends are used as rubs for meat and veg, as seasoning in dishes or sprinkled over sides, as a finishing flourish. Garam masala is a rich and heady spice blend used in a variety of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Afghan dishes. Make your own and use in a classic prawn tikka masala or make it into a paste for our masala mackerel recipe.

Five spice, unsurprisingly contains a blend of five spices: cinnamon, fennel, star anise, clove and tingling Sichuan pepper. Make this blend the star of the show, like in our five-spice, soy & lemon roast chicken recipe.

Hailing from Morocco, ras el hanout is a fragrant and versatile spice blend sometimes containing up to 100 spices and even rose petals. Use it to bring the flavour to our spiced kale crisps or in our spiced lamb koftas with mint & tomato salad.

How we tested spice grinders

We put spice grinders through their paces by grinding a variety of dry spices. We wanted to make sure that each grinder could mill small spices as well as large. So, we ground three large spices: cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom as well as three small spices: peppercorns, coriander seeds and cumin seeds.

If the spice grinder can also be used to grind coffee, we tested that too. For spice grinders that were able to make curry pastes, we made Tom Kerridge’s madras curry paste, checking for silky smooth results. For all spice grinders we looked for the following:

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 nutmeg to whole cinnamon stick to peppercorns and thick pastes without fear of the machine overheating. Always read the instructions before using it as it is often advisable to pulse the machine to crush the spices rather than turn it on full blast.

Recipes with spices

Green curry paste
Basa Gede (Balinese spice paste)
Lamb vindaloo
Tom Kerridge’s madras curry paste 
Jerk spice mix
Ras el hanout spice mix
Five-spice mix
Garam masala spice mix
How to make a spice rub

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Do you prefer a manual approach or do you have a grinder you can’t live without? Leave a comment below… 

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