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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
Can process both wet or dry ingredients
Strong 200-watt motor
Bowls are dishwasher safe
Doesn't handle lightweight herbs well
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 grinding dry ingredients, and one designed for chopping wet ingredients. The bowls also have measurement markings on the inside so you can easily add what you need without using separate measuring spoons. This grinder includes a clear plastic cover that sits on top of the stainless steel bowl to keep ground ingredients from flying out as the blades spin.
The 2-blade grinding bowl is meant for handling dried ingredients, from herbs like rosemary and thyme to spices like peppercorns and cardamom. Our tester noted that it created a fairly consistent, fine grind on most spices, and worked beautifully to create enough freshly ground pepper for cacio e pepe in about 10 seconds. She noted that lightweight herbs like mint had a hard time staying down near the blade so the results were less even, but these types of herbs generally don't need a super consistent grind.
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.
Materials: Stainless steel and plastic | Motor: 200 watts | Dishwasher Safe: Removable parts only
Grinding whole cloves and allspice should generally not be done in any grinder with plastic parts, as the oils will tend to degrade and cloud the plastic. Instead, use a traditional mortar and pestle to crush these spices into a fine powder.
Best Large Capacity: Cuisinart SG-10 Spice and Nut Grinder
Dishwasher safe bowl and cover
Includes storage lid
Not great for lightweight herbs
Meant only for nuts and spices
A little harder to clean than other models
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, seeds, and even nutmeg.
Our tester noted that like similar models with a two-blade design, lightweight herbs tended to fly away from the blade area, resulting in an uneven grind. However, on heavier spices like cloves and peppercorns, this machine worked really well—just be sure to follow the suggested grinding times noted in the manual for optimum results.
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.
Materials: Stainless steel and plastic | Motor: 200 watts | Dishwasher Safe: Yes for removable parts (top rack only)
Best Multipurpose: KitchenAid Blade Coffee and Spice Grinder Pack
Multiple bowls let you grind multiple spices without cross-contamination
Bowls and lids are dishwasher safe
Simple design, easy to use
Lots of components to store
Spice "dust" gets into base
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 different spices 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.
Our tester found the KitchenAid to be easy to use, as switching out the bowls only requires a simple twist to remove. The stainless bowls are easy to clean and they're also dishwasher safe (top rack only). The only caveat to having multiple grinding bowls and lids is having to store them all, but if you have the space, you'll appreciate the assortment.
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.
Materials: Stainless steel and polycarbonate | Motor: 160 watts | Dishwasher Safe: Yes for removable parts (top rack only)
Best Quiet: Krups Vortex Electric Coffee and Spice Blade Grinder
Comes with storage lid
Removable parts are dishwasher safe
Lid is very difficult to clean
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.
Our tester noted that, unlike other similar models, the Krups gave a wonderfully even grind to lightweight dry herbs like mint and rosemary and kept the herbs down close to the blade. When it came to grinding peppercorns, it took a little more time than other models but the resulting grind was excellent. The design of the lid made it a little difficult to brush away any powder or residue between uses, but the grinding bowl, grinding lid, and storage lid are all dishwasher-safe (top rack only) for when you want a thorough cleansing.
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.
Materials: Stainless steel and plastic | Motor: 200 watts | Dishwasher Safe: Yes for removable parts (top rack only)
Best for Wet and Dry Grinding: Shardor Coffee and Spice Grinder
Comes with both dry and wet blade bowls
Not dishwasher safe
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.
The design of this grinder makes it 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.
Our tester found this model to work best with spices (versus dried herbs) and required at least a tablespoon of each ingredient to get a proper grind. Since the bowl is removable, it's easy to get every last granule of ground spice out with a few taps. It comes with a coffee spoon that has a brush on its handle to help whisk away any residual dust or powder. The manufacturer recommends hand washing the lid and bowls and advises against placing them in the dishwasher.
Materials: Stainless steel and plastic | Motor: 200 watts | Dishwasher Safe: No
Best Budget: Brentwood Coffee and Spice Grinder
Does a good job with most herbs and spices
Fixed bowl makes it harder to clean
Less consistent results than higher end brands
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to freshly grind spices, the Brentwood Coffee and Spice Grinder gets the job done at an affordable price. While most electric spice grinders cost around $40 to $50, you can get the Brentwood grinder for much less.
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. 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.
Our tester used this grinder on various herbs and spices and noted that it performed well, but isn't able to achieve as consistent or as fine a grind as some higher-end models. That being said, it does a good job and is a great pick for its price point.
Materials: Stainless steel and plastic | Motor: 150 watts | Dishwasher Safe: No
Best Manual: Kuhn Rikon Ratchet Grinder
Doesn't require electricity
Achieves a pretty consistent grind across the board
Great for travel, camping, etc
Not compatible with nutmeg, cloves, or anise
Not dishwasher safe
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. This Swiss-designed model 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 Rikon has an ergonomic ratchet handle that you toggle back and forth to grind. It’s made of ceramic stone so, even after frequent use, it won’t break down and corrode.
Our tester liked that it was able to grind herbs and most spices with serious consistency. The only drawback is that it doesn't work with all spices—larger pieces like nutmeg, cloves, and anise are not recommended for this grinder.
Out of all the best spice grinders on the list, the Kuhn Rikon 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.
Materials: Plastic and ceramic | Motor: N/A | Dishwasher Safe: No
Best for Salt and Pepper: eparé 2-in-1 Salt & Pepper Grinder
Adjustable grind settings on both ends
Acrylic containers let you see when it needs refilling
Not recommended for "wet" salts
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.
Our tester liked that each end has an adjustable grinder so you can select the desired fineness or coarseness of your spice. It's attractive enough to keep on the table for mealtimes or stash next to the stove to use while cooking.
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.
Materials: Stainless steel, ceramic, acrylic | Motor: Not applicable | Dishwasher Safe: No
If you need a spice grinder that can do it all, the Secura Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder (found on Amazon) 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 (found on Amazon), which has a larger capacity, instead.
What to Look For in a Spice Grinder
With many appliances, we often want to know their maximum capacity, but when it comes to spice grinders, minimum capacity is an important piece of information too. If you're only planning to grind a teaspoon or so at a time, you'll want to make sure your grinder can manage such a small amount.
Manual or Electric
Electric spice grinders are wonderful for quickly processing spices, especially in larger amounts, but they can take up counter and storage space and—of course—require electricity. If you are short on space or don't need to grind more than a few spoonfuls of spices, consider a manual model instead.
Since spices and herbs can often leave smells or oily residue behind, be sure your grinder is easy to clean. Removable grinding bowls are typically easier to clean than fixed bowls, and many grinder models have parts that are even dishwasher safe. Be sure to pick a grinder whose cleaning needs aren't too tedious for you.
How does a spice grinder work?
Electric spice grinders typically work by using a spinning blade to pulverize whole spices and herbs into powder. Manual grinders use a ceramic or metal (usually carbon or stainless steel) mechanism to crush spices, salt, and pepper to the desired grind.
Can a spice grinder be used for coffee or any other ingredients?
Many spice grinders are also advertised as coffee grinders, but make sure the manufacturer explicitly states that it is suitable for that use. Some grinders are specifically designed only for spices, and might not deliver the ideal grind for coffee. A few models on this list come with multiple bowls that can be swapped out for coffee, spices, and/or wet ingredients like fresh herbs, onions, and garlic.
How do you clean a spice grinder?
Always be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. Some grinders have removable components that can be put into the dishwasher (on the top rack) for cleaning. Many are safe to wash by hand with mild dish soap and warm water. If the bowl is fixed, you can typically clean it with a damp paper towel followed by a thorough wipedown with a dry paper towel.
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.
This piece was updated by Bernadette Machard de Gramont, an LA-based writer who specializes in global food and wine content. She researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools, and interviews field experts for their insight.