Clear body shows pepper level
Easy to set grind sizes
Fine grind could be finer
Only five grind settings
Holds slightly less than a full spice jar
OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder, Stainless Steel
We purchased the Oxo Good Grips Pepper Grinder so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
Who doesn't love pepper? Since its fanfare rise in the early 20th century, pepper has become the base spice, along with its companion salt, of many a chicken and salad meals—including my own. I always stock multiple types of peppercorns, from white to black to exotic, so I was more than ready to test the Oxo Good Grips Pepper Grinder. I filled, measured, and tried all the grind settings to see what it could do. Read on for the results of my testing.
Design: Sleek and modern
Black, clear, and brushed stainless combine in a grinder that looks a bit sleek and modern, but not flashy. While the grinder can stand upright on either end, it makes sense to think of the wider, darker end as the bottom and the slimmer, lighter-colored end as the top. If that’s the case, this fills from the bottom—but it’s easy since it can stand on its head—with a simple twist of the lid to get access to the peppercorns. The ground pepper comes out of the top while the bottom is twisted to grind the pepper. That means the grinder isn’t going to leave bits of ground pepper on the counter or table when it’s not in use.
Rather than being a smooth transition from one size to the next, there are five distinct stops that match with the dots, and it’s easy to feel it click into place at each dot.
The black bottom section has ridges and is made from the same soft-grip material as many Oxo products, so it’s comfortable to hold and provides a firm grip, even if hands are a little messy from cooking. The center section of the grinder is clear, so you can see what kind of pepper it holds, and how much is left.
The grinder holds just under 1/2 cup of peppercorns, which will last a long time before refilling is necessary. Even better, this came with peppercorns, so it was ready to use as soon as it arrived. Still, it would be nice if it held the full 1/2 cup since that’s a common size when spices are purchased. Since it can’t hold the full jar, that means the extras would need to be stored.
Overall, the look is efficient and professional, but it’s still attractive enough to use at the table. The size is nice, too. It feels solid in the hand and is tall enough for comfortable two-handed holding and grinding, but it still has a small footprint and is short enough to fit easily on a shelf.
This grinder would be particularly great for cooks who keep multiple types of pepper on hand. A quartet of these would look good lined up with black, red, green, and white peppercorns. I particularly liked it when I refilled with a festive mix of white and black peppercorns, for an easy mix of the two.
This grinder has five grind sizes to choose from, which should be plenty for most cooks. The finest isn’t quite a powder—there’s still some texture to it, with some bits larger than others. On the other side of the spectrum, the coarse grind is chunky, so it’s great for anyone who prefers a true coarse grind.
Grinding pepper with this mill was really easy, but it still requires the wrist-twisting action that can be tiring if there’s a lot of grinding to be done. Still, it should be fine for most recipes and for table use.
Cleaning: Simple enough
Like most grinders, this needs very little maintenance. It can be wiped clean with a damp cloth when kitchen messes splatter onto it. The interior shouldn’t need any cleaning, since it will be continuously refilled with peppercorns.
Setting Grind Size: Pick a dot
Near the top of the mill is a black ring with a bump that makes it easy to move the ring. Above that, five dots are printed, from small to large. They look like a cute design element, but they actually indicate the grind size. Rather than being a smooth transition from one size to the next, there are five distinct stops that match with the dots, and it’s easy to feel it click into place at each dot.
I particularly liked how easy it was to see and set the grind size. On some grinders, there’s a small wheel that needs to be turned to set the size, but there are no markings to show how it’s set. With those, it’s a matter of turning the wheel and then grinding to test the setting. That works well if the mill will be used at just one setting all the time. With this grinder, there’s no guessing involved—the five settings are easy to choose.
It feels solid in the hand and is tall enough for comfortable two-handed holding and grinding, but it still has a small footprint and is short enough to fit easily on a shelf.
Since it’s so easy to change the grind size, this is very handy for cooks who like different grind sizes for different purposes. Use the finest grind in a salad dressing, then switch to coarse for a steak, and switch back to a middle size for table use without needing to fuss with tiny wheels or testing the sizes to make sure they’re right.
Price: Downright affordable
While I certainly wouldn’t call this grinder cheap, it certainly is affordable at just over $20. It’s well-built and feels sturdy, so it should last quite a while and it’s nicer to use than grinders that are actually cheap and practically disposable. The fact that this comes with peppercorns makes it even more of a bargain.
Oxo Good Grips Pepper Grinder vs. Cole & Mason Derwent Pepper Grinder
The Cole & Mason Derwent Pepper Grinder looks similar to the Oxo grinder I tested, with its clear midsection and stainless steel. It lacks the black grip the Oxo has, though, and has six grind settings instead of five.
One of the major differences between these two grinders is that while the Oxo’s grind mechanism is on the top, the Cole & Mason’s grinder is at the bottom, so it might leave bits of pepper on the counter or table. The Cole & Mason also comes in several different colors.
While either grinder would look good in the kitchen, I’d have to choose the Oxo for its mess-free design.
It’ll grind for you.
Affordable, attractive, and easy to use—what’s not to love? This is a great all-around grinder that’s perfect for the kitchen, table, picnic basket, and a desk drawer at the office.
- Product Name Good Grips Pepper Grinder, Stainless Steel
- Product Brand OXO
- SKU 1140700
- Price $27.99
- Weight 0.59 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 2.2 x 5.5 x 2.2 in.
- Material Stainless steel and plastic
- What's Included Peppercorns are included