Last updated: August 8, 2021

Welcome to our big salt mill test 2021. Here we present all the salt mills we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best salt mill for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a salt mill.




Summary

  • Salt mills are suitable for everyone. Salt is probably the most widely used spice in our kitchens and can be used in even more ways by grinding it in a salt mill.
  • A basic distinction is made between manually operated and electric salt mills. With both types of mills, the degree of grinding can be adjusted from very coarse to very fine according to individual personal taste. This gives every dish that special seasoning.
  • In addition to the classic coarse salt, other spices can also be ground in a salt mill. A grinder made of ceramic is the most versatile.

The Best Salt Mill: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a salt mill

Who is a salt mill suitable for?

Basically, a salt mill is suitable for everyone. Salt is probably the most commonly used spice in our kitchens and can be used in cooking in a variety of ways by using a salt mill as opposed to a salt shaker.

Every German consumes an average of 8 grams of salt every day.

Compared to the commercially available fine-grained salt from the salt shaker, the use of a salt mill is characterised by the various grind settings. The different grinding degrees mean that the salt can always be freshly ground individually, from very coarse to very fine.

Coarse salt has a milder taste than fine salt. This is because it takes longer for the salt to dissolve in our mouths. Only then does the salty taste unfold. Very fine-grained salt dissolves almost immediately, which makes it taste saltier.

So with a salt mill, you can bring a lot of variety into your kitchen with just a few tools and give every dish that special spice - literally.

How do I use a salt mill?

You can't really go wrong with a salt mill. Electric salt and pepper mills work with a button or automatically with a toggle switch.

Manual spice mills can be turned either clockwise or the other way, depending on how they are made.

Pfeffer- und Salzkörner

No kitchen should be without pepper and salt. Freshly ground in a spice mill, the spices develop their flavour particularly well. (Image source: pixabay.com / maxknoxvill )

The grinder is not damaged if you turn the salt mill anti-clockwise; with some mills, in the worst case, only no salt comes out.

For an even result, however, it is advisable to turn the mill in one direction only and to regrind, instead of turning it alternately in different directions.

Caution: Never turn salt mills empty!

The mill should never be turned without salt in it, as this can damage the grinder. The ceramic teeth are insulated, so to speak, by the salt; if they rub directly against each other without content, they can break.

If you decide to buy a salt mill in a shop, it is better not to test it before you have filled it with salt.

What kind of salt can be used in the salt mill?

It is best to use coarse salt in the salt mill. Coarse salt is when the grains of salt are between 1 and 6 millimetres in size.

There are different types of salt that you can use in your salt mill depending on your individual taste. There are 3 types of salt that are suitable for the salt mill:

  • Sea salt
  • Rock salt
  • Seasoned salt

Sea salt is probably the most common and also the cheapest salt in our kitchens. A special and also very expensive type of sea salt is Fleur de Sel. This type of salt is produced purely by hand and is also known as the "queen of salts".

Rock salt is actually no different in composition from sea salt. Although it is mined underground, rock salt also comes from the sea. The best-known rock salt is Himalayan salt, which is characterised by its reddish colour. The salt gets this colour from iron.

There are virtually no limits to seasoning salt. The salt is mixed with various herbs or other spices and gives your dishes an even more individual taste.

You can buy different types of seasoning salt ready-made in the supermarket or online, or simply mix it yourself and put it in your salt mill. For example, the following dried ingredients are suitable for making your own seasoning salt:

  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Sage leaves
  • Lavender flowers
  • Orange peel
  • Chilli peppers
  • and much more

There are no limits to your imagination when it comes to the composition. Try out different combinations in your spice mill - you will be surprised at what is possible.

Tip: Have you discovered a particularly tasty salt mixture? Personalised salt or spice mixtures make wonderful gifts. Why not give them together with a salt mill?

How much does a salt mill cost?

Spice mills are available in a very wide price range. For example, you can buy inexpensive, already filled salt or pepper mills for less than 5€ in the supermarket. For a professional salt mill, you can easily spend 100€ and more.

How much you want to spend on your salt mill depends entirely on what functions you want it to have and what you want to use it for.

Electric salt mills with LED lights are usually more expensive than manually operated spice mills. So before you buy a salt mill, you should think carefully about what you want from it.

For hobby chefs and those who want to become one, even cheaper models are very suitable. As you can see from our Rangking, there are already very well rated 2-piece sets with a salt mill and pepper mill from around €10-15

Decision: What types of salt mills are there and which is the right one for you?

In addition to the different materials used, which we will discuss in more detail in the buying criteria, all types of spice mills can basically be divided into two different product variants:

  • Manual salt mill
  • Electric salt mill

Due to the different functions of both types of salt mills, there are different advantages and disadvantages for each. We have summarised and listed these for you in the following section to help you decide between a manually operated and an electric salt mill.

What distinguishes a manual salt mill and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The manual salt mill is operated by hand. The salt is ground by grasping the salt mill with both hands and turning the head. The grinder can be individually adjusted to different degrees of grinding. This allows the salt to be ground from very coarse to very fine.

The manual salt or pepper mill is available in many different sizes and designs. There are also almost no limits to the design. A classic salt mill with matching pepper mill is a decorative accent in any kitchen.

Advantages
  • Decorative element
  • Long life
  • No batteries needed
Disadvantages
  • Can only be used with both hands
  • Large quantities difficult
  • Large differences in quality

If you like classic or even fancy design, a manual salt mill is the perfect choice. Manual salt mills are available in wood (e.g. beech), glass, acrylic or stainless steel.

When cooking in large quantities, turning the mill by hand can be a bit strenuous, but if you do not cook for a large family every day, this effort should be kept within limits.

What distinguishes an electric salt mill and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The decisive advantage of an electrically operated salt mill over a manual salt mill is clearly its convenient operation.

Electric salt mills work either at the touch of a button or by a toggle switch that automatically activates the salt mill as soon as it is turned 90 degrees.

If you cook a lot and often, and for several people, you should consider buying an electric salt mill. It allows you to season your dishes quickly and easily with just one hand.

Many electric salt mills are also equipped with an LED light, which helps to keep track of the dosage with the almost transparent salt crystals.

Advantages
  • Easy to use
  • Can be operated with one hand
  • No effort
Disadvantages
  • Batteries needed
  • Can break more easily
  • Higher price

Of course, electric spice mills can also be set to different degrees of grinding. However, the material and design are somewhat less varied than with the manual salt mill.

Most electric salt mills are made of stainless steel and have a glass insert that gives a good overview of the filling quantity.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate salt mills based on these factors

If you want to buy a salt mill, you can evaluate it on the basis of various criteria and thus find the best salt mill for you.

The most important factors that should be taken into account when deciding on a product variant are the following:

  • Material
  • Handling
  • Grinder
  • Size
  • Design

In the following, you can read about the respective criteria and find out why it makes sense for you to buy a device based on the criteria or not.

Material

The material of your salt mill is of course also related to whether you choose an electric or a manual salt mill.

With manually operated salt and pepper mills, there is usually a wider choice of materials. The most common materials are wood, stainless steel, glass and plastic (acrylic).

Wood

The classic spice mill is the wooden cone mill. Different types of wood are used, such as beech wood.

The grinder is located at the bottom of the salt or pepper mill, which often leaves behind spice crumbs when it is put down. Apart from this, the wooden mill is a long-lasting decorative element with a timeless design.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel salt mills are available in both hand-operated and automatic versions. The advantage lies in the high-quality and durable workmanship. The stainless steel spice mill is unbreakable and easy to clean.

Glass

With a glass salt mill, you always have an overview of the filling quantity. Especially when using colourful salts, such as Himalayan salt or spiced salt, a glass salt mill is a real eye-catcher.

You should be careful when handling it, as the glass mill is of course not break-proof. In addition, the glass salt mill must be cleaned often, as even the smallest grease stain can be seen clearly right away.

Plastic

Salt mills made of plastic or acrylic glass are often of lower quality than those made of wood, glass or stainless steel. On the other hand, they are much cheaper and at least unbreakable.

Handling

There are also differences in the handling of the mill, which should be taken into account when deciding on a purchase. The most common models of salt mills work either by turning, a crank, a push button or automatically by a toggle switch.

Turning and cranking require both hands, a push button can also be operated with one hand. The most convenient solution is probably an automatic salt mill with a toggle switch.

Of course, it's up to your personal preference which is best for you.

Grinder

Spice mills, such as a pepper mill, are available in various designs with different grinders. Since pepper and other spices are softer and less aggressive than salt, they can also be ground with a spice mill with a plastic grinder.

For a salt mill, on the other hand, only mills with ceramic grinders or stainless steel grinders are suitable. So you should pay attention to this when you buy a salt mill.

In principle, you should make sure that the spice grinder can be set to different degrees of grinding.

Stainless steel grinder

Grinders made of stainless steel are very robust. A spice mill with a stainless steel grinder can grind all kinds of spices without any problems.

However, salt is quite aggressive and can attack the surface of the stainless steel, which can lead to rust in the long run. Therefore, when buying a salt mill with a stainless steel grinder, make sure that the steel is coated.

Ceramic grinder

Ceramic grinders are extremely robust, odourless and, unlike stainless steel grinders, do not rust. The grinding degree of a grinder with ceramic grinding mechanism can be adjusted very precisely.

High-quality ceramic grinders even have a longer life than those made of stainless steel. Therefore, we recommend that you buy a salt mill with a ceramic grinder. Of course, you can also grind other spices in a mill with ceramic grinder, which makes it very versatile.

Size

Just like pepper mills, salt mills come in many different sizes. Depending on the purpose for which you need your salt mill, different sizes are possible.

A very small salt mill will fit in any kitchen or on any dining table, no matter how small, and you can easily take it with you on a picnic in the park.

Large salt and pepper mills are particularly decorative, but they also take up a lot of space and are less easy to use than a medium-sized salt mill.

You should also make sure that the diameter of your salt and pepper mill is not too large or too small. Your spice mill should sit well in your hand.

Which size is right for you depends on your personal preference, but you can't really go wrong with a medium-sized salt mill that is about 20 cm high.

Design

Of course, the design also plays a role in your purchase decision. Depending on your personal taste, there are a variety of different shapes, colours and designs.

From the classic wooden mill to modern combinations of stainless steel and glass, there should be the right mill for every taste. Many salt mills are available in a set with a matching pepper mill.

You can colour-coordinate your salt and pepper mill with your kitchen or dining room furnishings, or create a striking contrast. In any case, spice mills are eye-catchers.

Facts worth knowing about salt mills

What types of salt are there and how are they obtained?

Basically, there are three different types of salt extraction. Each type of salt can be considered sea salt in the broadest sense, even if this sea has not been present in mountain salt for a long time.

Type of salt salt extraction
Evaporated salt evaporation of underground salt water (brine)
Sea salt evaporation of sea water in shallow basins
Rock salt mined

By the way: Our table salt is additionally enriched with iodine against thyroid diseases and fluorine as a caries prophylaxis.

Can I also grind pepper or other spices in the salt mill?

The answer to this question is simply "yes". High-quality salt mills usually have a ceramic or stainless steel grinding mechanism, which can also be used to grind other spices or spice-salt mixtures without any problems.

Nevertheless, it is recommended to grind salt and pepper in separate mills, as it is simply more convenient.

It is better not to use a pepper mill or spice mill with a plastic grinder or untreated stainless steel grinder as a salt mill, as the more aggressive salt can damage the grinder.

How do I clean a salt mill?

To ensure a long life for your salt mill, you should clean it from time to time. Grinding with steam can cause the salt to stick to the grinder and even damage it in the long term.

Therefore, you should clean your mill thoroughly on a regular basis. There are several ways to do this.

Cleaning the salt mill with rice

To clean the salt mill with rice, first empty it completely. Then fill the housing with dry, uncooked white rice and grind through the entire contents.

The dry rice draws the moisture out of the mill and residues stick to the grains.

Cleaning the spice mill with salt

Cleaning a salt mill with salt? Of course, this only makes sense if you also use other spices in your mill. Just like the rice, the salt is filled into the empty mill and ground through.

Salt is also suitable for cleaning your pepper mill, provided it has a ceramic or coated stainless steel grinder. If this is not the case, it is better to clean your pepper mill with rice.

Cleaning the outside of the salt mill

Depending on the material, you can wipe the outside of your mill with a dry or damp cloth. In the case of electric mills, you should not use moisture to avoid damaging the mill.

Cleaning the spice mill in the dishwasher is also not recommended. You can also carefully remove residues from the outside of the grinder with a brush.

Image source: 123rf.com / 66495340

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