The 6 Innovations Of Chef'n Salt & Pepper Grinders

Pepper & Salt Balls, Photos ©Chef'nPepper & Salt Balls, Photos ©Chef'n
I go through two or three salt and pepper grinders a year, a ridiculous number for one who cooks only three or four meals a week. Either the tops break off or the blades get dull, or the turning mechanism fails. Another kitchen tool goes to gadget hell, where nothing is recycled.

But along came Chef''n® salt and pepper grinders, and my life in the kitchen will never be the same. Chef'n, known for inventing some of the coolest, smartest, and most stylish creations for cooks, has developed a line of killer salt and pepper grinders!

Why are they so great?

1. They're One-Handed! (Finally!)

Chef'n understands that a cook must always be doing two things at once: tasting and stirring, pouring chicken stock and stirring, adding seasonings and stirring... So, Chef'n makes all the grinders one-handed.

2. They're Comfortable To Use

Chef'n makes grinders comfortable to use with one hand, by providing soft ergonomic Savvygrip® handles.

3. They Grind From Fine To Coarse

The third aspect of Chef'n's innovative grinders is the Grindtune®, with five levels of grinding ability from coarse to fine. Several squeezes of fine grind for the soup pot, a few squeezes of medium grind for the french fries, and just one or two light squeezes of coarse salt for the finishing touch on the entree.

4. The Grinders Are Designed For Each Spice

The grinding mechanisms for the salt and pepper complement each spice. Salt requires a relatively soft tool for grinding, so ceramic blades are used. Peppercorns are harder than salt and need sharp blades to grind them, so zinc rasps are used in the grinding of pepper.

Bistro Grinders, Photos ©Chef'nBistro Grinders, Photos ©Chef'n

5. They're Stylish

The styling of Chef'n grinders is very unique. The Salt Ball and PepperBall®, look smashing on a chic dining table, resembling very modern little bunnies. Chef'n also makes Mini- Magnetic Salt and Pepper Balls, made with rare earth magnets, that will stick to any metal surface in your kitchen. (Perhaps Chef'n had mobile kitchens in mind!)

The same Chef'n grinders are used for the larger Bistro style, my choice of grinders for cooking. The Bistro Dual mills contain both the ceramic and steel blades so that each spice gets the right grind. All Chef'n grinders are available in stainless steel and polycarbonate versions, so you can again pick the look you like.

Spaestro Salt & Pepper Refills, Photos ©Chef'nSpaestro Salt & Pepper Refills, Photos ©Chef'n

6. They Have Innovative Spice Refills

Ever refill a pepper mill? Do the little peppercorns spill all over the floor? Mine too! But Chef'n has designed wonderful package for their yummy salt and peppers . Called the Spicestros, these smart containers, shown above, are designed to pour straight into your salt or pepper grinders, not your floor.

Very cool.

All About Taste

All of Chef'n's creations are reasonably priced and available from Amazon or Chef's Resource.

Feb 29, 2008
by Anonymous

Chef 'n peper grinders

Sounds like your grinder is still new. I went through three of them (two were gifts), each one wore out after about a year of fairly heavy use. (I am a one-handed pepper lover). The grind became progressively finer, and the output became progressively lower until I was squeezing like crazy for only a pinch of pepper.

After your's wears out, you might look at the Trudeau model. But just look, don't bother to touch. It is quite stylish, incredibly easy to load, and otherwise quite worthless. It is so unstable that it falls over in a stiff breeze, but the worst part is the effort required - it makes a worn-out pepper ball look good in comparison. Very stiff action, very little output.

The best that I've found is Tom David's Unicorn Peppergun. Not quite as ergonomic as the others, but a hell of a good grinder with a hell of a good reputation. Also easy to fill (without affecting the grind), and a decent capacity.

My only gripe is that the top housing is easily damaged if dropped - in which case, you can order a replacement housing.

- Rush

Feb 29, 2008
by Toby
Toby's picture

Mine are still in good shape, but...

Hi Rush!

Thank you for offtering your opinion on various grinders. Mine are not yet a year old, but close. They're still in good shape, but I figure even if I have to replace the Bistro once a year, it's better than 3 or 4 times a year!

I looked up Tom David's grinders at your suggestion. Look interesting. I'll try one in the future.

Nice to hear from you.


Feb 29, 2008
by Anonymous


As long as your Chef 'n grinders aren't showing wear, I wouldn't fault them - I loved mine before they wore out. Watch for a drop in output - that is your sign that it is dying, and there is no first aid.

A follow up on the Trudeau that I spoke disparagingly of before: I just dug mine out, found that the mechanism wasn't turning. I took it apart and shook out several pieces of broken plastic. I tossed the parts in the trash. May the company die as quickly as their product.

If I had the use of two hands, I'd pick the Unicorn Magnum Plus from o David - truly the king of grinders. As it stands, I'll stick with the Peppergun.

- Rush

Mar 1, 2008
by Toby
Toby's picture

Here's another one for you, Rush

Well here are some more one-handed shakers.. I mean maracas. Shake These Salt and Pepper Maracas. They should make you smile.

Mar 2, 2008
by Anonymous

carpel tunnel

I'm not sure how these one-handed grinders can be called ergonomic. Several squeezes are needed to get the equivalent amount of pepper of a single turn of a traditional mill, and I can feel mild pain in my forearm. It's a bit of a work out to use. Maybe if you only have one hand, this grinder is great, but I have two so that's not such a selling feature.

Also, have you ever refilled this mill? There is no indication on the mill itself, and it took me 20 minutes of searching online. I found many posts of people who didn't know how to refill the damn thing, and eventually a post where someone revealed the secret. Sorry, that's not good design.

The best grinder I found was from IKEA. The mill is on the TOP, so you don't get ground pepper dust wherever you store your mill. Brilliant.

Mar 3, 2008
by Toby
Toby's picture

Good feedback!

Thanks, Anon! I'm sure our readers will appreciate your feedback. As a cook, I find the one handed grinder to be superior. I really need that feature so I can be stirring the seasoning in at the same time it's poured. I also have mild carpal tunnel, but don't find that the Chef'n grinders affect it.

There are hundreds of other grinders on the market, to be sure. Your perspective on the Chef'n grinders should be appreciated by our readers. Thank you for sharing it and come visit again in the future!


Mar 14, 2008
by Anonymous

Carpal tunnel

Yes, the one handed designs - all of them - will suffer a bit in terms of output. But the Tom David Pepper gun does outperform the Chef 'n, and is a cinch to fill: a sliding collar near the top opens a nickel sized window on the side which lets you refill without having to loosen (and thus change) the grind mechanism.

If you want high output, the Tom David Magnum has an oversize grinder which will put out a blizzard of pepper (it was top ranked by Cook's Illustrated magazine). It also comes with a base to catch the pepper dust.

- Rush

May 29, 2008
by Anonymous

One-handed Grinders

I don't care for these items. They are not really grinders--just graters. They use a rasp mechanism that seems to get dull easily.

The best true grinders still are the Chef Specialties Professional Series pepper mills. They have a solid, tempered stainless-steel mechanism that is still made in the USA.

These grinders are very adjustable from fine to coarse.

I love my Chef Specialties mills, and I have had them for 20 years!!

Nov 3, 2008
by Anonymous

Chef'n Pepper Ginder

II was very satisfied until mine literally broke into pieces after only six months of use! Needless to say, I was frustrated and angry since it wasn't cheap.

Nov 9, 2008
by Anonymous

Chef'n Pepper Ball

I've owned my Chef'n pepper ball mill for many many years, I dont know how long they've been on the market but I probably have one of the first models ! Its been a champ, but over the past year it started to show its age.

I dont know why I didnt just go buy another one since it lasted so long but instead, I bought a One Handed Trudeau. What a dissapointment...It worked for a few months but then it was more work than I felt it should be, but it is "trendy looking" !

I've heard good results with Unicorn's Magnum Plus so thats probably what i'll try next.

Dec 4, 2008
by Anonymous

chef'n pepper mill

my ball chef'n pepper mill is great. I JUST HAVE ONE QUESTION.....