The 3 Best Herb Grinders

fotolia/Africa Studio

If the thought of getting fresh flavor from dried herbs seems counterintuitive, you’re most likely used to buying them pre-ground in jars at the supermarket. But with the right tool, grinding your own dried herbs at home is simple and affordable, and they’re guaranteed to have more flavor than something that’s been in a cabinet for months (or years). When deciding which of the best herb grinders is right for you, there are a few key things to consider.

First, think about the types of herbs or spices you’ll be grinding. Certain herbs like rosemary get woody and tough when dried, making them one of the most difficult herbs to grind. Other herbs are lighter and less fibrous, such as cilantro and parsley. Depending on the type of herb or spice you’re grinding, you will want to choose either a manual or electric grinder.

Similarly, you should decide how much work you want to do, and whether you want the convenience of an electrical grinder or the more labor-intensive approach of manually grinding. If you’re only grinding a small quantity of herbs or spices, a manual grinder could be sufficient for you.

Last, think about what else you can do with your grinder besides grinding herbs. Tools with more than one use offer a lot of versatility for creating a range of recipes.

Whichever you choose, the best herb grinders will transform dried herbs and spices into fragrant, flavorful additions to your recipes.

1. The Best Manual Grinder For Herbs

Similar to a peppermill in its design, this vase grinder from Kuhn Rikon can be used to grind herbs, spices, seeds, and even salt into fine powder. The grind size can be adjusted by turning a dial on the underside of the grinder, and, in general, the finer the powder you want, the longer it takes to grind ingredients. Some reviewers noted that certain items can be more time-intensive to grind than others. The grinder is made from ceramic, meaning it is not only durable and rust-proof, but less likely to absorb flavors if you like to change up what you’re grinding. But if you find an herb or spice blend you like, you can easily leave it in the grinder and set it on your counter or even table for regular use. The transparent vase makes it easy to see exactly what’s inside and how much you have left.

2. The Best Electric Herb Grinder

If you want to grind your herbs quickly and would rather have a machine do the work for you, this electric grinder from Chulux would be the best choice for you. It comes with two stainless steel cups with different blades to grind or chop dry or wet ingredients. For the best results, herbs should be fully dried and dehydrated so the blades can really break them down, and they won’t get stuck on any moisture or the herbs’ natural oils. The duller of the two blade sets, which also works for grinding coffee beans, is best for grinding dried herbs and spices. The second set of blades is sharper and functions more like a chopper in which fresh or wet items can be added together and blended. Some reviewers have successfully made curries, and this grinder would quickly whip up a wet paste or rub for a roast from garlic cloves, fresh rosemary, olive oil, and lemon. Since the cups are detachable, they can be removed for easy cleaning and even go into the dishwasher.

3. The Best Mortar And Pestle For Grinding Herbs

Certainly the most labor-intensive method listed here, a mortar and pestle is also one of the best ways to grind dried herbs. This mortar and pestle set from Scengclos comes with a long pestle to give you better leverage for grinding tough ingredients. Since the fineness or coarseness of the grind depends entirely on how much time you spend grinding, this is truly the best hands-on way to get close to your herbs and control the grind size. By employing different methods like pounding or twisting, you can break down dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano into powder. It’s also great for grinding seeds from spices such as cumin, fennel, or coriander. Fashioned from neutral granite, this mortar and pestle set is attractive enough to function as a design accent, but can also be used to make fresh pesto, guacamole, and a range of other recipes. For anyone worried about their countertops, an anti-scratch pad is included to prevent any damage to surfaces from the bottom of the bowl.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.