We love a good, heavy pestle and mortar at BBC Good Food, but a manual or electric grinder requires less effort and time. Here are our favourites.
I use a big, coarse granite pestle and mortar. It takes a lot of elbow grease to get some things finely ground, but there is a rudimentary element to it that I love. This version is a really sturdy bit of kit with a rough finish for added grind. It’s a good price and, at 16cm wide, it’s not too big to stay out on your worktop.
Barney Desmazery, food editor
- Granite pestle and mortar, £14.99, Lakeland
For most whole spices (especially harder ones like star anise and allspice) you can’t beat an electric grinder. They grind the spices into a fine powder, so the flavour is really balanced throughout your dish. With this grinder, you simply press the lid to operate. It comes with two easy-to-clean cups and two plastic lids, so you can store any leftovers. It’s worth the investment.
Cassie Best, assistant food editor
- Cuisinart electric spice & nut grinder, £49.95, John Lewis
I like using a small manual grinder, as it’s very practical – you can grind your spices straight into a bowl or pan, so there’s less mess. This Kuhn Rikon model is a lightweight grinder with a ceramic mechanism, which you can adjust for a coarse or fine grind. It comes in a range of bright colours, but with clear sides so that you can see the contents. As a bonus, they also work well for salt and pepper.
Holly Brooke-Smith, editorial assistant
- Kuhn Rikon transparent spice grinder, £12.45, Amazon
I like grinding my own spices, but I find a pestle and mortar hard work. I favour a coffee grinder, although they’re hard to keep clean. One way is to whizz dried rice in the grinder after use. I also love this grinder for making wet spice pastes like Thai curry paste. It can also blend coffee, herbs, nuts and spices at the press of a button, and it’s dishwasher safe.
Sara Buenfeld, food writer
- Revel Wet ‘n Dry Grinder, £32.60, Amazon
Do you prefer a manual approach or do you have a grinder you can't live without? Share your ideas with us below...