Purchase a mill/ grinder that is suitable for the spice you wish to grind
Not all mills are suitable for all spices so make sure the mill you’re using is suitable for what you have in it. With the exception of Peugeot (who have a different design for specific spices) most brands use acrylic or ceramic mechanisms for salt, as salt is extremely corrosive to metals and it absorbs liquid which makes potential corrosion happen more quickly.
Top tip: It is very important you’re not trying to use a mill that is intended for pepper, for salt.
Avoid grinding over steaming pots and pans
Although some mills such as those manufactured by Cole & Mason are ‘steamy pan’ approved, when you grind over a steamy pan the steam goes up into your grinder and can clog up the mechanism, meaning a less consistent and even grind. This way you won’t clog the burrs with spice dust. You should also clean the grind mechanism regularly (use a soft pastry brush to sweep away debris).
Top tip: Grind pepper or salt into your hand and sprinkle into your dish rather than grinding directly over the pot.
Use grinder specific salt, pepper and spices
When purchasing your spices ensure they have “suitable for use in a grinder” on the packaging and look for spices that are a regular size which will optimise the efficiency of your mill. Gourmet pepper mixes and salts like Himalayan pink salt will sometimes not be as well dried (back to mechanism clogging!) so we recommend you only half fill your pepper grinder or third fill for salt, to allow good air circulation and more regular refilling which, again, avoids moisture build-up in your grinder.
If you have a Peugeot Salt grinder the only suitable salt is dry coarse salt (dry sea salt or rock salt).
Always grind in a clockwise direction
Good quality mills work with a burr system, (pictured above) meaning spices pass through the two burrs creating an even grind and releasing those fresh spice flavours. By grinding in the same direction you ensure the grind is consistent and minimise the potential for mechanism clogging dust build up.
Clean out regularly
If you notice your mills aren’t working as well as perhaps they once were, it may be time for a clean.
Empty your mill completely and set the grind setting to the largest setting, to tap out any spices that are clogging the mechanism. Let the mill dry out completely. If you have a wooden mill that you're using for salt, you may see that the wood can be damp where it is absorbing liquid. You should allow this to dry out naturally over a couple of days in a warm, dry place then brush out the burrs with a dry pastry brush, refill with fresh dry spices and you’re good to go.