With so many salt and pepper shakers on today’s market, you don’t have to settle for generic, throwaway shakers. The best salt and pepper shakers are those that not only make it easy to flavor your meals but also brighten up a dining room table and complement your kitchen and dining room decor.
For professional and home chefs alike, a set of salt and pepper shakers is a kitchen staple. This guide reviews the types of shakers you can find while shopping and factors to consider before making your selection. This list of top picks is a good place to start your search for the best salt and pepper shakers for your home.
- BEST OVERALL: Smart House Salt and Pepper Shakers
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Juvale Salt and Pepper Shakers
- UPGRADE PICK: Cuisinart SG-3 Stainless Steel Rechargeable Mill
- BEST SMALL: Tezzorio Mini Salt and Pepper Shakers, 0.5 oz
- BEST WITH HOLDER: Modetro Salt and Pepper Shakers with Silicon Stand
- BEST COMBINATION: OXO Good Grips 2-in-1 Salt & Pepper Grinder & Shaker
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Salt and Pepper Shakers
So many salt and pepper shakers are on the market that choosing a set may soon overwhelm the most dedicated shopper. Before purchasing a set, consider the material, size, and capacity; and, of course, style is a factor as well. Some home chefs want plain, utilitarian shakers, while others favor salt-and-pepper sets that match their kitchen decor.
Salt and pepper shakers are often made of glass, stainless steel, and ceramic because these materials are durable, easy to clean, and attractive. Ceramic and glass shakers are not ideal for households with young children, however, because they can break if dropped. Plastic shakers are affordable, travel-friendly, and relatively sturdy, but they don’t last long and are of lower quality.
Size and Capacity
Most salt and pepper shakers range from 1.5 inches to 4 inches tall, while decorative sets can measure 8 inches or more. The glass silver-top shakers often found in restaurants hold about 2 ounces of salt or pepper, while most home salt and pepper sets hold a total of 3 to 8 ounces of seasoning.
Small salt and pepper shakers are ideal for compact kitchens and picnic baskets. Larger shakers are often used by those who prefer less frequent refilling.
Salt and pepper shakers usually come in two-piece sets, with a dedicated shaker for each. A set of combination (or two-in-one) shakers is a single kitchen tool with two connected storage canisters and a shaker opening on both ends with a cover. Combination shakers reduce clutter and make seasoning easier.
Salt and pepper shaker holders keep both shakers together in one neat place. A holder can be made from stainless steel, wood, silicone, or plastic. Handy in households with children, holders also can help prevent salt and pepper from being knocked over.
The best part of choosing a new salt and pepper shaker is finding an attractive style. Salt and pepper shakers are available in fun, wacky shapes and styles and even characters. Most users find, however, that the best salt and pepper shakers are those that complement their home’s dinnerware set or match the kitchen appliances and decor.
Our Top Picks
These top picks are made from quality materials that should hold up to frequent use. They suit a variety of preferences: two-in-one, gadget style, small, and more.
With stainless steel top portions and glass bottoms, these salt and pepper shakers from Smart House look sleek, and a quick peek at their glass bottoms reveals when it’s time to refill them. The lid, which has a wide opening to ensure mess-free refilling, can be adjusted to three different pour settings: light sprinkle, normal sprinkle, and pour.
When not in use, twist the shakers’ lids closed to keep out moisture. This set comes with two shakers designed for regular table salt and ground pepper, but it can also accommodate coarser Himalayan or kosher salts. The shakers hold approximately 5 ounces. For longer life, hand-wash only.
These Juvale salt and pepper shakers look like other stainless-steel-and-glass shaker sets but are more competitively priced. Each shaker is labeled “Salt” or “Pepper” in a script font, and the lid holes also spell out “S” or a “P” to reduce confusion as to which shaker is which. The vessels are made from stainless steel with a glass bottom to reveal when they’re nearly empty.
Each shaker is 4 inches tall and holds about 4 ounces of spice. They’re not dishwasher safe, so washing by hand is recommended.
Cuisinart’s stainless steel rechargeable salt and pepper mill has two grinding containers in one body that are activated with the touch of a button. Each canister is made from strong, clear acrylic plastic and can hold about 5 ounces of salt or pepper. The lid can hold about a teaspoon of ground spice.
The Cuisinart combo can accommodate coarse peppercorns and sea salt as well as finer salts and spices. It comes with a charging stand with a removable crumb tray and a light that illuminates when the tool is fully charged. Wash this grinder by hand.
These glass shakers by Tezzorio are made with a strong glass body and a stainless steel cap. These shakers measure 3 by 2 by 2 inches and hold approximately ½ ounce of salt or pepper. The caps are cylindrical instead of the usual flat shape. This set of salt and pepper shakers is dishwasher safe.
Modetro’s salt and pepper shakers come neatly packaged in a space-saving silicon stand. Each shaker has an all-glass canister with a stainless steel exterior and a non-corrosive ceramic grinder. The shakers can hold about 8 ounces of salt or pepper.
These shakers have easy-to-refill wide mouths, and their tight-sealing lids keep out air and moisture. Adjust the coarseness level to fine, medium, or coarse with a simple twist.
The OXO Good Grips two-in-one salt and pepper shaker makes seasoning food easy. The salt canister has a stainless steel lid with five holes in it, while the bottom canister holds whole peppercorns and has a built-in ceramic pepper mill that can grind to five levels of coarseness.
The OXO grinder’s canisters are made from thick plastic, and the lids are stainless steel. To refill the peppercorns, simply remove the salt container and access the base for refilling. This grinder-shaker can hold up to 3 ounces of salt and 1¼ ounces of whole peppercorns.
FAQs About Salt and Pepper Shakers
After reading about these top picks, you may still need further information. Below are answers to some common questions about choosing and maintaining salt and pepper shakers.
Q. Which shaker should have more holes: salt or pepper?
Salt goes in the shaker with the fewest holes, and pepper goes in the shaker with the most. On classic shakers, salt shakers have two holes in the lid, and pepper shakers have three.
Q. Do I need to clean my salt and pepper shakers?
Over time, salt and pepper shakers can get grimy, so wash them occasionally. Because many shakers are not dishwasher safe, it’s safest to wash them by hand with soap and water.
Q. How long do salt and pepper shakers last?
When properly maintained, salt and pepper shakers can last for many years, especially those made of stainless steel, glass, or ceramic.