Best Salt and Pepper Shakers
The CHEFVANTAGE Adjustable shaker set has everything we look for in the ideal salt and pepper shakers. With a simple and timeless aesthetic, they will look great in any kitchen setting. The silver sleeve covers a glass body that holds way more salt and pepper than you'd think. Three different settings regulate the amount that comes out, which to us, was a great feature. This set also has two different fill options; you can either fill via the removable metal sleeve or unscrew the sliding top to fill. When twisted, the lid clicks into place and lands on a dispensing setting. There is also the option to seal the shaker by twisting to a setting with no holes. This shaker set is aesthetically pleasing and has a well-thought-out design.
It can be a little bit finicky to adjust the dispensing settings on the lid of the CHEFVANTAGE Adjustable. We found that if it is twisted too far in one direction, the entire lid becomes loose, which is not ideal. This set is also a little bit pricier than many of the other options in this review.
Though the Grant Howard Hand Painted set is delicate, we loved the hand-made feel and simplicity of these shakers. A simple tapered cone-shaped design with hand-painted flowers makes this set feel like it's been in your kitchen forever. Both salt and pepper have the same number of holes, but they seem to dispense seasoning at an average rate — not alarmingly fast nor annoyingly slow. They are relatively easy to fill, similar to the majority of the other glass shakers we reviewed. One of the best parts about these cute shakers is their inexpensive price tag. In comparison to most of the other novelty shakers, the Grant Howard set is very reasonably priced.
The biggest downside is its delicate design and lack of durability. We feel we must report that when we first ordered this set, they arrived damaged. That said, after inspecting their packaging compared to similarly delicate options, it was way less substantial.
Similar to our first choice set in almost every way, the CHEFVANTAGE Set was a close second to their slightly slenderer counterpart. This set performed almost as well as the other option from CHEFVANTAGE, minus a small difference in the rotating top. This set doesn't have a removable lid, and the adjustment mechanism moves much more smoothly than the other option. We preferred how the other CHEFVANTAGE locked in place, but this set does provide a smoother transition between dispensing sizes. Aesthetically, these are sleek and modern. They are made from a combination of stainless steel and glass, which makes them durable.
We found that filling this set was challenging due to the small mouth of the glass container. The other CHEFVANTAGE option has the option to fill via a removable cap, and we wish this one had the same feature for the sake of versatility and ease of filling.
With an ergonomic shape, multiple color options, and solid ceramic construction, the Le Creuset Stoneware Shakers are one of our favorite salt and pepper dispensers. We love how this set looks on our table and often receive compliments on their aesthetic, shape, and color. The beauty of this set is in their simplicity — no adjustments, no visible fill holes. We found that the salt came out surprisingly fast, even though the salt shaker only has a single hold, whereas the pepper has three. Regardless, we found the dispensing ability was not quite as fine-tunable as some options in this review but completely sufficient for most purposes.
Everything is excellent with the Le Creuset Stoneware Set until it comes time to refill them. The filling hole is located on the bottom of the shaker and is tiny; we found it challenging to fill them up without major spillage. In addition to the hole being small, its location also means that salt and/or pepper will come out of the top when filling — since it has to be flipped upside down to fill.
If you are into camping or bringing your own seasonings on trips, the Signora Wear Moisture Proof set is for you; this utilitarian option is the only plastic product we included. We appreciated its durability and lightweight design for on-the-go use but didn't find as much use for it in our own kitchen. The lid snaps on with a light press and pops off easily. The lack of threads means no spillage when removing the lid — a significant bonus. Their shape is also conducive to easy filling since they are relatively squat with a wide mouth. Their reasonable price tag is another major plus.
The biggest issue we have with the Signora set is their dispensing ability. It takes a vigorous shake to get much of anything out of this one. We often found ourselves removing the lid entirely and simply taking a pinch of seasoning out when we needed it. Additionally, though the plastic is excellent for camping, we weren't crazy about it for daily use in our home kitchen.
A simple, rustic vibe is what the Saratoga Home Farmhouse set is all about. These shakers are about as simple as it gets — a glass cylinder with a metal screw cap. The caddy is what makes this set unique and appealing. The metal carrying case has a handle and rubberized feet to prevent scratching. The Saratoga Home set is as easy to fill as most of the other glass options in this review. The mouth is narrow, but with control, one can fill the shaker fairly easily, without too much spillage. What we like most about this set is its simplicity and the durable materials used in its construction.
There is no way to differentiate between salt and pepper on this set — they are the same. Luckily, since they are clear, it's easy to tell which one is which. When dispensing seasoning, there is the same number of holes for both salt and pepper, which some folks may not like. The lids also seem to accumulate grains of salt and pepper, which then spill out when they are removed. This occurs with most screw-top shakers.
The Star Wars Droid Shakers are a great conversation starter or an excellent gift for that Star Wars-obsessed brother-in-law of yours. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality; they are delicate and extremely detailed, plus they function fairly well. All of this comes at quite a price — these are the most expensive shakers in this review. We appreciated the design and aesthetic and are certain that anyone who loves Star Wars will get a kick out of these.
The biggest issue we had with these little R2D2 shakers came when filling. Like most ceramic shakers, these have a small fill hole on the bottom, which means that the top holes pour salt or pepper when filling (since they have to be flipped upside down). The pour holes are also fairly wide in diameter, so a lot of seasoning comes out when shaking.
The Juvale set is simple and made from stainless steel, glass, and plastic. It is the only set we tested that has clear labels on each one and an "S" pattern and a "P" pattern on the top. The Juvale shakers are easy to use and relatively easy to fill, in line with the other glass and stainless options out there. We liked how the clear bottoms allow you to see when these shakers need to be refilled. Their pear shape is ergonomic and allows for control when dispensing seasoning.
The excessively labeled nature of these shakers may not be for everyone. Some of our testers felt like the side labels were perhaps a bit much, while others appreciated the clarity the labels provide. The other downside to these shakers is their aesthetic — the plastic cones that surround the top of the shakers are a confusing feature, which we didn't particularly like from a design standpoint. They create a moat around the lid where bits of salt and pepper get stuck.
The Great Credentials Stainless Steel Dredge shakers are a sturdy, large option that are well suited for kitchens with an industrial vibe. Their shape is wide and short with a broad opening for super easy filling. We liked the handle since it helps regulate the amount that the shakers dispense. Their all-metal design makes for a no-nonsense product that is simple and aesthetically appealing.
It is hard to regulate the amount of seasoning that comes out of the Great Credentials Dredge set. This was the biggest issue we had with these shakers, as it was hard to control the amount of salt and pepper that they distributed. It was also hard to tell which one was filled with which seasoning — as the two shakers are identical.
If you have an affinity for miniature objects, you will get a kick out of the Elwiya Farmhouse Mason Jar shakers. This set is adorable — tiny mason jars with miniature lids, what's not to like?! We loved the sturdy design of these little jars and especially liked how easy it was to tell salt and pepper apart. This set will look great in any kitchen, especially those with a rustic vibe.
It is hard to regulate the amount of seasoning that comes out of the Elwiya jars. We found ourselves shaking them vigorously to get a small amount of salt or pepper through the holes. We were also not super impressed with the construction of the caddy. The wood feels light and breakable, and we were not crazy about the paint job.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our panel of kitchen experts has performed extensive hands-on testing of kitchen products ranging from roasting pans to knives. Jane Jackson, the lead tester for this review, has written reviews on kitchen products ranging from mixing bowls to cups. Not only does Jane review these products, but she is also an all-things-cooking enthusiast. Anyone that has spent time in the kitchen knows the benefits of having the proper tools, and our testers are no exception. We apply the same side-by-side testing procedure to all of the products we review to determine the best options on the market.
We started this review off by perusing hundreds of options and assessing the top salt and pepper shakers that are on the market today. We then purchased the top ten for hands-on testing. We filled, cleaned, and seasoned our meals with these shakers. We also conferred with our fellow testers and friends to gain perspective on the aesthetics of each set. From days of use and multiple fill and distribution tests, we were able to narrow in on the top-performers and isolate the weaker options as well.
Analysis and Test Results
We used four major testing metrics to assess the performance of these little seasoning distributors. The logical first step in testing was to see how easy or difficult it was to fill these shakers. Second, we assessed the dispensing ability of each — they all have a unique pattern of holes that distributes salt and pepper at a specific rate. We then got into the nitty-gritty of design and aesthetics, comparing the materials and overall feel of each set. The following provides a side-by-side assessment of the best and worst performers in each metric.
Ease of Filling
Often, the most challenging and annoying part of using a salt and pepper shaker is filling it. How many times have you left a salt shaker on the table empty, simply because you're avoiding the hassle of filling it? Us too. That's why we emphasized this metric. The easiest-to-fill options were shakers with wide mouths and easy to remove lids, like the Great Credentials Stainless Steel Dredge and the CHEFVANTAGE Adjustable set. We also found our favorite travel option, the Signora Wear Moisture Proof, was easy to fill, thanks to their press-on plastic lids and wide openings.
The most challenging shakers to fill are typically the ceramic options. These sets don't have separate lids, so the fill hole is on the bottom and is usually only about a centimeter in diameter. The Star Wars Droids and Le Crueset options were a pain to fill because of this.
To test this metric, we used a dark plate to show salt distribution and a white plate to show pepper distribution. We then shook each shaker one time to see how much seasoning came out. Some, specifically both of the CHEFVANTAGE options, have three varying hole sizes, making it easy to regulate the amount of seasoning that comes out. These models scored the highest in this metric. Close behind are the standard lids (think of the type you'd find at a diner) found on both the Saratoga Home Farmhouse set and the Grant Howard Hand Painted set.
Here, we found that there were quite a few sets that had us struggling to regulate the amount of seasoning that came out. Some, like the Le Creuset, have only one hole for salt, and yet we found the salt to pour out at a surprisingly fast rate. The Signora Wear Moisture Proof plastic set, on the other hand could barely eke out a few grains of salt with a single shake.
To test something as subjective as "aesthetics", especially when it comes to something that is traditionally a decorative addition to a kitchen, is challenging. Everyone has their own personal preferences, and each kitchen has its own general aesthetic. We measured this metric by pooling opinions from a wide range of testers; this included other GearLab experts, friends, and family. Overall, we found the CHEFVANTAGE sets to be our across-the-board winner in this metric. They are sleek and classy and seem to cater to a wide range of aesthetics. We also liked the Le Creuset Stoneware set for their vintage, timeless feel.
Our low-scoring products in this metric should be taken with a grain of salt, so to speak, since everyone has their personal preferences. The least popular options among our testers were the Signora Wear Moisture Proof and the Juvale Stainless Steel Set. They received low scores for different reasons. The Signora set is plastic and is more functional than stylish, while the Juvale set seemed to be a bit overdone with the written labels and the letter-shaped hole patterns on the lids.
We tested shaker sets made from a variety of different materials. The majority of the products we reviewed are made from a combination of glass and stainless steel. The Signora Wear Moisture Proof is made from plastic, while two novelty sets are made from ceramic. In general, the glass and stainless options, like the CHEFVANTAGE Adjustable, seemed to be the most durable and simple design-wise. We liked the solid feel of the ceramic Le Creuset as well.
There were a few sets that we were not crazy about materials-wise. Though the Juvale is made from stainless steel and glass, it has a large plastic collar on the lid that detracts from the overall design. We were also not crazy about using the Signora Wear set in our home kitchen, as we preferred to use a glass container for seasoning over a plastic one.
This review is designed to give you a run-down of the top salt and pepper shakers on the market. We compared their ease of filling and dispensing ability and made a broad assessment of their overall aesthetic and design. With these results, we were able to identify award winners and the products that fell short. Our kitchen experts spent countless hours comparing the performance of these products to create this comprehensive review. We hope it helps guide you toward the correct shaker set to perfectly suit your dining experience.
— Jane Jackson