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Pepper and Salt Mills/Grinders


Fat Guy
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I FINALLY broke down and bought a unicorn magnum and some tellicherry peppercorns - from sur la table (cause having things delivered to my house is more trouble than it's worth).

I have never been a pepper person in the past. I rarely peppered my food. Probably because I didn't think it had anything to offer. But...I GET IT NOW! And to think, just having a good peppermill and good pepper made all the difference.

Thanks, everyone, for your recommendations.

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On the advice of so many on this thread, I went ahead and ordered a Magnum about six months ago. Agreed - it is a great pepper grinder and it is easy to fill.

Nonetheless, because it did not come with anything to cover the bottom, it leaves pepper crumbs and dust where ever you set it down. I did take FG's advice, and I put an upside-down plastic lid inside my cabinet where it normally lives, and that has helped keep the cabinet clean to some degree.

However, it is impractical to move the plastic lid around my kitchen - in anticipation of the next place that I might use the pepper mill and set it down. Therefore, I am in the habit of giving the top of the grinder a tap, or a slap, with the palm of my hand, when I finish grinding. The purpose of this is to knock off any loose pepper particles from the bottom so that when I do set it on the counter, it doesn't make such a mess.

The problem is that the least little tap, slap, or shake will cause the sleeve that covers the "fill hole" to twist wide open - and a whole bunch of peppercorns go flying all over the place, which is extremely annoying. It even opens sometimes, just while I'm grinding pepper. It seems to be quite loose for its intended purpose. Has anyone else had this experience with their Magnum, or is mine defective?

ETA: I just looked at the company's website and the model that I have is called the "Magnum Plus", not the Magnum. The Magnum comes with the crumb tray; the Magnum Plus does not. Go figure.

Edited by kbjesq (log)
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The problem is that the least little tap, slap, or shake will cause the sleeve that covers the "fill hole" to twist wide open - and a whole bunch of peppercorns go flying all over the place, which is extremely annoying.  It even opens sometimes, just while I'm grinding pepper.  It seems to be quite loose for its intended purpose.  Has anyone else had this experience with their Magnum, or is mine defective?

Mine came with a bottom. I have two magnum peppermills. One of them has exactly the same problmem you're describing, but the other one does not for some reason.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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The problem is that the least little tap, slap, or shake will cause the sleeve that covers the "fill hole" to twist wide open - and a whole bunch of peppercorns go flying all over the place, which is extremely annoying.  It even opens sometimes, just while I'm grinding pepper.  It seems to be quite loose for its intended purpose.  Has anyone else had this experience with their Magnum, or is mine defective?

Sounds like a defective product to me. None of the Magnums I've had to given as gifts have this problem.

I'd contact Magnum directly, tell them your story (especially the part about it coming highly recommended), and see what happens. They're a small operation, so I'd bet you'd get a satisfactory response.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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When researching the Magnums I found a site, maybe Amazon that had a lot of reviews. One common complaint and I think it was on the little one was exactly what you have described but no slap/tap was mentioned. The sleeve seems to work its way open to allow peppercorns to spill out. I have yet to buy a new pepper grinder and was set to get the Magnum until I saw those reviews

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When researching the Magnums I found a site, maybe Amazon that had a lot of reviews.  One common complaint and I think it was on the little one was exactly what you have described but no slap/tap was mentioned.  The sleeve seems to work its way open to allow peppercorns to spill out.  I have yet to buy a new pepper grinder and was set to get the Magnum until I saw those reviews

I've owned the big Magnum for a while and the opening problem has occured only once. It's a trifling matter to check the opening before grinding. No need to throw the superior grinding baby out with the bathwater. :laugh:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I agree with Toliver. I've had every highly recommended pepper mill in my home at one point or another, and none match the Magnum. My missed-a-mortgage-installment-to-pay-for-it Peugeot is decidedly second-rate compared to it; that's housing my white peppercorns now.

I also don't know why one couldn't simply place a finger over the sliding cap. Given the design absurdities of so many other peppercorns that prevent proper functioning, I don't really see why that would be a deal-breaker. This Magnum cascades ground pepper as coarse or fine as you'd like; grab the duck tape if you need it.

Buy the thing. You'll see what we're talking about.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Has anyone used this?

http://www.amazon.com/Vic-Firth-Grind-Stai...84507&s=kitchen

I picked one up at bed bath & beyond, and it's become the only peppermill I've ever liked in the kitchen. It's thoroughly flawed: you can't adjust the grind, it takes a lot of force, and it doesn't spit out much pepper with each pump.

But I really like a one handed mill in the kitchen, because I'm either stirring or turning things with tongs when I'm peppering them. And all the other one-handed mills I've seen or used have a serious problem: they're nearly impossible to clean.

With this thing, I can pepper a raw chicken, or several fish fillets, and not worry that my slimy hands are all over the peppermill. When I'm done, it's fairly easy to wipe it off with a soapy sponge. It's stainless and plastic, with few gaps and crevices on the outside. The pepper stays dry, and I run little risk of killing the guests with salmonella when I later pepper and hand toss the salad.

AND: it was designed by the former tympanist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Notes from the underbelly

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Actually, my mom bought one of those!

I'm actually not a huge fan of it because of the requirement of force (my thumbs ain't that strong!) as well as your other complaints. It's a good idea, but the execution doesn't pan out quite as well.

I agree, though, that it's best feature is it's one-handed operation, which is great for those situations where you can't keep both hands clean/sanitary. Actually, I want to find a good one-handed peppermills. I looked in the thread on peppermills, but none of them (or at least the good one) appeared to be one-handed, but maybe I have to review the thread again. :hmmm:

"I know it's the bugs, that's what cheese is. Gone off milk with bugs and mould - that's why it tastes so good. Cows and bugs together have a good deal going down."

- Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry), Chef!

eG Ethics Signatory

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my aunt has one of these one handed peppermills. she likes it, but never having used it myself, I'm not really able to comment on force required. It does seem to be adjustable for different grinds.

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.as...m=-1&SKU=100184

While it may not be glam enough to keep out all the time, the one handed functionality may make it worthwhile to just have for meats. I usually just pre-grind pepper into a mini prep dish or saucer before I get the meat out so I don't have to worry about contaminating.

"In a perfect world, cooks who abuse fine cutlery would be locked in a pillory and pelted with McNuggets."

- Anthony Bourdain

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Yeah, there are all kinds of one handed peppermills like that. I had one for years that had a salt shaker in the top. It worked well, but it got disgusting really quickly. I don't have time to stop and wash my hands every time I want to salt or pepper something. And I'm not willing to add pre-measured ground pepper to my mise en place! So the solution is salt and pepper dispensers that are easy to clean. Salt is easy ... I just have a diner-style glass shaker. For pepper this funky stainless one is still the best thing I've found.

my aunt has one of these one handed peppermills. she likes it, but never having used it myself, I'm not really able to comment on force required. It does seem to be adjustable for different grinds.

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.as...m=-1&SKU=100184

While it may not be glam enough to keep out all the time, the one handed functionality may make it worthwhile to just have for meats. I usually just pre-grind pepper into a mini prep dish or saucer before I get the meat out so I don't have to worry about contaminating.

Notes from the underbelly

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There is one good one handed grinder that I found, it's the Unicorn PepperStick. It's made by the same company that makes the Magnum which is one of the top rated pepper mills mentioned in another thread. I find it quite easy to use one handed and the grind is adjustable.

Here's a link to the web site: Unicorn Webpage

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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There is one good one handed grinder that I found, it's the Unicorn PepperStick. It's made by the same company that makes the Magnum which is one of the top rated pepper mills mentioned in another thread.  I find it quite easy to use one handed and the grind is adjustable.

Here's a link to the web site: Unicorn Webpage

The PepperStick looks like a slimmed down elongated version of the Keytop. Wouldn't you need two hand. One to hold the mill and one to turn the top key.

Edited to add that from the website the Peppergun is the only one that looks to be a one handed mill

I am looking forward to using the Magnum. It is out for delivery today.

Edited by scubadoo97 (log)
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I actually meant PepperGun, I just misquoted myself since I've recently ordered the PepperStick. You are correct, the "Gun" is the only one handed grinder they make and it works great!

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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  • 11 months later...

i'm searching for a good pepper grinder -- the ones i've bought (granted, on the fly & usually at bb&b) have never really impressed me. i know there's a famous one made in nantucket, but i was wondering if you guys have any good suggestions on a good, sturdy, effective mill. tia!

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Unicorn Magnum grinders are far and above everything else on the market and they're reasonably priced! What more could anyone ask for?

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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Unicorn Magnum grinders are far and above everything else on the market and they're reasonably priced!  What more could anyone ask for?

I see on the Unicorm Magnum web site that the regular size comes with a "pepper dust tray". But the Magnum Plus doesn't come with one. That's unfortunate as it's the Plus version that's really worth getting.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Unicorn Magnum grinders are far and above everything else on the market and they're reasonably priced!  What more could anyone ask for?

I see on the Unicorm Magnum web site that the regular size comes with a "pepper dust tray". But the Magnum Plus doesn't come with one. That's unfortunate as it's the Plus version that's really worth getting.

Toliver, the little plastic snap on lids found on the cylindrical packaging of like say Crystal Light or Instant ice tea work perfect for a catch tray. Recycling is good.

http://www.walgreens.com/popups/s_image.js...skuid=sku366570

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Unicorn Magnum grinders are far and above everything else on the market and they're reasonably priced!  What more could anyone ask for?

I see on the Unicorm Magnum web site that the regular size comes with a "pepper dust tray". But the Magnum Plus doesn't come with one. That's unfortunate as it's the Plus version that's really worth getting.

Toliver, the little plastic snap on lids found on the cylindrical packaging of like say Crystal Light or Instant ice tea work perfect for a catch tray. Recycling is good.

http://www.walgreens.com/popups/s_image.js...skuid=sku366570

I use a nice saucer that matches my kitchen decor as the catch tray.

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Unicorn Magnum grinders are far and above everything else on the market and they're reasonably priced!  What more could anyone ask for?

I see on the Unicorm Magnum web site that the regular size comes with a "pepper dust tray". But the Magnum Plus doesn't come with one. That's unfortunate as it's the Plus version that's really worth getting.

Toliver, the little plastic snap on lids found on the cylindrical packaging of like say Crystal Light or Instant ice tea work perfect for a catch tray. Recycling is good.

http://www.walgreens.com/popups/s_image.js...skuid=sku366570

I use a nice saucer that matches my kitchen decor as the catch tray.

Thanks for the suggestions. The light dawned on me the other day and realized I could do exactly as you've all mentioned. As it is now, I do a lot of my prep next to the sink so it was no big deal to just wipe the dust up or off into the sink.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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  • 2 weeks later...

After reading this thread about 18 months ago we bought two Unicorn Magnum s 'n p sets, one was given as a gift. After almost 35 years of salt and pepper mill frustration we've found the right ones. They're simple and well engineered. A month ago a piece broke on our pepper mill and when we called Unicorn, they had all our info in their computer. They promptly send a replacement part and we were good to go.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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