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Pepper and Salt Mills/Grinders


Fat Guy
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I've been using a cheapie Old Thompson acrylic peppermill for years. It was like $15, is infinitely adjustable and uses a ceramic grinder that is warranted for life.

=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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I also have a Magnum Plus. The only fault I've been able to find with it is that due to the design the grind adjustment screw tends to slowly drift towards coarse while you're using it. Wouldn't stop me from buying another though. As pepper grinders go, in my opinion, it's in a class by itself.

PJ

"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think my pepper grinder died. :sad:

The top part, including knob, and metal dowel that runs through is separating from the body in one piece - the whole thing lifts comes out.. Any suggestions of what I can do to fix this? Looking at the base of the dowel makes me think something broke off. Or should I bite the bullet and buy a new one? (This one is about 3 months old - so much for buying stuff on sale :shock: )

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Did you lose to burr and the nut that holds it in to the frame? I would assume that, then, then, it would be difficult to find, and probably not worth your time. :sad: Losing a pepper mill is a very dark time, indeed. Best of luck with procuring a replacement!

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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What brand is it? Peugeots have a lifetime warrantee.

Actually, it is a Peugot. I was unaware of the guarantee. I'll Google the company and see what they can tell me on-line. Otherwise, a trip down to Broadway Panhandler (where I bought it) is called for.

What a royal pain in the ass.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Ok, Peugeot does not have a web stie for their grinders and mills. But, I sent Blovie down to Broadway Panhandler. They took it back and gave him a credit. They currently don't have the 7" in stock, but they said they'll call when they come in.

Thanks for pointing out the warrantee. I would have tossed it otherwise.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have four different pepper grinders:

  • William Bounds "crusher": loaded with black pepeprcorns; has adjustment for 3 grinds – coarse, medium and fine. This one is my husband's favorite, as he prefers coarse-ground. The fine setting isn't fine enough for my preference. It's been going strong for 2 years, and hasn't required any tinkering.
  • Wooden peppermill with Peugeot mechanism: loaded with Grains of Paradise, which aren't so interesting that I use them very often, so the peppermill isn't used much either. If it were a better machine, I'd probably bother to load it with pepper.
  • A Frugal Gourmet (stop laughing, it was a gift) "Turkish coffee grinder" peppermill: FG bashing aside, this is a great grinder. I keep it loaded with white peppercorns, set on fine grind. The receptacle end and the rapid-action turn arm let me grind a whole lotta pepper in not a lot of time. Eminently adjustable. Getting the receptacle off and on is a bit unwieldly. 12+ years of service with no complaints, though not in daily, or even weekly, rotation.
  • A classic Perfex pepper grinder: my fave. I keep it loaded with black peppercorns, set on fine-ish grind. It's kept by the stove for cooking, but it's cute enough to sit on the table. Also eminently adjustable, but needs to be taken apart and cleaned every so often. 15+ years of daily service with no flat tires.

Overall, I prefer a grinder with a turn arm to one which requires twisting the top – they're much more mechanically adept (and faster).

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Unicorn magnum. I know. It sounds like a condom or something, but it's recommended by people like Alton Brown and Cook's Illustrated and after comparing everything at Sur La Table and a couple other such stores, I agree. They have a big model and a small model. I have the small one. Easy adjustment, keeps its grind, and it has an easy loading slot in the side which is wonderful. Also can dump a hell of a lot of pepper quickly.

btw, one thing AB mentons is that he actually uses the one handed grinders a lot just because it's easier. Something to keep in mind, and a lot cheaper than an electric.

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  • 3 weeks later...
I have, among others, the Tom David Unicorn Magnum Plus. It holds an amazing amount of peppercorns and puts out the pepper like a snowstorm.

I just received the Unicorn Magnum Plus Pepper Mill that I ordered from cooking.com and must say that it rocks! It's as ugly as sin but as Huevos as stated so succinctly, it's output is quite amazing. It's now rainin' pepper in my kitchen!

I'm not too happy with cooking.com, though. When an item goes out-of-stock (as the Unicorn Magnum Plus did over the holidays) you can sign up to be emailed when that item gets restocked. Unbeknownst to me, it had been restocked and I didn't receive a notification from cooking.com letting me know so. I did, however, begin receiving their email newsletter. :hmmm:

If I hadn't stumbled across their website and decided to take look at the peppermills, I never would have known that it had been restocked.

Perhaps the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing over at cooking.com.

 

“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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Another brand to consider is Vic Firth.  His site is here.  I have Magnums and Vic Firths (pepper mill acquisition issues, I know) :biggrin:.  I find both brands very good. 

I've found Peugeots to have extreme variation in quality.

I also have a Mr. Dudley battery-operated that's quite dependable. Nowhere near the output of the amazing Magnum, but consistent and easy to use with just one hand while I am stirring with the other.

 

“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'll throw my hat in the ring for the Magnum, as well. I can't agree totally that it's "easy" to fill, however. I find I have to use a large funnel that repeatedly clogs as I try to fill the mill (although, admittedly, I use the larger Tellicherry variety).

I've owned several Perfex pepper mills through the years and--apart from their relatively puny output--I've never been happy with their longevity. If you set the Perfex mill for a fine grind, the grinding surfaces seem to wear out quickly.

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Another brand to consider is Vic Firth. His site is here.

I bought my brother in law a Vic Firth for Christmas a year ago, not knowing he was a pepper junkie, and he was still talking about this year at Christmas. Apparently they also sell salt mills as someone at work had a catalog. We have cinnamon mills, nutmeg mills and all kinds of pepper mills at work.

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ccoking.com has the magnum plus in stock and ships to Canada.

I join the crowd in praise of the Magnum. I also have a Perfex, which is a helluvalot prettier than the Magnum, but that's all it's good for, looking pretty. And I admit to having the Perfex salt mill also, but I never used it. Anyone looking to buy a very pretty salt and pepper mill combo?

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I'll confess to using a salt mill. I have a Peugot that has an adjustable grind and I use rock sea salt in it. Finer grind for eating, coarser grind for cooking usually over a roast. I quite like it :blink:

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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I'll confess to using a salt mill. I have a Peugot that has an adjustable grind and I use rock sea salt in it. Finer grind for eating, coarser grind for cooking usually over a roast. I quite like it :blink:

I got my sister a salt mill for Christmas and she loves it. I only wish I had

bought one for myself too. :sad:

Melissa

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My 8 inch Puegot is going on 25 years old. And still keeps on a grinding just fine. Of course I thought it was extravagant to pay that much at that time but in the long run, it has been very cheap.

The hotel sized mill I use at work was replaced free when the grinding mechanizim went kaplooy on me. They were very nice about it because the model that went bad is no longer being made. And the new one is so nice.

I have used William Bounds, but i prefer the Puegot.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Thank you, thank you, thank YOU!

I have been putting up with drastically inferior pepper mills for too long without even knowing it. I only decided to buy one when the cheap plastic job I was using finally stopped working. Even when it did work, grinding 2 tablespoons of pepper for a recipe was a real chore and took several minutes. Now, I have a Magnum Plus. It is a joy. A huge range of fineness, and grinds so quickly that it is wholly inappropriate for tabletop use. I have been grinding pepper into the sink all week for the pure joy of seeing the perfectly ground flecks flutter out. eGullet, I am in your debt.

Walt

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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