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Pepper and Salt Mills/Grinders


Fat Guy
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I've been extolling the virtues of my OXO Good Grips for a while. It does the full range of grinds, is nicely adjustable, ergonomically pleasing, and grinds like a grist mill, to boot!

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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Although Peugot's pepper mills are well thought of, I thought I'd just post a warning about their motorised Tours mills - mine gave up the ghost after only six months or so. The grinding mechanism was excellent but the electrical build quality was not what you'd expect given the pretty horrific price.

Anyone else had experience with Peugot mills? I'm in the market for a replacement, and choosing between an expensive manual Peugot mill, the (not cheap) Unicorn Magnum - or perhaps a set of six IKEA ones each set ready to a different coarseness...?

Ian

I go to bakeries, all day long.

There's a lack of sweetness in my life...

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I bought a pair of peugeot mills about 6 months ago from here. I've been very happy with them. They give a good even grind for the pepper and have been completely reliable. The salt mill doesn't cope well with the flaky maldon salt though. I can't seem to get a really coarse grind out of them either. Like others here I use a pestle if I want big chunks.

P

Gordon Wallace
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Many thanks all for your advice.

In the end, I was able to find the very one mentioned in my first post.

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Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

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I have a Thompson mill that I purchased just because it does the coarse settings so well. It does very well on the coarse grinds because it has a sort of notched adjustment screw that allows you to keep wide open settings in place. Other mills have a hard time keeping a coarse grind because you essentially have to loosen the adjustment screw to the point that it won’t stay in place.

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  • 9 months later...

Okay, I've read all ( I hope) the threads on pepper mills and I'm ready to invest in either a Peppergun, Magnum or Magnum Plus. The mini-grinder is a given; gotta' get it. So I have some questions for the experts here:

Peppergun: like the idea of one-hand grinding but is the mechanism as finely tuned as the Magnum? I want fine ground to au poivre (if I can get that).

Magnum: this would seem to be my first choice since the capacity is smaller and it's not such a behemoth sitting on my counter.

Magnum Plus: this is the one you all are raving about. is there a difference between this one and the Magnum?

And finally on salt mills..I love Maldon sea salt but there are time that I want a finer grind. Can you recommend any of the Unicorn mills for this purpoe? Or do I go elsewhere?

FWIW-I will probably use the large tellicheery peppers in the mill. Have yet to order them from Penzey's but my catalog just came today! Been pretty darn happy with McCormick whole peppercorns, though.

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Okay, I've read all ( I hope) the threads on pepper mills and I'm ready to invest in  either a Peppergun, Magnum or Magnum Plus.  The mini-grinder is a given; gotta' get it. So I have some questions for the experts here:

Peppergun: like the idea of one-hand grinding but is the mechanism as finely tuned as the Magnum? I want fine ground to au poivre (if I can get that).

Magnum: this would seem to be my first choice since the capacity is smaller and it's not such a behemoth sitting on my counter.

Magnum Plus: this is the one you all are raving about.  is there a difference between this one and the Magnum?

And finally on salt mills..I love Maldon sea salt but there are time that I want a finer grind.  Can you recommend any of the Unicorn mills for this purpoe?  Or do I go elsewhere?

FWIW-I will probably use the large tellicheery peppers in the mill.  Have yet to order them from Penzey's but my catalog just came today!  Been pretty darn happy with McCormick whole peppercorns, though.

I have the Magnum and it's plenty big. I think I need to reload it about once every six weeks, and I use a ton of pepper.

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I bought these Cole & Mason pepper & salt mills from Williams-Sonoma.

They are electric mills, and fun to use -- they light up as they grind!

I don't really recommend them, though. They hold very little salt/pepper and I can't figure out how to adjust the coarseness of the grind.

But they light up! How fun is that? :laugh:

Edited by alacarte (log)
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I have a Unicorn Mini for my briefcase and two Magnums for the prep area and the dinner table. IMHO, they're in a class by themselves.

Their various models are here.

The Magnum Plus is for ostentatious restaurant use. It's too big for home use. The regular Magnum holds a whole bottle or plastic container of peppercorns.

The Peppergun is a nice concept, but hard to operate with one hand. Ditto for the Keytop. Go with the Magnum.

The Mini is a compromise -- difficult to fill, hard to operate and with a distressing tendency to come unscrewed and spill peppercorns all over the inside of my briefcase. Nevertheless, it's the only truly portable mill that puts out enough pepper to make a difference. The rest are toys.

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At the risk of getting slammed for not researching before asking questions, I thought that pepper mills that 'crushed" rather than "ground" were better. With this in mind how does the Unicorn brand that grinds (unless I've missed something) compare to the William Bounds brand that crushes?

I've got a POS grinder I want to replace so which one should I/we get?

TIA,

Bob

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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We bought the black PepperMills Supreme 2000 back in December. My mom had gotten us a gift certificate for Fortunoffs and Jason immediately thought "new pepper mill!" Our manual Cole & Mason had been semi-broken for a while now. I'd had a battery powered pepper mill in the past, it took 6 AA batteries, and they needed pretty frequent replacing. The store had one of these PepperMills out on display and the first thing I noticed was the speed. It grinds a lot of pepper pretty fast, and it is powerful. We gave it a full charge (comes with an AC adaptor) overnight when we got home, and it is still going STRONG on that first charge, with near daily use. There are five grind settings. They are very easy to change, with just a twist of the base. I've set up a display with the fine, middle, and coarsest -- Jason will post a picture of it soon -- each is about 10 seconds of grinding (one touch button).

I also like that it has a matching coaster to rest the PepperMill on -- keeps the "dust" off the counter. It also has a very easy to load chamber, I haven't measured it, but is must hold more than 1/2 cup of pepper corns. The grinding mechanism is ceramic, so it is good for other spices and sea salt as well, although I'd get multiple units, either in different colors or use my P-touch to label the contents.

The only caveat is that the coarse grind setting could be one notch coarser, with just cracking the pepper. I, personally, don't like pepper that coarse, but if you want to make "authentic" steak au pouve, that would help. What I would do is just seive some coarsest ground pepper to sift out any finer particles -- put that in a mise en place dish to sprinkle on the finished dish or for your side dish.

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Due to the overwhelming response to the few questions I had, I decided to go with the Peppermills Supreme 2000. Thanks Rachel. It was cool to see the different grinds and very thorough review. The black is backordered until April so I decided to get the white one for white pepper and I'll have the black for my own mix ( I need one right now).

Thanks again,

Bob

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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rachel, that does look like a good mill and i really appreciate being able to see the range of grinds. as it happens, i'm in the market for a new mill (the old perfex just isn't getting it done). my one concern is when you said you were impressed by how fast it was. i've never used a battery-powered mill before and i'm having nightmares of one touch instantly producing 1/4 cup of ground pepper all over my dish. do you have control issues?

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I've just ordered two of these. I have to say, the owner is very responsive. I emailed him to find out if they shipped to Canada and I had a response within 5 minutes. We then engaged in a brief email discussion of not having the "s" or "p" on top which necessitated in me ordering two different colours. (being the anal rentative decorator that I am, I like things to match). He did suggest that I put a small sticker on one to tell them apart which is what I'm going to do, but really, I like the "s" and "P" thing. I know they can be used as spice grinders too, but surely these could be offered with the standard "s" and "p" for the most common use? It's a minor thing though and based on Rachel's visual demonstration, I think I'm going to enjoy these!

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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rachel, that does look like a good mill and i really appreciate being able to see the range of grinds. as it happens, i'm in the market for a new mill (the old perfex just isn't getting it done). my one concern is when you said you were impressed by how fast it was. i've never used a battery-powered mill before and i'm having nightmares of one touch instantly producing 1/4 cup of ground pepper all over my dish. do you have control issues?

Nah, its not that wild and out of control. Its easy to do 1, 2 or 3 second bursts. Holding the button down for 3 to 5 seconds lets out a generous but not a ridiculous amount of pepper.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I've been looking for another pepper mill for a few months now, and this thread pushed me into high gear.

Today I received my factory-direct Unicorn Magnum. THIS THING KICKS ASS ALL OVER MY PEUGEOT PEPPER MILL!! The way this thing spews forth pepper is astounding. I'm talking like an 1/8th turn on the Magnum is like two full turns on the Peugeot. Serious pepper production!

(BTW, I've tried everything I could think of in an attempt to get that Peugeot to perform. It's the 11 incher, a very thoughtful gift from someone, but I'm now convinced that it's a tired design...)

Anyway, if the OP hasn't already made up their mind, definitely check out Unicorn's website for the linked reviews, and be sure to search eGullet for opinions.

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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Today I received my factory-direct Unicorn Magnum.  THIS THING KICKS ASS ALL OVER MY PEUGEOT PEPPER MILL!! 

Welcome to the Unicorn Magnum Fan Club! I was so happy with mine I gave them as Christmas gifts to just about all the serious "foodies" I knew.

Cooking Illustrated rated it the best peppermill, too, though they thought the "Darth Vader" design left something to be desired.

 

“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 went with the Peppergun after reading a review in Fine Cooking. It holds a lot of peppercorns, grinds a lot quickly and works well for me. It does require two hands, but I was looking for something to give me quantity quickly and it does that very well.

KathyM

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