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Old 02-07-2020, 04:35 PM
Sandwood is offline
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Salt and pepper mills/grinders


A quick search didn't bring up anything relevant, so... talk to me about salt and pepper mills/grinders.

I'm thinking about buying my brother a set as a gift. He's not a big cook, but he likes fancy kitchenware, plus everyone can use salt and pepper. Not sure what exactly to get though, except that I want non-electric mills, and preferably a matched set.

I myself have WMF salt and pepper mills that were bought over 15 years ago, and are still working fine, but those don't look that nice, just plain.

I looked into the Peugeot ones, but they seem to have one big problem, and that is that the pepper grinders can only handle black (and maybe white) pepper. Fill in red pepper or anything else, and they're out, basically. I'd prefer something that can handle mixed peppercorns and the like, because I'm quite sure that's what they're going to end up being filled with.

Right now I'm dithering over a Cole & Mason Derwent set, but I really don't know that brand too well. Anyone have any personal experience with those? They're mid-range expensive so I don't want to just buy without getting some more input about the quality first.

Last edited by Sandwood; 02-07-2020 at 04:35 PM.
  #2  
Old 02-07-2020, 05:19 PM
Dewey Finn is offline
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Penzey's has nice sets, and of course they sell the salt and pepper as well. I have a Peugeot grinder, but I only ever use it with black pepper so the limitation you mentioned isn't an issue. BTW, the one I have allows you to select from five levels of fine grindness. Not sure if they all do that.

Last edited by Dewey Finn; 02-07-2020 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 02-07-2020, 05:46 PM
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See if you can find Trudeaus or La Crueset. I have both and work with 4 peppercorn mix (Black, white, green, and red) and various salts just fine.
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  #4  
Old 02-07-2020, 05:54 PM
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We received a wooden salt and pepper mill set made by William Bounds for a wedding gift in 1993. They both still work beautifully. We have used a variety of of peppers and salts in them throughout the years. They still look great and have retained their finish. They have the options of fine, medium or coarse grind. We have used them every day for nearly 27 years.

While I don't see our exact model for sale online, I do see that they have some models available through Amazon and Walmart online.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:22 PM
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I'm confused on what the Red(Pink) pepper would do to a mill.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:55 PM
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I'm thinking that if red peppercorns won't work in a peugeot, they won't work in other brands either - they all work more or less the same.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:02 PM
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Iíve got a Peugeot that was my motherís, probably from the late 60s or early 70s. Iíve used red peppers and blends in it over the years, works just fine.
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:00 PM
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That's some very good input already, thanks everyone. Keep the suggestions coming!

My preliminary research did not turn up so much general information. Only that the salt mill should have a ceramic mechanism, for the simple fact that salt will cause most steel to corrode fairly quickly, which isn't good of course. (There are salt mills with steel that's corrosion-resistant, but they're rare.)

As to the red (pink) peppercorns, apparently the problem is that they can be too "gummy" and will stick inside the grinding mechanism and clog it up, which has been pointed out in quite a few customer reviews for Peugeot pepper mills specifically. I've also seen it mentioned somewhere in their product info, I think.

I'm not sure if that would be less of a problem with a different material or differently cut mechanism. The Peugeot mills all have a stainless steel inside, as far as I know. Carbon steel would be a bit sharper, ceramic is more durable and versatile, but all burr mills work in a similar way I guess.

While I don't think that my brother will ever buy anything as exotic as a whole batch of red peppercorns, there are so many cheaper pepper mixes around that have red pepper or other spices added to them, and I wanna make sure that it won't mess up the pepper mill.
  #9  
Old 02-08-2020, 11:10 AM
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For the table, we have the thumb push button mills. Work really well. Not enough grind for the cook in the kitchen.
  #10  
Old 02-08-2020, 11:26 AM
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A friend had a pepper grinder that can be held and operated in one hand. That may be a consideration, because when you're cooking, your other hand may be busy with the pot.
  #11  
Old 02-08-2020, 12:04 PM
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I used one of those for a while. The pepper chamber was below with a handle straight above that had a spring-loaded angled lever to squeeze. I had to give it up when arthritis screwed up my grip strength.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:08 PM
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(Just remember to twist in one direction, not back and forth!)
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Old 02-08-2020, 05:25 PM
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Pink peppercorns don’t play well in anything other than a mortar and pestle. Just too gummy/sticky.

For normal salt and pepper, if you can find them, the Unicorn Magnum grinders are excellent. I’ve had mine for several years. No idea why, but they appear to be temporarily out of stock.
  #14  
Old 02-16-2020, 08:29 PM
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We have Oxo pepper and salt mills. The reason I wanted those specifically is because you turn them over to use them; when not in use, they sit upright versus leaving little crumbs of pepper (and salt) on the countertop. The design is slightly different from these but it's the same basic concept.

I've had them for several years and they're holding up pretty well. A bit spendy though.

Prior to these, I had a Cole & Mason set which had the same feature (upright when not in use, so no crumbs of salt / pepper on the table). This was the salt mill, and I do NOT recommend it as it fell apart in less than 2 years.

Last edited by Mama Zappa; 02-16-2020 at 08:31 PM.
  #15  
Old 02-16-2020, 09:42 PM
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The one you want is the 8" Unicorn Magnum Plus pepper mill.

The thing is a beast. It'll grind pepper really fast and really well, and after a decade of regular use, seems to be super-durable as well. Plus it holds a lot of peppercorns as well.

If you don't want my opinion, here are some reviews:

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/uni...st-pepper-mill

https://www.epicurious.com/expert-ad...itchen-article

https://www.dadcooksdinner.com/thing...epper-grinder/

https://www.seriouseats.com/2017/08/...nt-review.html
  #16  
Old 02-16-2020, 09:43 PM
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And... salt grinders are moronic. There's nothing to be gained by freshly grinding salt- just buy the pre-ground stuff and go on with your business.
  #17  
Old 02-16-2020, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bump View Post
And... salt grinders are moronic. There's nothing to be gained by freshly grinding salt- just buy the pre-ground stuff and go on with your business.
Itís not for freshness, itís to help adjust the size of the salt rock crystals to suit a particular dish when finishing it Itís not a kitchen essential, but it's a nice tool to give you more options.
  #18  
Old 02-17-2020, 04:27 PM
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I'd personally be grateful but annoyed if someone got me a high end kitchen tool (or any tool, I guess) and it wasn't the exact one I'd been longing for.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guest-starring: Id! View Post
(Just remember to twist in one direction, not back and forth!)
Why not?
  #19  
Old 02-17-2020, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
A friend had a pepper grinder that can be held and operated in one hand. That may be a consideration, because when you're cooking, your other hand may be busy with the pot.
I'm envisioning something that works like a shake weight.
  #20  
Old 02-17-2020, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jnglmassiv View Post
Why not?
It only grinds in a clockwise direction.
  #21  
Old Yesterday, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandwood View Post
Right now I'm dithering over a Cole & Mason Derwent set, but I really don't know that brand too well. Anyone have any personal experience with those? They're mid-range expensive so I don't want to just buy without getting some more input about the quality first.
Got one. It's fine. Does everything I need it to.

Not entirely sure why I picked that one when we needed a pepper mill to be honest with you, but we're happy with it. Google research is SOP for me before purchasing almost anything, so I'm certain it was highly recommended by... multiple someones.
  #22  
Old Yesterday, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Dreams View Post
It only grinds in a clockwise direction.
Not every grinder probably works like this but, if it can, it's faster and easier to cycle the grinder back and forth than it is to turn and release.
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