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pepper mill recommendation?

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I need to replace my peppermill and am looking for advice from 'hounds on their experiences. Do you have a peppermill you love or hate? Do you think there are any features that are well worth paying for or a rip off?

Any advice appreciated!


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  1. i love my michael graves -- $12 from target. pretty and ergonomically (sp) designed, so it's easy and comfortable to use.

    1. Have had my Perfex peppermill for years & it still is perfect!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Taralli

        I second your recommendation. I bought my Perfex in 1978-- I was in a cooking course taught by Wolfgang Puck and he told the class that Perfex was the choice of professional chefs. I have used it daily ever since, and it is still performing perfectly.

        1. re: zora

          Mine, too, was touted by my teacher of a small French cooking class in a private townhouse in Boston's, just gentrifying, Southend in the early 70's.

          1. re: Taralli
            Caitlin McGrath

            Well, my mom gave me my Perfex about 10 years ago because she thought it'd suit my needs, and it's still going strong. Then she got jealous and had to buy herself one. I'm considering a small Zassenhaus (sp) from Penzey's though, so I can keep it on the table and not have to cart the Perfex in and out of the kitchen.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              I have the small one (less than probably 4" high).

      2. No preference on brands, I tend to get a salt & peppermill set about once every other year at Christmas. I will say that the "scissor" kinds are good b/c they can be used one handed while stirring or adding other ingredients. Linked is an interesting example that also grates sea salt.

        Link: http://www.kitchenkapers.com/chefdual...

        1. Funny you should ask... after breaking my THIRD peppermill in as many years (including that $12 version someone mentioned from Target), two days ago I invested in yet another one which I feel will be my last: William Bounds Ltd. Link enclosed. Amazing product. (I was actually given an assignment to buy one for the winery I work for and was so impressed, I bought one for myself).

          Link: http://www.wmboundsltd.com/

          1 Reply
          1. re: Eviter

            I'll second that! After many attempts at getting something decent, I finally bought both salt AND pepper mills from Bounds. They are definitely the best I've ever used, and believe me, they don't come cheap here in Oz!

          2. I have a Zassenhaus that I bought through Penzey's about 12 years ago and it is still going strong. It was a little expensive, but I think that it was worth it. They have a really long warranty (20 years, I think). The only failing is that it takes a while to grind any quantity if you set it to grind super-fine, but since I'm more of a coarse grind type of person, it hasn't been a problem.

            1. I got a unicorn by Tom David a few years back. It's by far the best mill I've ever used. It's not cheap (about $45.00) but you'll never have to by another one.

              Here's a link to a site that sells them (I hope this works). Or you can google "Unicorn pepper mill".


              Link: http://www.chefsoutlet.com/eshop/10ex...

              3 Replies
              1. re: Cricket

                I could not agree more. After the Unicorn received top ratings from Cooks Illustrated, I thought I'd give it a try. I'm usually very open-minded and receptive to new product designs, but I can't imagine a better product than this. And I'm amazed at how well these mills hold up, even in abusive commercial foodservice environments. Very highly recommended!

                1. re: David

                  Is one able to use the Unicorn Magnum Plus Peppermill with one hand? Does it use batteries? I can't tell anything from the picture in the link.

                  1. re: Jeremy Newel

                    If you're very nimble, you could get the Unicorn to work for you using just one hand, but it's a lot faster and easier with two. It is a manual, not battery-operated, mill. The material is a very resistant black plastic that is easy to wipe clean.

              2. My parents bought me a brass "coffee grinder" from a bazaar/shop in Turkey about six years ago. I've seen them advertized once or twice in US catalogs since then for far more then they paid if you don't count the price of the vacation. It produces an amazingly fine grind, far superior to my German made one with multiple settings. For coarse ground or cracked pepper I just use a cheap plastic one I acquired some time in the distant past - maybe I got lucky but it works great for a coarse/cracked grind.

                1. In my experience, having a Peugeot mechanism is the most important factor. My folks have had a Peugeot grinder for 30 years, and it's still going strong, and I love ours.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Miles


                    Just wondering where you got your Peaugeot from? I have also heard good things about this model. I checked Macys in NYC but they didn't have it and am not sure of where else to look. Any suggestions?

                    Please advise.


                    1. re: Phyl

                      I bought a grinder with peugeot works about 30 years ago in Williams Sonoma when there was only one store. It is still working just fine. I don't know if they still carry them. I do have other peugeot works peppermills that I got as gifts but I have no idea where they came from. They are also stil working as is the unicorn. I believe sur la table carries grinders with peugeot works but am not sure.

                    2. re: Miles

                      I had a Peugot grinder that broke around a year after I got it. I bought it from the out of business Whole Earth Access, so couldn't return it. I can't hold on to recipts, so have no idea how to take advantage of those 'lifetime' guarantees.

                      1. re: Thea
                        Allie D'Augustine

                        To take advantage of the lifetime guarantee, you don't contact the store, you contact the maker. You don't need a receipt; the guarantees work for gifts and everything, and no one has a receipt for something they bought thirty years ago! The only problem would be if the manufacturer went out of business. (Not a problem in this case.)

                        I'd suggest you look up Peugot on the internet and find a number for them. They will be able to help you. You should go for it; so few people seem to take advantage of these deals! But the company DOES mean it, and that's one thing you pay a premium for in a case like Peugot.


                        1. re: Allie D'Augustine

                          Oops. To look up the company, you'd need the right spelling. I spelled it wrong multiple times in my post -- it's Peugeot, not Peugot.

                          Let us know how you fare,

                    3. I have a pepper mill and salt grinder with Peugot mechanisms and they work fine. Another consideration is two-handed, one-handed or electrical operation. Two-handed operation is tried and true. I haven't found a one-handed mill that is solidly built. The electrical ones are nice, but my experience is mixed: one worked fine while the other one jammed and broke (Both were from Williams Sonoma).

                      You can checkout B'way Panhandler or Zabar for mills. Also try the restaurant supply stores along Bowery. eBay also have mills on auction.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Charshiu

                        Thanks for the recs, but remember, not everybody lives in NYC!