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Can someone rec an inexpensive peppermill?

MaggieRSN Dec 12, 2007 12:24 AM

I use a mortar and pestle to grind my spices, including peppercorns. I think a mill just for the pepper would be easier for general use. Can someone recommend one that's functional, doesn't break, and that doesn't cost $65 or more? Really. I just want something for 10, 20 bucks that gives a course grind. If I really need it finer, or want to just crack it, I'll use the mortar. TIA.

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    Linda513 RE: MaggieRSN Dec 12, 2007 03:35 AM

    I just bought two peppermills after doing some research on this board and others. I bought one in white for white pepper and one in black for black pepper. The brand is peppermate and it grinds so easily. You can grind right onto the food, or into the little plastic bin on the bottom, which is nice if you need a larger quantity of pepper. It is $35. Here is a link:


    1. JoanN RE: MaggieRSN Dec 12, 2007 04:14 AM

      I've had the six inch Unicorn Peppermill for quite a few years now and I couldn't recommend it more highly. It's easy to change the fineness of the grind. You get a lot more pepper from a single turn than you do from most mills. It works even when my hands are wet or greasy. And even the smaller mill has a very large storage well so you're not adding peppercorns all the time. I've actually given this mill as a "hostess" gift to friends who's house I cook in just because I other mills just don't cut it for me.


      2 Replies
      1. re: JoanN
        Mother of four RE: JoanN Dec 12, 2007 06:16 PM

        I agree! I have had my Unicorn for about three years, and just love it! I even sent it to my daugher in law as a gift. Very easy to fill and grind. I have had many, but this one is the very best!

        1. re: JoanN
          NYchowcook RE: JoanN Dec 25, 2007 05:23 AM

          I love my Unicorn pepper mill. I've had the Magnum for many happy years (after my pepper gun gave out after, oh, 15 years or so (cost: $31); have given this and the magnum plus as (very much appreciated) gifts


        2. yayadave RE: MaggieRSN Dec 12, 2007 06:12 AM

          If you live near an Ikea, they have this. They don't seem to accept on line orders for this gadget.


          3 Replies
          1. re: yayadave
            JK Grence the Cosmic Jester RE: yayadave Dec 12, 2007 12:09 PM

            That's the one I have, I love the thing.

            1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
              puzzler RE: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Dec 12, 2007 12:39 PM

              The Ikea is hard to beat -- $6.99 and the grinder is ceramic. I use two, one for coarse sea salt and one for pepper. Love 'em.

              1. re: puzzler
                yayadave RE: puzzler Dec 12, 2007 01:07 PM

                They also sell just the jars so you can store other spices and use the same grinder head for them.

          2. a
            aburkavage RE: MaggieRSN Dec 12, 2007 11:28 AM

            I have a Vic Firth mill that works superbly. It has some sort of twist and lock mechanism that prevents the degree of coarseness from changing when you need to do a lot of grinding. It's the only brand of pepper mill I'll ever buy again.


            1. danhole RE: MaggieRSN Dec 12, 2007 12:00 PM

              After spending too much money on peppermills I don't like, I ran across a large Spice Island adjustable grinder filled with "Indian Malabar" Peppercorns at Sam's Club. It is 6.5 oz and cost about $4. It is really adjustable so you can get a fine grind, coarse or in between. When it's gone, I will toss it and get another! Go to www.spiceislands.com, and look under products/adjustable grinders. And it doesn't take a lot of effort to use!

              1 Reply
              1. re: danhole
                paulj RE: danhole Dec 12, 2007 01:23 PM

                I have one of these, with about 1/4 of the pepper corns left. By now most of the remaining pepper corns are broken. I think this is because the pepper gets mixed up as the grinder is turned upside down to grind, and back up when not in use. But, I can't see the state of the pepper corns in the more conventional grinder - may be they get broken up with use too.

                The grinder quality ifself is so-so. For the price of the pepper it is a good deal.

                Years ago I bought a classic metal Italian design, with a chute in the side for loading. That grinds quite nicely. Only problem is the small size that I have needs to be reloaded often. Currently I have that one loaded with a mix of pepper, fennel and rosemary.


              2. b
                Buckethead RE: MaggieRSN Dec 12, 2007 12:04 PM

                Get a William Bounds, they sell many varieties but the mechanism (which is guaranteed for life) is the same in all of them. Mine was $20.

                1. johnb RE: MaggieRSN Dec 12, 2007 06:07 PM

                  I bought one of those little $15 electric coffee grinders (mine is a Braun) for spices as many recommend, and find it does a nice job with pepper as well--no reason why not since pepper after all is just another spice. And of course it has the extra added advantage that (gasp) you can use it for things other than pepper. If you're a fanatic about keeping various spice flavors from mingling that could be a problem unless you clean it very carefully between uses, which I don't, but I find that is an advantage, since it adds a bit of mystery, even serendipity, to your flavor profiles.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: johnb
                    brittle peanut RE: johnb Dec 14, 2007 08:45 AM

                    There are a few spice grinders with removable bowls -- this would make cleaning easier, I think -- I sort of wanted one, but I have a functioning one already.

                    That being said, I just use my mortar and pestle for black pepper.

                  2. m
                    MaggieRSN RE: MaggieRSN Dec 12, 2007 11:58 PM

                    Thank you all for answering my call for help!

                    I appreciate hearing about all these options and will look into them. Appreciate it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MaggieRSN
                      scubadoo97 RE: MaggieRSN Dec 13, 2007 12:56 PM

                      I also have to give a high recommendation for the Unicorn grinders. Love my Ultra. May go back and get the Gun for one handed operation

                    2. jfood RE: MaggieRSN Dec 13, 2007 05:50 PM

                      peugeot makes great mills.

                      heres one for $30


                      1. k
                        Kelli2006 RE: MaggieRSN Dec 13, 2007 05:57 PM

                        Penzeys sell a very nice pepper mill to go with their spices. http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzey...

                        I have a Peugeot pepper mill that I received as a gift 15 years ago.

                        1. Chinon00 RE: MaggieRSN Dec 13, 2007 06:08 PM

                          Where did you see a pepper mill for $65? Anyway, the "bunny rabbit" has served me well over the years. You'll pay much more in the peppercorns (in a few years) than the mill anyway.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Chinon00
                            foodstorm RE: Chinon00 Dec 14, 2007 09:31 PM

                            Sur La Table, to name one retailer. Their pepper mills range in price from $19.95 to over $250.00

                          2. f
                            foodstorm RE: MaggieRSN Dec 14, 2007 09:19 PM

                            The Unicorn peppergun is wonderful, about $25

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: foodstorm
                              janeh RE: foodstorm Dec 15, 2007 03:30 PM

                              I've gotten two Zassenhaus pepper mills on ebay, a wooden one for the kitchen and a ceramic one that I keep on the dining table. I first saw them at Penzeys, but was hoping to pay less ( and did). The mechanisms seems to be very good and the grind is adjustable,

                            2. Candy RE: MaggieRSN Dec 16, 2007 07:50 AM

                              I received a Graviti for Christmas and thought i really don't need this. I have 2 excellent Peugeots one for black pepper and one for white. It has become my favorite. You just invert it over what you want pepper on and it grinds away. It is $19.99 retail and takes 6 AAA batteries. The last about a year. The grinder is ceramic and adjusts easily. You can also use it for coarse salt.

                              1. paulj RE: MaggieRSN Dec 16, 2007 08:17 AM

                                A quick glance at Amazon's offerings for 'pepper mill' suggests that above $20 you are mainly paying for a fancy case and/or prestige name. There are 10 pages under $20. Admittedly I can't tell anything about the grinding mechanism from the cover, but I also doubt if the price is much of guide either.


                                1. w
                                  white light RE: MaggieRSN Dec 18, 2007 01:54 PM

                                  While it may not be the best quality, I like this one since it can be used with one hand:


                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: white light
                                    njbruce RE: white light Jan 29, 2013 05:32 AM

                                    I speak from experience. While I enjoyed the variety of the grind...especially extra coarse..Don't expect these balls to last. I have had a couple and each time (not under vigorous use) the rabbit ear handles broke near the ball itself within a year or two and yes the sliding loading hole is tiny so expect to use a funnel if you don't want peppercorns all over the kitchen floor. Plastic again so expect that to fail as well. I had to use tape to keep it closed...I finally gave up...If they could make one with metal handles and a reliable larger loading portal, they would really have something, even if it did cost a little more..C'est la vie. On to greener pastures..I just bought a Unicorn Peppergun from reviews I have read. We shall see..I really wonder if this manufacturer will take the time, effort and money needed to go back to the drawing board. Probably not.This is America and as long as they keep selling..Hey, what's the problem? The problem is if I find another long lasting product of equal or better value and quality, when will I need to be shopping for a pepper mill again? Sorry to sound so harsh, but I did pay my money for their product.

                                  2. s
                                    sueatmo RE: MaggieRSN Jan 29, 2013 04:26 PM


                                    This is what I use. It works well. You get to choose your grind, and it pretty easy to fill. Not expensive. I got mine at Bed Bath and Beyond.

                                    1. JayL RE: MaggieRSN Jan 29, 2013 04:47 PM

                                      I have Peugeot S&P mills, but also recommend Chef Specialties.

                                      1. j
                                        jljohn RE: MaggieRSN Jan 29, 2013 05:51 PM

                                        There are many nicer-looking pepper mills, but the OXO Good Grips mill is very sturdy, produces a nice grind, and is relatively inexpensive at about $20.

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