HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

What peppercorn do you use?

maddogg280 Dec 12, 2011 09:40 AM

Being from Baltimore, the McCormick peppercorns are my go-to for everyday use in my kitchen. I recall reading (perhaps on this board?) that folks thought that brand is bottom of the barrell and use other brands they believe to be far tastier. Please tell me what you use and why- and where you purchase it. Thanks for your input!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. h
    Harters RE: maddogg280 Dec 12, 2011 10:15 AM


    Good price. Good quality. Always available in the local South Asian shops.

    1. b
      Breezychow RE: maddogg280 Dec 12, 2011 10:22 AM

      Since I use so much of it, I buy Telicherry Black Peppercorns in the large bulk size from Costco. It's their own "Kirkland" brand, & they're very strong & spicy.

      I think my white peppercorns are McCormicks, but I don't use those as often. And I also have a jar of Szechuan peppercorns that I bought from a gourmet shop. Obviously I use those in Szechuan dishes.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Breezychow
        GH1618 RE: Breezychow Dec 12, 2011 10:38 AM

        I like szechuan pepper also, but of course that is an entirely different plant which does not replace black pepper.

        The difference between one black pepper and another is just a matter of freshness, in my opinion. The common commercial brands are likely to be the least fresh, I think. I prefer to buy online direct from a smaller spice company.

        1. re: Breezychow
          rjbh20 RE: Breezychow Dec 12, 2011 01:08 PM

          I concur with the Costco Tellicherry -- very fragrant and a good value. Used 'em last night to make steak au poivre, in fact.

          1. re: rjbh20
            Heidi cooks and bakes RE: rjbh20 Dec 13, 2011 08:20 AM

            I also love the Tellicherry black pepper. I started buying it at Williams Sonoma, then on line, then I found it at Costco.

            I like the fact that at Costco you can get a jar of whole peppercorns, and they also have an inexpensive, disposable grinder that I bring to work and leave in the communal kitchen.

        2. Gio RE: maddogg280 Dec 12, 2011 10:33 AM

          Tellicherry peppercorns have been my go-to of choice for many years. I started buying them from White Flower Farm, of all places, when I saw the blurb in their Christms flower catalogue. Then Penzey's appeared on scene so I switched over. The flavor is pronounced and vibrant compared to other types of black pepper.

          I also use Penzey's Szechuan peppercorns for Asian dishes. I use a dedicated spice grinder to pulverize. White peppercorns never have figured prominently in recipes I've made so I just keep a jar of Penzey's ground white in the spice cabinet.

          1. s
            sueatmo RE: maddogg280 Dec 12, 2011 10:39 AM

            Penzey's Tellicherry peppercorns. I've used them for years. I love crunching down on one after it has been pressure cooked with soup. We grind them at table. I use them in braises and soups. Also recommend Penzey's Turkish bay leaves.

            3 Replies
            1. re: sueatmo
              becks1 RE: sueatmo Dec 12, 2011 11:25 AM

              Penzey's has another peppercorn I like better than Tellicherry. It's "India Special Extra Bold peppercorn"

              1. re: becks1
                sueatmo RE: becks1 Dec 12, 2011 02:46 PM

                I'll be on the lookout for it next time I visit. But the Tellicherry is very good, IMO. Is that the extra large peppercorns? I don't buy them because I don't think they will fit my peppermills.

                1. re: sueatmo
                  becks1 RE: sueatmo Dec 12, 2011 06:32 PM

                  They are normal size with a little extra bite

            2. c
              ChiliDude RE: maddogg280 Dec 12, 2011 01:31 PM

              I don't! I opt for capsicums and grow my own. The hotter the better. My current favorite is the ghost pepper (bhut jolokia) most recently introduced into the US from India.

              1. eight_inch_pestle RE: maddogg280 Dec 12, 2011 01:33 PM

                Tried a few and my fave is Tellicherry, available from a variety of sources. I currently buy from World Spice Merchant, a good little independent shop in Seattle, but Penzey's is perfectly good.

                Show Hidden Posts