Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jul 19, 2012 05:07 PM

Help with an old pepper mill....

Anyone ever tried to revive an old pepper mill? I have one I really like but it is not doing much grinding anymore. Any ideas?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. If it's just clogged up, I've read that you can clean out a pepper mill by grinding up some rice (uncooked, of course).

      3 Replies
      1. re: tanuki soup

        Regarding using rice, I'd add that it should be "Minute Rice" style, not regular rice. Regular rice is extremely hard, & Minute Rice fractures more easily without creating excessive grinder burr wear.

        1. re: Eiron

          Thanks for the correction, Eiron. Hope the OP read it in time!

          1. re: Eiron

            If rice can wear out your peppermill then you need a better pepper mill.

        2. If you provide some more information such as brand and model and maybe a photo it would help us to figure out if there is anything that can be done to revive your old pepper mill.

          2 Replies
          1. re: John E.

            LOL John. I bought it at a garage sale eons idea, but I will try to take it apart as Ghs link suggests. Thx!

            1. re: jill kibler

              Before you take it apart, buy a can of air used to clean computers, empty the pepper mill of pepper corns, and then blast the inside with the air and maybe lightly pound (tap) the mill on a cutting board. It's possible it's just jammed.

          2. Thanks to everyone! All is well. I took it apart as suggested in the link from GH1618 and as predicted th pepper was a bit moist and the grinding mechanism was gunked up with old pepper. It was NOT easy to clean out with alcohol swabs and I resorted to a bit of baking soda in hot water as a soak. Worked like a charm on the old pepper and the paint on the outside of the mill..... It is all back together after a long dry, and it works. It was obviously a cheapo as it did not have a screw in the bottom but a bar across the grinding mechanism, so it needed prying put. My guess is it won't take much more of that!

            1 Reply
            1. re: jill kibler

              Good job on cleaning out the old pepper mill, but I have to say, you put in a lot of effort for an average pepper mill. I have found many excellent quality pepper mills for little money at thrift shops. I have purchased Peugeot, William Bounds, Vic Firth, Kuhn Rikon, and a few other brands of pepper mills all for about $1 or a little more.

            2. The original comment has been removed