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Peppermill

p
pedalfaster Oct 15, 2012 02:23 PM

So, tell me about your peppermill and why you love it.
Such a simple thing, yet so essential.
Just broke my ceramic-bodied mill (which was lovely!) while grinding pepper for a salad dressing (my hands must have been slick with walnut oil).
Is there anything fabulous out there that the Chowhounds recommend?
I prefer a largish hand-grind model. Something at home in the kitchen that can also be passed at the casual table.

Thanks!

  1. c
    chilibeanpaste Nov 5, 2012 05:54 PM

    Thirty year old Peugeot here and works like the day it was bought.

    1. RealMenJulienne Nov 5, 2012 04:22 PM

      I have an old disposable grinder from way back. The label has long since fallen off but I think it's McCormick or some generic brand. When it ran out of peppercorns I used a trick I learned from this forum to pry off the supposedly non-opening top and refilled it with fresh ones. It's given months of good service and is still going strong.

      1. j
        Joyfull Nov 5, 2012 12:33 PM

        Cole & mason is the best. We bought our C & M bout a year ago & couldn't be happier. It replaced an old wooden mill we received as a wedding gift many years ago, & the difference in how the two mills grind is unbelievable. I highly recommend the Cole & Mason if you're looking for a great peppermill, you'll never be sorry you bought it.

        14 Replies
        1. re: Joyfull
          liu Nov 5, 2012 12:42 PM

          I have been waiting to find another Cole & Mason owner who shares my love for this product.
          Which one do you have? Ours is the stainless and glass:

          http://www.amazon.com/Cole-Mason-H594...

          It has such a smooth grind, is easily adjustable and in nice in the hand.

          1. re: liu
            j
            Joyfull Nov 5, 2012 01:15 PM

            Ours is the same as yours & you are so right about the smooth grind & hand feel. Its just great, I love it.
            I actually passes it over when we were out shopping for a new mill as I wanted to stay with wood, but DH insisted on the C & M, so C & M it was! Once I used it, I was hooked at how great it worked, & any thoughts of a wooden mill went out the window.
            My only problem is, ( since I'm the one who usually buys for the kitchen because of DHs lack of interest, ) EVERY time DH picks up the peppermill, he jokenly reminds me in his na na nan na na voice, that it was HIM that picked such a great peppermill, & that I missy cook cooker, didn't want it! Lol!

            1. re: Joyfull
              liu Nov 5, 2012 01:33 PM

              Joyfull, this is one of those products that you do not know about until you take it home and live with it.

              You have had yours for a year longer than I have. Is the mechanism to set the grind holding for you? Does it ever twist to a different grind without your deliberate command?

              I also wonder about the cap; it is a pull-off for filling, but there is nothing holding it securely onto the base. Has yours become loose over the year...perhaps so that it might come apart if you were to pick the mill up by the top?

              Otherwise, I love the feel of the grind and the very distinct ground sizes.

              1. re: liu
                j
                Joyfull Nov 5, 2012 02:26 PM

                Liu, no, I haven't had a problem with the cap loosening, nor the mechanism slipping from one setting to another. Our peppermill works as good as it did the day we bought it. I honestly think it would take misuse of some sort for the cap to ever loosen enough to separate from the base when being picked up, as the cap is on so securely. The distinct ground size is a big winner for me. I like the fact I can get a fine grind if needed, something that can't be said about a lot of other peppermills we tested.

                1. re: Joyfull
                  liu Nov 5, 2012 03:24 PM

                  Joyfull, thanks for the good information.

                  I used all the peppercorns that came in the new mill, and I just filled it with alternating spills of black and green peppercorns, both from Penzeys.

            2. re: liu
              l
              lcool Nov 5, 2012 05:05 PM

              Up above I listed it after 50 years of choices my number one,bar none.It really is a good little tool.

              1. re: lcool
                liu Nov 5, 2012 05:15 PM

                Sorry, Icool...I DID read your post and simply forgot about it.
                There is great satisfaction in finding good tools!

                Icool, what kind of peppercorns are you grinding in your mill? I like the Penzey's bold black, but the last time I was there they suggested mixing it with some green peppercorns which are sold separately. The result is a nice, very fragrant and tasty grind.

                1. re: liu
                  l
                  lcool Nov 5, 2012 05:34 PM

                  I am sort of a pepper junky and oil,salt and vinegar.Love penzy's bold black and tellicherry not so fond of their white pepper.I am a still wet,in jar green peppercorn user,packed in liquid is so easy to smash,chop and smear.Penzy's pink peppercorns from the Reunion Islands may be the best out there,time after time.I am,for me on my plate an almost always white pepper user,eggs,potatoes,most meat.My best luck for taste and aroma has been buying the 1oz or 2oz bags,from Thailand in ethnic markets.

                  1. re: lcool
                    liu Nov 5, 2012 05:46 PM

                    Thanks for the tip about the small bags of pepper from Thailand in the ethnic markets; I will check that out!

                    I, too, like the wet green peppercorns in the jar and the Tellicherry black.

                    We have so many choices!

                    1. re: lcool
                      m
                      MacGuffin Nov 5, 2012 06:17 PM

                      I also love Penzeys Extra Bold; have you tried both grades of white?

                      1. re: MacGuffin
                        l
                        lcool Nov 6, 2012 03:55 AM

                        I have and there is an "aroma or complexity" missing,maybe call it a floral note.The Penzy's white pepper isn't the same colour or size as what I buy,1oz or 2oz packs "bagged" in Thailand,not just from Thailand.So whether it's a varietal,handling or where grown difference I don't know,but my nose,palate can tell.

                      2. re: lcool
                        c
                        chilibeanpaste Nov 6, 2012 01:58 PM

                        re: Thai white pepper

                        Any particular brand?

                        1. re: chilibeanpaste
                          l
                          lcool Nov 6, 2012 03:17 PM

                          I don't have a pack a at the moment to give you the exact.but
                          There are two or three different ones that I find,see and buy.All three are in flat,clear,heavy mil plastic about 4"x6" and from Thailand in those packs.The one I see most often,Md,DC area has a small red Buddha medallion another has an elephant.All three,the peppercorns have a faint yellow hue,not as white or grayish white as most.
                          PS this is in Thai or Vietnamese shops,not large general Asian.

                          1. re: chilibeanpaste
                            l
                            lcool Nov 8, 2012 04:27 AM

                            As I was down to a pittance and in the neighborhood of my usual store,I have done some homework about the pepper since yesterday.
                            face to face and online,here goes ,WHITE PEPPERCORNS
                            Everything I am buying is from Thailand or Vietnam,DOUBLE or TRIPLE washed.
                            The exporter in Asia,primary (bulk or pack) importer US is Alibaba
                            http://www.alibaba.com once at site ,inquire "washed white peppercorns",then choose Vietnam.The list available to re-wholesalers is amazing,the double and triple washed shortens it a lot.If you peruse the "company" or brand on the right you will get many labels for visual.

                2. e
                  eliewriter Nov 5, 2012 11:11 AM

                  OK, so I'm no gourmet but I do love good ground pepper. I absolutely love the Unicorn keytop peppermill I received as a gift. It's a little pricey but I think it's sooo worth it, and apparently, so do a bunch of other reviewers!
                  - Elizabeth Lowe
                  (Read more about the peppermill at http://www.amazon.com/Unicorn-KeyTop-...)

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: eliewriter
                    John E. Nov 5, 2012 07:33 PM

                    I think I would prefer the keytop mechanism to the Magnum. The twisting of the keytop seems like it would be easier on the wrist.

                    1. re: John E.
                      e
                      eliewriter Nov 5, 2012 09:09 PM

                      You're right, John, the Unicorn Keytop is easier to use than any other model I've ever used (I haven't tried the Magnum so I can't compare with that model). It would be very nice for those who have arthritis or wrist issues. To me, it holds just the right amount of peppercorns and it's easy to fill from an opening in the side without having to turn it upside down and navigate around that threaded central metal bar. The design is nice looking too.

                      1. re: eliewriter
                        liu Nov 5, 2012 09:27 PM

                        "...without having to turn it upside down and navigate around that threaded central metal bar."

                        I remember that metal screw that ran the entire body of the mill. And you are quite right, eliewriter, that the pepper mills with that screw are difficult to fill. However, not all of them are designed this way. For example, I have an Oliver Hemming that is designed with a funnel top:

                        http://www.dreamicons.com/spice-boy-by-oliver-hemming-salt-pepper-spice-mill-p-297.html
                        _ _ _

                        The Cole & Mason pepper mill that I have is easy to fill; the top pops off and the fill hole is quite wide:

                        http://www.amazon.com/Cole-Mason-H59401G-Derwent-Precision/dp/B003OICYZO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352179503&sr=8-1&keywords=cole+%26+mason+derwent+pepper+mill
                        _ _ _

                        The Perfex mill has a chute on the body that easily can be filled with pepper:

                        http://www.amazon.com/Perfex-4-1-2-In...

                        1. re: liu
                          e
                          eliewriter Nov 6, 2012 05:29 AM

                          Those look like they have handy refill options too! I haven't ever used those--I really like the look of all of these.

                          When I built my house, I tried to add features that would make it livable for the long haul, such as lever handles on doors and faucets. I think that's what I like so much about my Unicorn keytop-style peppermill ─ the top works as sort of a rotating lever, which is easier to use. This is nice when my fingers may be messy from cooking as I can grasp it enough to turn the lever just using the bottom of my palm.

                          My dad is 94; I like that he's also able to use it at the table without causing him pain.

                  2. c
                    Chili Bill Nov 4, 2012 01:42 PM

                    I like my Zassenhaus mills. The small one is easier to handle and use it for white pepper only. The large is easy to use if you hold the handle and twist the body instead of vice versa. I use it for a blend of tellicherry, pink and white peppercorns.

                    1. eclecticsynergy Nov 4, 2012 03:18 AM

                      I still love my Pepperball. For in the kitchen its one-handed operation, easy adjustment and consistent grind quality really can't be beat. One of these years I'll get something fancier for at the table but having this one stoveside is a joy.

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8182...

                      1. m
                        MacGuffin Nov 2, 2012 12:16 PM

                        I've been using the same little Perfex for YEARS (at least 20) without a moment's trouble. I bought it at Zabar's and I'm sure it wasn't cheap then but they're awfully expensive now. Still, they're all-metal, will handle tiny amounts if need be, and the chute makes loading it a breeze. The grind's really easy to adjust, too.

                        Hi, liu! Aloha, tareo!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: MacGuffin
                          liu Nov 2, 2012 02:03 PM

                          ...and hello, MacGuffin!
                          I always look forward to your posts; you have such great information to share!

                          We have that exact Perfex, and ours is probably about the same age as yours...Sisters!

                          Sometimes the filling chute opens while grinding, but the pepper mill seems to work as well now as it did when we bought it.

                          I, too, like that it is all metal -- as you mentioned, MacGuffin -- and for me, another asset is its size. It is a mere 4-1/2" tall and very heavy. On a crowded and busy table, someone is not likely to tip it over.

                          http://www.amazon.com/Perfex-4-1-2-Inch-Pepper-Mill/dp/B002OOVBEO/ref=pd_sim_sbs_k_1

                          I recently purchased a Cole Mason Derwent Precision Gourmet Pepper Mill. I like it over several other pepper mills that we have. I like the feel of the grind, the ease of adjustment for various sizes of grind and the amount of pepper that it delivers so effortlessly.

                          http://www.amazon.com/Cole-Mason-H594...

                          1. re: liu
                            m
                            MacGuffin Nov 2, 2012 02:55 PM

                            Ha, we really ARE sisters, aren't we? I've never had a problem with the chute opening, though; it still offers that necessary bit of resistance when I fill it. In fact, I'm so enamored of mine that I bought it a wife some years back--the salt Perfex. I picked it up NIB for...get this...THIRTY BUCKS on eBay and I have yet to use it, I guess because
                            I'm guessing yours is also of the vintage that has no P or S on the door of the chute?

                            1. re: MacGuffin
                              liu Nov 2, 2012 03:27 PM

                              Oh, NO! I do have a scarlet (just kidding) "P" on the chute.

                              I am stunned by how costly these are today. I am sure that we did not spend more than about $30 on ours.

                              And, MacGuffin, how does one determine that the salt is the wife?

                              1. re: liu
                                m
                                MacGuffin Nov 2, 2012 03:47 PM

                                I thought about that before assigning it a sex and determined that pepper is more yang. :))
                                $30 sounds about right. I read just recently that they're not available in France; everything produced is exported.

                        2. w
                          wildwildwest Nov 2, 2012 12:18 AM

                          I have searched the world over and have purchased many different types and brands over the years: electric, one handed, lever action, etc. I like a lot of black pepper (it seems) and nothing has come close to the disposable (I know!) Kirkland Signature pepper grinder at Costco. They are not refillable but the come with 6.3 ounces of pepper, last a relatively long time, and are only around $5. Try one, you will be amazed. (They are also available at Amazon, but cost more there)

                           
                          1 Reply
                          1. re: wildwildwest
                            p
                            Purrkins Nov 9, 2012 10:20 AM

                            They're absolutely refillable! Just adjust the grind to maximum coarse until you unscrew the thumbscrew, remove the grinder, and fill it up. You can buy the same peppercorns that it's filled with right next to it at Costco.

                          2. k
                            kseiverd Oct 20, 2012 11:33 AM

                            Tried to MAKE an Alton Brown model from a small rechargable power drill!?! Little know comes off original and drill attached, like putting on a bit. Drill was a smallish, craft drill. It worked ok but couldn't manage to attach it so it didn't have a serious wobble?!?

                            1. pikawicca Oct 17, 2012 05:08 PM

                              Have 2 Magnums -- one in the kitchen, one on the table. I would never replace them with anything else.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: pikawicca
                                j
                                johnnyb510 Oct 19, 2012 06:15 PM

                                I have a mill that I bought years ago made by East Hampton Industries. don't know if it is even made any more. It has a dial inside the area where you load the peppercorns to control the coarseness of the grind...a cup to catch the pepper...and a big dial on the outside to grind. I've never seen or used one better

                                1. re: johnnyb510
                                  John E. Oct 19, 2012 07:54 PM

                                  I believe the peppermill you have and are describing is the PepperMate. I think Ina Garten uses it as well.

                                  http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000JTI5PO

                                  1. re: John E.
                                    j
                                    johnnyb510 Oct 20, 2012 05:40 AM

                                    That is the one

                                    1. re: johnnyb510
                                      jmcarthur8 Oct 20, 2012 01:42 PM

                                      I figured I'd read all the posts before telling about my Peppermate, on the off chance that Someone in CH land would have one ..and there it is!
                                      Mine was the first peppermill I ever bought, in the 70's or early 80's, I think. It's great for coarse pepper to rub onto a steak. I love the '5 grinds for 1/8 tsp' feature.
                                      My only other peppermill is a brass one made in India that doesn't adjust, but looks real pretty and makes a fine grind.
                                      In 40 years of cooking, I've never had any others. Never needed to change.

                              2. p
                                pedalfaster Oct 17, 2012 03:34 PM

                                Wow. Good advice and recommendations here! I'll keep these in mind as I shop.
                                Thanks much from the OP. :)

                                1. John E. Oct 17, 2012 12:21 PM

                                  If you are anywhere near an Ikea store I recommend their spice mill. It's only six bucks, holds a lot of peppercorns and works well. We keep one near the stove. For the table, we have a cherry wood Vic Firth. The Vic Firth is nicer looking than the Ikea workhorse and it has a grinding mechanism with a lock on it so once you set the grind it does not loosen up.

                                  http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10152875/

                                  http://www.amazon.com/Vic-Firth-7-Inc...

                                  23 Replies
                                  1. re: John E.
                                    Chemicalkinetics Oct 17, 2012 06:18 PM

                                    The Ikea one looks strange and yet attractive. I kept telling myself to get a Vic Firth but still pondering. Oh well.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                      John E. Oct 17, 2012 07:02 PM

                                      I think of the Ikea peppermill as funtional. If I were to go out and pay full price for a new peppermill it would definately be a Vic Firth. (Remember, I got three of them at thrift stores).

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                        mcf Oct 18, 2012 06:32 AM

                                        The best think about my VF is how fast and easy it is the adjust the grind and how incredibly fast you can grind a TB of fresh pepper. The worst is how often you have to refill it. I should get a much bigger one. Oh, wait, the worst is no instructions telling you that you have to push up the mechanism on the bottom, awkwardly, while filling it, or the mechanism won't work right, if at all.

                                        1. re: mcf
                                          Chemicalkinetics Oct 18, 2012 06:32 PM

                                          Thanks John and mcf,

                                          I just so happened purchased a Vic Firth pepper grinder minutes ago from Amazon.

                                          http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003...

                                          I figure that if I keep on prolonging, then I would never get one.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                            mcf Oct 18, 2012 07:08 PM

                                            You won't regret it, and I hope you got one of their hot colors. :-)

                                            1. re: mcf
                                              Chemicalkinetics Oct 18, 2012 07:29 PM

                                              :( That is the color I got -- Mahogany. I actually have seen a few Vic Firth in Home Goods or whatnot, so I have seen the mechanism up close. They were, however, of the Hot Color you mentioned (like the glossy white, glossy yellow...etc), but I like the wood color better. :)

                                              Thank you two.

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                mcf Oct 18, 2012 07:58 PM

                                                Wood's nice, but I love turquoise, bright orange and green, etc. The mechanism is great, just remember to push it up into the bottom when you fill it, or it's NFG.

                                                1. re: mcf
                                                  Chemicalkinetics Oct 18, 2012 08:33 PM

                                                  <just remember to push it up into the bottom when you fill it>

                                                  Interesting.

                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                    mcf Oct 19, 2012 06:36 AM

                                                    I had episodes where I could not get the lock nut/adjuster on top to work or even to come off so I could start over before I figured that. You have to push the mechanism flush with the bottom while filling, or risk breaking the whole thing or it not working right.

                                                    1. re: mcf
                                                      Chemicalkinetics Oct 19, 2012 06:54 AM

                                                      ......ok, you know you are starting to scare me, right? :)

                                                      I will be careful when I fill the peppercorn and will look closely at the mechanism. Hey, maybe I will even post a walk through instruction (with photos) on CHOWHOUND. :) Or maybe you should.

                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                        mcf Oct 19, 2012 07:29 AM

                                                        Mine involves too much profanity whilst filling to make it suitable for all audiences. No one can write with such verve and detail as you do such things, anyway, so you get my vote! Then you should send it to the company and suggest they include it.

                                                        It's NBD, just a thumb pressing it flush with the bottom before you start loading peppercorns (using their nifty little funnel thingie that comes with it) and until you've gotten the nut resettled back on top. Alternatively, it might be possible for the dexterous to pull up on the rod at the top instead, never tried that.

                                                        You're going to love how completely firm the locking mechanism is, the 6 different adjustments it locks on, and the amazing quantity that comes out with each twist.

                                                        Have I ever lied to you?

                                                        (that you know of?) ;-)

                                                        1. re: mcf
                                                          John E. Oct 19, 2012 07:59 AM

                                                          I believe the problems you describe is why I have found three VF peppermills in thrift stores. The first had the nut cross threaded on the top. You are correct. The way to avoid any problems is to push up on the grinding mechanism from the bottom when filling it with peppercorns.

                                                          1. re: mcf
                                                            Chemicalkinetics Oct 19, 2012 08:18 AM

                                                            <Have I ever lied to you?>

                                                            No, but I still need to see the peppermill in person (after I receive it) because thus far your description of "how to fill peppercorn" sounds very abstract. :)

                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                              mcf Oct 19, 2012 08:55 AM

                                                              I just wanted to be sure you weren't completely and totally askeered of it based upon my issues.

                                                2. re: mcf
                                                  Tartinet Nov 3, 2012 05:29 AM

                                                  I have 2 Vic Firths, and love the mechanism. So far, almost 10 years of heavy use and they're going strong. My one gripe is that I'm having a fair amount of paint chipping off the colored one (the natural wood one looks even better than when I bought it). The problem areas on the painted one are the top edge and the bottom. I keep meaning to sand those areas down to at least remove the paint uniformly, but haven't gotten around to it.

                                                  So, treat your painted mill gently-- no wild gesticulations in the kitchen (I'm a bit of a frenzied cook sometimes)!

                                                  1. re: Tartinet
                                                    liu Nov 3, 2012 07:42 AM

                                                    There is a lot of love for the Vic Firth pepper mill on this board. There have been other pepper mill posts over the past few years and the Vic Firth mills mostly receive glowing reports.

                                                    1. re: liu
                                                      Chemicalkinetics Nov 3, 2012 11:04 AM

                                                      I just got mine, and it has been working very well -- as you may remember since you read my early review. :P

                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/875337

                                                      However, I personally cannot comment on its longevity. Yet, given many other posters experience, I have good confidence of mine.

                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                        liu Nov 3, 2012 07:33 PM

                                                        I am beginning to believe that there is not only one "best" pepper mill. Each of us has our favorite and most of the favorites are from a group of three or four or five, perhaps...and the choice is personal preference.

                                                        I now have a few that are interchangeable and they all work well. My favorite at the moment is the Cole and Mason.

                                                        1. re: liu
                                                          Chemicalkinetics Nov 3, 2012 08:41 PM

                                                          <I am beginning to believe that there is not only one "best" pepper mill>

                                                          Absolutely.

                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                            liu Nov 3, 2012 08:52 PM

                                                            And all this time, all these year -- just because we are C'Hounds -- we have been searching for THE SINGLE BEST pepper mill!

                                                            1. re: liu
                                                              Chemicalkinetics Nov 3, 2012 09:01 PM

                                                              Like you said, there is no such universal thing. What is best for you is not necessary what is best for me. :) High five!

                                                              1. re: liu
                                                                mcf Nov 4, 2012 08:00 AM

                                                                More like the next best one for our own needs, after finding a single or more improvable issues with our current ones. :-)

                                                        2. re: liu
                                                          mcf Nov 4, 2012 07:59 AM

                                                          I'm pepper mill obsessed, mildly, and I can honeslty say that both the Magnum and the Vic Firth have gotten a lot of love in various threads over a few years time. It just comes down to personal priorities, preferences, what we've already used in the past, etc.

                                            2. k
                                              Kelli2006 Oct 17, 2012 02:16 AM

                                              I have a 12" Mr Dudley walnut pepper mill that I love. It has to be 20 years old and it works perfectly. I think that there is a salt grinder but its probably still in a box in the attic because I use kosher salt.

                                              1. k
                                                kagemusha49 Oct 16, 2012 08:44 AM

                                                I don't know if Peugeot pepper mills are still made the same way they used to be. They used to use high tensile steel (the same as used in crankshafts) and would last forever.

                                                1. l
                                                  lcool Oct 16, 2012 04:56 AM

                                                  After 50 years only two brands have stood the test of time for me.
                                                  #1 Cole & Mason
                                                  #2 Peugot
                                                  I run several mills.We often set the table for 12-16,ergo 2 mills.Add a busy kitchen with much food prep,again 2 mills.Also liking more than one kind of pepper,size and variety don't grind the same or always well as a blend,size,smoothness and density a factor.
                                                  I have tried many brands over the decades.No brand has met with repeat tries except the two listed above.
                                                  Where ever,what ever mill you buy,TRY IT OUT FIRST.If you have a set grind etc in mind,will the mill you are looking at deliver it CONSISTENTLY ??? I really hate the hassle of adjusting,re-adjusting the setting mid use.If volume is the goal,pork shoulder etc,I don't use a mill.I resort to a blade coffee grinder or a ? 100 year old Moroccan hand crank spice mill.

                                                  10 Replies
                                                  1. re: lcool
                                                    d
                                                    deglazer Oct 16, 2012 05:02 AM

                                                    Cooks Illustrated preferred the Unicorn Magnum for years but in the December 2012 issue they changed their #1 to Cole & Mason.

                                                    1. re: lcool
                                                      JoanN Oct 16, 2012 05:48 AM

                                                      Which model Cole & Mason?

                                                      1. re: JoanN
                                                        Gio Oct 16, 2012 06:05 AM

                                                        Cole & Mason Derwent Gourmet Precision Pepper Mill. I happened to catch the program on PBS this week-end...

                                                        1. re: Gio
                                                          l
                                                          lcool Oct 16, 2012 08:32 AM

                                                          It is a wonderful model/gear.Years ago I found it at SLT ,after years of use it took a header to the floor and didn't survive.I liked it above all but one and replaced it immediately.Best high output,uniform fine grind in the house.

                                                          1. re: Gio
                                                            JoanN Oct 16, 2012 08:55 AM

                                                            Thanks, Gio. Love my Magnum, which I use for black pepper, but looking to replace the Perfex, which I use for white. Will check it out.

                                                            1. re: JoanN
                                                              Gio Oct 16, 2012 10:05 AM

                                                              Thanks Icool & JoanN.

                                                              I'm probably the only person in the world who actually tossed out a Peugeot in frustration when it jammed at a critical moment. It was replaced by a mongrel brand that has served well for 20 or so years. In fact I have 2 of them. It's the ubiquitous wooden kind one sees everywhere. One resides beside the stove, and the other near the prep area. Yes the grind has to be adjusted during use but I overlook that. Now, though, I'd like to replace both and get one for white peppercorns as well.

                                                              1. re: JoanN
                                                                roxlet Nov 3, 2012 02:36 PM

                                                                I adore the Magnum too, as does my husband, who resisted at first. Now he is 100% sold, and particularly loves the fact that it holds so many peppercorns.

                                                          2. re: lcool
                                                            liu Oct 23, 2012 08:23 AM

                                                            I just purchased the Cole and Mason Derwent Precision Gourmet Pepper Mill:

                                                            http://www.amazon.com/Cole-Mason-H594...

                                                            I know it is now listed on Amazon here for $39.00; a week ago I found it on Amazon for $29.00.

                                                            Although we just started using it and it has no track record with us, I LOVE it! I love the feel of the grind, the easy adjustment for six various grinds, and the general feel of the mill.

                                                            I had been using an Oliver Hemming with a ceramic grinder, and I thought that was a superior pepper mill -- until I tried this Cole and Mason mill. It is an extraordinary pepper mill!

                                                            1. re: liu
                                                              s
                                                              sbs401 Nov 2, 2012 05:43 AM

                                                              I bought the magnum years ago based on ATK rating and it works great. One big drawback though is its "roundness" of the handle and base. When cooking my hands are often a bit wet from frequent hand washing and it gets a bit difficult to twist without slipping too much

                                                              1. re: sbs401
                                                                JoanN Nov 4, 2012 03:21 PM

                                                                That rarely happens with me. I wonder if I've just gotten into the habit of drying my hands before I use it. Don't think so, though. So hard to know how it is that you do something when you do it entirely by habit, isn't it?

                                                          3. r
                                                            Rick Oct 15, 2012 06:01 PM

                                                            http://www.amazon.com/Pepper-Mill-Imp...

                                                            I inherited this one about 10 years ago, it has to be at least 20 years old now and looks exactly like the brand new ones, aparently they haven't changed a thing. I can tell it's easy load the peppercorns, and works flawlessly and feels as if though it will last another 50 years. I had no clue this thing was such an expensive high quality piece until I happened upon it on amazon.

                                                            11 Replies
                                                            1. re: Rick
                                                              k
                                                              kaleokahu Oct 15, 2012 07:37 PM

                                                              Hi, Rick:

                                                              I have had that Atlas, too, for about 20 years, and I expect I'll never buy another. I like the ergonomics of holding it in one hand and turning the crank with he other over a Rubirossa-style mill. Buffed out, I think it is quite beautiful. It took me 15 years to discover how to adjust the grind, though

                                                              If you measure once, you can count the number of crank turns for teaspoons and tablespoons. Saves a step.

                                                              Aloha,
                                                              Kaleo

                                                              1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                j
                                                                jhamiltonwa Oct 16, 2012 04:17 AM

                                                                Hi K,

                                                                What's your experience with respect to the the alleged lack of variability in the coarseness of the grind? I don't use a fine powder grind in cooking (maybe I should start) but like grittiness.

                                                                cheers JH from W Australia

                                                                1. re: jhamiltonwa
                                                                  k
                                                                  kaleokahu Oct 16, 2012 01:12 PM

                                                                  Hi, JH:

                                                                  There's a bolt head at the bottom of the mill that turns in and out to adjust the coarseness of the grind. Is that what you mean? I've only adjusted it once (I like the grittiness, too), but it seemed very easy to do.

                                                                  Aloha,
                                                                  Kaleo

                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                    j
                                                                    jhamiltonwa Oct 19, 2012 05:37 PM

                                                                    Thanks, yes you understood me correctly. I was concerned about users comments about the Atlas making only a fine grind and being able to adjest to a course enough grind..

                                                                2. re: kaleokahu
                                                                  r
                                                                  Rick Oct 16, 2012 05:31 AM

                                                                  I never realized it because it's the only pepper mill I've used in my kitchen, but the crank is great. I made a huge batch of cabbage and noodles and put in a lot of pepper, definitely easier to grind a large amount of pepper with the crank rather than the traditional round knob at the top that you have to keep flicking with your wrist.

                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                    tim irvine Oct 17, 2012 04:56 PM

                                                                    Kaleo,
                                                                    The ergonomics angle intrigues me. I have two pepper mills, one old no name and a Perfex. The Perfex is very hard to adjust and harder still to use. The radius of the crank is too narrow to give much leverage, and the knob is a pathetic little tab. The no name is easier in all respects, but I would like a second truly useable mill for the table. Do you experience either of those issues with the Atlas? My arthritic fingers want something easy to turn, the cook in me wants something that does exactly what it is supposed to do, and my soul likes things that are beautiful and timeless.

                                                                    1. re: tim irvine
                                                                      k
                                                                      kaleokahu Oct 18, 2012 07:03 AM

                                                                      Hi, Tim: "Do you experience either of those issues with the Atlas?"

                                                                      Hard to adjust? Not at all. The only caveat being that adjustment is made by threading a bolthead into and out of the base. Very easy with a small wrench or socket, not realistic for fingers. I have one grind I like, I set it for that, and leave it there; if you would be constantly adjusting your grind, maybe it's not the best.

                                                                      Hard to use? Just the opposite. You basically *palm* the body in one hand, and the vertical knob at the end of the crank turns freely, so all you need to do is very lightly keep contact with the knob. There is no need for pinch strength--the *lateral* force exerted comes from arm movement alone. The ergonomics are such that fingers aren't really involved. If you handle one in a store, you'll see exactly what I mean.

                                                                      Hope this helps.

                                                                      Aloha,
                                                                      Kaleo

                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                        tim irvine Oct 18, 2012 04:40 PM

                                                                        I am on the lookout. Many thanks or, as they say in Seattle, aloha.

                                                                      2. re: tim irvine
                                                                        Delucacheesemonger Oct 20, 2012 07:01 AM

                                                                        Had your problem with the Perfex, so traded it in to WS for a new giant Perfex. For me it is now perfect. Heavy infinite settings and due to size easy to turn, love it.

                                                                    2. re: Rick
                                                                      g
                                                                      germanpotatosoup Oct 17, 2012 05:38 AM

                                                                      Not sure why the warning isn't shown on Amazon but Sur La Table used to sell it (I assume they stopped due to health concerns) and posts this on the product page:
                                                                      "PROP 65 WARNING: Handling the brass material on this product exposes you to lead, a chemical know to the State of California to cause birth defects and other reproductive harm. Wash hands after use."

                                                                      http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

                                                                      1. re: Rick
                                                                        Antilope Oct 24, 2012 04:09 PM

                                                                        The Frugal Gourmet use to push similar brass pepper grinders on his TV show. I believe he called them a Turkish Coffee Grinder.

                                                                        http://www.amazon.com/Pepper-Mill-Imp...

                                                                      2. s
                                                                        sueatmo Oct 15, 2012 05:50 PM

                                                                        I don't love my peppermill. But my OXO works fine. It is a two handed mill, unfortunately, but the I can set the grind I want.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: sueatmo
                                                                          Chemicalkinetics Oct 15, 2012 05:57 PM

                                                                          Oh yes OXO pepper mills also get frequently recommended

                                                                        2. Chemicalkinetics Oct 15, 2012 05:28 PM

                                                                          Well, beside the famous and expensive Peugeot, Vic Firth and Magum Unicorn were routinely mentioned:

                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/818249

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                            mcf Oct 17, 2012 05:14 PM

                                                                            Yeah, love my Vic Firth, hate my Atlas.

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