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How do I solve this pepper mill problem?

a
aynrandgirl Apr 3, 2013 11:13 PM

The mill, after a period of use, contains peppercorns, peppercorn pieces and ground peppercorns, all mixed near the grinding mechanism. Hence, what is dispensed after the mill has been used for some time after its initial loading is not freshly ground pepper but a mixture of freshly ground pepper and pepper ground at some earlier time. Overall pungency drops precipitously from that glorious initial grind.

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  1. 1POINT21GW RE: aynrandgirl Apr 4, 2013 12:25 AM

    Get a new peppermill?

    I use a Unicorn Magnum Plus 9" pepper mill and love it.

    I like your screen name by the way.

    6 Replies
    1. re: 1POINT21GW
      n
      Nanzi RE: 1POINT21GW Apr 4, 2013 07:33 AM

      I, too, have a unicorn, not the Magnum. It is by far the best pepper grinder I've had in 47 years of cooking!!

      1. re: 1POINT21GW
        a
        aynrandgirl RE: 1POINT21GW Apr 4, 2013 09:01 PM

        I know Cook's Illustrated likes the Magnum. I've never seen a peppermill that could solve the "partially ground leftovers" problem. Even overnight is enough to seriously deteriorate the flavor of those leftovers.

        1. re: aynrandgirl
          John E. RE: aynrandgirl Apr 4, 2013 09:51 PM

          I believe you're making this out to be more of a problem than it really is. I bet if you made some food on which you like your fresh ground pepper, say a hamburger, and somebody had you do a blind taste test, one with the leftover grinds mixed with uncracked corns and another with only uncracked peppercorns, you would unlikely be able to tell the difference.

          1. re: aynrandgirl
            Eiron RE: aynrandgirl Apr 7, 2013 04:49 PM

            Ah, this is just like the espresso grinder conundrum! The way I see it, you have three choices:

            1) Clear the old grindings into the trash just before the meal,
            2) Load only enough peppercorns to be consumed with the meal,
            3) Grind more pepper to overcome the weak old grinds.

            :-)

            1. re: Eiron
              kaleokahu RE: Eiron Apr 9, 2013 03:07 PM

              Hi, Eiron:

              There is a fourth, unspeakable choice:

              4. Pass the mill to your least-favored guest for the "old" pepper to be cleared. JK!

              Seriously, does anyone have a freshness or pungency problem with the first few turns of a mill that is already in daily use? Would anyone ask a resto server to clear the mill, on the chance that it'd be the first turn of the night? IMO this is a solution in search of a problem.

              Aloha,
              Kaleo

              1. re: kaleokahu
                Eiron RE: kaleokahu Apr 10, 2013 09:48 AM

                LOL!

                I like Option #4! :-)

                I agree, it seems like one of those, "I never would've considered it" issues. But, the OP asked the question, & we're here to offer solutions....

                And yes, as a server, if a customer would've asked me to 'clear' the peppermill, I would've thought, "Are you kidding me?? Aren't you glad that we even HAVE a peppermill for you??"

                :-D

        2. p
          Puffin3 RE: aynrandgirl Apr 4, 2013 12:29 AM

          Throw the pepper mill. Use a small electric spice/coffee grinder.

          1. j
            jaykayen RE: aynrandgirl Apr 4, 2013 12:40 AM

            can you dissemble it?

            1 Reply
            1. re: jaykayen
              hill food RE: jaykayen Apr 4, 2013 12:50 AM

              jayk has a good idea, I never fill mine full, I occasionally give it a vigorous shake over the sink and a good grind to dislodge those bits and sometimes open it up completely for a water-less wipe-down. if you can't dissemble it, consider reserving the intact corns and put the vacuum cleaner to it.

              best bet is to just not put more in than you'll use in a few weeks.

            2. s
              Sam D. RE: aynrandgirl Apr 4, 2013 03:34 AM

              I'd suggest replacing the pepper mill. The one I have grinds the peppercorns down to the very last grind. It's battery operated with a light at the the bottom shining on where the grinds are falling. And it's adjustable for the the desired grind coarseness. I bought a pair of them for about $20 on eBay about 6 years ago and gave the 2nd one to my daughter.

              1. PesachBenSchlomo RE: aynrandgirl Apr 4, 2013 09:08 AM

                I run some uncooked rice through the grinder until it runs empty. It seems to clean and restore the burrs. I do it about twice a year, and don't notice many problems.

                1 Reply
                1. re: PesachBenSchlomo
                  pdxgastro RE: PesachBenSchlomo Apr 18, 2013 12:53 AM

                  That is how I clean my coffee grinder. Never thought to do it in my pepper mill. Thanks!

                2. John E. RE: aynrandgirl Apr 4, 2013 06:30 PM

                  We go through enough pepper that it seems I have never encountered this problem. Maybe befkre each use you could twist a few grinds into the kitchen sink in order to get to the completely uncracked pepper corns.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: John E.
                    mcf RE: John E. Apr 7, 2013 04:57 PM

                    My Vic Firth (recently sold to be manufactured by another wood crafting company) grinds so much pepper so fast that I'm constantly refilling it. There's never much of anything in there, but I give it a shake out and refill it so often, and it grinds so much at once, I'm not surprised.

                    1. re: mcf
                      John E. RE: mcf Apr 7, 2013 05:54 PM

                      Actually, we only use a Vic Firth at the table. At the stove we have a Kuhn Rikon spice grinder like this:

                      http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000XR8...

                      1. re: John E.
                        mcf RE: John E. Apr 8, 2013 06:19 AM

                        I love the Vic Firth for food prep because of how fast it grinds a large quantity. I could refill it weekly.

                  2. d
                    dalewest RE: aynrandgirl Apr 4, 2013 08:08 PM

                    Do you ever open it, tip it upside down, and try to empty the whole chamber? With my mill I find that over size peppercorns gather at the bottom occasionally because they are too large to be ground.

                    1. Kris in Beijing RE: aynrandgirl Apr 5, 2013 09:27 PM

                      ARG-- can you post a pic of your grinder?

                      1. b
                        blythe RE: aynrandgirl Apr 5, 2013 09:31 PM

                        Hmm, that's something I never thought about - but I use a small metal spice grinder I got in Turkey. I love it and it's so pretty.

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