Pepper mill - what it is, device, principle of operation, main types, rating of the best

The small pepper grinder is an easy-to-use tool with many benefits. The difference between freshly milled products and packaged goods is huge. A convenient and stylish accessory helps to get fragrant spices of excellent quality in a matter of seconds at home.

What is a pepper grinder?

Practical housewives and professional chefs do not trust factory grinding, preferring to grind spices by hand. The pepper mill is able to grind round grains to the desired fraction very quickly. Standard utensils are barrel-shaped, manual or electric drive. Consider the benefits of using a pepper grinder:

  1. Cooking spices by hand gives a full guarantee of the quality of the product.
  2. The pepper grinder is an easy-to-use accessory with simple settings.
  3. The relatively small size of the kitchen appliance.
  4. Pepper crushed at home is more aromatic than a packaged product.
  5. Mills are suitable for storing a small portion of fragrant seasoning.
  6. Large selection of these accessories of different designs in any price range.
  7. what is a pepper grinder

Pepper mill device

The standard appliance consists of two main elements – a container for spices and a grinding mechanism. The body is made from different materials. Tiny millstones in the form of conical gears are made of ceramics, steel or hard plastics. We list the difference between a professional pepper mill and budget products:

  1. Specialists prefer to use a special grinding mechanism for salt and each variety of spices.
  2. Millstones are made of high-strength steel grades (304L or analogues).
  3. Sturdy, durable case in a stylish design.
  4. The presence of adjustment of the fraction of grinding.
  5. Professional accessories are designed for reusable use, so the function of easy refilling of pepper or salt is provided.
  6. pepper grinder device

Pepper grinder working principle

Disposable devices are sold with a ready-made set of spices, you need to fill the container of the device for reusable use yourself. A manual pepper mill with metal burrs or ceramic knives is turned upside down before use. Next, turn the housing cover or handle to set the grinding mechanism in motion. Spices in peas or grains of salt fall into the gap between the rotating millstones, grind to the size of the required fraction and fall out.

Types of Pepper Mills

There are several modifications of devices for grinding large crystals of salt and spices. Depending on the materials, build quality and design, the cost of products varies. Consider the varieties of household pepper mills:

  1. Disposable Pepper Grinder is a manually operated accessory with a non-removable lid. According to the manufacturer’s plan, after the end of the spices in the tank, such a device can be thrown away, so plastic millstones are not designed for continuous use.
  2. Reusable mechanical mill – a removable lid allows you to repeatedly fill the container with products, and steel or ceramic millstones are designed for continuous operation.
  3. Accessories for grinding with electric drive.

Mechanical Pepper Mill

The mechanism with millstones is set in motion by scrolling a special handle or directly to the housing cover. A reusable manual pepper grinder almost always has a screw for easy grinding quality adjustment. Products are presented in a wide range, for example, products differ in the material of manufacture, shape, color and other parameters. Mechanical mills are cheaper than electric options. There are designer models of an interesting body shape in the form of funny figures that can decorate the interior of the kitchen.

mechanical pepper grinder

Electric pepper grinder

The presence of the drive makes the grinding process quick and easy, grinding is carried out without the application of hand effort. The automatic salt and pepper grinder does not even have a control button; the mechanism is turned on independently after the housing is turned over with the grinding mechanism down. The device consumes little energy, runs on batteries, accumulator or mains. The ability to remove the power cord makes the accessory compact to move and store.

How to choose a pepper grinder?

If you are purchasing a non-disposable budget accessory, then it is advisable to understand a little about its device and how to use it. The selection criteria for a quality mill are as follows:

  1. The pepper and salt mill has a similar design, but the white crystals are stronger in structure. Plastic millstones break quickly, and low-quality metal corrodes in an aggressive environment. If you plan to grind salt by hand, then buy accessories made of durable chrome-plated alloys.
  2. Higher quality of a grinding is provided by millstones with a two-row arrangement of teeth.
  3. A good pepper grinder should have a grind adjustment mechanism.
  4. If the interior of the room is decorated in a certain style, then the design of the accessory must match the situation.
  5. There are devices with several compartments, such an acquisition allows you to save money on the purchase of separate salt and pepper grinders.
  6. The electric pepper grinder is faster and can grind even grains of salt effortlessly.
  7. Well-known brands provide a guarantee for products.
  8. Convenient to hold the shape of the accessory case.
  9. Choose a mill body made of durable and moisture-resistant materials.
  10. The capacity of the device must contain the required amount of spices.

Metal Pepper Mill

Chrome-plated finish lasts a long time and is resistant to aggressive environments. A stainless steel pepper mill will not collapse after falling on the floor, a container made of such material can be doused with boiling water and washed by any means. Metal devices are versatile and easy to clean; after cleaning, the body walls do not emit the aroma of the previous spice. In retro style, shiny items look a little out of place on a table or shelf, but they take up little space in a closed cabinet. For a modern interior, such an accessory will be an excellent choice.

metal pepper grinder

Wooden pepper grinder

This material is not afraid of light blows, pleasant to the touch, does not slip. The manual wooden pepper mill is eco-friendly and beautiful, it looks great in a retro interior. It is advisable to purchase products from strong and durable species resistant to cracking: oak, rubber wood, bamboo. Devices with a wooden case must be purchased separately for each type of spice. The wood absorbs the aroma of the seasoning, so if salt or different spices are used in succession in the same device, their taste may deteriorate.

wooden pepper grinder

Plastic Pepper Mill

Entirely made of plastic are extremely inexpensive disposable devices designed to grind one dressing of spices. In terms of the durability of this accessory, it is not the material of the flask that is of significant importance, but the quality of the grinding mechanism. The container itself can be made of clear, strong acrylic, but for a large pepper mill to last longer, purchase items with ceramic or steel millstones.

plastic pepper grinder

Ceramic Pepper Mill

Under this name in catalogs, they often mean devices with ceramic millstones that have practical advantages. Such mechanisms are durable, do not make a lot of noise, crushed spices do not change the flavor. The ceramic pepper mill is a beautiful accessory, reminiscent of an element of an exquisite kitchen service. Mostly such devices are made in the Provence style, they can be used in addition to their direct purpose as a kitchen decor.

ceramic pepper grinder

Pepper mill rating

If you need not a disposable accessory, but a device for long-term use, then the brand name is essential. Consider a short list of the best pepper grinder manufacturers:

  1. Mills Cole & Mason – a British company produces retro accessories in a wooden case or metal devices in a modern style, the devices have an adjustable grind, a lifetime warranty is provided.
  2. Cole Mason mills

  3. Peugeot Pepper Mill is the oldest manufacturer of kitchen accessories, its products are equipped with a unique patented mechanism with double-row serrated millstones.
  4. Peugeot pepper grinder

  5. Mills Nuova Cer – Italian manufacturer produces high quality mills, made in a stylish design.
  6. Mills Nuova Cer

  7. Legnoart mills are not only attractive, but also of high quality with unusual shapes. They have metal millstones arranged in two rows.
  8. legnoart mills

  9. Joseph&Joseph Mills – Stylish and easy to use mills are popular among cooks.
  10. Joseph&Joseph mills

  11. Fissler mills – a German manufacturer offers products of concise design and excellent quality.
  12. Fissler mills

How to use a pepper grinder?

The instruction manual for such devices depends on the type of drive, the design of the bulb, and the presence of a special handle. More often, chopped products are poured directly into the dish being prepared, but some devices are equipped with a small receiver for ready-made spices. A black pepper grinder in the high-end segment may have a multi-compartment container, for example for salt and spices.

The technology for grinding the product is extremely simple:

  1. Remove the chopper housing cover and add spices.
  2. We collect the device.
  3. Turn the device upside down.
  4. We hold the container with the product motionless, grinding is carried out by scrolling the cover with millstones or the handle around its axis.
  5. In lever devices, the mechanism is triggered by pressing the handle or protruding drive button.
  6. In electrical appliances, the millstones turn on automatically when the product is turned over or when the power button is pressed.
  7. Balls with pepper or grains of salt fall between the millstones and are ground.
  8. The amount of crushed product is often determined manually, the parameter depends on the settings of the adjusting screw and the speed of the drive.
  9. If the device does not have a container for ready-made spices, then it is advisable to first grind a small test batch to determine the serving size.
  10. The size of the grinding fraction is set with an adjusting screw.

how to use a pepper grinder

How to open a pepper grinder?

Most budget spice grinders are disposable devices. Manufacturers force you to purchase a new device after the spices in the bottle run out, which leads to unnecessary costs. There are simple ways to open a pepper mill without using complex tools:

  1. It is necessary to pour boiling water into the cup and lower the accessory into it for 5-6 seconds so that the place where the plastic lid is pressed in is warmed up well. Then quickly wrap the device with a piece of cloth to protect hands from burns. Without waiting for the product to cool, remove the grinding mechanism from the bottle.
  2. Instead of boiling water, you can use a household hair dryer, warming up the lid of our device with an air stream at the initial stage to 50-60 ° C.
  3. With the following method, it is not necessary to completely dismantle the plastic case from the bottle. We remove the plug from the mill and carefully use a knife with a rigid blade to hook the round mechanism from the inside at the very edge of the case. We remove the millstones and pour pepper through the hole formed.


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