How to Choose the Perfect Pepper Mill
Pepper is one of the most popular spices and for good reasons. It can turn a bland dish into a burst of flavor. It makes meals come alive. You can add ground pepper to just about anything from sauces to grilled steak. Ground pepper is not the same, though. The pre-ground stuff you buy from the store isn’t as good as freshly-ground pepper. When pepper stays in ground form for too long, it loses that warm kick. If you have ever ground peppercorns just a few minutes before serving the dish, then you know there is no other way to do it. Having the right pepper mill ensures you create and enjoy delicious dishes. Most people may not think about it, but the type of pepper grinder you use affects your cooking. For that reason, you should know what to look for in a quality grinder.
Almost every modern pepper grinder comes with multiple coarse settings. When comparing products, look at the grinding options provided. You should be able to get at least coarse, medium and fine texture options. A Peugeot Saveurs pepper mill will give you up to six settings. Always aim to have as many adjustment functions as possible because your cooking determines the right pepper texture. A fresh vegetable salad would taste great with medium-ground pepper, while a soup needs a super-fine grind to match its smooth texture. The best way to check how well a grinder works is to look at the consistency of its fine grind. A mill that expels large shards mixed in with the small bits is a problem. Note that coarse settings are not consistent across mills. Two grinders set on medium can expel flakes of different sizes.
Manual or Automatic
When it comes to the mode of operation, it’s all about what works for you. Manual grinders are still popular because they are easy to use, at least a majority are. You only have to twist the mill to get your pepper flakes. However, this mechanism might not be the best for everyone. If you have limited dexterity, then turning the grinder can be difficult. In this case, a battery or electric mill is a better option. It only requires the push of a button to grind peppercorns. Additionally, an automatic pepper grinder is handy in a fast-paced environment, like when you have to season one dish while stirring the pot for another.
Ease of Use
You want a pepper mill that is not cumbersome to operate. The design influences this. A majority of manufacturers stick to the traditional style of a salt and pepper grinder, but some try to be creative. The issue is that some designs take away from the functionality. For example, you may not see the grinding settings on a particular mill clearly because the top obstructs that part. How easily a grinder opens is important, as well. People don’t hold or twist pepper grinders the same. The best product should be comfortable to hold, balanced and fast.
Due to the popularity of pepper for seasoning, expect your pepper mill to see some regular use. So, when selecting between different products, factor in the durability. Pepper grinders come in various materials, including wood, glass and ceramic. The material affects longevity. Wood and stainless steel are long-lasting. A glass pepper grinder, while it may be prettier, could break at the first fall. If you use your mill daily, then you want the most rugged design available, but if the tool mostly sits in the cabinet, then you could get the most out of an acrylic or ceramic grinder.
It might not seem all that important, but the pepper mill in your kitchen makes a huge difference in your cooking and meal time. For freshly-ground pepper that brightens up every flavor, find a mill that gives you the perfect spice for your dishes.