Looking for patriotic inspiration? Here are a few fast and inexpensive Fourth of July desserts and side dishes.
Ceramic Grinder, Stainless Steel Pepper Grinder
Peppper Grinders Features (continued)
Ceramic Grinder, Stainless Steel Pepper Grinder.The best cheap pepper mills feature either stainless steel or ceramic grinders. Although some cooks seem to prefer ceramic grinders, experts aren't convinced there's much difference in the end results.
Pepper Grind.There will certainly be times, when preparing steak au poivre, for example, when a pronounced pepperiness (requiring coarse grains) is in order. But experts say a fine pepper grind is about all you need for everyday cooking. This is one dimension, though, in which bargain pepper mills sometimes fall short -- even our choice for best cheap pepper mill, the OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder, garners complaints from some consumers about the fine pepper grind being too coarse. Here's the rub: For a pepper mill to turn out finely-ground pepper on a consistent basis, the two wheels that do the grinding must be well-machined and fit tightly, requirements that invariably up the price tag. So if consistency and tiny, fine particles are important to you, you might want to skip passed the cheap pepper mills category entirely. The seven-inch Peugeot Paris U'Select is a bit out of our price range but seems to hit the mark here; users posting reviews say the six grind settings produce grinds of distinctly different sizes.
Most low-cost pepper mills, however, do allow for some adjustment in the grind. Sometimes it's the little knob or cap atop the pepper grinder that you tighten for a finer grain or loosen for a coarser grind; you'll find this on the Olde Thompson Aspen Pepper Mill. Experts say this is the least effective method because the cap inevitably loosens given its proximity to the turning mechanism, making control over the grind texture tenuous at best. Among our cheap pepper mills picks, only the William Bounds Key Mill has anything similar. On this model, though, the little knob on top is not relevant because there's a metal ring around the finial with different pepper grind settings that you click into place.
The other cheap pepper mills we researched use a variety of methods for adjusting the grind. The five settings on the OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder are easily visible at the top of the unit and easy to change. The pump-style Chef'n Pepper Ball has a lever that offers five different settings. The Trudeau Graviti, the cheap electric pepper mill we researched, features a knob on top that's used to adjust the grind, and the Artesio Soft Touch Electric Pepper Grinder sports a small screw on the side that you turn to get the desired coarseness. The only pepper mill on our list with a fixed grind is the Vic Firth Pump & Grind.
Good Cheap Pepper Mills
Don't Bother Cheap Pepper Mills
Chef'n Pepper Ball Pepper Mill
With its rabbit ear pump handles that require one hand to operate and a round acrylic body, the Chef'N Pepper Ball's unique look appeals to consumers. But many gripe about durability and say the grind, while adjustable, is completely uneven. A mini version, sold as a set with a salt grinder, starts at $10. Read more »
Trudeau Graviti Pepper Mill
The intriguing and user-friendly design might make this cheap pepper mill a compelling buy -- just turn it upside down and gravity activates the battery-powered grinding motor -- but consumers complain that the ceramic grinding mechanism jams and breaks, and the six AAA batteries add continuing cost to the upfront investment. Read more »
Olde Thompson Aspen Pepper Mill Review
Artesio Soft Touch Electric Pepper Grinder Review
Chef'n Pepper Ball Pepper Mill Review
Trudeau Graviti Pepper Mill Review
William Bounds WB-1 Key Pepper Mill Review
Vic Firth Stainless Steel Pump & Grind Pepper Mill Review
OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder Review
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