It's very rare to come across a savory recipe that doesn't call for fresh ground pepper. There are times when I'll reach for my old tin of McCormick ground black pepper, but I mostly reach for a pepper mill. After years of grinding pepper over various foods, I've found that not all pepper mills are created equal.
The first pepper mill I remember owning was a clear plastic one. I don't think it was very expensive and it lasted a surprisingly long time, but eventually started to wear out. Instead of buying a new one, a few years ago I decided to ask for one for Christmas. I received the squat little fellow you see on the left in the photo above. He's been a good little pepper mill over the years. He has 3 grinding options and he's not bad to look at, but he's got issues. First of all, his capacity to hold peppercorns is abysmal. I feel like I'm refilling him every week. AND it's hard to get that little silver knob at the top unscrewed to refill him. He also leaves little pepper crumbs all over the counter. After putting up with him for years, I finally broke down and started shopping for a replacement.
I shouldn't say shopping, because I actually thought I knew exactly what I wanted. A couple years ago my mom got a new pepper mill that she really liked. I figured I'd just get the same thing. But when I went to amazon to order it, I started looking around at other pepper mills...and that's when I found the guy on the right in the photo above, the OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder. Not only was it cheaper, it held more pepper. It also grinds from the top, so when you set it back on the counter there's no pepper crumbs. Oh, and it's super easy to refill. I think we have a winner!
I've been using it for about a month, and I have to say, it's been lovely. I have yet to refill it or wipe a mess of ground pepper off the counter. Sometimes, it's the little things, ya know?