The Ultimate Pepper Grinder
It's taken nearly twenty years but we have finally found a pepper grinder that does everything right.
From fancy, foot long restaurant jobs to cute little asian spice mills to hand grinding in a pestle and mortar, we have tried the lot.
It's not that everything we have tried doesn't work - it's just that none of the grinders we have tried have truly excelled. Until now.
We are big pepper fans but only if it's freshly ground. Pre-ground packet pepper and freshly ground whole peppercorns are a universe apart.
When we're on the road and loaded up for extended forays into the bush or even for a weekend away camping we generally take a small disposable grinder. Not our first choice but practical nonetheless
They can be purchased for about 6 or 7 dollars and contain two compartments, one pre filled with salt and the other packed with whole peppercorns.
The compact disposable grinders we get from the supermarket fit into the limited space we have for kitchen our utensils and weigh next to nothing. When you live out of your vehicle for months on end then every bit counts. The plastic mill lasts about as long as the salt and pepper it contains and then you throw it away and get another one.
Well Regarded Brands
When we get the opportunity to cook in a regular kitchen then a commercial style grinder is much more convenient for the quantities of pepper that we use.
We have had a go at numerous brands previously and until recently had settled on a wooden Peugeot grinder that works adequately. We spend large amounts of time in the hot and humid parts of Australia that verge on the tropics. The theory with wooden grinders is that the wood absorbs some of the humidity and helps prevent the mill from clogging. The Peugeot works OK. Costing around fifty to seventy five dollars it's not exactly awe inspiring performance for the money. The peppercorns still absorb humidity and the amount of pepper being delivered slowly reduces. It never completely gives up and chokes - just slows to a crawl.
And One That Actually Works
We had reconciled ourselves to the fact that the Peugeot was about as good as grinders got until we came across the Trudeau. The Trudeau was a cool one hundred dollars, made from stainless steel with an unusual chess-piece shape and it worked from day one.
It's made in Canada by a company that has been around since 1889 and the shop we got ours from is the only place we have ever seen one.
Packaging consists of a rectangular perforated tin lined with foam and a knurled black salt knob is included in case you want to fill it with salt crystals and have matching salt and pepper mills.
The actual mill mechanism - the bit that does the grinding is made from ceramic which is a material we've always shied away from in grinders. The Trudeau website states that a ceramic mill will grind anything, will never rust and is harder than carbon steel. Fair enough, we've never had a problem with it and it's still going strong two years later. In fact it grinds exactly the same as it did the day we bought it. It is used consistently over steaming pots and has never clogged up. The metal knob that holds the top in place and controls the coarseness of the grind doesn't wander and alter the grind texture like many other grinders. The grind remains the same until you adjust it. In our experience that is revelatory.
You could rob a bank with this thing, it's that well made. Provided the ceramic mill holds up this should be the last pepper grinder we ever buy.
If you enjoy properly manufactured products that really do the job they were designed for then you may want to have a look at Real Camp Coffee - our solution to enjoying a proper espresso or cappuccino in the bush.
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