A new pepper grinder doesn't really sound all that exciting, does it? Well, around here it is! My mom gave me an electric pepper grinder several years ago and I must confess, I've always hated it. Sorry, Mom, but it's true. It was battery operated which had a novelty appeal at first, but there were several design flaws that made it truly maddening.
First of all, the batteries were housed on the top of the unit. Not only did this make the peppermill top heavy, but the base of the peppermill was rather narrow, further compounding the problem. One little nudge and it was on its side, sometimes falling off the counter, popping open and sending peppercorns all over the floor.
Which brings us to the second major design flaw - it was hard to open and refill. I had to fight to get the darned thing open and of course when it finally popped open, again - peppercorns everywhere. I did learn to try to grind almost every last peppercorn before trying to refill, but it didn't grind very well with only a few small pieces floating around.
The thing got on my last nerve but did I ever replace it? Nope - just lived with it and cursed it. Part of the problem was that I really didn't know what to buy - I didn't want to buy another big design flaw! However, the folks over at CL came through with some very good suggestions, as usual. There were a few good threads on peppermills with several promising recommendations, including this Magnum Peppermill that comes highly recommended from Cook's Illustrated as well.
So, now after some 5-7 years of fearing and dreading my peppermill, I am happily peppering everything in site. The grind seems to be nice and even - another thing my other mill seemed to be incapable of achieving. Supposedly you can adjust the coarseness of the grind, but I'm not sure that feature is working all that well. Fortunately, I'm quite happy with the coarseness of the grind and I'm not sure I'd really need to change it anyway.
Isn't it silly how sometimes the simplest purchases can be the hardest to make? What the heck took me so long to get rid of that mill and buy a new one??? It took me less time to pick out my side-by-side refrigerator! I was tempted to balcony drop my old peppermill, but I didn't - I just placed it in the trash and bade it good riddance............