I’m always looking for little tips and tricks to pick up in the kitchen. I’m a pretty decent cook, but there is so much to learn. One of the places I consistently turn to for this is Food52’s Genius Recipes Column. Run by Founding Editor and Creative Director Kristen Miglore, each week there is a different recipe that is delicious, as well as a conversation about a kitchen tip with input from the community. So far, I’ve learned a hack to prep bell peppers and a way to plop big chunks of potatoes into boiling water without burning myself. But I wanted to know what her favorite tip she’d picked up was—and her answer surprised me.
“I love this pepper mill,” she said. The grinder in question is the PepperMate Mill. It’s not shaped like a cylinder as you might expect, but it’s more of a box. It has a knob you twist to grind, an ample hopper for peppercorns, and a bin at the bottom to catch all of the pepper you grind up.
At first, I was expecting something fancy like a Peugeot, which I’ve seen her use in her videos—it’s the same mill I have, too. It’s elegant and beautiful and classic. But I was wrong.
"Sometimes out of laziness or the urgency of being a new parent, I’ve gone long stretches without bothering to refill my grinder. Plus, I would grumble whenever I was testing a recipe that called for 1/2 teaspoon of pepper because it took a while to grind out and I always lost so much to the counter. Even though I still grab my old Peugeot when I want to twist a little pepper into a pan or over my plate, whenever I need to measure it out, I feel pretty smart pulling a grinder that can do it in seconds, without waste or mess."
“Someone recommended this grinder,” she said, “and it really does dramatically cut down on the time and mess if you need a specific amount for a recipe.”
Kristen uses it “anytime a recipe calls for a specific amount of pepper (or I want to grind a lot of it quickly.” She says, “There’s a little cup at the bottom that catches all the ground pepper, so it’s easy to scoop in my teaspoons and swee a knife or offset spatula over the top to level them without spilling and wasting any pepper.”
While I love my Peugeot, I decided to put it to test. The PepperMate really does grind pepper exceptionally fast, and ensures none spills all over the place. Like Kristen, I’m still planning on keeping my Peugeot in my life, but for everyday use, this will be the mill I turn to from now on.
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