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Pepper Mill Buying Guide – Review of the Unicorn Magnum Plus

Updated on January 28, 2010

Really Really Great Pepper Mills

I’m not much for writing product reviews, but the pepper grinder I got for Christmas has changed my life…it’s really that good. If you like to cook – you need one of these.

This is the recommended ‘best pepper mill’ from Cooks Illustrated magazine. Other magazine and newspapers that have raved about this pepper grinder include the New York Times, USA Today, Gourmet, Fine Cooking, Good Housekeeping and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Why Grind Pepper – Black pepper is a dried berry with a complex flavor profile. Crack fresh pepper over a dish and you get the whole pepper flavor experience. Once you crack this berry open, the flavors start oxidizing and dissipating. If you use pre-cracked pepper, you are using pepper that holds some peppery heat, but little else – and certainly not the complex flavor it once had.

So you need to throw out any pre-cracked pepper you have, seriously, and get yourself a pepper grinder that makes fresh pepper a joy.

What You Want From a Pepper Grinder

  1. A grinder that delivers a reasonable output – it gets tiresome cranking and cranking and cranking away when cracking pepper for a recipe from a grinder that delivers a meager output.
  2. A grinder that can give you a good range in grind size – sometimes you want a fine pepper and sometimes you want that burst of pepper that comes from a courser grind (pepper steak, for example)
  3. Uniform grind – once you decide what size grind you’re after, you want all the pepper to be of the same size. Some poor quality pepper grinder swill give you some big, and some small particles – which is less than ideal
  4. Reasonable capacity – you don’t want to have to fill up your pepper grinder every week or two.

FYI - Your pepper grinder will last longer if you always turn it in one direction, clockwise only – turning it back and forth wears down the grinding mechanism faster!

The Unicorn Magnum Plus Pepper Mill!

This baby delivers pepper in a startling array of sizes, always uniformly cracked, and a quarter turn sends pepper raining down, easily enough for a plate of food – this grinder’s output is something else.

As the owner (like most people) of many pepper grinders over the years, many of them pretty poor at what they’re supposed to do, this grinder was a revelation.

Buy one, and you will never ever ever ever regret it.


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