How do you turn your pepper mill?

Discussion in 'Kitchen Appliances, Cookware, Cookbooks & Recipes' started by morning glory, 14 Aug 2019.

  1. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    I can't believe I'm posting this - it seems so trivial. But I will carry on regardless! :D Today, it occurred to me that I might be using pepper and salt mills incorrectly. I've always turned pepper and salt mills in one direction; clockwise.

    Today, for some reason I started to doubt this was correct. Images of attentive Italian waiters with tall pepper mills poised for action, came into my head. How did they turn the pepper mill? I seemed to remember that it was a backwards/forwards motion - so clockwise then anti-clockwise. This could, of course, be a false memory... but I wondered if I might have been doing it wrong all these years.

    How do you turn your pepper/salt mill? Is there a right and wrong way?
     
  2. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn Site Owner Staff Member

    Location:
    A Pom in NSW, Aus
    Ours only work one way (with the new ones). They really are directional. My old ones were different. One was and one wasn't. I'm not home so can't tell you which way it is right now.
     
  3. cookieee

    cookieee Regular Member

    Location:
    South Florida
    Sorry MG, mine is battery operated. It turns itself. lol
     
    morning glory likes this.
  4. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    Does it just go in one direction though?
     
  5. rascal

    rascal Über Member

    Battery powered here as well, just the one direction. But hand ones , I only turn clockwise, I have no idea why?? Just habit I guess?? And small ceramic ones I just tip upside down :)

    Russ
     
  6. Shermie

    Shermie Veteran

    Location:
    Brighton, MA.
    I turn mine from the bottom, fill it from the top.:wink:
     
  7. TastyReuben

    TastyReuben Active Member

    Location:
    Ohio, US
    I'm ambi-pepper-ous. I crank it both ways. I don't even know why.

    I've seen plenty of folks on cooking shows doing either on, and vaguely remember a chef chastising someone for not doing it the "right" way (the rapid back and forth).

    Honest to god, I don't care what it is, though, some self-appointed expert will find some way to dictate a "right" way to do anything. As long as my peppercorns come out ground, I'm ok. :laugh:
     
  8. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn Site Owner Staff Member

    Location:
    A Pom in NSW, Aus
    I've double checked now that I'm home and our new ones only produce anything if cranked clockwise though I do vary whether I crank the top clockwise and hold the bottom or hold the top and crank the bottom anticlockwise. It depends on which hand is being dominant at that moment in time.

    My other mills crank both ways but are more effective clockwise (cranking the top).
     
  9. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    :laugh:

    My only thought was that by going back and forth it might stop peppercorns getting trapped. I may do a little experiment...
     
    TastyReuben likes this.
  10. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    The question was - do you turn it always in one direction (at the bottom)?
     
  11. Mine looks like these (the red one, to be exact); they operate by rocking the handle on top from side to side:

    [​IMG]

    So, minimal risk of carpal tunnel syndrome from that rotational motion. But, I can't imagine that rotating one way vs. the other way makes any difference to the grind. It might be that the head of the grinder gradually unscrews if you keep going in the same direction?

    I also have battery-powered salt and pepper grinders, but - as cool as they look - they blast through so quickly that they're not useful...I can't gradually add seasoning, but I suppose I could use them as a time-saver if I know I have to grind several tablespoons of either.

    41BtygKpkzL._SL500_AC_SS350_.jpg
     
  12. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn Site Owner Staff Member

    Location:
    A Pom in NSW, Aus
    This is why they only go one way effectively. That's more to the design that people realise.

    My old salt mill... easy to see why it's one way only
    20190815_124826.jpg

    My old pepper mill. Not as easy to show, but I've taken it apart in the hope I've made it cleared.

    20190815_124708.jpg

    20190815_124736.jpg

    20190815_124804.jpg
     
    Last edited: 15 Aug 2019
  13. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn Site Owner Staff Member

    Location:
    A Pom in NSW, Aus
    All 3 sets that I've owned in my life time have been the same/similar design and is clear (to me) that it is the design that makes them directional. Even my new (this last Christmas) set is of similar design which is just visible without dismantling them. Hubby will kill me if I do! Sadly it is not visible enough for me to show in a photo.
     
    rascal likes this.
  14. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    Looks like I'll be dismantling my pepper mill today....

    Those are excellent clear big close-up photos. Did you use the Samsung Galaxy? I can't seem to get clear macro shots using mine.
     
  15. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn Site Owner Staff Member

    Location:
    A Pom in NSW, Aus
    Apologies if I've started something. I only stayed with the dismantling years ago when my first set stopped working properly. Cleaning them up helped but it wad clear what the problem was, hence buying the newer ones 2 decades ago. Those being the green ones. As you can see, 2 decades plus of use have ground the edges down and they don't look that good anymore. The salt doesn't get dismantled if I can help it now because the holes for the screws are being problematic and something 1mm wifey in diameter is now needed. The salt mill in particular doesn't have that available all that readily. The peppery mill is in better condition, the working edges though even on that are badly ground down from what they used to be. I just hope the metal was edible. Perhaps that's why my husband's ferritin levels were so high :whistling:


    Yes, I've <cough> mis-located my camera... must find it tomorrow to get the batteries charged for my 'holiday'.
     

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