My DH needs a pepper grinder to grind large amounts, like 1/2 cup at a time, for some of his smoker rubs and sauces. I have heard of using a coffee grinder but what else is out there? any advice would be nice. Thanks.
There are small electric spice/coffee grinders that would do the job....but also a good blender will work as well.
Linda's suggestion works great, but if you don't have a spice/coffee grinder than you can use a large stone mortar and pestle or put the peppercorns into a sealed bag and pound with a hammer or a cast iron pan. I've used all three of these methods over the years.
Go the Alton Brown method...
Get a large pepper mill and mount a cordless drill on it.
The Coneheads would know. They were always consuming mass quantities.
Not to insult anyone (Bob) but my husband, also a "bob", will be grinding this pepper. The thought of him, castiron pan, hammer in my kitchen... well that just scares me to death. He can't use a coffee grinder without leaving a trail of grinds everywhere. Now the drill, that sounds more like something up his alley. After all, Alton was preparing his bird for T-day the exact way my DH was. But I will keep that little drill gem to myself. There has got to be a manufacturer of a large volumne grinder but my search only gave me the hand turners. The battery operated one I saw at Linens N Things was too slow. Maybe the grinder is the best alternative and I could just offer to grind for him??? Or I could set it up closer to the sink for him so the mess is easier to clean. He does clean up but it is always best to reclean.
Why don't you just order a large quantity of good ground pepper from Penzeys or buy from a good source.
Even foodies use pre-ground pepper when they need large amounts.
Pulsing madly in a food processor with a metal blade should yield the correct results.
Better groceries stock bags of quality ground pepper--also cracked pepper if you don't want a fine ground. Check places like Whole Foods, Earth Fare, etc.
And to back up Blazedog, one can never go wrong by buying spices from Penzeys. My only problem: I end up ordering lots of other items when I just need one at the moment. The link below shows four different grades of common black Tellicherry pepper. If you want white pepper, peppercorns, or other peppers, they have that too.
Here is a link that might be useful: Penzey Tellicherry pepper grades
This is what I have but unfortunatly it's our of stock....
Here is a link that might be useful: Grinder
Blazedog, I can't remember the last time I bought ground pepper. It has been many years. I even keep a small travel size grinder in my purse. It was the best gift a good friend of mine ever gave me. LOL!
Shannon, I have another suggestion that might work for you. Get a really good Turkish Coffee Mill. They work fantastic for grinding lots of pepper. You can grind a lot in a very short time. I forgot about that one. I give the one that I had to my son when he moved into his own apartment because he loved it so much.
I have a Turkish coffee mill....and it would take a lot of "twist power" to get 1/4 cup of ground pepper...
An electric small coffee/spice grinder is the answer.
We must have different ones than Linda. Mine produced a lot of coarse ground pepper with very little effort.
Blazedog, I can't remember the last time I bought ground pepper. It has been many years.
You might want to try some pepper from Penzey's or an equivalent spice house. I would think ground pepper from them would be better than freshly-ground pepper from old peppercorns like one regularly buys from McCormick, Spice Islands, and other supermarket brands. No telling how long they sat in a warehouse before being bottled or put in cans, and no telling what kind of conditions they were shipped in.
You can, of course, get peppercorns from Penzey's as well.
FWIW, I can grind about a half a cup of pepper in my Peugeot mill in about two minutes--including refill time.
Here is a link that might be useful: Peugeot mills from Amazon
spewey, thanks for the suggestion. I'm familar with Penzeys quality products. I use to order from them when we lived in the US. I'm back living in a major Canadian city though so I have access to quality dried herbs and spices including black pepper so no need to order anymore.
He likes his corns ground the day he smokes the food so we buy the peppercorns that day but need to grind them quickly. Thanks for the recommendations on the particualar grinders. I will have to show him. He just asked this morning if I had any luck.
Unless you have access to a quality spice house right in your community, grinding "fresh" pepper from peppercorns of the usual McCormicks, Spice Islands, Durkees, store brands, Williams-Sonoma varieties isn't really giving you the "freshest" ground pepper. Yes, it is better than using pre-ground pepper from the same sources, but the whole peppercorns themselves are not going to be as fresh as even ground pepper from a quality spice house. You can usually tell if some place is using inferior peppers when you grind it yourself onto your food. The quality spice houses also tend to offer a wider variety of peppercorns than a supermarket or "gourmet store."
Incidentally, pepper mills should be washed from time to time for best results.
Spewey, you might find the following link a bit educational (about halfway down the page):
A spice grinder (a/k/a coffee mill!) is a great way to grind a bunch of pepper at one time!
I notice from that link that black peppercorns only keep up to a year in a glass jar, and that's why supermarket and gourmet store ones tend to be far less pungent than good pepper from a spice house that rotates its stock quickly.
Again, as you notice, I do use a peppermill and I do usually get peppercorns (and not just black ones), but I won't waste my time on old jarred peppercorns from Safeway, Dean & Deluca, Food Lion, Williams-Sonoma and other groceries when there are good spice companies out there with fresh stocks. I'd rather order something they'll grind for me and ship than order old peppercorns and grind them.
I'd rather purchase fresh peppercorns then something pre-ground! To each his own, I guess!
I would also recommend purchasing fresh peppercorns. Just don't be deluded into thinking those from a supermarket or gourmet store are fresh. You'll get better results buying from a spice house that rotates its stock quickly.
Don't think anyone is delusional here, Spewey! LOL I'm sure several appreciate the reminder -
I get my spices from Dean and Deluca and they are from Penseys. Also, there are stored in aluminum tins. They do keep very well. It takes about 1 month to go through a tin. I also have Peugeot mills!
If you DO use your electric coffee grinder to grind peppercorns or other spices, here's a hint on how to clean it.
I'm assuming you use the cheap countertop kind of grinder-- the kind about the size of a beer mug, with a top chamber holding maybe a third to a half a cup of product to be ground.
Once you are finished grinding the pepper, fill the grinding chamber about half full of broken-up saltine crackers. Run the grinder and then shake out the ground-up saltines. Do this once or twice, then wipe out the grinding chamber and top with a barely moistened paper towel. The dry crackers seem to soak up the pepper oils pretty well, and the next pot of coffee you make won't taste like Tellicherry French Roast.
I'd get him his own coffee grinder and make him use it outside to avoid the mess.
We have several - one for chiles, one for "pastry spices", and if the black pepper usage were higher, one for that too.
I have an additional grinder for spices, too, but thanks for the tip on how to clean it out! That's something I'll use between uses -
I'm with AnnT on the Turkish coffee mill. My husband is basically a pepper-holic, and he loves our grinder. It's brass with etchings all over it. I bought it in a nice gourmet shop and it was billed as a pepper grinder, but I've always thought it was probably a Turkish coffee grinder.
It has a handle on the top that you turn and it grinds a ton of pepper in no time, plus it's really pretty to look at.
Shannon, Check out the Unicorn Peppermills. The Magnum Plus is rated the best by Cooks Illustrated. They rated it the best back in July/August of 2001 and again in January 2005. Quote........
"We have yet to find a pepper mill that can approach the Unicorn Magnum Plus, winner of our July/August 2001 test; it offers the ultimate in grind quality and speed. But it is expensive at $45. It turns out that the Magnum Plus is an overgrown version of the $31 Magnum, which seemed worth a try.
The 5 3/4-inch Magnum grinds just as quickly and effectively as the 9-inch Magnum Plus. In the test kitchen, we really appreciate the huge 15-tablespoon capacity of the Magnum Plus, but the Magnum's 7-tablespoon capacity is fine for home use. All in all, for cooks who want a less expensive option than the Magnum Plus, the unassuming Magnum a great choice."
Sometime last week I lost my favourite Travel Size grinder that I kept in my purse. Today I ordered one of the Unicorn mini mills and the Magnum Plus. A girl can never have to many pepper mills. LOL!