“ Brand: T&G Woodware / Product Type: Mill „
I've been looking for a replacement pepper mill that works for quite some time; a surprising number of the ones on the market aren't fit for purpose and don't in my experience produce much in the way of ground condiment when you try to use them. Rather than just waving the pepper mill over my food 'for show' I like to have actual ground black pepper coming out the bottom of it when I use it. In my experience, hardly any pepper mills will do that for you.
Anyway, I bought a T&G Woodware mill made of acacia wood just before Christmas, and am delighted with it. T&G Woodware is a Bristol-based company I hadn't previously been aware of. They seem to do a whole host of interesting products on their website, but even if nothing else they do make exceedingly good pepper grinders.
Having tried a variety of perspex / metal mills, I've come to the conclusion that wooden pepper mills for some reason (that probably has to do with the way stresses during grinding are transmitted from the container onto the whole peppercorns within) are the best. Unfortunately many of the little rounded 'traditional'-looking wooden mills that are on the market fall into the category of pepper mills that don't grind pepper. The ribbed-surfaced T&G mill I've got (which is the same as the mill in the picture accompanying this review) wouldn't perhaps have been my number one choice in terms of the look of the gadget, although I have to say that's grown on me since I bought it and by now I'm quite fond of the thing.
The mechanics of the T&G mill are quite novel as compared with 'regular' pepper grinders. Instead of having to unscrew a 'tightening screw' at the top the mill to open it, it is filled by means of a simple round stopper on the top, which unplugs to reveal a fairly large internal reservoir for whole peppercorns. The stopper has a rubber flange that keeps it in place (sadly, I don't know how robust this feature is going to turn out to be long-term). The pepper-grinder part (which is in the bottom so you can't see it) is made of ceramic; I don't know what the pros and cons are of that but it certainly does work. Unlike other pepper grinders, the fine-ness of the pepper grind is controlled not by means of a 'tightening screw' on top of the grinder but by tightening / loosening a little apparatus on the bottom of the mill. So far that's worked really well too.
I got my pepper mill for about £8 at TK Maxx but I understand the usual retail price for it is about half again to twice that amount. I see it's being advertised for £30 as part of a set on Amazon; knowing how good mine is I'd certainly pay up to £15 for it (but I think £30 for the set is a bit much).
Most pepper grinders come with a disclaimer saying you can't use them during cooking (as the steam inteferes with the grinding mechanism) but I've used this while making a meal and (touch wood) it still seems fine.
I'd highly recommend this pepper mill!