Special Note – The hand finished walnut version of this item I review here is what I paid 50 bucks for 11 years ago, when I first did this posting it was selling still for almost that much on Amazon. I brought it back around because it is currently on sale for 35.48, which is now less then the painted one mentioned in the PS below. This is a fantastic price, again I have owned mine now for 11 years, it is still just as good as they day I bought it.
Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.
Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Fletchers’ Federal Pepper Mill. Now I know there are some that might ask why in the world anyone would pay about 50 dollars for a pepper mill? The answer is because 9 years ago at a store, I found this mill, there was a promotional tag on it that said, “the last pepper mill you will ever buy”.
I snorted with condescension, but I also didn’t put it down. Just that day I had thrown away yet another piece of junk pepper mill that crapped out. My philosophy is always get the best value to performance ratio you can. Another way of saying this is “always be frugal never be cheap”.
Frugal looks at total cost, cheap looks at cost today only. Throwing out 5 or more 15 – 20 dollar pepper grinders over 5 years, costs 75-100 dollars and you get shitty performance during those years.
With skepticism I took the mill to the counter, mumbling under my breath “for this price it had better be” once again reading the propaganda saying, “the last pepper mill you will ever buy”. Did it live up to the hype.
Well “last ever” is a bold claim! I can’t say yet if that is true, even making allowances for buying a second one, or one as a gift. Will this thing ever die? I don’t know, I do know I have had it for 11 years, a year longer than I have been doing TSP. With that in mind, last night, I made a Foraged Bloody Mary and when I did I grabbed this very mill, and it worked as good as the day I bought it.
The one bit of maintenance I do is every time I empty it, before refilling it I take the top off, turn it upside down, depress the bottom a few times and clean out the dust, then refill and rock on. Is there anything better than the Fletchers’ Federal Pepper Mill I don’t really know, but if it costs more, I would not see the need to pay more.
A final note, when you cook with pepper or use it on food, please use it fresh ground. Pepper has a lot of oils in it, that is where all the aroma and flavor come from. This is why preground smells like, well nothing and fresh cracked smells, amazing.
As to the best deal on premium quality pepper corns, check out my write up on Tellicherry Peppercorns, or just get them at amazon, they are, Spicy World Tellicherry Peppercorns. In any event no matter what pepper you prefer you should pick up the Fletchers’ Federal Pepper Mill to grind it in. If not now, perhaps the next time you bang a cheap mill on the counter, curse under your breath and hold it up and look at the underside as though as it is an old Chevy in need of suspension work.
Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.
PS – I have linked to the “Walnut” finished model. Please note there are other finishes, some painted, some of smaller size. The internals of all the PEPPER MILLS are the same, and there is some pricing variation. For instance if you want one painted a sort of cinnamon color, you can get it for half the price. This makes sense as hand finishing wood is more labor intensive than a simple lacquered paint finish.
And that is great, do use some care in your selection as some of the models you can select on the page are actually salt mills, like this one. I am sure they work just fine, but the grinders are different as they are designed for a different purpose.