How much pepper do you need? If you frequently add large quantities of pepper while cooking, look for a mill that can crank it out quickly and easily. But note that peppercorns can lose their potency over time, so you may not want a high-capacity pepper mill unless you're going to use it all the time.
Do you crave easy-to-clean gadgets? If so, stay away from wooden mills, which are porous and will absorb oils and liquids. Opt for plastic or stainless steel instead, which are easier to wipe down.
Do you want to avoid trial and error? Consider a mill with pre-set grind choices so you don't have to fiddle around with a knob to get the grind size you want.
Are you design-conscious? For some home cooks, pepper mills are more than utilitarian -- they're a centerpiece on an artfully arranged table or a colorful addition to a well-thought-out kitchen. Pepper mills have traditionally been heavy, wooden and topped with a round decorative finial, but many have been revamped with a range of colors, materials and styles. Modern pepper mills resemble everything from minimalist stainless-steel columns to Rubix cubes to colorful plastic sculptures.
Are you looking for super-easy operation? Electric pepper mills require little, if any, manual effort, which can be especially nice if you're multitasking in the kitchen. If you don't want to replace batteries, look for a rechargeable model.
Do you like mood lighting? Electric pepper mills typically have a small LED light that shines on your food while the grinder is on. While some experts say this is little more than a gimmick, it may save you from over- or under-seasoning your food if you like to dine by candlelight, or if your vision is poor.
Do you want a pepper mill that can handle salt and other spices? Several pepper mills are also suitable for grinding other spices, and those with a ceramic or acrylic mechanism can handle salt. However, it's important to note that mills with metal grinding mechanisms will be damaged if you grind salt in them.
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