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Old 06-04-2005, 06:09 PM   #1
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Probably a stupid question, but whatever

What's the difference between ground pepper and crushed pepper, besides the obvious. Is there any flavor difference? I've had a steak recipe specifically call for crushed pepper, going as far as to say not to use ground pepper. Why is this? It's so much easier to use freshly ground peppercorns than to crush peppercorns.

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Old 06-04-2005, 06:27 PM   #2
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Welcome to the site STLGuy. Your question is not a stupid one. Usually when a recipe calls for crushed pepper it is calling for crushed RED pepper. Think of the type of crushed red pepper flakes you might sprinkle on a pizza. These are red chili peppers that are dried and crushed, not black peppercorns. Without seeing the recipe you are making it is hard to know if this is what they are calling for.

The other thing is that it could be looking for cracked black peppercorns. Cracked pepper is different than ground pepper because of the size basically. If you use cracked pepper you will get a bigger peppery bite. also on steak the cracked peppercorns form a sort of crust that you would not get from ground peppercorns. If your pepper mill has an adjustment so you can have a fine grind or course grind then you could probably set it on the coarsest grind if you did not feel like cracking the peppercorns. Hope this helped.
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Old 06-04-2005, 11:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STLGuy
What's the difference between ground pepper and crushed pepper, besides the obvious. Is there any flavor difference? I've had a steak recipe specifically call for crushed pepper, going as far as to say not to use ground pepper. Why is this? It's so much easier to use freshly ground peppercorns than to crush peppercorns.
From the sound of the recipe, I'd say that it is calling for cracked black pepper, not uncommon in steak rubs. I do this with a mortar and pestle when I need it, but as GB says, a peppermill set as coarse as possible can get close to the same texture.
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Old 06-05-2005, 03:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STLGuy
What's the difference between ground pepper and crushed pepper, besides the obvious. Is there any flavor difference? I've had a steak recipe specifically call for crushed pepper, going as far as to say not to use ground pepper. Why is this? It's so much easier to use freshly ground peppercorns than to crush peppercorns.
Is the recipe calling for the steak to be crusted with the peppercorns? If so, then the reason for not grinding the peppercorns as opposed to crushing them is that when you grind the peppercorns, you release more of the heat. A lot of people don't want that much heat and also want to taste the flavor and the quality of the beef, so crushing the peppercorns will give you that flavor, but as much of the spicyness.
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Old 06-05-2005, 05:28 AM   #5
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Another reason for a simple crush of the pepper on something like steak au poivre is the texture and mouth feel of the larger, coarser pieces of pepper. Instead of a smooth overall feeling when you bite into the meat, you actually bite into the pieces of pepper. Often you use different types of pepper, and with one bite you might bite into a black pepper bit, another a white or rose one, giving a little bit of different flavor in different bites. It's sort of like the difference between when you just flour something before sauteeing, or if you use dry bread crumbs, or fresh bread crumbs, or panko. All are basically the same ingredient, but give a different feeling when you take a bite.
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Old 06-05-2005, 05:29 AM   #6
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By the way, as they say, no stupid questions except the unasked one. Can't learn if you don't ask.
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