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Old 03-20-2006, 06:17 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Unicorn Magnum Peppermill

Hey folks, got a question for ya...

So here's the story...all I used to use was pre-ground pepper, then decided I would pick up one of those McCormick disposable pepper grinders at the supermarket and it changed my life. Actually the freshly ground pepper changed my life. I realized then and there that I needed to buy a peppermill.

I looked at some at Bed, Bath & Beyond but I wasn't sure if I was ready to spend $30 on a peppermill. I finally decided that with a lifetime guarantee it's probably worth it, since there really isn't much you could do to a pepper grinder to void a guarantee, unless you tried to grind stones or something. I then did some online investigating to see if I could get my mill of choice online for cheaper. Well it turns out that the unicorn magnum peppermill is by far better. I really wanted a wood one, but if this one is that much better maybe I can sacrifice the wood and the extra 10 bucks (retails for 44-ish, amazon has it for 41-ish).

Does anyone have any experience with this? As a college student I don't want to buy a cheaper mill that will break down quick. IMO the better investment would be a more expensive mill that works great and will last me.



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Old 03-20-2006, 06:38 PM   #2
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fresh ground pepper will definitely change your life.

did the same thing to me mate. make sure you get one where you can adjust how coarse the pepper comes out. those mccormick disposable pepper mills are crap b/c it grinds the pepper wayyyyyyy too fine. you need big chunks of cracked pepper for steaks and pasta dishes.

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Old 03-20-2006, 06:39 PM   #3
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I don't remember how much I paid for my mill, but I've had it for many, many years now. Thirty dollars is little to pay for a decent mill, with many running in the eighty dollar range.

I'm looking at upgrading mine to one that has various 'settings' to easily switch from a fine to a coarse grind.

That said, as you've experienced, any grinder is better than none.
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:07 PM   #4
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It makes sense to buy quality which will last and save money in the long run, unless you are supplying a rental property or a boat or picnic basket. (THen buy disposable )
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:23 PM   #5
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After you decide on a pepper mill, make sure you buy good quality peppercorns, like from Penzeys, and not ones from the supermarket.

Penzey's peppercorns are AMAZING. And not very expensive.
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:32 PM   #6
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Brad, the Unicorn Magnum Plus is on my wishlist. I'm sure you already know that Cook's Illustrated rated this peppermill as tops. Also, there was a discussion on a BBQ forum where I contribute, and those who owned it, love it. They recommend the "Plus" model.

Ebay has at least one new one for sale right now for $45.

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Old 03-21-2006, 01:10 AM   #7
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Thumbs up

I, also, bought the McCormick Peppercorn Grinder early last summer, but was quite disappointed when I learned that it's not refillable! Love the TV commercial where the little boy is speaking French!

Which also prompted me to get a pepper mill as well. I bought the Maxwell &
Williams 12" Pepper Mill from Chefs Catalog. It was a discontinued model, so I saved some money there.

And yes, there IS nothing like freshly ground pepper in your food, as I've also found out, even though I still keep both types on hand. It will NEVER spoil.

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Old 03-21-2006, 07:07 AM   #8
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I have never used a Magnum, but have heard only great things about them. I would bet they are well worth the money.

I second what Jenny said about buying quality peppercorns. That makes ALL the difference. Penzys is a great place to get them. My favorite kind is their BOLD peppercorns. They have a bit more bite which I really like.
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Old 03-21-2006, 08:56 AM   #9
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I bought my peppermill from Penzey's and still get all my peppercorns there. Tellicherry are my favorites.
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:47 PM   #10
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After reading your guys' suggestions, I was really surprised to see the different types of peppercorns. Would all types (e.g. tellicherry) be the same wherever you bought them? Or would different places have different quality of specific types?

What I'm wondering about the magnums, though, is if they are incredibly better than other top of the line mills, or if they're just better. I would way rather have a wood one, but all the reviews I've read, people talk about how they barely get a dusting with their other mills, but with this one, one turn will give you enough. I personally thought half the greatness of freshly ground pepper was actually grinding it, but at the same time I don't want to grind for 10 minutes to get a teaspoon of pepper. Ya know what I'm sayin?

It seems like one other great thing about the magnum is that you never have to worry about the consistency of the grind changing. Does the consistency change often with a typical mill?

I'm just thinking if it's not a mind-blowing difference I'll just get a wood one.


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