One-Handed Pepper Grinders
Update July 2012:
Since this review was published, a few readers complained that the handles of our winning Chef'n Pepper Ball broke, so we went back into the kitchen to grind 1/2 cup of pepper every day. That did it: The handles, which collapse when twisted off the base for refilling, refused to click back into place after less than a week of heavy-duty grinding. Our previous runner-up model is now our top recommended one-handed pepper mill.
One-handed pepper mills hold one obvious advantage over the usual two-handed twist styles: They free up the other hand to stir a sauce or turn a whole raw chicken for seasoning. One-handed pepper mills can cost well over $100: We set a ceiling of $50, which allowed us to include mills in many styles and sizes, both manual and electric. We put six to a range of tests, focusing on the quality of each grind (from fine to coarse), the output of each mill (the efficiency in producing 1 teaspoon of ground pepper), and ease of use.
To win us over, any one-handed pepper grinder would have to match the output of our favorite two-handed mill, which produces plenty of perfectly ground pepper with minimal effort. Alas, only a few electric models and just one manual version matched the output of our two-handed favorite; the rest took twice as long, or longer, to produce the same amount. One electric model produced uniformly ground pepper at five settings as quickly as our winning two-handed mill. And one manual model proved easy to fill and adjust for different grinds, and it operated one-handed with no need for batteries or electricity. Neither model would compel us to retire our favorite two-handed grinder, but at just $11.95, our winning one-handed model is worth picking up—with one hand, of course.
The nonslip grip and narrow, straight blade let testers remove the smallest bones with precision and complete comfort. Perfectly balanced with enough flexibility to maneuver around tight joints. The low price was a bonus.
Hefty in weight, this knife was a solid performer when removing poultry bones, and the handle was easy to grip, even when covered in chicken fat. Piercing silver skin was a challenge since the tip wasn’t sharp enough and the long narrow blade produced slightly jagged cuts.
|Recommended with Reservations|
The sharp tip performed well when removing silver skin, but it was too flexible when maneuvering around poultry joints, leaving testers feeling a lack of control. The heavy handle was slightly unbalanced and became slippery once covered in poultry fat.
Designed to replicate a samurai blade, this expensive knife was a disappointment. It struggled to pierce the silver skin, although long cuts were smooth and even. Minimal flexibility and extreme curve got in the way when maneuvering around joints. The smooth handle was hard to grip and slippery.
The large, cumbersome handle reminded testers of an outdoors knife for fishing and hunting. The blade was too wide to maneuver around joints and it struggled to pierce silver skin. Unlike other knives, this boning knife could only slice in one direction, making intricate cuts around joints difficult.
The blade was so flexible it led to erratic cuttings; testers said the knife was hard to control. The blade was not sturdy enough to maneuver around joints and the lightweight handle felt flimsy and unbalanced.
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