How to Refill a Pepper Grinder

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The easy way to refill your pepper grinder, so that you don’t spill peppercorns all over the counter!

I was send product from Cole & Mason for my review. The opinions expressed in this post are solely my own.

My life was changed when I started using freshly ground pepper.

From the moment I tried out my first pepper grinder, I have never used the pre-ground stuff again.

The only thing that I haven’t liked about using a pepper grinder is filling it. All the grinders I have had each had a small hole at the top of filling. Plus it has a piece of metal right in the middle.

I feel like I ended spilling half the peppercorns onto the counter top.

Of course there are tons of bigger problems in the world but I can’t solve any of those. But I can solve the issue with filling the pepper grinder – which is the reason you are probably here.

?️ Using a Funnel

The easiest solution would be to simply use a funnel.

That is what I tried when I got tired of making a mess.

Problem is that nearly all funnels are tall, with a long spout. It ends up being a balance acting with the funnel. Plus it’s harder to gauge when the grinder is full.

Here is a short video of me using the funnel to add more peppercorns to my grinder:

Cole & Mason

I received a funnel from Cole & Mason to review. This is a stainless steel funnel that they call a Salt & Pepper Refill Funnel. Of course you aren’t limited to using it for just salt and pepper – such as adding ingredients to drinks in bottles.

The funnel is different in that it’s short, with a very short spout.

It worked really well. Best thing I ever used to refill a pepper grinder. A very simple tool, but one that brings me joy – whenever I find a way to do something and make less of a mess, I am super happy!

? Refilling Store Bought Grinders

Have you ever gotten one of those pepper mills from the store that come with a grinder? The most common is McCormick. What if you want to refill those?

The trick is you need to be able to pull it off. Twist it only makes the pepper come out. You can do it with a little bit of force. I have seen videos of people pulling off the tops of their McCormick grinders. Check YouTube.

Some brands I tried with in the past, I couldn’t get the top off. There might come cases where it’s just not going to come off. Normally, the company is going to want you to just buy another grinder, puts more money in their pockets.

❓ Why Buy a Grinder

I get that people like to simply buy the grinder, instead of investing in a higher quality one that it meant to be refiled. But here are several reasons why you should buy a good one.

  • Disposable grinders don’t work as well
  • Adjustable grind – you can change the grind from fine to coarse
  • It’s cheaper to buy peppercorns in bulk or large quantities without including a grinder
  • You aren’t buying grinders that you just throw out

I have Cole & Mason pepper grinder. It has the grind adjust on the bottom which I think works a little better than the nob you turn to adjust the grinder that most pepper mills have. Since you can see what notch you are in, you don’t have to guess if you have it set to your desired grind.

RELATED – What are the Different Types of Peppercorns

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I'm a writer who focuses on the outdoors and travel. I share my time between Alaska and Colorado, where, when I'm not writing, I enjoy camping, kayaking, hiking, fishing, and skiing (often with dogs in tow). My byline may also be seen in publications such as The New York Times, National Geographic, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and others.


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