A pepper grinder is a wonderful culinary tool to have in your arsenal of kitchen tools. Instead of bland, boring, pre-processed pepper, you can have aromatic, flavorful, and spicy pepper by grinding it yourself in a pepper grinder.
But, did you know a pepper grinder can be used to grind spices other than just pepper? We have created a list of spices that will work perfectly in your pepper grinder to give you an extra punch of flavor!
Here are some ideas of spices to put in your pepper grinder, other than pepper:
- Crystal Sugar
You can buy all of the spices fresh and grind them in your pepper mill or grinder. Freshly ground spices have a much more intense flavor and scent than those on store shelves.
Continue reading to learn more about each of the spices above and for some tips and tricks on using your pepper grinder. You'll never want to buy store-bought spices again after grinding your herbs and spices at home.
What Is A Pepper Grinder?
A pepper grinder, or pepper mill, is a popular kitchen tool used to grind peppercorns into a fine powder.
As mentioned above, as soon as a spice is ground up, it begins to lose its flavor intensity. Grinding spices yourself will guarantee you're getting the deepest and most robust flavor possible.
Pepper grinders can be made from various materials, including ceramic, stainless steel, and zinc alloy.
Stainless steel grinders are popular as they are durable and crack resistant. It's an excellent choice as it can hold up to continuous amounts of pressure.
If you're looking to grind more than just pepper, ceramic pepper mills are a popular choice for their ability to do so.
Believe it or not, there are even electric pepper mills that make grinding pepper a breeze.
Most pepper grinders offer various settings, so you can choose if you want your spices coarsely or finely ground.
What Other Spices Can I Grind In a Pepper Grinder?
Use your grinder for more than just grinding pepper! These spices will almost always taste better when they're freshly ground. Test these out in your pepper grinder, and you'll experience these herbs and spices in a whole new way.
Cumin is a member of the parsley family, and the seeds look similar to rice. It is popular in Latin American, Middle Eastern, and Indian cuisine.
If you're wondering what it tastes like, it has a warm, earthy, sweet, and bitter flavor. To achieve maximum flavor, consider toasting the cumin seeds before grinding them in the pepper mill.
You will love the tangy, musky odor of the fresh cumin as you grind it through the pepper mill.
Cumin is used in many meat and vegetable dishes, as well as stews and soups. You will also find it in chili powder.
Use your cumin to make this delicious Chipotle Cumin Grilled Chicken.
Dried parsley is extremely easy to grind in a pepper mill because of how light it is. Ensure it is thoroughly dry before placing it in your grinder, as it can clump in the grinder if it's too moist.
This versatile herb adds freshness, flavor, and color to many varieties of food. Everything from soups, casseroles, appetizers, and healthy snacks can include this tasty herb.
Dried parsley will last much longer than fresh parsley and will have no trouble being ground in a pepper mill.
You might think of parsley as just a fancy garnish at restaurants, but this versatile spice is especially popular in Middle Eastern cooking.
This lovely herb performs similarly to parsley in your pepper grinder. Dried oregano is quite light, so it will easily grind into a fine powder. Make sure your grinder is set to the fine setting. If it is set on the coarse setting, the dried oregano leaves may just fall out in whole leaves.
You might be familiar with oregano as it is a popular spice found in most pizza and pasta sauces. It is even known as the "pizza herb." The taste can be described as quite earthy, with notes of both hay and mint.
Try this oregano tomato sauce on pizza, spaghetti, or even lasagna.
4. Crystal Sugar
Although crystal sugar is hard, it can be ground in your pepper grinder. You can make it as coarse or as fine as you would like. Depending on the type of pepper mill you have, because of the hardness of the sugar crystals, the knob on the grinder can easily loosen.
A fun idea for grinding sugar might be to pair the sugar with another spice that can be ground in a pepper mill to make a flavored sugar.
Pair sugar with freeze-dried strawberries and run it through the pepper grinder to make a strawberry-infused sugar.
Or add chopped dried mint leaves to the sugar and send it through the grinder for mint-infused sugar. Let your creativity soar, and you might just discover a fun new flavor!
Find this strawberry sugar recipe here.
This flavorful spice is made from the dried-out berries of an allspice tree. Similar to the size of peppercorns, these dried berries can be put in your pepper grinder and ground into a fine powder.
While it is only one spice, allspice is reminiscent of cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and nutmeg.
This versatile spice can be used in many desserts but can also be used in main dishes and even cider and mulled wine.
You can use the dried berries whole in some recipes, but generally, you will use ground allspice in pies, desserts, and as a seasoning for meats, soups, and stews.
If you've never heard of saffron, you're in for a treat. This rare spice is bright red and is usually quite expensive. You won't want to use this spice in your everyday cooking.
Saffron threads are dried from the stigmas of a flower called Crocus sativus. The taste of saffron can be described as spicy, earthy, and even fruity. A little saffron goes a long way.
The delicate threads will need to be ground on the fine setting of your pepper grinder. Saffron threads are very small and may take some time grinding in your pepper mill.
Ensure the saffron is not falling out of the bottom of your grinder and that it stays in the body of your grinder while grinding.
You will want to use every last bit of saffron you've ground, so gently blow the bits of remaining saffron from inside your grinder.
Can I Grind Salt In My Pepper Grinder?
In general, you should not grind salt in your pepper grinder, especially if it is stainless steel. Salt can corrode the metal and cause it to rust.
If you have a ceramic pepper mill or grinder, it can be used to grind salt if need be. Ceramic is naturally oxidized and will not erode or rust from the salt. However, we recommend using a specified salt mill for grinding salt.
Should I Wash My Pepper Grinder?
If you use your pepper grinder to grind other spices, you should always wash it when changing spices.
You don't want residual spice left over from the previous use to mix with your current spice. You may get an unwanted flavor.
Stainless steel grinders can easily be washed whenever you feel they are dirty. Wooden spice grinders, if washed too often, can break down more quickly and may wear out faster.
To Wrap It Up
While your pepper grinder is made for peppercorns, it can be much more versatile than you might think.
Grinding other herbs and spices like allspice for pumpkin pie or oregano for your favorite pizza sauce can be done in your pepper grinder.
Your recipes will have much more flavor because you used freshly ground spices instead of those sitting on the grocery store shelf. Who knew pepper grinders could be the secret to adding more flavor to your food?
Follow these links to learn more about pepper: