Pepper and Salt Mill Offers
30 OCT 2021
Early Wednesday morning found Jeanne and I on the M25, headed for Cobham, as her car was in for an MOT and she'd forgotten, when booking it, that she was actually working that day (it's usually her day off). I had a busy morning so barely stopped when we got there, but when I did the return trip that evening I took the opportunity to check on the stuff for this week's email, which had started out as a list of the Christmas offers from DKB. But as I'm a bit of a salt and pepper mill enthusiast (which DKB do in spades) and yes I know it's a bit sad, but someone has to be, (anyway how many mills have you bought over the years that only last 5 minutes?) the focus of this email partially changed, as if it had a mind all of its own.
Cole and Mason
I always have to look up how to spell Diethelm Keller Brands (DKB) as we usually abbreviate it, but some years ago this Swiss outfit bought the British brand Cole and Mason, who are probably best known for producing Salt and Pepper mills. Over the years these have varied widely in their quality, but for the last ten or fifteen years (maybe longer) they have upped their game considerably, so much so that their Gourmet Precision movement is now one of the best on the market (this is the mechanism they use on their top end mills). Interestingly, they use the traditional Carbon Steel for Pepper and Ceramic for Salt, believing this gives the best solution for grinding these two very different materials, an approach that I am largely at one with. The Gourmet Precision mechanisms are also easily adjustable, courtesy of an adjustment ring that changes the gap between the two grinding surfaces, so allowing you get anything from very fine to quite coarse results. Be aware though to never put salt in the pepper mill movement. It will rust it up solid!
The other mechanism we sell of theirs is a cheaper one, still Carbon Steel for Pepper and Ceramic for Salt but doesn't have the easy adjustment (making it cheaper to produce) but the quality of grind is the same and to adjust you simply loosen or tighten the knob on the top. And this rather cruder system for adjusting the grind, is pretty standard practice across all the other salt and pepper mill brands that we do as well.
They have life time guarantees on all their mills and their after sales service we've always found pretty good. You will see below a number of their Christmas offers which are genuine savings, albeit for the most part, you have to buy a pair of mills.
Le Creuset mills
So as I was thinking about mills I then allowed myself to be distracted away from DKB to one of our best selling mills which is in fact from Le Cresuet, oddly enough. They arguably compromise their construction by using ceramic on their mills for salt and for pepper. This means that, unlike the C&M, they are interchangeable (Salt or Pepper) without fear of problems of corrosion, because obviously ceramic doesn't corrode. The downside is that your peppercorns are not torn in quite the same way as the C&M mech, that does appear to give an edge to the flavour.
That said, we sell them by the bucket load, partly because of the colour range, partly the Le Creuset brand and partly because they do a very acceptable job. Adjustment is via the knob on the top. They come in over a dozen colours and at present there's an offer Buy two for £40 (usually £66 per pair)
This is the daddy of the mill world. My parents had a little 4"(10cm) mill all my childhood and I think my brother may still have it. Their mechanisms are unsurpassed in quality and durability. The beech range we do from them also has an easy adjustment feature.
Their salt mills whilst still adjustable, take a slightly different route in using stainless steel for the mechanism to avoid the corrosion problem.
Superb products. Prices from £32.00.
Tips and a final thought or two
Here are a few general thoughts I have on mills
* The movement is everything when it comes to length of service. The body is completely immaterial as to how it will work.
* Avoid mills that have Nylon movements for Salt. They do NOT last.
* To adjust any mill from "coarse" to "fine' turn the mill upside down and twist it to clear the coarse pieces from the mech. Then adjust to fine.
* Do Not grind a mill over a steaming saucepan! It will gradually get bunged up and if a carbon steel pepper movement is involved, it will also rust as well. Instead grind into the palm of your hand and all will be well with the world.
* ALL the mills we sell, work and will continue to work well (Monday morning and Friday afternoon models aside!) for many many years.
Our mills are not the cheapest around, but I can vouch for all the mechanisms that we do. We have tried them all, and you are very unlikely to have problems with any of them.
Pestle and Mortar
One last thing. I started by saying that this was meant to be about the DKB offers. Well as you can see that didn't work out entirely, but there is one item that I did want to mention because it is absurdly good value, and that is the Jamie Oliver Pestle and Mortar. Its RRP is about double our offer price and in any case a dirty great granite Pestle and Mortar for £14.99 just has to be great value, doesn't it?
I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend
PS A week or two ago Diana (a customer) asked me about my piece on Introvert leadership after she went looking for it and couldn't find it. Well it turns out that most of my old emails got inadvertently removed when we did the website redesign a few weeks ago. We've now restored them to their rightful place and in fact when I re read it just now I was really quite impressed how well this piece came across.
So I've put a link to it here.
Hope you enjoy it if you've not read it before.