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Stainless Steel Electronic Salt/Pepper Mill
This was a Christmas present and such a handy gift too. I did go looking on the site and discovered that at this time they are £14.99 but if you buy one you get a second free so you can either keep both and use one for sal and the other for pepper as we do or you can give one away as a gift and keep the other yourself. This was on the Coopers of Stortford website
http://www.coopersofstortford.co.uk if you are interested.
The two mills we have are identical until you fill them, they are both stainless steel except for the glass/plastic see through part where you can see the contents. There is also a black plastic cover on the bottom which stops the salt or pepper bits dropping out o the table or kitchen side. I keep forgetting to take this off and press the button to make it grind and wonder why nothing is coming out!
They both use four AA batteries which were included in our set but it was a gift pack so I'm not sure if they usually come with the battery included. I have checked on the web site and they do not come with the batteries so that is an extra expense on top of the purchase price. I think four batteries is quite a lot for such a small gadget but they seem to have lasted. We put ours in at Christmas and so far have not had to replace them. I would say we use them most days so that is a pretty fair use so far. However it is something to consider and it might be worthwhile investing in rechargeable ones as they can always be used in other things around the house.
I find the fact that you can use these one handed is a great boon when cooking as i can stir and add salt or pepper at the same time. I can use one hand to do something slightly messy like adding ingredients to a sandwich and the un fooded hand can add the salt and pepper. I always used to struggle when making smoked salmon sandwiches as mu hands would be covered in fish smell and I needed both hands to operate the old pepper mill so was forever washing my hands mid preparation. This makes it so much easier.
We were quite thrilled with this present and have found them really handy but they are not without their faults.
The salt one decided one day to grind all by itself on the kitchen side. My husband had to take it to pieces to stop it. It did keep doing it for a while secretly when we were mot there so that you had to be really careful when taking off the black plastic catcher thing as sometimes it was full of salt and my food would get a good salting! Somehow the button on the top had decided that it didn't need to be pressed in order to grind. It seems to be behaving now as we haven't had the problem again.
Considering the price you wouldn't expect it to go wrong so quickly and had I been by myself it would have been cast out as I really don't know how to fix things like that. I can take them apart but putting them back together is more tricky and you certainly should not have to after three months of use.
The motorised grinding mechanism is apparently ceramic and so is harder and superior to that of an ordinary metal mill grinder . I have to say that I haven't noticed it producing much finer quality salt or pepper than our old ones but this is how they are advertised . They say you can adjust the grinding to give coarse or fine grinding but we haven't found where you do that and we are a bit loathe to fiddle with anything too much after the phantom grinding of the salt one a month or so ago.
If you really like these then it is possible to buy more and use them for other spices such as coriander and cardomon. They also say the are good for grinding herbs but for the life of me I can't see which ones would require grinding and fresh ones would go mouldy inside it so not sure what they mean by that claim.
The grinders also have a built in light at the bottom near the grinder but again I think that is a waste of time and battery use as why would you need a light there. You are unlikely to be cooking or eating in the dark so as far as I am concerned that is just silly and unnecessary.
They are a nice looking gadget that I am happy to have sitting on my kitchen side. They are stainless steel so they match my other things like kettle, bread bin etc so they fit well into my kitchen, i would also be quite happy to have them on my table with guests as the look quite smart and as long as they behaved and don't grind when not wanted then they will continue to join us on the table whenever we eat with or without guests. They are a brushed stainless steel finish with a small logo at the bottom of each but it is quite subtle so I will allow it. Each mill stands about 9 inches high so they are quite a decent size, tall but not overly big either.
So in short these are great little gadgets, a novelty but also useful. They are not really the sort of thing i would go out and buy myself as i was quite happy with my other mills which are manually operated by twisting. They are a nice gift item and I might well buy them as a gift for someone else. I was disappointed that the salt one decided to go it alone but it seems to be okay again now. You don have to remember that you need eight AA batteries to use in the two mills which represents a big expense if you buy rechargeable ones but it is still quite an expense if you buy decent ones that last longer than five minutes so that is something to consider too. They do not work at all without batteries. You can't override and twist them so once the batteries have died then you do not have a grinder until they are replaced.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.