Dana's Pepper Mill: The OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder

I've owned my OXO pepper grinder for about a year now and I like it well enough. It does a decent job of grinding pepper and has many convenient design features that make it a good, practical choice. It's solid and dependable but, truth be told, its nothing to get excited about. If the OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder were a location, it would be the suburbs. If it were a movie star, it would be Anne Hathaway. If it were a car, it would be a Prius.

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The OXO grinds: on the left is the fine grind and on the right, the coarse.
I've owned several pepper mills over the years and have yet to be completely satisfied. The OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder is my most recent choice and a good one at that. I have very little to complain about with the OXO.

The strong points:
• Easy to fill.
• Easy to select the grind of which there are five choices.
• The clear acrylic pepper storage area lets you know when you're running low.
• Sits with the blade side up, so pepper doesn't fall out.
• Good price point.

My quibbles are minor:
• The fine grind could be a little finer and the coarse could be a little coarser.
• I don't see much difference between the three grades of medium grind. OXO could have stayed with just fine - medium - coarse, instead of the five offered.

So why don't I love it?
This a very personal preference, but I'm not crazy about how it looks. Some people have described it as sleek and modern but it looks clunky to me. I feel the same way about stainless steel appliances, which the OXO kind of reminds me of, so there you go.

This mill performs well and has enough going for it that I'm fine with having it in the kitchen. But it doesn't make me smile when I reach for it, it doesn't somehow fit my life. Sigh. I know I'm asking too much of a mere pepper mill but this is a tool I use everyday, sometimes several times a day. This is something I grab and put on my dining room table when I have friends over for dinner. I suspect the OXO won't be my last pepper mill. My search continues.

Find it: OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder, $17.38 at Amazon

Related: Help Me Find Giada de Laurentiis' Peppermill!

(Image: Amazon)

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Dana Velden is a freelance food writer. She lives, eats, plays, and gets lost in Oakland, California where she is in the throes of raising her first tomato plant.