You Need This $30 Spice Tool Even if You Only Use It for Pepper

published Apr 12, 2023
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

As someone who cooks a lot at home, I’m constantly grinding fresh pepper. For cacio e pepe, salad dressings, roasted vegetables — you name it, I’m peppering it. But the pepper grinder I’ve had for some years drives me up the (kitchen) wall. It’s a beautifully crafted, crank-handled wooden mill, and it looks darn good sitting out on the table or nestled into my fridge rack

However, I often find that it’s not super user-friendly. The handle on the crank and the top knob get loose and require frequent tightening, and it’s hard to tell how many peppercorns are left in the mill because it’s made of solid wood. Not to mention, it’s extremely fiddly and precarious to even get the peppercorns into the mill when it’s time for a refill, often resulting in a hunt for ones that rolled away in the process and are likely to be eaten by my dog. Although I absolutely love the look of this pepper mill, I had to try something more practical, and I’m so glad I did. 

What’s So Great About the Dreamfarm Ortwo Lite One-Handed Pepper Mill?

Unlike traditional pepper grinders that require the use of two hands, the cleverly named Ortwo Lite from Dreamfarm is a spice mill that you can use with one or two hands. It’s the lighter-weight plastic version of the original Ortwo mill, and the concept is just as simple: Use it one-handed for ease and convenience, or use both hands to quickly (and satisfyingly) grind a ton of pepper at once. 

Using two hands makes peppering a big pot of sauce just about the simplest task in the world, but the one-handed method has its own major upsides. For one (sorry, had to!), if you’re handling raw meat or something messy, sticky, or wet (you know, everything that comes with making a meal), you can still crack fresh pepper with your free hand. And two, if you have a limited range of mobility, you’re not stuck with a grinder that requires two hands to operate, essentially rendering it useless.

The Ortwo Lite comes with two spice jars and one lid, which I’ve found to be extremely convenient to keep a jar full of peppercorns ready to rock when the other one runs out. Because the jars are clear, I can also see how much is left in each and when I need to add peppercorns to my shopping list, unlike my old pepper mill that wasn’t transparent. I think my favorite thing about this pepper mill is how comfortable it is to hold even with just one hand when the other is stirring away at a pan, as well as the easy and satisfying crunch sound it makes when cracking fresh pepper.

Credit: Caroline Mullen

Oh! And the Ortwo Lite is not reserved for just pepper, either. You can use it to grind salts, spices, or seeds, too. So if a recipe you’re making for dinner requires garam masala and you don’t have the spice mix, but you have the individual whole spices, you could grind them all together in this mill, then store the mix in the jar for the next time you need it. 

My one gripe (and I’ll admit it’s a silly one) with this pepper mill is that it doesn’t fit as easily into the magnetic fridge rack that holds my salts, pepper, oils, and such. The good news, though, is that it easily stands up on the counter or a shelf, either on the side or with the handles pointing up. When I store it with the handles pointing up, I can easily grab them with my free, clean hand and then crack some pepper in one fell swoop — all while my other hand is trying to keep my dog from sniffing out peppercorns that’d fallen from refilling my old grinder. 

Buy: Dreamfarm Ortwo Lite One-Handed Pepper Mill, $29.95