The Best Way to Grind Lots of Peppercorns for Spice Rubs

One of the essential components for virtually every BBQ rub, marinade, and the majority of other savory recipes is freshly ground black pepper.

But you’ll need a lot of ground pepper when preparing big meat cut for smoking, like a brisket.

Black peppercorns have a significantly more unique flavor when freshly ground than commercially available pre-ground black pepper. Additionally, grinding your own peppercorns instead of purchasing ground pepper allows you to decide how coarse the grains are ground.

Read on if you want to know how to rapidly and cheaply crush peppercorns without buying a specialist grinder.

The easiest way to grind black pepper in bulk

If you already own a coffee burr mill, then you can safely and efficiently use it for grinding peppercorns as well.

Burr grinders have adjustable positions on the abrasive surfaces, so you can adjust the coarseness of the ground pepper as you prefer it.

Depending on what you are preparing, you can grind it into a fine powder and chunky shards or somewhere in between.

Burr grinders are designed to preserve the coffee flavor during grinding. They are perfect for retaining as much of the peppercorn taste as possible during the milling process. They preserve the flavors because they are designed to remain cool during use due to the lower friction produced by blade grinders.

Plus, the excellent quality burr grinders are powered by electric motors. They can be adjustable in speed and power, which will ensure that the peppercorn is ground perfectly without you having to turn a crank or otherwise grind it manually.

A good quality burr grinder like the Cuisinart Supreme, which has 18 different grinding positions, is one of the best ways to grind larger volumes of peppercorns quickly and with minimal effort.

You can purchase this or another burr grinder that you will be using specifically for milling pepper and other spices for rubs and cooking if you don’t want to risk drinking coffee with a kick of pepper in the morning.

You can also use it for making a delicious coffee-based BBQ rub too.

Is using a regular spice grinder a good idea?


Of course, you can use a regular spice grinder or even a mortar and pestle to mill the peppercorn or any other spice rub and mix. But a burr grinder allows for easy adjustment of the granularity and ensures its uniformity and thus is a better option.

As we mentioned earlier, burr grinders are designed to limit the heat and oxidation of the coffee or pepper and thus will keep as much of the flavor as possible during and after the grinding.

At the same time, most spice grinders rely on blades for the grinding, which will chop and slice the pepper or other spices rather than grind them.

So, if you want the best and most consistent results for grinding spices and prepping BBQ rubs or other seasonings, we recommend that you use a burr grinder instead of a regular spice grinder.

Using fresh pepper for spice rubs is a must

Freshly ground peppercorns in a burr grinder will be much more flavorful and aromatic than pre-ground pepper, which you can buy at any store. The reason is that oxidation occurs during and after the grinding, which affects the flavor and makes it weaker over time.

Freshly ground peppercorns will have a punch and taste much more brightly and fruity than pre-ground pepper.

Plus, the texture of the ground peppercorn can be adjusted by you when you are grinding it at home rather than buying it from a store.

Undoubtedly, the pepper’s better and more distinctive flavor will affect the overall taste of your barbecue rub, marinade, and seasoning, since black pepper tends to be one of the essential ingredients used for most recipes for smoking, grilling, and cooking.

You can grind and store black pepper at home and store it for up to a week, and it will retain most of its flavor, aroma, and texture qualities.

Final thoughts

A burr grinder is a top-recommended appliance to purchase for grinding peppercorns, especially when you are using large volumes for BBQ or other food prep.

With a burr grinder, you can select the desired coarseness of the pepper. The taste and the texture will be retained to the maximum level possible, especially when compared to using a mortar and pestle, a spice grinder, or buying pre-ground pepper.

So, if you are serious about your grilling and barbecuing results, we suggest that you invest in a good quality burr grinder that you can use for creating your unique and mouthwatering rubs and spice mixes.

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