Bonnie: What a difference a few grindings make!

Seriously. Freshly ground pepper provides so much more of an intense, bold flavor punch to food than does the preground regular. Same with freshly ground sea salt. To me, it’s like the fresh-taste contrast between freshly squeezed vs. pasteurized OJ, freshly squeezed lemon juice vs. the bottled kind and so on….

I use freshly ground in my cooking, at the table and always ask for a few grindings at restaurants. For anyone who enjoys food, I recommend that you do, too. These black pepper and sea salt grinders are easily portable to take to picnics, potlucks, outdoor concerts or boat rides (although it’s hard to think of the latter two during this frigid New England winter). And they’re great to take on vacation when you’re renting a place with a kitchen. Yes, some of us actually cook when on vacation… I remember toting them and some other easily packable food to a villa I rented in Akumal, Mexico to celebrate a major b-day with some of my friends.

I do have many salt and pepper mills that I bring to the kitchen counter or table or into the dining room. But these grinders sit by my stove so I have freshly ground S&P to use when I’m tasting my food and seasoning it “to taste” before serving.

Bryan: Properly seasoning your food is an art. You will notice that many recipes call for you to “salt and pepper to taste.” What does that mean, I always thought? To taste? To taste what? Well the answer is, to taste good. Bringing ingredients together to create a dish is great, but if you forget to salt, or even worse, over salt… well then you’ve either created a bland disaster or a gag-inducing monstrosity. And let me tell you, neither will be a success at your next dinner party.

Here is a hint. Always taste your food; taste as you cook, taste before you serve, and always season accordingly as you go. Get a second opinion. Stick out a spoon and say “Taste this. What does it need?” Though the occasional wisecracker might say “flavor,” the standard answer will inevitably be “salt” or “pepper.” So keep these essentials right next to your stove, and be ready to use them. Everything needs salt and pepper! Heck, even ice cream uses salt and pepper. Okay, not really pepper, but you get my point.

So, the first rule of cooking is to season properly. What is the first rule of seasoning? Use fresh herbs and spices. Fresh herbs are better than dried herbs and freshly ground dried spices are better than preground dried spices. Most people do not keep a mortar and pestle around the kitchen, so what are you to do? Well, there are spice grinders. And what could be easier than buying them preloaded and ready to go? McCormick has been making them for years, and they have been an unsung hero in my kitchen for as long. So, today I get to sing their praises. Pick one up for the same price as you’d pay for a normal pepper shaker, but get a much more potent pop of pepper in your next meal. Freshly ground; it’s the only way to go.

Grinder varieties include: Black Peppercorn, Peppercorn Medley, Garlic Pepper Seasoning, Sea Salt, Garlic Sea Salt, Italian Herb Seasoning, Steakhouse Seasoning, Cinnamon and Cinnamon Sugar

Eric: How do you explain the obvious? It’s always been a trial for me to do so, having always being under the impression that what is of value and wisdom to one man can seem nonsense to another. McCormick salt and pepper grinders are the obvious, and I implore you to heed our advice in utilizing them in your kitchen.

Sure, when it comes to salt, I have my container of fine kosher salt for seasoning boiling water, and I even have a bag of French gray sea salt for adding that extra “boost” to a flavor-impaired soup; however neither of those compare to the ease, versatility (and affordability) of having a salt grinder on hand.

Now available in the Bite of the Best shop.