How to refill a Chef’n pepper grinder

Our friend Eric blew through town and thankfully stayed at our house.  Eric’s arrival is always a good excuse to cook, and Sarah shamed me by making a delicious duck breast with a broccoli and cauliflower bacon stuffing while Eric and I dug into a couple bottles of wine.  “No, none for you girl, you’re pregnant.”  (We’re having a baby boy, if you hadn’t yet heard.)

Sarah, good sport that she is, had the half glass of wine our doctor will allow her and made us one of the most amazing duck breasts we’ve ever tasted.  While Eric and I battled at backgammon, Sarah handed us the szechuan peppercorns and the pepper grinder and said, “Refill”.

Like the apes in Kubrick’s film “2001”, we were utterly stymied.  No clear opening existed, the directions to the thing were long tossed, and the only printing on it was a sticker that said “Made in China”.  Finally we noticed the word “Chef’n” printed in subtle type on the side of the handle.  I Googled “Chef’n Pepper Grinder” and finally arrived on the Amazon product page for a similar grinder.  In the comments on the page about the product were legions of people that were also having trouble figuring out how to refill it.  It was still a mystery to us, but with time and the clues from that page we figured it out.


The two videos above should be able to help you.  You can also check the Chef’n site, where this is their #1 FAQ:

PepperBall® or Salt Ball™
On the side of the ball you will
see a rectangular window with a sliding door. Simply slide the door
down (toward the bottom of the ball). There may be clear tape holding
the door shut; this is placed there so the pepper doesn’t fall out
during shipment. Just peel it off and fill away!

Dual Grinder™
On the sides of the grinder
you’ll see small windows, located just below the handles, which open
outward. There are small indentations on each side of the doors that
allow you to get a good grip and pop them outward. Once open, simply
fill with course salt or peppercorns. One thing to keep in mind is that
the salt and pepper cannot be swapped. The grinding mechanisms are
specialized, so the pepper must go in the pepper side and the salt must
go in the salt side.

Bistro Grinders/Set
To refill these is
so simple. Just pop off top caps and fill with peppercorns or coarse
sea salts! When done, replace caps and enjoy! Please note, do not use
granualted salt in the Salt grinder. Also, please be sure to fill the
Salt Grinder with Salt and the Pepper Grinder with Pepper. These
grinders are not interchangeable as they have different grind systems.

Bistro Grind Dual Grinder
To refill,
turn ribbed collar, that has arrow markings, 90 degrees and pull entire
top piece up to fill. When done filling, replace handle and twist until
arrow markings snap back in place. The arrow markings should point to
black dots on the body of the grinder when locked.

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