William Bounds Robo Steel Pepper Mill
The William Bounds Robo Steel Pepper Mill may seem like an ostentatious kitchen gadget but I have come to enjoy working with it and find it handy to only use one hand to dispense my pepper while cooking.
Ease of Use/Performance: 4.5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5
I saw the Robo Steel pepper mill in a list of products and thought what the heck, why not review a battery operated pepper mill. After all I have reviewed and come to like other gadgets that seemed so out of place in my kitchen or around my home why not one more.
It seems such a small thing when you have for your entire life done something the same way but suddenly someone comes along and says here, this simple device will change the way you do things. It has happened in all sorts of ways in all sorts of industries; one comes to mind as my neighbor has his roof shingled.
The roofer for years has used both a flat bladed shovel and a pitch fork to remove those old shingles but they also had to get on hands and knees to pry out the roofing nails with a hammer. Along comes some smart guy who says why not cut notches in a short tough shovel and use that to pry up and remove both the shingles and the nails in one operation.
That guy is probably sitting in a comfy lawn chair in Florida drinking mojitos and laughing at the fate a simple idea gave him. The same comes to my mind when I think of things like the battery operated hand soap dispenser, which is still running strong, or the battery operated pepper mill.
Think of a common cooking experience, standing over the stove adding those final ingredients to a recipe and stirring the contents of a pot or pan to get things mixed in. You reach over after setting down your spoon or spatula and grab the salt and pepper one at a time to add that final bit of spice.
But you have to put down that spoon or spatula when adding fresh ground pepper, the only real way to use pepper, because that pepper mill requires two hands. Salt is a mere flip of the wrist away but pepper mills have to be operated by turning the one part to enable the grinding mechanism to grind down the pepper corns inside.
The Robo Steel Pepper Mill removes that step of requiring two hands for adding spices as well as giving you the light to see what you’re doing regardless of hood lights and kitchen lighting. Out on the grill, at the campfire or wherever your cooking the Robo Steel Pepper Mill has both the single hand operation to grind pepper directly into your cooking container as well as a light to show you how much your adding.
Simply tilt the ceramic grinder toward your cooking pot or dish and the Robo Steel will deliver the pepper or even coarse salt right to your recipe. The tilt mechanism does not work unless the grinder end is pointed below horizontal so there is no mess and your spice goes where you want it to.
The Robo Steel Pepper Mill has a two part ceramic grinding stone that grinds the pepper without wear and tear on the grind mechanism and is fully adjustable. Simply turning the front knob where the pepper comes out adjusts the grind from course to fine for easy adjustments.
The light is a single LED bulb under the grind area to help light your way to adding the correct amount of spice to your recipe. This is yet another thing I thought, too geeky for my taste, but I truly have come to enjoy being able to see a bit better when adding the pepper.
The light does not have enough brilliance to brighten the whole of a 12 inch sauté pan or comparable pot but it does give you enough light to see the pepper as it hits the recipe. The light is helpful especially if you’re away from light in the evening like outdoor grilling or fire side cooking so the Robo Steel Pepper Mill is handy away from home.
The Robo Steel Pepper Mill has a body made from brushed stainless steel and clear plastic with the black plastic pieces around the grinding mechanism. The clear part of the pepper mill allows you to see how much pepper is in the pepper mill while the stainless steel body makes an attractive and sturdy device.
The batteries are in the bottom of the pepper mill under a screw on lid and are common AAA sized for easy replacement but battery life is hard to gauge due to the short uses. I have been using the Robo Steel a lot and have gone through the first set of alkaline batteries but the set of rechargeable batteries I replaced them with are still going strong.
The battery life will depend on use so I am not worried about that but the price may be a consideration for some at $60 for the William Bounds product. That is a lot to pay for the convenience of a tilt operated pepper mill but the convenience is a great feature when cooking.
When cooking things like soups and stews, steaks or chops it is so nice to simply grab the mill and tilt to add pepper just like I have always done for salt when cooking. I have come to love this handy kitchen gadget and can highly recommend the Williams Bound Robo Steel Pepper Mill even though the cost may have you wincing a bit, think birthday or Christmas present.