How do I refill this pepper grinder?
July 15, 2017 8:00 PM   Subscribe

The device: a combination salt shaker and pepper grinder. The salt goes in the top portion. I have not been able to figure out how to access the pepper portion.

You turn the top portion to activate the grinder. The salt is refilled by unscrewing the cover on the top. There is a small rubber spacer (picture 2). There does not seem to be a way to access the pepper chamber from either the top or the bottom.
posted by dilaudid to Technology (15 answers total)
My experience with those is that the whole salt chamber should come off vertically.
posted by vunder at 8:06 PM on July 15 [3 favorites]

Can you unscrew the actual grind plate from the bottom? Possibly the large black bit in the first photo acts as a large thumbscrew. It might be hard to turn or not obviously turntable. But my guess is that there is a way to load peppercorns from the bottom after unscrewing some little piece from the central shaft.
posted by SaltySalticid at 8:07 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]

I'm going with there is a removable (twist-off?) plate on the bottom for the pepper.
posted by Toddles at 8:50 PM on July 15

The black portion seems to be extremely tightly fitted to the clear plastic, and I can't budge it at all. There's also not really any room to fit something to pry it off into. Side view.
posted by dilaudid at 8:58 PM on July 15

If you take the top screw piece off to fill the salt, can you get the salt-holding portion to screw off and fill the pepper that way?
posted by Weeping_angel at 9:12 PM on July 15

Yeah, the way you removed the nut in the second picture... does the whole salt portion not just lift straight off at that point, giving access (perhaps after another gasket) to the lower part?
posted by rokusan at 9:13 PM on July 15

The whole top/salt chamber should lift off, just as it would on a grinder that had no salt chamber and was just a knob.
posted by O9scar at 9:16 PM on July 15

It does not.
posted by dilaudid at 9:16 PM on July 15

If the top does not lift straight off after removing that nut (it may be jammed with salt and hard to move), and the bottom black thing can't be picked out from its edge with a butter knife (ditto, with pepper)... then... this probably requires a hammer.
posted by rokusan at 9:22 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]

Here you can see the connection with the bottom portion that prevents the top from lifting off. You may be right about the hammer.
posted by dilaudid at 9:32 PM on July 15

Before going all Bobby Briggs on it I'd be inclined to soak it in hot water for a while, just in case it's become glued together internally by moisture-affected salt.
posted by flabdablet at 9:36 PM on July 15 [3 favorites]

Here's a question with answers about an identical looking item from How do you refill the pepper grinder please?

Another page for a similar, yet square, acrylic combi grinder is here: Combination Pepper Mill/Salt Shaker Instructions

Both of these say that basically the salt section is just supposed to come off once the top is unscrewed, but someone on the Amazon page says they've enough trouble doing so that they just ended up throwing it away.

Good luck!
posted by glonous keming at 10:27 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]

Having had a similar item, I believe you push the entire rod downward to move the moving part of the pepper grinder down, leaving a gap through which you put fresh peppercorns in. Then you will need to wiggle the rod back up and centralize it, before you put the perforated metal cover on.
posted by jet_silver at 12:29 AM on July 16

Once you unscrew the top nut the whole salt portion should lift straight up, but the shaft can get gummed up with salt. You may be able to lever the pieces apart with a butter knife and then clean the gunked up salt before assembling it again. If not, toss the thing in the trash and buy a better one.

My experience with that style combo is that it only lasts a couple years anyway. I would not recommend soaking it because that will cause the metal parts to rust.
posted by fedward at 2:01 PM on July 16

I have one almost exactly like that. The salt top should screw off and then that chamber should lift off.

After years of use, it didn't. Tried everything and what worked was a looooong soak in water followed by careful exasperated prying and pouring cooking oil down the shaft.

Indeed, salt had gotten down there and caused the problem.

If you get that far, clean it and dry very well. Longer than that, even longer; then fill the pepper portion and coat the threaded part of the stem with vaseline or at least cooking oil prior to assembling and filling the salt portion.

Good luck. I really like mine for handy tabletop use.
posted by mightshould at 2:48 PM on July 16

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