Measuring fresh-ground pepper for a recipe can be tricky. A coffee grinder works, but if you’re like us, you end up grinding up much more than you need when you use one. Here’s a great alternative: Just count the number of grinds a pepper mill requires to produce 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and then mark the number on a piece of tape affixed to the mill.
Working with raw cutlets often leaves your hands greasy and slippery, and when it’s time to season the meat it’s hard not to get the pepper mill dirty. So before you handle the meat, drape a small piece of plastic wrap over the pepper mill. Then it doesn’t matter whether you get the head of the mill dirty or not, because you can just throw away the plastic once you’re done.
Pepper mills, when you set them down on the counter, invariably leave a mess behind. To leave less of a trace, set the mill in a small ceramic dish, like a ramekin. Excess pepper ends up in the dish instead of on your cooking surface, and can even be collected, measured, and used in recipes.
Like these? See more quick tips at Cook's Illustrated.