Did you know that all of our hand-made, hand-painted French ceramic grinders are refillable? Part of the appeal of these beautiful kitchen accessories is that you can use them again and again, and keep them a part of your useable décor for years!
Disassembling and putting these grinders back together is not always intuitive! We’re here to help. Follow these step-by-step instructions and make refilling your grinder a cinch!
To start out, here’s an overview of grinder anatomy:
Your grinder is constructed of 7 separate pieces, all labeled in the photo above. Knowing these names will come in useful when taking apart your grinder and reassembling it in the correct order!
*Note: make sure your grinder is empty or almost empty before you begin. If the grinder is not empty, have a container ready in which to pour out the remaining contents.*
To begin, set the grinder on a flat surface. Remove the dowel from the grinder by pushing down on the thick ring and spring and pulling out the dowel horizontally and set aside.
The grinder column now has nothing holding it in place, so it will slide downward.
Remove the thick ring, spring, and thin ring off the grinder column and set aside.
Remove the lid and set aside. It is recommended that you leave the grinder sitting on the flat surface with the grinder column positioned in the location in which it fell.
While holding the grinder column up as high as it will go, fill the clear plastic barrel almost full with fleur de sel (coarse French sea salt), peppercorns, Herbes de Provence, or other herbs and spices you wish to grind. By holding the grinder column in the “up” position, you are preventing the grinder from being open on the bottom and letting the contents spill through the hole underneath.
Place the lid back on top of the clear plastic barrel part of the grinder base.
While still holding the grinder column in the “up” position, place the thin ring over the grinder column and push it down so that it touches the lid.
Next, pick up the entire grinder by holding on to the grinder column.
At this point, you will need to use one hand on the underside of the grinder to hold the grinder column in the “up” position so that it does not slide back down and out of the grinder base.
While holding the grinder column up with one hand on the underside, use the other to place the spring, then the thick ring (with the grooves facing up) on top of the grinder column.
Next, grasp the top of the grinder column and set the grinder back onto the flat surface. Don’t let go of the grinder column yet, or it will fall back down and through to the bottom!
With the other hand, grab the thick ring and push the spring downwards to expose the hole in the grinder column. Pinch the grinder column at the same time with this same hand so that it does not fall. Line up the holes of the grinder column with the edges of the grooves of the thick ring.
With your free hand, insert the dowel horizontally through the holes of the grinder column. This locks everything into place.
Slowly release the spring and thick ring so that it presses against the bottom of the dowel.
Voilà! You’re done! And your grinder is as good as new.
As you can see from the final photos, even a professional like myself will spill some fleur de sel while refilling the grinder, so don’t feel bad if some of the contents escape during the process!
Here’s another helpful grinder tip: never place your grinder on or near a hot surface, such as a toaster oven or stove burner! The plastic barrel will melt.