If you are the Jedi Knight of your kitchen, MANNKITCHEN’s pepper cannon can act as your trusty lightsaber.
Cue action-adventure/sci-fi soundtrack.
When you open the box for the first time, you’ll unleash a sleek tool ready to help you on your quest to obtain the best seasoning.
And the pile of peppercorns will stand in as an army of stormtroopers to crack and defeat with ease with only a few short, swift movements.
What makes the MANNKITCHEN Pepper Cannon so special, other than its uncanny similarity to what I think a lightsaber might look and feel like in real life?
The MANNKITCHEN Pepper Cannon is lightyears beyond the disposable grinders you can pick up in the spice section of your grocery store.
This might be the best choice for you to buy, especially if you’re prepared to pay the creds required for a tool that has superior quality compared to what you’ll find on your weekly shopping trip to the supermarket.
In this review, I’ll go over all the details you should know. You’ll learn about its main features, the overall design, how it operates, and much more.
Practice your best lightsaber sound effects as you continue reading.
MANNKITCHEN Pepper Cannon Review
The MANNKITCHEN Pepper Cannon may be exactly what you’re looking for if you’re trying to find an efficient pepper grinder to buy for your home.
Is your curiosity piqued? Read on to get all the info!
Main Features and Specs
MANNKITCHEN is a company based in the United States that sells essential cooking tools, utensils, peppercorns for grinding, and cooking attire.
MANNKITCHEN Pepper Cannon, available on Amazon
The company emphasizes that you’ll get 10 times the output from their Cannon as you would from other top-rated grinders currently on the market, based on company testing.
It has a height of 7.25 inches, a width of 2 inches at the top, and a width of 2.2 inches at the base. It weighs 1.07 pounds.
This grinder has a maximum peppercorn capacity of 1/2 cup in the storage area of the body, and a capacity of 1/3 cup in the removable base cup to hold the ground pepper.
The main parts of the Cannon – the top, body, and bottom cup – are made from a nonreactive, aerospace-grade aluminum with an anodized black finish. Currently, this is the only color option available.
The conical burrs are made of hardened, high-carbon stainless steel, and the main drive shaft is made of 304 stainless steel.
The Design: Breaking Down Its Parts
There are three main parts of the Cannon that can be separated from each other: the quick-release top, the main body, and the pepper cup. Let’s see what these have in store.
The quick-release top is the cap that fits on top of the Pepper Cannon’s body.
This is the section that you crank in order to grind the peppercorns. It also doubles as the cap that covers and protects the peppercorns inside the body of the grinder.
Its ergonomic design features well-spaced indentations for your fingers to provide traction when cranking.
There is a small push button located in the center at the top. In order to remove the entire top, simultaneously press the button with one finger and lift the top.
To place it back on the body, all you need to do is press the top down – you do not need to press the push button again.
The main body contains the bearings, drive shaft, and burrs located in the very center. Surrounding the main drive shaft is the storage area, which can hold up to 1/2 cup of peppercorns.
Because the main stainless steel drive shaft is supported by dual bearings, the Cannon’s burrs stay secure in whichever grind setting you’ve selected, resulting in consistent grinds with reduced friction and smoother rotations.
The grind adjuster is also part of the main body, located on the bottom. Dual spring plungers are a welcome feature that help keep your selected grind setting in place.
This piece is what allows you to adjust the grind setting – by turning a small metal knob, you can tweak the setting from fine to coarse.
But more on that later!
Imagine this culinary scenario: you’re in the middle of preparing raw steak, chicken breasts, pork chops, or fish fillets. When it’s time to season with freshly cracked pepper, what do you do?
Do you pause midway through seasoning to wash your hands, flip the pieces over, wash your hands again, and then season the other side?
Want a better way?
Consider the concept of mise en place – setting in place all that you need before you start your prep work. With this smart action, all of your seasonings are right at your fingertips, measured and ready to go, without ever missing a beat.
The Pepper Cannon has a thoughtfully constructed removable base cup that will help you with the prep and seasoning process.
When attached to the body of the grinder, the base cup acts as a storage area, catching all of the ground peppercorns produced with each crank.
Keep the base cup attached to the body when you want to grind your pepper as you’re measuring out ingredients for a recipe. When you have ground enough, remove the base cup and set it next to the rest of your measured ingredients.
You won’t have to wash your hands midway through seasoning so both are clean and free to grind when you need to flip the piece of meat over to season the other side!
Just rotate the cup slightly away from the base of the Cannon in order to remove it, and back again to replace it.
A Wide Grind Range
If you often find yourself unimpressed and disappointed overall by the limited range of grind sizes available on other mills, the MANNKITCHEN Pepper Cannon will blow you away.
One of the defining features of the Cannon is its impressive grind range – you can adjust between 8 and 60 mesh size!
We explain mesh size in more detail in our review of the top salt and pepper mills. To provide a brief summary, a lower mesh number indicates a larger peppercorn fragment size, while a higher mesh number indicates a smaller size.
Most mills you can buy are limited in how finely the peppercorns can be broken down – typically, the mesh size reaches into the 30s for the finest grind.
Can you imagine the infinite seasoning possibilities you’ll have with the Cannon’s broad mesh range?
Sprinkle big cracked pieces as the perfect final touch on your appetizers, entrees, or even dessert, with all the spicy zing and pops of texture you could hope for with a larger grind.
Want a taste factor that’s demure and sultry? Looking to seamlessly blend your spices and flavors? Grind your peppercorns to powdery perfection with a finer setting.
Whatever you decide to do, the best part is that you have so many options available to you, all in one grinder.
Don’t rush to the kitchen just yet!
Before you run off with your spices and grinder to season your steak, I need you to take a seat first.
You still have some homework to do.
The biggest and most important piece of advice I can offer you is to read the instruction manual first, before you get to cracking. This is included with your purchase.
I’ll provide a brief overview here of how to operate the grinder, but you should review the information provided in the manual when you’re ready to operate this grinder in your own kitchen.
Many other grinder models are fairly self-explanatory in their use – only a handful of clearly labeled grind settings? Easy.
The MANNKITCHEN Pepper Cannon, however, has its initial complications. And these can become extra confusing if you rush into cranking that grinder without reviewing exactly how to operate it.
So there’s a bit of a learning curve here – but we’ll get you up to speed!
How to Fill
First of all, this grinder is not prefilled with peppercorns – you’ll have to do that yourself before adding zingy goodness to foods, to your heart’s desire.
No complaints here! An empty grinder guarantees that you as the buyer are given sole responsibility for the variety and level of freshness of the peppercorns you want to use for that first batch before refilling time arrives.
To fill, you’ll first press the push button on the quick-release top to lift the cap off the Cannon.
Pour no more than 1/2 cup of peppercorns into the body of the Cannon. Make this step swift and clean by using a small funnel.
When it’s full, press the cap back down onto the body. It will click into place.
How to Adjust
After filling, this is the time to change the grind setting.
Unlike other grinder models that have clearly labeled markings for each setting, the MANNKITCHEN Pepper Cannon only features two marked settings: “fine” and “coarse.”
You can turn the adjuster on the bottom clockwise or counterclockwise within that wide range between fine and coarse. The adjuster will click in place with each turn.
I counted about 30 clicks within this range.
Again, there are no labeled markings for each adjustment, only arrows pointing towards the fine setting and the coarse setting so you know which way to turn the adjuster.
This simple form of labeling might not be for everyone, especially when you want to know exactly what coarseness level you’re using. You’re left to determine roughly what the coarseness size will be, with no clear indication of what the mesh size is compared to the adjustment level.
With this level of vagary, it is important to know that a clockwise turn will yield a finer grind with each proceeding click, while a counterclockwise turn will yield a coarser grind with each proceeding click.
To eliminate confusion and mayhem when you first operate the Cannon, turn the adjuster all the way clockwise until it stops and cannot be turned any further.
At this setting (the instruction manual refers to it as “setting ZERO,” though this phrase won’t be labeled on the Cannon), the burrs are actually in contact with one another, and no ground pepper will come out.
The company warns that you should not crank the Cannon when the burrs are in contact in order to prevent them from scraping against each other. Repeat scraping will lead to eventual damage to the burrs.
Once you have turned the adjuster to the finest setting, you now have a very clear starting point for your next adjustment.
It can only be adjusted counterclockwise, and therefore coarser, from this beginning setting.
The company advises turning the adjuster counterclockwise at least 6 clicks from setting ZERO for the finest setting you should use in “normal operation.”
But if you prefer very finely ground seasonings that will blend seamlessly in your recipes with minimal texture, you’ll find that clicks 1 to 5 are powdery, delicate, and dreamy.
How to Crank
Once you have chosen your grind setting, it’s time to get cranking!
This is the easy part, nothing new here, no crankiness with the cranking: just hold the body of the grinder upright in one hand as your other hand turns the quick-release top.
Each crank will release the ground peppercorns.
Because you’re getting to know your new grinder, you should test a few rounds over a large plate before you start seasoning.
It’s smart to visualize the incredibly wide (and vague!) range of coarseness levels the Pepper Cannon offers you. After a couple tester grinds, you may want to readjust the coarseness level.
Because the tension of the burrs gradually tightens as you go from coarse to fine, this will also affect the ground pepper output. The output will increase as the grind is adjusted to the coarser settings, and will decrease as the grind is adjusted to the finer settings.
Keep in mind that you’ll also need to employ a little more muscle power to crank at the finer settings, as the burrs push against the peppercorns.
But even at the finer settings, it is still an easy process, and by no means difficult to twist.
A Jedi’s strength flows from the Force. Use your power wisely.
You can choose to collect the grinds in the base cup when it is still attached to the Cannon, or you can remove the cup and grind directly onto your food.
Best Care and Cleaning Practices
Don’t you dare put this in your dishwasher.
The bearings located in the interior need to be kept dry, or else they may rust and corrode.
To clean the exterior, simply wipe it with a warm, damp cloth or paper towel. After wiping with the damp cloth, you should then immediately wipe it with a dry cloth or paper towel.
To clean the interior of the Cannon, use a dry bristle brush of an appropriate size.
Users are able to disassemble the interior of the Cannon for a more thorough cleaning – just be cautious, so you don’t lose any of the parts!
Since I have not disassembled this yet in testing at the time of this writing, I will not be able to provide any expert advice on this process. I’m not sure of the level of difficulty involved for both removing the pieces and putting them all back together. We’ll be sure to add our input on this process at a later date.
However, there are video tutorials you can watch on the company website, if you want to learn more.
The Cannon should be stored in a cool and dry place whenever it’s filled, and should not be stored or used too close to a heat source. Avoid storing it next to or on top of your stove.
This Cannon is not designed for use with salt – the moisture from the salt can corrode the stainless steel burrs and shaft. If you’re looking for a Salt Cannon, you’re in luck – MANNKITCHEN has one of these available as well.
The Pepper Cannon comes with a 5-year warranty against defects in materials and craftsmanship.
You can send an email to the warranty department with an image and a description of the issue for assistance.
Can You Count on the Cannon?
As Yoda once advised, “To be Jedi is to face the truth, and choose.” This specialty kitchen tool will not be for everyone.
Anyone disinclined to cough up a hefty sum of moolah for a pepper grinder may take a pass, and not everyone demands a variety of coarseness levels. A mid-range mesh might be all you need to keep you satisfied with your seasonings.
This model is ideal for the home cooks out there who are seriously striving to update their current grinder with a stellar option that goes beyond just being a unique statement piece – one that is also made of premium materials, offers efficiency with great performance value, and that will have long-lasting durability.
These are the people, the Jedi continuing their lifelong journey for culinary fun and creativity, who can count on the MANNKITCHEN Pepper Cannon to give them exactly what they want. And it makes a wonderful gift as well!
If you’re interested, you can find the Pepper Cannon available for purchase on Amazon and on the MANNKITCHEN website. Take a look for yourself, read more reviews, and start dreaming about how beautifully seasoned your food can be in just a few cranks!
Even if you think you’re running out of space in your kitchen for another gadget, there’s always room for one more, right? A lack of space will never stop us from shopping and building our arsenal of useful tools! Join us on our endless hunt for the best kitchenware, and read even more reviews from us, starting with these:
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos via MANNKITCHEN and Amazon. Sample product provided by the manufacturer.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is a full-time cheesemonger and specialty foods buyer living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.