It says not to grind over steaming pots on the label of the pepper grinder. Is this so you don't get burned or for some other reason?

  • 1
    steaming POTS or steaming PODS? Is it a hand-held grinder which you hold over a pot to grind the pepper in the pot? Jan 27, 2013 at 0:49
  • Yes, steaming Pots. It's a hand-held pepper grinder. Jan 27, 2013 at 1:07

4 Answers 4


There are two possibilities I can see:

  1. The steam can wet the pepper in the mill and cause it to cake in the grinding mechanism
  2. There's an over-protective lawyer worried someone will scald themselves and blame the grinder company.

Which of the two is your guess. Personally I use my grinder over steaming pots all the time and I've never had any problems, but YMMV.

  • 2
    The former can definitely happen with some grinders, if enough moisture gets in.
    – Cascabel
    Jan 27, 2013 at 1:21
  • It can also cake inside the resivoir and cause oils to go rancid from the heat and humidity.
    – Kogitsune
    Jan 28, 2013 at 20:46

If the grinder has a steel mechanism, rust could be the concern.

  • 5
    Or simply that small coarsed pieces get stuck to the grinder due to vapour.
    – J.A.I.L.
    Jan 26, 2013 at 23:46

I think all hand-held grinders have this warning of not grinding over steaming or boiling-hot contents.

The grinding action could splash the hot contents and scald your hands. If hot oil is involved - temporary or long-term blindness. You might accidentally slip your hands into the hot pot.

No legal dept of a manufacturer would want that to happen to their customers. To them users are idiots tending to sue.

  • 4
    I don't think the concern is generally splash from a bit of pepper falling in the water so much as just the steam or splatter already coming off the cooking food.
    – Cascabel
    Jan 27, 2013 at 2:48

You should never season over steaming pots of anything. The moisture ruins the seasoning.

Just pour season in the palm of your hand then dump in. (Always keep hands washed when cooking)

  • 1
    If the seasoning is going to go into a food that could steam, how on earth could the moisture ruin it compared to the far greater volume of moisture in the food itself?
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Jan 27, 2013 at 22:44
  • @SAJ14SAJ : it's not that it ruins the bit that you're using that time ... it's that the moisture gets into the container, and then you have damp spices or herbs that you put back on your shelf and have a chance to get strange when sitting in your dark cabinets.
    – Joe
    Jan 28, 2013 at 19:30

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