The Reason Alton Brown Rigged A Pepper Grinder To A Power Drill

Alton Brown knows a thing or two about kitchen gadgets. He swears by familiar favorites like a board scraper and an Aeropress, per Men's Journal. But, the chef is no stranger to devices of untapped gastronomic possibility, either. Brown tells the outlet, "I am constantly experimenting with better methods of doing things, and there are now a few items that have become essential."

Indeed, functionality and utility are the names of the game for Brown. In a YouTube video with The Daily Dot, the chef disavows the purchase of single-function kitchen gadgets. When you need a specific tool for a particular job, why not make your own? This question has led to some of the best "Good Eats" moments in the show's history. 

The chef has regaled foodies with such avante-garde culinary innovations as the "Steel Lotus" — three metal steamer baskets strung together with a threaded rod for steaming mass quantities of meat and vegetables at once. Longtime viewers won't soon forget when Brown made a dehydrator out of a box fan, air conditioner filters, and a few bungee cords. 

As Brown tells Food Network, "One of the hallmarks of a 'Good Eats' episode is hacking things, hacking tools, making devices out of other devices to do my bidding" (via YouTube). On that note, here's why he rigged a pepper grinder to a power drill.

Hand-grinding pepper shouldn't be such a grind

Cranking away at dull-bladed hand-rotary plastic pepper mills from the grocery store may leave you with a little more work than necessary. On his website, Alton Brown says a good pepper mill must be easy to load, produce a consistent grind, have a high enough capacity that you aren't refilling it every two seconds, and offer various sizes of grind settings. 

Enter: the Pepper Drill. The device is essentially a peppercorn grinder attached to a cordless power drill with an empty 35-millimeter film canister as a connecting axel. The tool might've been a comedic masterpiece, but it was also surprisingly utilitarian. The Pepper Drill could grind entire tablespoons of pepper in mere seconds, making quick work of big jobs. 

Need to season an 80-pound beef chuck? No problem. Barbecuing a massive rack of pork ribs? The Pepper Drill has it covered. Plus, Brown shares with Food Network that it could double as a portable coffee bean grinder for camping (via Youtube).

Admittedly, the Pepper Drill probably isn't a practical hack for home chefs to recreate in their kitchens. But, the chef says it was one of the first gadgets ever invented on "Good Eats" since its debut in 2014, making it a personal favorite creation to him and his audience.