🌢 Our Zechstein magnesium is from the World’s purest source – feel the difference! 🌢

Whole, Cracked, Coarse & Ground Pepper – Does it Make a Difference to the Flavour?

29th Apr 2024

It’s no surprise why pepper is still among the most popular spices in the world today – its beautiful distinctive flavour is a welcome addition to just about any dish that it’s applied to. This is true whether it’s added modestly as a supportive flavour, or if it’s one of the main protagonists of your dish.

However, given that pepper comes in so many different forms, what’s the difference in flavour between whole peppercorns, cracked pepper, coarse and ground pepper? Let us start by saying there is a significant difference, so it’s worth knowing which types of black pepper to use for which meals.

Whole peppercorns are rarely used as is, because they’re intensely spicy and difficult to chew. However, you will find some recipes that call for whole peppercorns – usually in dishes where they can be strained out later.

So, this leaves us with the question – to crack or to grind?

Texture and flavour are the two biggest differentiators in cracked and ground pepper. Whereas cracked pepper is much coarser, ground pepper is fine and more consistent throughout. Here’s a breakdown of what cracked and ground pepper is best used for:

Ground pepper

  • Fine texture
  • Mildly spicy, which helps to accentuate other flavours in the dish without dominating them
  • Serves a supportive role
  • Just about any savoury dish can be enhanced with a dash of ground pepper, however, once you’ve added it there’s no going back – try applying it to a small portion of the dish first to make sure the flavours blend well

Cracked pepper

  • Coarse and inconsistent texture, with peppercorn fragments adding a crunch and bursts of flavour
  • Bold and intense flavour, hard not to notice in your dish
  • Typically serves a dominant role in any dish it’s added to
  • As is the case with many things, fresh cracked pepper is preferable to buying pre-cracked pepper from the store – try cracking whole peppercorns yourself at home; it's easy, just add some peppercorns into a freezer or ziplock bag and hit with a rolling pin.  Or use a mortal and pestle.

Shop for whole, cracked, coarse and ground pepper online at The Salt Box

Now that you have a better idea of which forms of black pepper go best with which dishes, browse our endless selection of spicy and exotic pepper from every corner of the globe. The Salt Box supplies Kampot Black Pepper, Szechuan Pepper, Mountain Pepperleaf, Medley Peppercorns and more.

Shop with us online and enjoy 100% natural ingredients with efficient dispatch to your door at affordable prices Australia-wide.