Mesh refers to the coarseness of black pepper – which can range from fine shake to whole peppercorn. The US mesh size is a standard unit of measurement that measures the number of openings in a US Sieve. Sieves is a method that uses a screen to separate particles – measuring spices and their grind size.
This is a very fine grind that is best to use for soups and sauces. Using a fine grind allows for flavor to quickly impart in any dish you are cooking.
18 – 28 Mesh
The most common and well known black pepper mesh size is also known as table ground. You have this in your pantry, and if you don’t, this needs to be a staple in your cooking! It can be sprinkled in virtually any dish.
This mesh size of black pepper is known as restaurant style. It is slightly coarser than table ground and is best to add to proteins before cooking.
Often referred to as butcher’s cut, this rough grind is best used on thick cuts of proteins. It works really well in dry rub blends.
Quarter cracked black pepper is a grind size that makes for a nice aesthetic. Best used as a garnish but it also works well in dry rub blends.
Whole black peppercorn is best to use when infusing oils, vinegars, and pickling spices.
Use this infographic as reference to understanding black pepper mesh sizes and its best usages.