Author Topic: Spice grinder?  (Read 2406 times)

Laura33

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Spice grinder?
« on: October 24, 2017, 02:53:12 PM »
My electric spice grinder appears to have given up the ghost.  It wasn't anything fancy (the kind where you press down the top and push a button to make it go), and it did only an adequate job.  But it dated to probably the 1970s -- I "adopted" it from my stepdad when I moved out all those years ago -- so I am looking to replace it with one that will last another 30-40 years.  Suggestions?

SimpleCycle

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2017, 06:29:05 PM »
I use a $10 Proctor Silex coffee grinder for spices.  The last one lasted for 15 years, and I replaced it with the same model.  It appears that the price has gone up and it’s now $18 on Amazon.

Thinkum

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2017, 06:33:51 PM »
We use a Krups we got for under $20 way back when. Originally used it for coffee, then moved on and it became the spice grinder. If you're in an area with thrift stores and you have some time, you can usually get them there for like $5.

Rosy

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2017, 07:12:34 PM »
I just use mini handheld graters - like for nutmeg nuts. The rosemary from the garden I strip against the grain and use an herb chopper on my wood cutting board. The dried mint I just rub between my palms and the basil and parsley I shred/tear by hand.

But, I am told coffee grinders work well, although the one time I tried it, it seemed like it was more of a hassle and more clean up than doing it by hand. I used to have a pestle, but lost it in a move and although I really missed it at first, I'm fine without.

Laura33

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2017, 07:24:33 PM »
I just use mini handheld graters - like for nutmeg nuts. The rosemary from the garden I strip against the grain and use an herb chopper on my wood cutting board. The dried mint I just rub between my palms and the basil and parsley I shred/tear by hand.

But, I am told coffee grinders work well, although the one time I tried it, it seemed like it was more of a hassle and more clean up than doing it by hand. I used to have a pestle, but lost it in a move and although I really missed it at first, I'm fine without.

Yeah, I use a microplane a lot and chop fresh herbs, but I use this for hard spices, like cinnamon and cloves, or coriander seeds and cumin.  I tried the cinnamon sticks on the microplane when the grinder broke, and that was a big crash and burn.

Thanks for the suggestions -- sounds like a generic thrift store option will suit just fine.

GreenSheep

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 10:03:09 AM »
Not to bring up the whole Vitamix debate yet again but... if you already happen to have one, it works great for grinding spices. I've even done nutmeg in it. But obviously it's not worth buying a Vitamix just for grinding spices. Just a thought if you already have one!

honeybbq

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2017, 10:25:53 AM »
Not to bring up the whole Vitamix debate yet again but... if you already happen to have one, it works great for grinding spices. I've even done nutmeg in it. But obviously it's not worth buying a Vitamix just for grinding spices. Just a thought if you already have one!

Why didn't I think of this? I've been using a little tiny coffee grinder but I could probably get rid of it. Does your vitamix retain any smells from it? That's my main concern with grinding spices (and hence the dedicated coffee (spice) grinder I have).

GreenSheep

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2017, 11:01:40 AM »
Not to bring up the whole Vitamix debate yet again but... if you already happen to have one, it works great for grinding spices. I've even done nutmeg in it. But obviously it's not worth buying a Vitamix just for grinding spices. Just a thought if you already have one!

Why didn't I think of this? I've been using a little tiny coffee grinder but I could probably get rid of it. Does your vitamix retain any smells from it? That's my main concern with grinding spices (and hence the dedicated coffee (spice) grinder I have).

I haven't noticed any smells, and that's usually something I'd notice. I just make sure to wash it out really well after grinding something pungent. I also try to time it right, so I'll grind, for example, cinnamon, just before I make something that contains cinnamon.

Dicey

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2017, 11:11:32 AM »
I use a krups coffee grinder. Got it at a garage sale for a buck. Have another one that's only for coffee, which cost the same princely sum. Works fine.

If I had a VM or BT, no way would I grind hard spices in it. Just because one can, doesn't mean one should. It's gotta dull the blades if used frequently for this purpose.

Laura33

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2017, 11:40:41 AM »
Not to bring up the whole Vitamix debate yet again but... if you already happen to have one, it works great for grinding spices. I've even done nutmeg in it. But obviously it's not worth buying a Vitamix just for grinding spices. Just a thought if you already have one!

Clearly I need to go drop $800 on a Vitamix to solve my problem.

[Having read the "is the site going soft" thread, I am laughing my ass off now, so thanks for that!]

albireo13

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2018, 05:43:39 AM »
I love the old fashioned mortar and pestle. 
The only moving part is  your arm and pestle.   Easy to clean, almost nothing to fail.

freeat57

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2018, 03:08:27 PM »
I also use an impact mill coffee grinder from a thrift store.  Works well.  I don't bother to clean every time, but it is easy.  Simply grind 1/2 to 1 Tbs rolled oats for a few seconds, dump and wipe it out with a dish cloth or paper towel.  (The oats soak up the residual oils from the spices.)
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 03:10:52 PM by freeat57 »

TrMama

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2018, 04:05:23 PM »
I'm probably a wild heathen, but I can be bothered to grind my own spices. I just buy them pre-ground from the store. Yes, eventually they get less pungent but then I either just double the amounts until I run out, or realize I'm just not that into a particular spice and toss it's stale ass outa my kitchen.

It's not you, really. It's me.

ClovisKid

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2018, 04:38:50 PM »
I love the old fashioned mortar and pestle. 
The only moving part is  your arm and pestle.   Easy to clean, almost nothing to fail.

Same.  Plus... it just makes me feel good.

dougules

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2018, 10:13:27 AM »
I have one of the Krups coffee grinders, but I haven't found an easy way to clean it.  Any suggestions?   Spices are strong and it takes a lot of cleaning effort to go from grinding clove to grinding cumin without any real cross-contamination. 

Fresh ground spices are much more flavorful.  It can also possibly save you money since whole spices store a lot better.  You can buy a big bag of whole spices in ethnic grocery stores for the same price as tiny little containers in mainstream supermarkets.  And learning to use spices in general can make cheap, healthy, bland food taste really good. 

Spiffy

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2018, 11:43:32 AM »
I have one of the Krups coffee grinders, but I haven't found an easy way to clean it.  Any suggestions?   Spices are strong and it takes a lot of cleaning effort to go from grinding clove to grinding cumin without any real cross-contamination. 
put a few chunks of white bread in there and run it for a few seconds. It soaks up the oils from the spices pretty well. I also use a Krups coffee grinder, mostly for Indian spices. Never coffee

dougules

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2018, 10:29:42 AM »
I have one of the Krups coffee grinders, but I haven't found an easy way to clean it.  Any suggestions?   Spices are strong and it takes a lot of cleaning effort to go from grinding clove to grinding cumin without any real cross-contamination. 
put a few chunks of white bread in there and run it for a few seconds. It soaks up the oils from the spices pretty well. I also use a Krups coffee grinder, mostly for Indian spices. Never coffee

Yeah, coffee would taste like cumin and dried chili if I did that. 

The bread idea sounds really interesting.  I will have to try it.  Do you use fresh bread or do you need to toast the moisture out first?

alanB

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2018, 10:48:30 AM »
I have one of the Krups coffee grinders, but I haven't found an easy way to clean it.  Any suggestions?   Spices are strong and it takes a lot of cleaning effort to go from grinding clove to grinding cumin without any real cross-contamination. 
put a few chunks of white bread in there and run it for a few seconds. It soaks up the oils from the spices pretty well. I also use a Krups coffee grinder, mostly for Indian spices. Never coffee

Yeah, coffee would taste like cumin and dried chili if I did that. 


I have a natural molcajete which was super cheap and absolutely the best for grinding spices (in my opinion!!).  Mostly use it for guacamole so the flavor cross-contamination is no problem at all. 

The downside is that if you buy a new one you have to grind that thing down FOREVER until you get a smooth surface with no dust.  I have fond memories of my wife yelling at me "Why did you buy this stupid thing?!" while sitting there grinding up batch after batch of dry rice to wear it down, haha.  6 years of delicious guacamole and ground spices later and we are still together :)

ElleFiji

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2018, 11:03:02 AM »
I clicked JUST so that I could mention that my Vitamix has a separate jug to do spices. But I also have less troll-ish comments

But for a meal quantity I just use my mortar and pestle, and for bigger quantities I use my grandmother's spice/coffee grinder... Purchased sometime between the invention of electricity and 30 years ago.

I paid for none of these 3 appliances.

Spiffy

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2018, 11:18:12 AM »
I have one of the Krups coffee grinders, but I haven't found an easy way to clean it.  Any suggestions?   Spices are strong and it takes a lot of cleaning effort to go from grinding clove to grinding cumin without any real cross-contamination. 
put a few chunks of white bread in there and run it for a few seconds. It soaks up the oils from the spices pretty well. I also use a Krups coffee grinder, mostly for Indian spices. Never coffee

Yeah, coffee would taste like cumin and dried chili if I did that. 

The bread idea sounds really interesting.  I will have to try it.  Do you use fresh bread or do you need to toast the moisture out first?
Cheapo fresh white bread. The gummier the better.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Spice grinder?
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2018, 12:33:05 PM »
I love the old fashioned mortar and pestle. 
The only moving part is  your arm and pestle.   Easy to clean, almost nothing to fail.

Same.  Plus... it just makes me feel good.

Third! I love my mortar and pestle.