Can I Use a Coffee Grinder to Grind Spices? You may be wondering if it is ever possible to grind spices with a coffee grinder. If I am right, you don’t need to worry again because you can grind your spices with a coffee grinder and it will give you the best result you hardly think about.
In our modern days, spices have become so important in our daily meals and as such, we need to find constant ways or means to preserve them and one of such ways is grinding them. In a situation where you don’t have a spice grinder, mortar, and pestle, or graters available, what will you do to get your spices ground? It is the use of coffee grinders that will solve such problems.
Before I will discuss anything about grinding spices using a coffee grinder, I will like you to observe this question with me.
Is Grinding Whole Spices Worth It?
If you understand the technique of cooking, wow, you will quickly agree that grinding whole spices is worth it. Ground spices are famous for the taste and flavor they bring out of our meals. Especially when you grind these spices on your own, the flavors are fresher and healthier compared to the already-ground ones found in the glossary stores.
One other reason why it is better you grind your whole spices is that if you chose to buy from the supermarket, there is a possibility that some of them have overstayed in the store, and what that means is that, in one way or the other, must have lost their flavors and freshness. If I were you, I will quickly get an available grinder to grind my whole spices into powder. Doing so will help me preserve them better.
Grinding whole spices can also help them last longer. Take, for instance, you leave a whole peppercorn to dry without grinding it, there is a possibility that it will catch some maggots especially if the room temperature comes with moisture.
Using a coffee Grinder to Grind Spices
I acknowledge the fact that there are various types of coffee grinders such as burr coffee grinders, blade coffee grinders, or flat burr grinders, the blade coffee grinder is exactly like the spice grinder. This indicates that, in the absence of a spice grinder, the best alternative for grinding your spices is no more than the coffee grinder.
Why I recommend coffee grinders as alternatives to spice grinders
1. They are not too big for spices. Coffee grinders are small appliances that require only a small space for you to grind your spices to your desired consistency.
2. They are quicker to use as appliances. Coffee grinders both manual and electric are quick kitchen utensils that can help you grind your spices as quickly as possible.
3. They are easy-to-use kitchen tools. The simplicity of their usage also won my heart and as such, I love using them especially when I needed to be quick in my cooking.
The Different Types of Coffee Grinders
There are various types of coffee grinders you should know about. I hope this article will serve as another means to add to our knowledge about the varieties of coffee grinders out there. I am sure you are ready to explore more about these coffee grinders:
1. Burr coffee grinder
2. Conical burr coffee grinder
3. Flat burr coffee grinder
4. Blade coffee grinder
5. High-speed grinders
6. Low-speed grinders
7. Gear reduction
8. Direct drive.
I will discuss only five of the above-mentioned coffee grinders in order to quickly reach the goal of this article. Keep reading, in a minute’s time, the various types of coffee grinders selected will be explained.
Burr Coffee Grinder
This grinder is also known as the burr mill. It is famous for its ability to crush coffee beans into small and even sizes which is important when making delicious coffee. This product specifically is designed in such a way that coffee beans revolve around two abrasive burrs that help turn them into cocoa bean powder.
Even with that, you are allowed to change the setting of these surfaces. For instance, you can keep the two surfaces apart from each other. Placing these two burrs at a distance will aid the production of coarse and slightly bigger ground coffee beans.
If you desire fine texture, all you need to do is ensure the two burr surfaces are close to one another. The burr mills are designed for only one purpose which is grinding coffee beans and they are mainly electric motors while the burr mills used in crushing corn, seeds, spices, and peppercorns are manuals.
Conical Burr Grinders
Conical burr grinders have two sharp cone-like ridges that crush the coffee into two specific sizes which are large and small. This design ensures that the coffee beans after fine or coarse grinding remain in the pattern mentioned. These types of coffee grinders cannot give you an ideal consistency but they are cheaper, and easier to clean compared to the Burr coffee grinders.
Flat Burr Grinders
As for the flat burr grinders, they can churn out finer and even size coffee beans ground. This phenomenon makes your coffee beans smoother and more delicious. Even with this brilliant result, flat burr grinders have some disadvantages as they are very expensive, noisy, slightly hard to clean up and use a lot of heat energy. Your decision to own these types of grinders should be determined based on comparing the advantage the disadvantage of using them.
Blade Coffee Grinder
Blade coffee grinder is the best alternative to spice grinders. In fact, it is a spice grinder because there is no difference between the two. These types of grinders are designed using a double-pronged blade that spins rapidly as it chops coffee beans into a fine texture in seconds. Most of these types of coffee grinders come with a single press button. When you press it, enables the blades to revolve in a circular motion.
Blade coffee grinders are not as effective as burr grinders when used for grinding coffee beans but they are perfect for spices. If I will ever recommend a coffee grinder as an alternative spice grinder for you; I will not hesitate to mention a blade coffee grinder.
How to Grind Spices Using a Coffee Grinder
It is not hard to use a coffee grinder to grind your spices. The grinders can be either manual or electric. I recommend that you use the blade coffee grinder for your spices because of its close similarity with the spice grinder. Follow this instruction to grind your spices easily.
1. Clean up your coffee grinder and set it to either manual or electric.
2. Get your spices, if it is cinnamon for instance; wash the sticks with clean water.
3. Remove from water and keep in a container and allow them dry.
4. Cut the cinnamons into smaller units and keep them in a bowl.
5. If the cinnamon sticks are many, it means you will need more than one batch of grindings.
6. Now, bring up your coffee beans grinder.
7. Plug it into an electric source; pour the cinnamon stick in batches into the grinder.
8. Switch on your coffee grinder and start grinding.
9. If you are using a manual grinder, pour your cinnamon pieces into the grinder in batches, and start grinding by rotating the handle until you get your desired texture.
What Spices Can You Grind in a Coffee Grinder?
Coffee grinders have greater speed compared to traditional mortar and pestle. They are perfect alternatives when it comes to grinding spices such as cinnamon sticks, cloves, black peppercorn, coriander seeds, cumin, and many more. The advantage of using coffee grinders instead of mortar and pestle didn’t end there, they are equally easy to use. All you have to do is hold down the power button until the spices are ground up to your desire.
Can You Use a Coffee Grinder to Grind Herbs?
You can grind your herbs using a coffee grinder. It is very possible and you can place 2 to 3 tablespoons of herb into your clean coffee grinder. Depending on the texture you need, adjust the settings for a fine or coarse texture. Press and hold the grinder button for 30 seconds at a time, taking short-second breaks between your grinding periods to avoid the herb from getting too hot or burnt.
Is There a Difference Between a Coffee Grinder and a Spice Grinder?
There is a difference between a coffee grinder and a spice grinder. Again, there is no difference between a coffee grinder and a spice grinder. The reason is that there are various types of coffee grinders. If you are to compare a blade coffee grinder to a spice grinder, there is no difference between the two, however, if you are to compare a spice grinder to more advanced ones such as burr, conical burr, and the rest, there is a difference between them.
Can I Grind Star Anise in a Coffee Grinder?
I will not advise you to grind anise in a coffee grinder unless you can creatively figure out a way to make the spice hardness reduced. Spices like star anise, cinnamon, cassia, and dried ginger slices can easily cause damage to your coffee grinder’s blade. I will recommend that you reduce the hardness of these spices mentioned by using a mortar and pestle to pound them before grinding them with your coffee grinder.
Can I Grind Coffee and Spices in the Same Grinder?
It is possible to grind your spices in the same grinder used in grinding your coffee beans. You only need to rinse the coffee grinder or spice grinder thoroughly before usage. I will personally not advise you to grind your coffee beans in a spice or blade coffee grinder unless you have no choice. The reason is that a blade coffee grinder will not give you good texture compared to a burr coffee grinder which can give you a nice and even texture.
It is now clear that you can use a coffee grinder to grind spices. This means, that if there is no spice grinder available, and you have a coffee grinder, don’t hesitate to use it as an alternative. If you haven’t known that this is possible, you would have missed the opportunity of grinding spices like cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, cloves, and many more.