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Old 05-29-2007, 01:11 AM   #1
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What should I use to grind spices?

Hello,

I don't know much about cooking, so please forgive my ignorance.

I've purchased some spices, but some of them need to be ground. In general, I understand grinding your own spices is better anyway. I have a manual spice grinder which works like a pepper mill, but using this approach to make bulk quantities for cooking is not so great.

What is the best tool/machine to use for grinding spices?

Should I get a food processor? Or would a nice blender like the Blendtec do the job?

Note that, as long as it does the job well, I'd rather get a more general machine that is useful for a variety of things instead of a specialized spice grinder.

Thanks!
Daniel

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Old 05-29-2007, 01:54 AM   #2
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I use a Braun coffee grinder for dried chiles, cumin, and Coriander. I don't like it for coffee. You want a burr grinder for that!
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Old 05-29-2007, 02:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker
I use a Braun coffee grinder for dried chiles, cumin, and Coriander. I don't like it for coffee. You want a burr grinder for that!
Thanks skilletlicker! I'll give it a shot.
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Old 05-29-2007, 06:32 AM   #4
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Get an inexpensive coffee grinder and dedicate it to spices, in spite of wanting one that is multi-purpose. You CAN use it for coffee also, but you will need to run a couple of batches of rice through it to get rid of the tastes--on both ends of spices and coffee.
Alternatively you can get a mortar and pestle, but I have NEVER been able to get this to work well at all.
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Old 05-29-2007, 06:37 AM   #5
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An electric coffee grinder and/or Mortar & Pestle
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob
An electric coffee grinder and/or Mortar & Pestle
These are what I use, too.
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:25 AM   #7
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I have an inexpensive electric coffee grinder that is dedicated to herbs/spices only as others have already recommended.

I make sure to brush it out thoroughly after each use. If I've ground something especially pungent, I whiz a half slice of bread in it to make sure it's completely clear of the herb/spice.

I also use it to grind instant potatoes to make potato flour I need for some of my bread recipes.

Love my little grinder.
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Old 05-30-2007, 01:14 PM   #8
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I now have a small mortar and pestel, but as soon as I find one on sale I will buy an electric coffee grinder. They are inexpensive, and you can never use it for coffee again once you grind spices in it. But it is easier on the hands, and you get more consistent results.
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Old 05-30-2007, 01:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire
I now have a small mortar and pestel, but as soon as I find one on sale I will buy an electric coffee grinder. They are inexpensive, and you can never use it for coffee again once you grind spices in it. But it is easier on the hands, and you get more consistent results.
Miss Clair...

Who says you can't use it for coffee once you use it for spices. The inside of mine is SS. A quick wipe out with a damp cloth and you are good to go. I've never noticed anything wrong with my coffee after using it to grind spices nor vice versa! Maybe my taste buds have gone bad!
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Old 05-30-2007, 02:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob
An electric coffee grinder and/or Mortar & Pestle
I use an electric coffee grinder. I find that whenever I've tried to use a mortar and pestle, more of the spices go all over the kitchen than get pounded to a powder!

Don't use your food processor. Some of the spices are so hard they will dull the steel blade.
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Old 05-31-2007, 05:30 AM   #11
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Back when I had a coffee grinder (and drank coffee) the coffee tasted pretty weird after a spice session (OK if it was cinnamon or clove, not so good after some kinds of pepper or other spices). The fact is that I don't drink coffee too much any more, so I probably won't buy whole beans any time soon. So any coffee grinder will be just for grinding spices.
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:39 AM   #12
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I have three coffee grinders. 1 for coffee, 1 for spices and seasonings, 1 for hot peppers as I grow them, dry 'em then grind 'em for seasoning blends.
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:52 AM   #13
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I have a coffee grinder that I use for spices and flaxseed. I clean mine using a piece of old bread, just break it up and then crank it up it will remove every thing.

later
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Old 05-31-2007, 11:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob
Miss Clair...

Who says you can't use it for coffee once you use it for spices. . . .
Of course you can!
But grinding coffee beans is the second thing I do every morning and since I'm only half awake it needs to be as quick and easy as possible. I think my burr grinder does a better job on coffee beans than the type of grinder I assume we are all referring to and it is preset for the quantity and coarseness that I want. Pour in the beans, push a button, and the coffee is ground before a filter can be separated from the pile and put into the machine. I don't think grinding the beans adds five seconds to making the coffee.

Alix summed up the prevailing attitude in a coffee roasting thread a year ago.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix
At 6AM I don't care whether its Folgers, Starbucks or home roasted...all I care about is getting into me. Intravenously if necessary. And trust me...everyone else in my house is as interested in that as I am!
If more people ground their own beans, a few of those might decide to try roasting them as well, a topic dear to my heart.
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