- Food and Cooking
The Best Spice Grinder to Have in Your Kitchen
A Spice Grinder is a Cook's Best Friend
I think every kitchen should have spice grinder as a basic tool for the cook. Even though it is just as easy to buy spices and dried herbs already ground, there is nothing like the flavor of a spice when freshly ground and added to your recipe.
Even the aroma of the spice being ground activates your senses. Whole spices such as pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves keep fresh in a cool location for quite some time. They are ready at a moment's notice to toss into a spice grinder and then sprinkle into your recipe.
Which spice grinder to buy is a good question. There are many different brands and styles to choose from. I hope I can help you narrow down which grinders would be the best choice for your needs. I own more than 1 grinder in my kitchen since I make variety of different types of cooking and baking recipes.
I have an electric mill, hand grinder and motar and pestle to choose from when cooking. Sometimes I need to use all three types of grinding tools when preparing a special meal!
photo by LilMonkey
Variety is the Spice of Life— unknown
My Favorite Grinder is an Electric Grinder
So fast - Easy to Use
I picked up my electric spice and coffee grinder about 2 years ago. It still works as well as it did when I bought it. I find it very easy to use and so quick. I just toss in whole spices such as mixed whole peppers and push the button. I have fresh ground pepper in seconds.
I have used it to grind whole flax seed to powder so I can add it to my protein shakes in the mornings. Flax seed is a good source of fiber. This electric spice grinder has a storage compartment underneath for the electrical cord. This is a nice feature since I hate when the cords get all tangled up on other things in the kitchen cabinet.
I will also use it to grind whole coffee beans which gives us such rich coffee in the morning. This electric grinder's blades have stayed sharp even though I use it quite often. It washes up nicely. I rinse out by hand using a dish brush to get the particles in the sides.
Photo by LilMonkey
Before! Whole Peppers Into the Grinder
After! Ground Pepper in the Grinder
Spices Shopping List
When to Use a Hand Spice Grinder
Or a Mortar and Pestle
There are times that you will want to grind hard spices or herbs with a hand-crank spice grinder instead of an electric one. Grinding hard nutmeg for holiday baking or eggnog at the holidays is one great reason. The best nutmeg flavor is when it is freshly ground right into your favorite drink.
A mortar and pestle is handy when grinding fresh herbs from the garden. There are other spices such as cumin, red pepper, etc. that are easily ground in one of these grinders. A mortar and pestle is also handy if you need to grind up a pill to put in your child's or pet's food when they are ill. It is the original way our ancestors ground up hard grains, nuts, spices and herbs.
Inexpensive Manual Spice Grinder
Spices such as nutmeg grind well by hand. Grind just enough to add to a recipe such as pumpkin pie or sprinkle over your favorite hot drink.
Tips on How to Use Spices - presented by RealAge.com
5 Popular Whole Spices to Grind at Home
- Peppercorn or Black Pepper
I would say of the most used and popular of all spices. I don't know about you, but I use pepper to flavor just about all my recipes or meals. Pepper is most commonly sold in the black version, but there is also white pepper, red pepper and variations of the black peppers. Fresh ground black pepper is offered at restaurants to be sprinkled on your salad or soup. Watch out, this spice will make you sneeze.
Cinnamon is commonly used in baked goods and is delicious when freshly ground. Cinnamon toast is also a child's favorite in the morning. I add cinnamon to my homemade chili. You will see a lot of cinnamon used at the Christmas holidays.
Another popular spice used in baked goods, on specialty drinks and certain ethnic dishes. I also keep some nutmeg in my spice cabinet to add to recipes I am cooking. It also is the best when ground fresh.
I like ginger for many things. It is a nice spice to add to vegetable dishes. It also has a medicinal property that is good for upset stomachs.
I use cloves mostly with cooking or roasting meats. It has a pungent flavor that brings out the flavors in the meat. They can be used whole, but remove before serving. I like to grind my cloves and rub them onto the meat with fresh ground pepper.
How to Have Fresh Coffee Every Morning
The best way to have a fresh cup of coffee every morning is to grind your own! Many grocery and specialty stores sell a variety of fresh coffee beans in 1 pound bags that you can bring home and grind fresh each morning using an electric grinder. You have the ability to use only the amount you need that morning, whether it is one cup to 12 cups!
There are several styles and sizes of electric grinders to consider when shopping for a coffee grinder. I do prefer the simple, small size grinder as shown in my photo above. It is fast and easy to clean. If you work as I do, than being able to throw some coffee beans into the grinder, whirl for a few seconds and toss into the coffee filter is the way to go. A fresh cup of coffee (two for me!) only takes minutes to make.
I do recommend the electric grinder for coffee beans since the beans are hard and time is usually the deciding factor. It would take more muscle power and time to grind the coffee beans manually or by hand. Nowadays most of us are up for "time-saving" kitchen tools!
Simple Coffee Grinder Makes Quick Grounds
This is the style coffee grinder I have at home. It is compact and easy to store in my kitchen cabinet right next to the fresh coffee beans. What a great way to start the day!