Hello to all spice lovers. I am trying to spice up my life, well, actually I would like to try using more whole spices that I grind myself. I can get a variety of excellent, fresh whole spices from my food co-op so am looking for recommendations for spice grinders. I did a few searches and didn't come up with much. I have an ancient hand crank coffee mill that worked great for cloves, cinamon, and allspice. However it got too old and cranky and is now retired to display only status. Would an electric coffee grinder, a pepper mill, or some other common gadget (reserved for spices only) work or is there a product made specifically for this use? I would like something easy to clean - not a virtue of my old coffee mill. I want to try grinding whole cardamom to see if it is an improvement over the ground I have been using. Since I have never even seen whole cardamom I have no idea what to expect. Another want-to-try on my list is garaham masala from whole spices. A friend made this delightful tongue tingler a few years ago and I was so disappointed when I tried the preground variety. Any opinions, information, or web-sites discussing this would be much appreciated.
I have had a Moulinex coffee and spice mill for about 15 years(mind you, I haven't used it every day for that time length).
It's not real big so that's a plus as far as storage. It yields about 1/4 cup of ground coffee and has just one button on the front. Cleaning is not too difficult with a soapy brush and then rinsing.
Hi Anne. I use an electric coffee grinder for my spices. I have never tried anything else so I have nothing to compare it to. I think it works well. A trick to cleaning it, is to grind up a piece of white bread when you are done. The spice crumbs stick to the bread
Cool tip! Thanks!
Great tip, Miamadre -- does this work for coffee as well? I've been using a dry pastry brush to clean my grinder of both coffee and spices, but your bread method sounds so much more convenient.
Thanks -- Beth
I have two coffee grinders....one for the coffee beans and one for the spices. You will find that cardamon pods ground fresh are way much better than the ground stuff you buy in the jar. The flavor is much more intense!
thanks for the tips - I think I'll get a new electric coffee grinder just for spices
Mamasue - do you use the whole dried pods, whole green pods, whole seed, or decorticated seed for your cardamom - see, told you I was a real novice at cardamom, but I sure love the flavor.
Anne....I use the green pods(dried) only because they were introduced to me and I have a huge bag of them. It is tedious opening them up to get the very small seeds but it is worth it! I know that you will see the BIG difference between the ground and fresh ground seeds. You will not be disappointed!
I also use an electric coffee grinder for my spices(a Krups), and have been very pleased. Just don't tell my dad! You see when I was doing my medical residency, he and my mom flew out to visit for a few days. At the end of their first visit, he proclaimed he had such a wonderful visit etc.... except one thing....I had no coffee in my apartment! So on their last full day of visiting he bought me a coffee pot, coffee beans, a filter, and the grinder.
Well, I have since gotten married. My husband and I are probably the only 2 doctors in this country that don't golf or drink coffee. I think I eventually gave the coffee beans/filters away, the coffeepot was sold at a garage sale my husband and I had before we got married, and the grinder now grinds spices only! Just thought I'd share my silly story!!
Do you have an Ikea store nearby? I bought a cheap (about $9 CDN) pepper grinder from them that I LOVE...it's made out of plastic, but a nicer plastic (heavy and sort of opaque) and comes in several colours. It has an adjustable dial on the bottom so you can change the size of your ground spice. I loved the first one so much that I bought a second just for spices! I figured for so cheap I'd have to replace it often, but I'm sure I've had them both well over a year and haven't had a problem yet!
Do any of you use a coffee grinder to grind flaxseed? I have read that a blender would work, but since ground flaxseed is so perishable, I don't want to grind too much at a time. I bought a small manual spice grinder (very cheap), which broke after my first flaxseed grinding. Any suggestions? Thanks!
I recieved a "second" coffee grinder this past Christmas, & now I use the new one for coffee only, and the other for spices. The bread trick is what I have been using the last couple of years too-(TY Martha Stewart & CL!) in-between grinding spices & coffees.
It really does work! Zinnia
I, too, use a coffee grinder, but the bread tip is great news! Thanks, -Kim
Thanks for all the helpful responses. I will definitely take the leap to whole cardamom and a few other spices. Years ago I made the transition from powdered ginger to fresh and from store bought pepper to fresh ground along with cinamon, cloves, and a couple others and have never looked back. I suspect I will be on a fresh ground cardamom craze for some time. The tip about using bread to clean the grinder is much appreciated.
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