Which spice grinder is best?
If you want the most flavorful and delicious food, using freshly ground spices can make all the difference. It will take more work than cooking with pre-ground spices from the grocery store, but a quality spice grinder can make the job much easier.
Spice grinders are available in a few different types, depending on how much effort you want to put into grinding. No matter what kind of grinder you decide on, though, you can usually grind enough spices for a recipe in less than a minute. The Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind Electric Grinder has earned the top spot among spice grinders because it’s extremely easy and convenient to use. It is also capable of grinding other food items beyond spices.
What to know before you buy a spice grinder
Spice grinders are available in two types: manual and electric.
As their name implies, manual spice grinders don’t use electricity, so they require you to turn a crank or push a button to grind the spices. They provide more control over the grind, though, so you’re less likely to over-grind your spices. A manual grinder is also easier to clean and is more affordable than electric models.
The downside to a manual grinder is that it takes longer to grind your spices. It can also pose a challenge if you have limited dexterity in your hands. Manual grinders typically only grind a small amount at a time too.
Electric spice grinders run on electricity and plug into an outlet to grind the spices, so you only need to press a button to grind. As a result, they work much more quickly than a manual grinder and generally have a larger capacity. An electric grinder usually provides a more even grind, too, and offers different grind size options.
You’ll pay more for an electric spice grinder, though. It can also be more difficult to clean, so you may wind up mixing spice flavors when you grind a batch.
You may not use your grinder every day, so you’ll want to think about where you plan to store it. Consider how much space you will need on your counter, shelf or in a cabinet. The product manual or box will usually include the grinder’s dimensions.
It will be easier to find a spot for a compact model because you can tuck it away when not in use. If you have a large kitchen and will use your grinder regularly, you probably don’t have to worry much about the size. Instead, you can opt for a large spice grinder that will look great sitting out on your counter.
A larger spice grinder usually has a larger interior capacity, which means it can grind a significant volume of spices at a time. That’s not always true, though, because big electric grinders often have large motors that take up a great deal of their internal space.
When trying to figure out what capacity you need in your spice grinder, consider how often you plan to grind. If you’re grinding daily before each meal, a small capacity grinder can get the job done. If you plan to grind larger batches of spices to use for a week or two, though, you’ll want a grinder with a larger capacity.
What to look for in a quality spice grinder
You can find both electric and manual spice grinders that let you choose the size of your grind. Typically, the options are fine, medium and coarse, but some models may offer more settings.
This can be a key feature because some recipes may call for a finer grind, while others will need a coarse grind. If you only use fine ground spices, you may not need a grinder with multiple grind options.
Ease of cleaning
Getting your grinder clean after each use is essential if you don’t want your ground cinnamon to taste like ground black pepper. You’ll generally have an easier time cleaning a manual grinder because you can wash it in the sink. You can even find a dishwasher-safe model for the most hassle-free cleaning.
Electric spice grinders are typically more challenging to clean because of their motor. A model that features a removable grinding chamber is easier to wash because you can clean it in the sink without worrying about damaging the electrics. If you choose an electric grinder without a removable grinding chamber, you should wipe it out and use a small brush to get all of the nooks and crannies clean.
A spice grinder’s color isn’t its most important feature, but it can be important if you want to leave it on your counter and you want it to match the rest of your appliances. Most grinders come in basic colors like black, white or silver, but you can find a few brands that offer more diverse color options.
How much you can expect to spend on a spice grinder
You can usually get a manual spice grinder for $10-$20, though you should expect to spend at least $15 for a durable, well-made model. Electric spice grinders generally cost $15-$50. Of course, you’ll pay more for a model with features like multiple grind size options, but you can get a high-quality, basic electric grinder for around $20.
Spice grinder FAQ
What are the benefits of using freshly ground spices?
A. For most people, the main benefit is that freshly ground spices have a stronger, richer flavor. Pre-ground spices from the grocery store can lose their potency and flavor pretty quickly, so they don’t deliver the same intense flavor. Freshly ground spices also offer more health benefits than pre-ground versions.
How can I get the most flavor from my spices?
A. Toasting your spices before you grind them can provide more flavor. Add the spices to a hot, dry pan for about 60 seconds, taking care not to burn them. Let the spices cool completely before grinding them.
What’s the best spice grinder to buy?
Top spice grinder
What you need to know: A compact, powerful grinder that’s quick and easy to use and even features a removable grinding chamber for cleaning.
What you’ll love: Runs more quietly than other grinders. Can grind beans and other foods in addition to spices. Cord wraps around the base for easy storage.
What you should consider: The motor can get hot if you use it for an extended period.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top spice grinder for the money
What you need to know: A top-notch grinder that’s made with German craftsmanship and still boasts an affordable price tag.
What you’ll love: Stands out for its power and efficiency. Offers a compact size that can fit in any kitchen. Features stainless steel blades that can grind herbs, nuts and grains in addition to spices. Easy to clean.
What you should consider: Doesn’t allow you to choose the grind size.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Despite its power, this grinder is surprisingly quiet.
What you’ll love: Features a removable stainless steel grinding chamber that’s dishwasher-safe. Works extremely well for a two-bladed grinder. Can also grind coffee beans.
What you should consider: Isn’t as durable as other grinders.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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