Hmmm, well the mortar & pestle can be used for other things too. Not only does it allow one to pound out some aggression, but it also is GREAT for making guacamole. Or olive oil pastes with garlic and herbies for meat rubs. Plus the fresh basil pesto it is able to produce cannot be done in an electric machine. There's something about pounding the medium that releases loads of flavor that a high rpm blade simply cannot do.
I do use my krups grinder for cumin seeds, celery seeds and related. Oh and coffee beanses, I think that's it though.
Biggles / http://www.meathenge.com/
I did the same thing, caused the same problem, and being a cheapskate, fixed it myself.
First, I put some rock salt in and ground it to dust. This mostly got rid of the clove smell and remaining discoloration. I washed the lid with water to remove the remaining salt. I wiped down the inside of the lid with a rag moistened with acetone. (Careful you don't use too much or the whole thing will melt!) This smoothed out the dings left from the rock salt. Wash it again with hot soapy water, and you're left with a once again useful grinder. Note that this does cloud up the clear plastic cover, which doesn't matter to me.
OH WAIT !!!
I forgot another use for those fancy eelectric grinders. I usually end up with leftover dry rubs, which can sit around for a few weeks or more getting stale. Take that dry rub and whiz it a few times and the bright aroma of the spices/herbs/chile comes back to life. Along those same lines I've found that when I'm forced to use pre-ground coffee outside of the home, I'll see if I can't find a grinder to brighten up the pre-ground grounds. You bet.
Biggles / http://www.meathenge.com/
A good way to remove spice residue from the grinder is to grind up a handful of raw rice in it before you wipe it clean.
I use a pastry brush to clean it, but the smell of spices just doesn't go away. I could try the rice idea, and afterwards wipe it with vinegar.
But because of the sheer hassle, I would instead recommend getting two, one for coffee and one for spices.
I have a granite mortar and pestle (available from any Thai store). Cleaning is a breeze, and I use it mainly for coarse-grinding spices, or bruising herbs. Anyone who prefers making pesto in one of these instead of a food-processor is misguided.
I'm not misguided. I know better and have 28 years worth of pesto making experience to back it up. Tried it all and put it to the test of others.
It isn't up for debate, there are too many books, magazines & teevee shows to prove otherwise. If you enjoy it and find it helpful, that's fine and great that you've found a path that you find helpful. I'm all for that. But don't put forth your point of view being the one and only way to make perfect pesto, it just isn't so.
I'll take it both ways and enjoy it to the ends of the earth. But those are two very different ways of doing the same thing and they don't produce the same product.
Also keep in mind I'm not a fan of the modern machine. I'll outbake you on bread over a bread machine. I'll out render you on home rendered lard versus grocery store crap.
I buy wheat berries to make my own flour for bread and I'll out smoke you with your gas grill versus my apple wood fired pit.
I'm a card carrying lunitic food snob and food processors blow chunks. I'm not misguided, just out of my mind in love with food and pay attention to way too many details. I let Michael know a few months ago I was trouble and I aim to prove it. Take your modern electric deevices and put them back where they belong, in the trash.
Biggles / http://www.meathenge.com/
That's lunatic. Ya know, having something to do with the moon. Sorry about the typo.
Dr. Biggles, you're no trouble at all! You've got to try harder!
Seriously, I'm glad I've got active posters and commenters on this website and the forums like Dr. Biggles - otherwise we couldn't have a dialogue about food. CfE would just be another recipe site with some kid writing webpages on topics he has no expertise in and no one to keep him honest.
I appreciate everyone's comments and opinions and love to hear about how others are tackling cooking (with or without modern "conveniences" - regardless of if it's done simply for survival or for the sheer love of it.
Krups Coffee grinders are so cheap that I have 2 of them. One I use for chillis and spices that are more pungent. The other I use for everything else. This way I do not have to be so fussy about cleaning the dried chillis and peppers I often use in my cooking. As for the cloudy lid - this also happens if you heat the spices up before putting them in the grinder. Frankly, I don't really care, it still works the same, cloudy lid or not. One more note: If you grind hot-dried chillis in this thing it is best to let it sit for a minute or two before opening. I ground some particularly hot dried Thai chillis a while ago and pulled the lid of too soon. It took me about 30 minute in the shower to get the sting out of my eyes. I took an hour with the fan blowing and windows and doors open before I could stand being in the kitchen.
I've been lurking for awhile - My first post.
Try harder? Jeez, I thought that was a pretty good effort back there. I'll see what I can do for ya.
I used an electric thing yesterday at work. One of those home deep fryer rigs. I've been persuing a special type of fried chicken and thought I would have more time to deal with it at work. You see, I have 2 small kids at home and don't have a lot of time for kitchen work.
Anyway, this type of chicken has been elusive to say the least. The long & short of it is the damned fryer is about 50 degrees F short. I used that new fancy Thermopen (badass rig to say the least) and it was obvious what my problem was. Dang electric fryer. I'm thinking I might order that really nice cast iron chicken fryer KIT from Lodge. It comes with a large deep cast iron fry pan, basket (I don't use the basket) and a nice thermometer. At least this way I can make sure I have at least 375 if not closer to 400.
Biggles / http://www.meathenge.com/
Oh man, I totally ground some cloves in my grinder just before xmas. hehe... imagine what happened. ::shrug:: I can make due with a cloudy/clovey lid... cause I'm sure as hell not paying $9 bucks for a new one. :P They should make a metal alternate lid. That I might be willing to get for 9. ::shrug::
I picked up a cheapo Toastmaster grinder for less than your replacement lid. It was around $8 before the holidays (I guess a cheap coffee grinder makes an excellent gift in someone's eyes). I haven't tried it yet, but I'm not looking to turn my spices into powder anyway, so how bad can it be?
I have had this grinder for 10+ years. I use it for coffee and it works great. It is worth much more than it costs!
Thanks for writing about the Krups grinder. I've been using it to grind spices and coffee for ten years, and it's good to see the advice about clove oil.
I am looking for a coffee grinder to grind spices but I am not able to find Krups grinders in many stores. can someone tell me which stores may have them. also is there any other grinder good enough to use for spice grinder??
"Take your modern electric deevices and put them back where they belong, in the trash."
Jacques Pepin and Michel Richard would like to have a word with you. So would James Beard, were he alive today.
You can dice an onion by hand in the time it takes to put the blade into a food processor and there's less to clean up. By the same token, there is no contest with my bread machine's mix mode when I'm making dough (which ferments for three days!) for a pizza party.
Yes, give me a wrench over a Vice-Grip® any day -- right tool for the job -- but stone age does not equal "master technique." Also, THEORY is important.
We could learn about vacuum tubes "just in case" but going forward it's chips ahoy, mate.
One should only take a wrench over a Vice Grip when attempting to turn bolts; a man who tries to use a wrench to clamp two things together will soon be crying for a Vice Grip :)
Nice article, I didn't know electric grinders went for so little. I'll keep an eye out for 'em!
I think that Mace will also cloud or alter your plastic pieces. The Plastic bag I bought it in was even starting to degrade.
Hi! I read everyone's comments and advice for the Krups coffee grinder...I think this might be the one I will get, but I don't know for sure yet. Another one I've been looking at is the Kitchenaid grinder that goes for about $30 (Target.com has it). It has the removable stainless steel bowl, so it seems to be a good one to get since I can wash it out in the sink if I wanted/needed to. Has any had any experience with the the KA grinder and if so, what are your thoughts on it compared to the Krups? TIA!
If you are like me and want ease of use, I would spend a little extra money for the cuisinart grinder I got. It works great and, the best part about it, has a REMOVABLE grinding cup. You just put in whatever you are grinding then, when you are done, pop it out, dump it out, and clean it without any of the hassle. This whole issue with the cloves, other than the lid clouding up is easy for me since I can take out the part the cloves grind in and wash it in the dishwasher or by hand.
Since becoming a coffee snob, my coffe 'grinder' chopper thing has been used for seeds & cutting down coarse ground spice and salt exclusively (a real grinder that can contol teh grind size can be had relatively cheaply for better coffee). The cloudy lid is a non issue for me, it's a tool and not art. The smell, though... I have made sure to clean the lid and wipe the insides well with a moist sponge after every use to keep it from contaminating other things. That's worked pretty well so far (been using it for about 3 years as a spice chopper).
I did break the button on my lid once... Luckily they are stocked at my local service center (in Sacramento, CA) and it's only about a 5 minute drive next door to the specialty grocery store I more or less live in.
I'd just go for the second lid. $10 is not a huge sum of money and you can keep the first lid for griding cloves and allspice and use the new, clean lid for your other spices.
I love my old krups grinder. If you can find one of the type 203s that was made in Hong Kong. Those older models are indestructable and much better than the ones made in mexico or china. All that wears is the lid.
go to bed, bath, and beyond and they will replace your grinder if that store carries it. they have a ridiculously lenient return policy there. i work in the receiving department and we just send all the broken stuff back to the vendors to get the money back for it.
I have both a Krups coffee grinder and a Kitchen Aid coffee grinder. In addition I have had a Capresso coffee grinder. The Krups would be my last choice of the 3 because of the shape of the grinding bowl. It is far harder to clean than either of the other 2 and does not grind as well. First choice is Kitchen Aid for the grinding and for the cleanup. The Capresso grinds almost as well and also cleans up easily but does not have the removable bowl. Either is IMNSHO far superior to the Krups and the Capresso is about the same price. The Kitchen Aid is a little more expensive but you get far superior service from Kitchen Aid and it is just a better product.
Tried using a Krups to grind 1.5 cups of poppy seeds into paste for cooking. Did so in 1 minute bursts to grind followed by 2-3 minutes rest. After 5 rounds of smoke came out of the grinder and it went to the big grinder junkyard in the sky. Back to Bed, Bath, and Beyond you go!
Thanks for the tips -- I think I will replace it with the cuisinart or kitchenaid. Not having a removable bowl for washing is just bad design.
I use my grinder for coffee and spices, including hot peppers. To clean I put bread in the grinder and let loose. The bread gets pulverized and cleans up all the oils from the coffee or peppers.
To remove stains, try soaking the surface in lemon juice for a couple hours, then scrub with baking soda.
I have one. I use it for spices. It doesn't bother me that the top is opaqued.
As well as using a grinder beforehand, you could also just use a blender to mix the spice(s) in to a liquid in the recipe.
I happened upon this site while searching for spice grinders. I read something about a magazine that I wanted to check out. Now I've come back to the site to find it and I can't. All I really remember: It's hardcover, It costs a pretty penny for few issues and the poster didn't know why it wasn't better known. I had never heard of it myself.
Thanx for any help.
Thanks for the information, Michael. I was looking for a spice grinder for grinding spices that are so much essential for Indian recipes but could not found one until this article.
I'll go shopping for it today and though it appears that Krups is not available in many stores, I think any good coffee grinder should do the job.
At your convenience, would you post the recipe referred to in your original post?
Thank you very much.
Do you happen to have the recipe for the spice cookies that ruined your lid? Thanks!
I'm glad you told me about this. I think I might buy two. One for spices, and the other, of all things, for chemicals. I have 5lbs of technical grade KMnO4 that takes forever to grind using a mortar and pestel. And then another 3lb of NaNO3. Expensive, though, because I'm sure it'll ruin the grinder.
However, that would work great if you grow your own spices. Just dry them and then grind them up, beats grocery store stuff.
I have noticed the inside of the plastic Costco container of cloves that sits in my cupboard does have a brown stain on the inside of the bottle.
I use my Krups grinder regularly. I have ground cloves one or twice. Mostly I grind the same group of spices in the grinder, and the residual smell of cloves does not matter.
I usually clean my grinder by throwing in a small quantity of rice and grinding it, moreover, an addition of baking soda to the rice might absorb any smell. As a last resort, before throwing out a grinder, try grinding charcoal granules in the unit before throwing it out. They could be obtained in small quantities at your local aquarium supply store, and will tend to absorb any residual oils left by the spices. :)
My wife ruined an earlier grinder by washing it under water. It caused the motor shaft to seize. I was disappointed, but quickly replaced the unit.
I've got a Braun coffee grinder that I use for all manner of whole spices, and it seems to work well. I've only had it a few years, but it was a good buy...but one thing I find annoying is that, like the Krups, it lacks a removable bowl.
I've done cloves before and had no real problem with them clouding up the cover (maybe I should reconsider my fresh-whole-spices source...). Cinnamon sticks kill it, though: I've got a nice, brownish-red sheen on the thing, and it smells of cinnamon. I've tried grinding both NaCl and rice, but I'm still stuck with the cloudy lid/smell. I'll have to give (rice + baking soda), followed by a *very* thorough wipe-down, followed by vinegar a try...the thorough wipe-down because we all know what happens when vinegar and baking soda come in contact :)
Michael, your site is awesome. I'm a recently-graduated chemistry/computer science guy, but I'm doing grad work in materials science/engineering...and this website has become my homepage :)
I was looking for a good spice grinder that can given the finest spice powder. I tried all different brands and types I could find but none of them could beat my 20 years old Regal coffee and spice grinder. After 1 minute grinding, my old Regal could produce the fine powder that would rise like smoke (When you opened the cap within 30 seconds). However, the capacity is smaller (good for small quantity) and plastic casing started cracking. Some my Indian friends suggested the "Summet Asian Kitchen Machine" to me. It claimed as the finiest spice grinder that can grind the spices into talc powder like fine particles. I ordered one (about $200). I was told 3 to 4 weeks for delivery. 6 weeks later, I still didn't have it. After 10 phone calls later, finally got some one on the phone. He explained there were some production issues in India factory. It would be here in 10 days and he would notify me personally. It had never happened after 2 and half months. No response to my email, the voice message box was full, could not even leave an message (you wonder why?). So I cancelled the order through credit card company. Never had chance to try this one. Maybe it just a good product with very bad service.
By the way, I think the reason my old Regal worked better is because of a higher speed motor.
8| I just found you site, and thought the Google tag was "Cooking for Foreigners"
DAMN that Evelyn Wood speed reading.
I thought, hmmm . . . maybe those Italians don't like the way we make sauce.
Your site is original, and I'm sure a source of pride for you.
Read the SNAFU about grinding cloves, and wondered if you just don't have ONE grinder for these types of spices, one for coffee, one for other products -- this way, you don't need to buy a mortal and pestle just ask KRUPS for more products! And keep a few for the individual needs.
By the way, I found the Chasen's Chili years ago in the newspaper and have been making that chili every since. It's a GREAT fall food!!
But DUDE . . .what is UP with you confirmation code!?!?!?
some one said that the motor caught fire when they were grinding poppy seed . Is there one that would not get heated and burn the motor coil. Need to know if there is any, lloks like some had good expereience with Krups or cuisenart or Regal , so which one is the winner.
seriously looking for a grinder that really works fore spices and poppy seeds, any idea
I have some old generic coffee grinder I use for spices. Rice works well to clean it.
But cloves and cinnamon are so hard I usually resort to an iron mortar and pestle you can get for a couple bucks at any Indian grocery store.
If you just want experiment, go to a Goodwill store. There's always a zillion at the one near me and they go for a couple bucks each.
I've used the $30 Kitchen Aid Blade Coffee Grinder (BCG100WH) to grind spices in class at the Culinary School of the Rockies. It's a great unit.
I have an old much-loved Krups Coffee Grinder (203-71) that has been used to grind spices but the Kitchen Aid is clearly superior. For one thing, the Kitchen Aid stainless steel "cup" is much deeper and less of the clear plastic cap is exposed to the grinding activity.
If I had space in my small home kitchen, I'd have both: The Krups for coffee and the Kitchen Aid for spices.
Until I have a larger kitchen I'll use my old set of two white ceramic nesting mortars and pestles. I've had them so long I don't remember where I got them. It may have been Pier 1 before they went so upscale.
I need to buy a spice grinder that will power dried irish moss. I live in Sacramento. Ideallly, I would get to run the herb through the grinder before I buy- is there an answer for me ?
I'm looking for the electric spice grinder used by both Rick Bayless and Alton Brown on their cooking shows. The bowl and the top are both metal, and I believe turn on by pushing the top down. I have an ancient Moulinex that is not safety featured (you can turn it on with the top off) but does a fantastic job. The plastic top is beginning to crack....the end is near, and I don't want to be without my spice grinder. I've gone to both sites and am unable to get the information. WoWcat
hmm, didn't see that exact issue, but this seems to describe except the lid appears to be plastic...
I have the Kitchenaid grinder others referred to. I use it for all sorts of things -- spices, flax seeds, oats... Pretty much everything BUT coffee (I have a burr grinder for that).
I love the cleanup on the Kitchenaid. The deep removable grinding cylinder really helps.
Before this one I'd had a grinder given to me as a gift; similar to the Krups, but store-branded from Gloria Jean's. The motor on that eventually burned out, but I found it wasn't hard to clean with a little bit of bread or rice. Not nearly as convenient as the current one, though.
I believe the grinder you are talking about is the Kitchen Aid BCG100. They seem to be discontinued, but a google search did turn up suppliers who still stock them. The cup in which you grind the spices is stainless, but the cover is plastic.
I wish I had leaned about clove oil and plastic grinders... I just ruined my little Bodum C-Mill coffee grinder. Not only is the cap cloudy, but the clove residue on the inside rim has fused with the plastic (looks like black ABS?) I tried wiping off the residue and the plastic smeared off with it! To the trash it goes!
Next time you think you've ruined something made of plastic, go to an auto parts store and ask for the plastic polish they use to clean motorcycle windshields. My husband scrubbed a polycarbonate wine glass with a Scotch-Brite and I thought it was ruined. But the plastic polish restored it nicely.
I wish khow if with the KRUPS SPICE GRINDER is it possible to pulverizing sugar, for making fine POWDERED SUGAR.
Or do you have other GRINDERS suitables for to pulverizing the sugar?
Thanking to you for your kind attention, I remain you.
I routinely make small batches of superfine sugar by grinding normal granulated sugar in the Krups coffee grinder.
I was just about to grind some whole cloves in my brand new Krups grinder. I had just ground some cashews and was looking for some ideas to clean the device... I came across this site and read about the problem with grinding cloves. I was lucky to find this site; otherwise, I would've probably gone ahead and ground some cloves and possibly ruined my brand new grinder!
Re: Krups coffee grinder as a spice grinder.
I don't grind cloves or allspice, yet my grinder is not only turning color, but the plastic is slowly grinding away and disappearing. Seems that this particular grinder with its plastic parts CANNOT be used as a spice grinder, if you expect it to last! I had ground a lot of other spices in it, and can conclude that the plastics are not abrasion resistant enough. Coffee beans yes, spices NO.
These are Coffee Grinders First for the most part but, they are cheap & provided you have one reserved for Grinding Coffee you can use these to grind spices! But keep in mind that they aren't meant to run for long periods of time or they over heat & burn out! But again they are cheap Sooooo!
Has anyone heard of an outfit from India called Sumeet Centre Inc.? Williams & Sonoma briefly sold a product of theirs called a "Sumeet Multi Grind" & that baby will grind spices, puree nuts (Almonds,filberts,etc.),Coconut, anything. It's good for Asian, Mexican, Indian (as in India), any cooking you want to do. It's got a 400 watt motor in the Multi Grind & they have a bigger one that has a 750 watt motor in it! The Multi Grind with the 400 watt motor is around $90.00, that's not real cheap but not real expensive either. Anyway I thought I'd mention it, I just found out about it on the internet earlier, I'm going to try to get one as soon as I can, you might want to check it out too! Oh Well! That's it for now Chiliheadtoo out!
Yes, Cloves and Allspice will generally react with the clear plastic (generally polycarbonate) cover/lid of your coffee grinder. SOLUTION: Option A: live with it. Option B: to clean it up, use a good grease-cutting cleaner like Simple Green, to get rid of most (80%) of the oil compound that has attacked the plastic; Scrub with scotchbrite or steel wool; polish the interior with a good grade of plastic rouge and a muslin buff. Returns the clear to clear. The 'bowl' of the grinder is mostly stainless, so, if you don't immerse the thing, you can clean most with a bit of simple green and then wet towel to 'rinse.'
I was just thinking but if you have any Experience with AutoCad(Engineer?) Then maybe you should just model it and upload to Shapeways or Ponoko and have it printed out in Plastic/metal or whatever you like. on Shapeways you might even be able to get it printed in glass or gold plated... lol
This happened to me this morning. I had a flash of thought that maybe I should use my pestle and mortar for this, but don't want to deal with the hassle of taking them out of the cupboard. I grind it with my coffee grinder and ruined the plastic lid. I immediately went online and found your site. I'm now still kicking myself over it. :(