Use it for small quantities of spices like cardamoms, coriander and cumin. It’s easy to fill as the top works like a funnel – measure your spices into it then pull out the plug to load it. The ceramic grinder can be adjusted to a coarse or fine setting. Available from Amazon (£33.99) VonShef granite pestle and angled mortar. Best bits: excellent surface friction for easy grinding.
If you want to grind large quantities of spices by hand, you need a heavy pestle and mortar and this 16cm one is built to last. The real advantage is the slightly rough surface of the granite, which grips the spices and grinds them with very little effort while the unusual slant of the pestle makes it a comfortable angle to grind them at. Available from VonShef (£11.99) Judge solid marble spice grinder. Best bits: good for small kitchens and simple twist function. This 10cm marble pestle and mortar is ideal if you just want to crush a few spices at a time and don’t have space for lots of gadgets. The pestle is cleverly designed to snuggly fit the mortar so the spices are trapped beneath it. We found this best for achieving a slightly coarse-grained spice texture for spices like cardamoms and coriander rather than hard spices like nutmegs.
Available from: Amazon (£14.99) Harts of Stur (£20.24) Cuisinart electric spice and nut grinder. Best bits: no elbow grease required, plus dishwaster-friendly bowls. If you are seriously into your curries this spice grinder comes with two bowls so you can have two spice mixes on the go at once. The bowls also detach from the machine (not all do) so they will go in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Once the lid goes on you just press down to activate the machine – it couldn’t be easier – then take off and check to get the coarse or powder grind that you are after. Works well with both wet and dry spices as well as nuts. We whizzed up garam masala in seconds using whole nutmegs, cardamoms and cinnamon sticks to a fine powder, as well as a wet paste in the other bowl using fresh ginger, garlic, chillies and spices – we added a dash of water and wiped down the sides for an even blend and we thought the overall result was excellent. Available from Cuisinart (£50) James Martin by Wahl spice and coffee grinder. Best bits: attachment that allows you to grind very small amounts of spice. This spice grinder efficiently turns a selection of whole spices into a powder with just a few pulses. However its real selling point is the clever attachment that you fit into the main bowl if you only want to grind 1 teaspoon of spice. Many other grinders on the market require a larger quantity to react efficiently with the blades. The bowls are also removable for easy cleaning, which we think is a must for all electric grinders to avoid cross contamination of flavours. First think about what type of cook you are and how hands on you like to be. Some cooks enjoy the tactile quality of cooking and always prefer to chop an onion with a knife rather than use a processor, so spending the time and effort grinding spices by hand in a pestle and mortar or mill would be a pleasure for them rather than a chore. Others want to eat well, but would prefer to whizz through the prep, so here an electric grinder fits the bill, however small the amount of spice is required for a recipe. Electric grinders are also essential for the keen curry lover who wants to whizz up fairly large quantities of dry and wet ingredients to make spice blends and pastes, which are often still too small for a food processor to cope with. What we looked for when testing spice grinders: A spice grinder that gave an even result whether it was a mill, pestle and mortar or electric grinder. An electric grinder that has removable bowls that could be washed up to avoid cross contamination of flavours. An electric mill that can cope with a wide range of spices from nutmegs and whole cinnamon sticks to cardamoms and cloves without the fear of the machine overheating. Do read instructions before using it as it is often advisable to pulse the machine to crush the spices rather than turn it on full blast. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at [email protected] Do you prefer a manual approach or do you have a grinder you can't live without? The Best Spice Grinder Will Earn Its Place in Your Kitchen. Have you ever looked at a recipe that called for toasting and grinding whole spices and just.
Not out of laziness or because I thought it didn’t matter. I did it because up until recently, I didn’t have a spice grinder. Grinding your own spices is like grinding your own coffee beans: Real heads will tell you it’s the only way to go. Just as whole coffee beans stay fresher longer than the ground stuff, whole spices contain a ton of flavor and aromatic power that starts to fade the moment they’re ground. Toasting and blitzing cumin seeds right before you use them, for example, unlocks a depth and complexity that’s impossible to access with powder from a jar. I knew this, but a lack of proper equipment kept me and every chicken I ever roasted from accessing our full flavor potential. Sometimes the pre-ground stuff is exactly what you need: quick, available, and flavorful enough, especially if it’s not the same jar you’ve had in the pantry since 2013. (Check the date!) But when you have the time and the right tools, starting from whole will turn even your dependable weeknight staples into something worth showing off.
I tested a few of the top-rated spice grinders on the market—three electric and three manual—to find the best in each category. To me, the right product would make quick work of whole spices (and maybe other things, too) and be easy to clean, an undeniably useful and straightforward addition to my kitchen arsenal. Read on for more about the models that came out on top. The Best Electric Spice Grinder: Cuisinart Electric Spice-and-Nut Grinder.