A spice mill herb grinder can make a radical difference in the flavor of your foods, as well as make it easier to grind herbs for medicines and crafts. From the moment that an herb or spice is ground it begins to lose flavor and nutritional value. By growing your own herbs, or buying herbs and spices whole and grinding them, you can get the best flavor and quality. While a blender or food processor is often much too large, the grinder can process small amounts of herbs and spices in a matter of seconds. The hardest part will be which one to choose.
How the Mills Work
There are times, both in cooking and in making herbal tinctures and other herbal medications, that you will need the herbs to be ground into smaller particles. If you plan on making herbal medicines by filling gelatin capsules, for example, the dried herbs must be in a powdered form. Some people grind herbs to treat their dogs and cats. By being able to grind the herbs, you have the ability to sprinkle them on pet food easily.
The spice mill herb grinders work either by hand, battery or electric. A mortar and pestle are a very primitive example of a hand herb grinder.
The battery operated grinders, as well as the electric grinders, work with either burrs or blades. Look for burrs if you do a lot of grinding. They last longer and do not produce much heat when grinding, which is better for the herbs.
Types of All Purpose Grinders
Most of us are familiar with pepper mills. By adding whole peppercorns to the mill, and grinding as needed, the spice stays fresh and potent for a long time. Any spice mill herb grinder works in much the same way. There are, however, different designs. Which to choose is largely a matter of preference.
- Krups has a spice mill that looks much like a coffee grinder.
- Minces fresh herbs in moments
- Stainless steel blades
- Safety lock lid
- Trudeau Graviti Battery Operated Pepper Mill
- Contemporary design and red color
- Works on six AAA batteries
- Turns on automatically when flipped over
- Kuhn Rikon Spice Grinder
- Comes with extra jars
- Adjustable grind from fine to coarse
- Williams Sonoma Stainless Herb Grinder
- Grinds fresh herbs easily
- Hand crank
- Berard Olive Wood Grinder
- Solid olive wood
- Hand crank
All purpose grinders can handle many chores but they can't handle all of them equally well. If you do a lot of cooking with spices and herbs, then you will want to pick up grinders for more specialized jobs. Here are a few of the specialized grinders:
- Nutmeg grinder
- Cocoa bean grinder
- Cinnamon mill
- Salt/pepper mill
Each of these grinders is designed for special types of grinding that other grinders do not handle as efficiently.
Where to Find Your Spice Mill Herb Grinder
There are many specialty stores online that carry a variety of grinders:
Because some herbs and spices are very potent, it is good to have more than one grinder. Grinding nutmeg after grinding garlic, for example, might make your cake taste a little odd. Two or three grinders, to be used with different types of herbs and spices just makes sense.
The best grinders have designs that clean easily. Usually the more simple a design is, the easier it will be to care for. Tap out any residual particles from the blades or burrs of the grinder, and wipe with a damp cloth. Allow to air dry with the top off. If you happen to grind something that leaves a smell, just add a few coffee beans and grind for a few moments. The coffee should take care of the odor, and any possible left over tastes.
Using freshly ground herbs and spices to make your own herbal remedies is a good way to ensure freshness and quality.