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Coffee Grinder as Food processor?

Dreamstar Jul 2, 2010 11:38 AM

Do you think that you can use a coffee grinder as a mini food processor. Of course using a coffee grinder for coffee might retain its scent, but do you think it would work if i could use one strictly for non-coffee use. I have a spare coffee grinder from Christmas and was wondering if it would work.

If there is an old topic on this please refer me to it and delete this one. Thanks in advance : )

  1. JonParker Jul 2, 2010 11:57 AM

    It depends on what you want to use it for. It won't grate cheese or anything, but I have a spare coffee grinder that I use strictly for spices, like making cumin powder from whole seeds, and it works great.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JonParker
      thew Jul 3, 2010 09:32 AM

      i bet it would do a fair job at a hard parmasean

    2. g
      glbtrtr Jul 2, 2010 08:33 PM

      Too hard to clean out. You need a detachable bowl to both get access to the ground up food, pour it out, and clean it up. I know. I tried this once. Plus if you don't get it really clean your coffee will later taste like chopped onions or ground cumin ....... spring for that little mini food processor. I use this a lot but not as much as I use a good french chef's knife and a good wooden chopping board. It it is a small amount, you and your knife will still do the best job.

      1. Chemicalkinetics Jul 2, 2010 09:55 PM

        Not exactly an old topic on this, but there was a discussion about using kitchen tools in unintentional ways and coffee grinders came up a few times.

        Because the way a coffee grinder is designed, you can use it as a grinder to grind spices or grains into fine powder. Like JonParker, I have a mini coffee grinder just for spices. However, a coffee grinder cannot be used a chopper, so it won't work for chopping cilantro or chopping onions...

        You get the idea.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
          Quine Jul 2, 2010 10:02 PM

          I agree with use it as a spice grinder. That is what I did with my old extra one and one you start you find that using freshly ground (and roasted ) spices SO addicting.

          If you want a mini chopper, consider an immersion blender that comes with one as an attachment. Great kitchen gadget that I use a lot now that I was gifted one.

          1. re: Quine
            Chemicalkinetics Jul 2, 2010 10:10 PM

            I agree. Fresh ground spices are much more potent than those "ground spices in a bottle" we find in stores and cheaper too. Originally, I were using mortar and pestle, but that setup can be very labor intensive.

        2. Caroline1 Jul 3, 2010 04:24 AM

          I wouldn't use one for any moist or liquid foods. It is NOT immersible in water, and getting the blades clean after such foods is not going to be very successful. However, for dry foods or spices, or maybe even for chopping carrots fine (but NOT potatoes or onions) and then "cleaning" it after by processing some stale bread to remove flavors and knock loose any stray pieces might work.

          As others have said, they work great as spice grinders or spice blenders if you're making your own curry powder or such. The dry bread is the best way I've found to keep flavors from spilling over too much from one use to the next. Or you can use salt to clean one, then just dump the salt and leftover spices down the drain.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Caroline1
            scubadoo97 Jul 3, 2010 09:16 AM

            one of the only useful thing about instant rice is it works great to clean coffee grinders.

          2. p
            poser Jul 3, 2010 04:12 PM

            If you are talking about a whirly blade 'coffee grinder' you should be able to grind other stuff. God knows, they are not good for anything else, especially coffee.

            1. l
              lgss Nov 27, 2010 05:15 PM

              We use ours for grinding spices (we're not coffee drinkers) and for grinding small batches of various kinds of gluten-free flour (quinoa, amaranth, millet, buckwheat, garbanzo, brown rice, etc.) Our problem is that the plastic lids crack and chip over time. Can anyone recommend a high quality, durable one that doesn't take up much counter space?

              3 Replies
              1. re: lgss
                CindyJ Nov 28, 2010 07:01 AM

                I've got an old Braun I use for spice-grinding that just keeps going and going. No cracks, no chips, just some discoloration on the interior from some of the spices. It's got a small (5") footprint, but it's also so small I can keep it tucked away in a drawer, which makes sense for me because I don't use it often enough to dedicate counter space to it.

                1. re: CindyJ
                  lgss Nov 29, 2010 02:06 PM

                  We have a Braun and I see that it's no longer available. Replacement lids are but shipping is more than the cost of the lid...thought about ordering several lids but since the base is no longer available...

                2. re: lgss
                  paulj Nov 28, 2010 11:56 AM

                  look for one that has a deep metal lined bowl. This will minimize contact between hard spices and the plastic lid.

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