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Feb 1, 2013 10:50 AM

Nutmeg grinder

I love freshly grated nutmeg and use if often. What I don't love is each time having to fish a nut out of the jar, then hunt around for where did I put that fine grater, then scrape my fingernails or knuckles on the teeth of said metal grater. So, I thought: why not put nutmeg pieces in a pepper/salt grinder and get a lot of fine grate with a few quick twists, sans bloody knuckles? It hasn't worked out. No matter how I adjust the grind (fine to medium to coarse), it takes forever to get even a quarter teaspoon ground up, leading me to return to the painful method. I am using a quality grinder. Any suggestions out there?

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  1. Many years ago I purchased this little tool (I hope the picture uploads). I think it is made by Taylor. Although it isn't perfect, it is good. It makes more tiny shaves than "ground" flecks. I think a good kitchen store would have one, or you could find it on-line.

    16 Replies
    1. re: dkenworthy

      So, with this contraption you get shavings or nutmeg, not a fine grind? How do you use the shavings? Won't it taste too strong in food?

      1. re: FallsChurch2

        You will ground nutmeg. I don't know whether to call it fine or medium.

        1. re: FallsChurch2

          The shavings are fine enough that it isn't a problem. It just looks "different" than grated or ground nutmeg.

        2. re: dkenworthy

          x2. I have this one and use it daily (I got mine from Williams-Sonoma) It's not too strong at all

          1. re: pretzal

            OK, sold. I have a gift card from WS, so at last I'll have something to use it on. Thanks all for your comments.

            1. re: pretzal

              I got this for Christmas, also from Williams-Sonoma. It is so much better than that thing I was always scraping my knuckles on!

            2. re: dkenworthy

              I have this same grinder; I think it is made by William Bounds. However, mine keeps popping apart at the seam. I have replaced it a couple of times and still it comes apart while grinding.


              I, too, would love to see a better grinder for nutmeg.

              1. re: dkenworthy

                I have this but I haven't found it to be trouble free. Its a good concept though.

                1. re: sueatmo

                  sueatmo, are you referring to the William Bounds nutmeg grinder?

                  If so, are you having the same separation problems that I am having with the top popping off at the seam?

                  1. re: liu

                    grinder in dkenworthy's post upthread. I have this. The top pops off if the nutmegs aren't a minimum size, and the nutmeg in the center grinding position is often out of position. It requires a lot if fiddling to get it to work, in my experience.

                    1. re: sueatmo

                      Oh, YES, sueatmo! I had forgotten about that annoying but necessary "fiddling" with the center nutmeg. This tool grinds one face of the nutmeg flat, but then it stops working because there is no rough surface to shave.

                      This William Bounds nutmeg grinder is a great tool in theory, but it is poorly designed. I do wish someone would improve upon it.

                      1. re: liu

                        You described the problem much better than I. That's what it does. I just use a regular nutmeg grinder now.

                2. re: dkenworthy

                  I had this, and ended up giving it to my mother. I went back to the fine microplane. It's so much easier.

                  1. re: breadchick

                    I use my microplane grater also. Easy peasy. In addition, I don't like single purpose doodads.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      "I don't like single purpose doodads"

                      +1! Another vote for the mighty microplane.

                      1. re: TraderJoe

                        We do house exchanges and it's one of the items I always carry with me.

                3. I have one of those half-cylinder type graters. It's small (maybe 5" tall) and has a lidded opening that holds the nutmeg when not in use. It sits in the spice cabinet and grates a nutmeg easily, no bloody knuckles required.

                  Here is an example


                  12 Replies
                  1. re: gourmanda

                    It's cute! But it resembles my metal grater (except mine is flat with a handle). And you don't scrape your knuckles bloody with this thing?

                    1. re: FallsChurch2

                      I've scraped knuckles on this baby.


                      1. re: FallsChurch2

                        Nope, no scraping that I can ever recall. And it's inexpensive and doesn't take up much space.

                        1. re: gourmanda

                          I have the same kind and have never had a problem with scraping my fingers.

                      2. re: gourmanda

                        This is the kind we have too, used mostly by Mr. Rat for eggnog and other cocktails. It's very handy to have the little compartment for the partially used nutmeg and neither of us have ever injured ourselves with it.

                        1. re: gourmanda

                          Hey, I've been looking for one of these!!! thanks. I normally use a micro palne, but I like the idea of storing the nutmeg with the grater.

                          I have the Willam - Bounds mentioned above, but I'm not wild about it. The problem I have, is after the seed gets down a bit, the grater no longer wants to grip it. You crank and crank and nothing comes out unless you fiddle with how the seed is postioned. More effort than it's worth and I end up taking the seed out and grabing the micro plane.

                          1. re: mike0989

                            Exactly, have described the problem well!
                            And this is why our William Bounds nutmeg grinder sits lonely on the shelf.

                            1. re: mike0989

                              But smaller the bit, more likely the micro plane will plane part of your finger. Even with my old fashioned grater (Made in W. Germany), I toss the bits that are too small to hold without harming myself.

                              1. re: paulj

                                I throw the bits into milk when heating it for bechamel, or into the stock pot.

                            2. re: gourmanda

                              I have one. But I have to put a rubber band around the lid that holds the whole nutmeg.

                              1. re: gourmanda

                                I have an almost identical one that my Mother-in-law gave me. I'm sure its older than me (78) and works fine.

                                1. re: gourmanda

                                  I have that one, too. It hangs from a tiny nail on the inside of the upper cabinet that holds the spice carousel, so it NEVER gets lost. I keep lots of small kitchen tools, and charts, on the insides of cabinet doors, useful space that many folks never think of utilizing.

                                2. I bet you could also use a microplane. I like finely grated nutmeg, so I don't mind the little grater like gourmanda references.

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: nemo

                                    I smash my nutmeg with a hammer, put it in my knife-like
                                    coffee grinder and voila! I also do this with cinnamon sticks.


                                    1. re: sweetfern

                                      And the coffee grinder yields a fine-powder nutmeg grind? (I'm still not convinced about those shavings) Which coffee grinder to you use?

                                      1. re: FallsChurch2

                                        Yes. I keep the nutmeg powder in a little jar. I also use nutmeg to flavor cocoa, milk/rum punch. Krups fast touch grinder.


                                      1. re: nemo

                                        I use a microplane. Usually nutmeg is needed in small quantities and the microplane works great

                                        1. re: nemo

                                          + a billion on the microplane. I have two because I was constantly using it and it was always being washed, so now I have a backup. Perfect for nutmeg, parmesian, romano, or any old dried up cheese I need to shred.

                                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                                            Also, can't be beat for zesting citrus.

                                          2. re: nemo

                                            Yes, you can use a microplane until the piece of nutmeg is too small. I also put small pieces in a manual coffee grinder that I reserve for spices.

                                          3. We use fresh grated Nutmeg or Muskat is many of our meals at home.

                                            This kitchen tool is called a Muskatreibe. I find it very useful, and easier to handle than a long rasp.

                                            It holds a few nutmeg nuts inside: You just flip the black lid, pop one out, rasp fresh grated nutmeg, and pop the remainder back inside.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                              I find a bamboo ginger-grater works well on nutmeg, and cleans up easily.

                                            2. I use a good deal of nutmeg and when using a microplane to grate the nut I wear a ladies garden glove. The glove is fabric and fits snug. I can hand grate the nut down to a nub without any chance of pain.

                                              When I use the nutmeg mill I break up the nut in a bowl first because I find the mill does a better job using the whole nut in pieces than left whole.Smaller kitchen hammer or nut cracker works to cut the nutmeg in half. I point the nut flatside up in the mill.

                                              But, another use for a nutmeg mill or pepper grinder is to grind whole cloves. They both do an outstanding job of grinding whole cloves in small batches. I detach the clove head from the stem and grind just the head. The stems I mill with coffee beans in my coffee grinder.