Do You Really Need a Spice Grinder? For Great Food, Yes

There's nothing quite like the taste of fresh herbs and fresh spices to brighten up a dish. Store-bought spices are fine, but often lack the flavor punch of freshly ground spices. It's even fun to create your own spice blend for a creative twist on your favorite dish, and that's where spice grinders come in.

If you're a home cook, you need to add a spice grinder to your cookware collection. As the name suggests, a spice grinder blends up herbs and whole spices into a ground spice blend. You can turn hard spices into coarse ground or fine powder. It even works to grind coffee beans into a fine powder, so you can always have fresh espresso.

What can I use for a spice grinder?

Before spice grinders, people had to get creative to break down their spices. One popular gadget to grind spices is a mortar and pestle. A mortar and pestle requires some elbow grease since you have to grind the spices by hand. If you are going to take that route, round herbs like cumin and fennel seeds work better than flat herbs like cinnamon sticks.

Mortar and pestle with mustard seeds

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You probably already have a spice-specific grinder in your home. A peppermill or pepper grinder is a spice-specific grinder that is used solely to grind peppercorns.

If you are a coffee connoisseur you may even have a coffee grinder. While you technically can use a coffee grinder for spices, it's not recommended. If you've ever smelled your coffee maker, you know that the coffee bean smell lasts forever. The same happens with the coffee grinder. Any other spice you add will have a hint of coffee taste and smell. Additionally, a coffee grinder won't be able to grind the spices into a fine powder.

Electric or manual spice grinder?

The more popular grinder remains a manual spice grinder. With a manual grinder, you load the spices into the top, then turn the device, and the ground spices come out of the bottom. Most allow you to change the coarseness of the grind. They also work just as quickly as the electric grinders.

The benefit to an electric spice grinder is it can produce a large amount of spices in a small amount of time. This is the best device to use if you're cooking for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other large gathering. Your food processor may contain a spice grinder attachment if you need one in a pinch.

The world of spice grinders can seem overwhelming, with so many different brands available for purchase. We've curated a list to help get you started on your spice grinding journey.

Best Spice Grinders to Purchase

1. Krups Silent Vortex Electric Grinder

This 3-in-1 multipurpose electric coffee grinder achieves a fine grind for coffee, herbs, and spices. The grinder has a 200-watt motor and grinds coffee beans in only 15 seconds. This grinder is also super silent and dishwasher safe.

2. Cuisinart Spice and Nut Grinder

This electric grinder is fitted with stainless steel blades and a heavy-duty motor. The powerful motor works to finely grind spices and nuts for all your cooking needs. You can find the grinder on sale on Amazon.

3. Kuhn Rikon

This device is a ratchet grinder, which means you pull the handle back and forth to grind the spices. Its small and sleek design makes it look great displayed on a countertop.

4. Shardor Coffee Grinder

This grinder comes with a stainless steel bowl, grinding bowl, and cups. It also has a two-year warranty.

5. Secura Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder

This comes with a stainless steel blade grinder, one grinder bowl, and one chopped bowl. It even has a safety lock storage lid and overheating protection.

6. Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind Electric Coffee Grinder

With this grinder, you can make up to 12 cups of coffee. This is great for when you need to make several batches of coffee quickly and easily. The cord remains hidden at the bottom of the grinder for easy storage.

Editor's Note: Products featured on Wide Open Pets are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

READ: Garlic to Garlic Powder: Equivalent Herbs and Spices to Their Real Food Counterpart