Traditionally in India, spice powders are ground as needed. This ensures they are fresh, potent, and fragrant, and the special touch this adds to a dish is incomparable. It may seem like a lot of work, but it is quite simple if you have the right tools. All you need for dry spice grinding is a clean, dry coffee grinder.
When buying a coffee grinder to use for spices, don’t spend too much money, as once it has been used for the spices, it really can't be used for anything else, especially coffee beans. Choose from these five small coffee grinders and you won't be disappointed.
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Though it is one of the more expensive models (averaging $90), this small grinder has 16 grind settings categorized into extra fine, fine, regular, and coarse. It also has a 60-second timer with an auto-stop facility and hand-assembled, solid conical steel burrs which can be removed for easy cleaning. The tight-fitting lid keeps everything in place.
Because it has the slowest grinding with the highest precision, this grinder creates less friction and heat build-up, therefore preserving maximum aroma and flavor, since heat causes flavor breakdown in spices and makes them release their scent. You can grind up to 4 ounces of spices at a time in this model.
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This small, compact grinder has a 160-watt motor and can grind up to 3 ounces of spices, nuts, or grains at a time with its stainless steel blades. The lid-activated safety switch means the grinder won't work unless it is securely closed and the oval shape ensures even grinding.
This model does not have adjustable grind settings or a timer but is the perfect (and therefore popular) example of a grinder that does the job for not too much money (starting around $15). It comes with a limited 1-year warranty.
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This mid-priced grinder has a stainless steel housing and removable stainless steel bowl and blades that are dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. Its 175-watt motor can grind up to 3.2 ounces of spices at a time, and the interior measurement markings mean you can grind precise amounts of spices when you need them. The safety interlock on/off switch won't work unless the lid is on correctly, and the stainless steel exterior makes this unit attractive enough to keep on the kitchen counter.
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With five adjustable levels of grinding—from fine to coarse—you are able to control the process to your liking. The double blades result in even blending, and the clear lid allows you to see the progress. The one-push start makes this grinder hands-free, so you don't need to hold down the button to make the motor run, and the removable bowl avoids mess and makes for easy cleaning. This is a mid-priced grinder coming in around $35.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Available in four colors—cranberry, red, espresso, and stainless steel—this small mid-priced grinder may become the star of your kitchen. To operate, you simply push down on the clear cover and release when finished grinding, allowing you to blend as you need, and see exactly how the spices are processing. The removable stainless steel bowl with stainless steel blades is easy to clean and will fit up to 4 ounces.