Can You Use A Coffee Grinder For Spices? Answered

Are you wondering can you use a coffee grinder for spices? Check out this article to learn how to use a coffee grinder to grind spices without tainting them.

Can you use a coffee grinder for spices?
You can use coffee grinders to make fine powders of your coffee beans and spices

If you are one of the 150 million Americans who consume coffee regularly, you likely have a coffee grinder. On top of being a coffee lover, do you also love cooking with fresh ingredients and spices? Have you thought about getting a grinder to mill your coffee beans and spices?

You can use coffee grinders to make fine powders of your coffee beans and spices. Let’s explore the best way to use a coffee grinder to grind your spices, properly clean your coffee grinder, and why it’s better to use a coffee grinder for spices.

Why You Should Use A Coffee Grinder For Spices?

Nothing is better than having fresh ground coffee, whether it’s your first cup of the day or a quick pick-me-up after a stressful presentation. In the same way, nothing beats the taste, scent, and texture of freshly ground spices. Grinding spices yourself produces fresher and better flavors because you release their oil and scent before using them for cooking instead of losing them in pre-ground packaging.

While spice grinders make excellent work of whole spices, they become an option when you already have a coffee grinder in the house. It reduces the number of kitchen items you need to buy or store. It’s also one less thing to put away or pack when you move to a new place.

With a coffee grinder, you get two tools for one. Of course, the drawback is that you'll have to ensure that the coffee grinder is appropriately and thoroughly cleaned before you use it for grinding coffee or spices. Also, since the coffee grinder is an automatic tool, you won't need to put in the elbow grease.

You might also find our guide on can you grind nuts in a coffee grinder useful.

How To Grind Spices With A Coffee Grinder

Place the unground or whole spices in the grinder or the hopper. The hopper is the plastic or glass component where you place the whole coffee beans. Start grinding the spices by turning on the coffee grinder.

Note that some details may differ depending on the coffee grinder.

For those who have a manual coffee grinder, all you need to do is to twist the grinder until you have spices ground to the size you want. 

Cleaning Your Coffee Grinder

Can you use a coffee grinder for spices?
How to clean blade and burr coffee grinders

Do you dislike the idea of your coffee and spices sharing the same flavors? One drawback of using the same coffee grinder for your coffee beans and spices is that one can taint the other’s taste.

You can avoid each component “sharing” their flavors with the other with proper grinder cleaning and maintenance. 

The following are the steps you need to follow when cleaning your blade coffee grinder to ensure the scent and taste of the spices and coffee don’t mix:

  1. Put a half cup of dry, uncooked white rice in the coffee grinder’s hopper. The white rice will clean the grinder parts that you can’t otherwise reach when cut into smaller pieces.
  2. Turn on the grinder with the rice inside.
  3. Remove the ground rice.
  4. Wipe all the powder from the rice off with a paper towel or kitchen towel.

Visit our step-by-step guide to cleaning coffee grinders for a more detailed process on how to clean blade and burr coffee grinders.

Choosing A Coffee Grinder For Grinding Spices

Coffee grinders come in different types: burr and blade grinders. Burr grinders use two revolving surfaces or burrs to grind coffee. Blade grinders use spinning propeller blades to grind coffee beans, much like a blender does with its contents.

The best coffee grinder type for spices is a blade grinder, especially if you’ll use it for spices more often than coffee.

Blade grinders are more commonplace and affordable. These grinders are also easier to set up because they have fewer components. Finally, blade grinders provide an adequate grind for your spices.

That isn’t to say that you can’t use burr coffee grinders for spices, but they’re more expensive and are trickier to clean, which increases the risk of leaving a spice’s residue in the grinder. Unless you like the taste of cardamom or pepper in your coffee, you need extra care when you use and clean a burr grinder for your spices.

The most significant benefit that burr coffee grinders have over blade grinders is their consistency. The burr grinder's output tends to have uniform shapes and sizes. It's the better choice if you have no problem spending a little more on purchasing it and putting in a little more effort in using a burr grinder.

Best Blade Coffee Grinder For Grinding Spices

Do you need a new coffee grinder for your coffee and spices? Do you have to replace your old coffee grinder with a new machine for improved and more consistent grind sizes? You may have no idea what kind of coffee grinder you should get for your first multi-use coffee and spice grinder.

Based on our experience, the Cuisinart Grind Central Blade Grinder is a great blade coffee grinder with excellent durability, performance, and value. The coffee grinder has an easy-to-use design. You can also use it to grind up to 90 grams of beans or spices at once. 

On top of that, you can get it at an affordable price. The only drawback is that some spices end up in the lid or at the edge. Despite its somewhat messy output, it's still the best-value coffee grinder for spices.

Cuisinart DCG-12BC Grind Central Coffee Grinder, Blade, Silver
  • EASILY GRIND LARGE QUANTITIES: You'll easily process up to 90g/3.2oz of beans at once, enough to make up to 18 cups of fresh coffee
  • MODERN DESIGN: We bring a modern touches to this coffee grinder with popular brushed stainless steel to seamlessly blend with your appliances
  • HEAVY-DUTY MOTOR: Stainless steel blades and high power motor with provides consistent results with on/off control for simple operation
  • LID FEATURES: We designed this coffee grinder to have a built-in safety interlock to prevent operation unless lid is securely closed – store extra coffee grounds in the grinding bowl
  • EXTRA PERKS: Dishwasher-safe, removable stainless steel bowl and cord storage for ease of use. This product is BPA free and comes with an instruction book to assist with the set up and learning process

FAQs About Using A Coffee Grinder For Spices 

Can I Grind Wet Ingredients In My Coffee Grinder?

No, because coffee grinders can’t mince wet ingredients properly. You can only use dry ingredients like dried herbs and spices. Otherwise, the grinder can jam.

Can I Use My Coffee Grinder To Grind Herbs?

You can grind chopped and dried herbs in your coffee grinder. However, leaving them in the grinder for too long can turn them into powder. So when you’re grinding herbs, ensure that you check how long you leave the grinder on.

Can I Also Use My Coffee Grinder To Grind Nuts?

Yes, like spices and coffee beans, you can also use a coffee grinder to break nuts down. Note that the issue with some nuts is they can leave a lot of oil in the coffee grinder’s blades or burrs. With that said, it’s always vital you make sure you clean the grinder of the nut oils before you use it to grind coffee.