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How to Grind Whole Spices

Recently I was working on a recipe that called for ground allspice. That shouldn’t have been a problem, but when I started digging around, all that I could find was whole allspice.

How annoying is that?

It is shocking how often we go through spices. Perhaps it shouldn’t be because we run a cooking website, but it is. Running to the store for ground allspice wasn’t an option, and frankly, that would have been silly when I can grind it myself.

However, that does bring up a question. How do you easily and quickly grind whole spices? Yes, we have a mortar and pestle, but I am not a fan. It is excellent for some things, but whole allspice is hard to grind with it.

 When the mortar and pestle are annoying, I pulled out the handy dandy coffee bean grinder. This little gadget that our dear friends gifted us last year is so darn convenient.

Yes, you can buy an actual spice grinder, and it would honestly work better, BUT that is just one more gadget to buy. Plus, most of us have a coffee grinder on hand.

Tips on grinding whole spices

  • Clean the coffee grinder entirely before you grind the spices. You don’t want coffee mixed in and causing a flavor conflict.
  • Clean the grinder after you are done grinding the spices. You don’t want to impact the flavor of your coffee in the morning.
  • The more spice that you put in the grinder, the better that it will grind.
  • Grind in bursts and keep checking for the consistency that you want to achieve.

How to grind whole spices with a coffee grinder

  1. Unplug your coffee grinder.
  2. Clean your coffee grinder thoroughly. A small basting brush can be quite handy for this.
  3. Pour the whole spice into the coffee grinder.
  4. Plugin the grinder.
  5. Grind the spice for about 30 seconds.
  6. Open the lid and check for the consistency that you are looking for.
  7. If you want a finer grind, replace the lid and grind for another 30 seconds. Keep doing this until you have achieved the texture that you desire.
  8. Pour ground spice into a small container with a lid. You may find a small funnel helpful in this step.
  9. Unplug your coffee grinder.

Using a coffee grinder to grind spices is super simple to do and fast. The critical factor is to clean it thoroughly before and after grinding your spices. You don’t want your flavor tasting like some random spice the next morning.