Different Tools You Can Use to Grind Your Spices Effectively

One of the simplest ways to elevate a good dish into something outstanding is to use fresh, quality spices. It’s worth it to grind your own spices because they lose their flavor and power once they’ve been pulverized. Many of the spices you purchase at the grocery store are only a shell of their former selves, having been ground who knows when.

It appears that buying a bottle of ground nutmeg, allspice, or even black pepper from the grocery store is considerably easier. However, you save a little time and labor at the expense of a lot of flavor. For instance, the bottle of store-bought ground cumin will have completely lost its flavor. Spices’ effectiveness begins to wane as soon as they are ground. 

Whole spices may be kept for much longer without losing their flavor. They’ll keep their flavor for up to a year if stored in a dark, cool location. And because spices are at their most strong right after grinding, using less seasoning will almost certainly make your food taste better.

Of course, grinding on your own requires the use of tools. Here are the common tools that experts recommend for getting the most flavor out of your spices.

Simplicity of the Mortar and Pestle

For thousands of years, humans have pulverized herbs and whole spices with mortars and pestles, and some businesses still promote this method. When compared to the chopping motion of an electric grinder, crushing releases a wider spectrum of essential oils and flavors, and mortars and pestles are comparatively easy to clean because there are no nooks and crannies to retain food particles.

If you have the space, a set in clay, granite, or marble can also be used as a countertop accent.

Ease of Microplane Graters

A Microplane grater is another low-tech solution for addressing larger whole spices like nutmeg and cinnamon sticks. Attachments from Microplane allow you to grind tiny, pebble-sized materials by hand. All Microplane parts can be thrown in the dishwasher and then put away in a drawer, making storage in a tiny and/or crowded kitchen a breeze.

Speed of Manual Coffee Grinders

According to Ben Walters, proprietor of North Market Spices in Columbus, Ohio, nothing surpasses a dedicated coffee grinder for speedier grinding or processing larger quantities of spices. If you want to go for the old-school look of a manual grinder, Walters recommends getting one with an adjustable head so there can be a range of textures.

Hand-crank models, like mortar and pestle models, might be decorative—just like the Japanese mill from Hario with a glass-and-brass aesthetic that many appreciate.

Flexibility of Electric Coffee Grinders

An electric coffee grinder will be the most practical for most cooks. But how can you choose among the multitude of options available?

Consider buying an electric coffee grinder if you desire speed but don’t mind spending more money on a piece of equipment. There are usually three settings on these machines: fine, medium, and coarse. Powdery spice blends are produced on the finer setting, whereas chunky powders are produced on the coarser setting. To figure out which texture works best for each recipe, you’ll have to experiment.


Spices may be ground, powdered, or whole, for different dishes. However, whole spices retain their flavor and aroma better than ground spices and are preferable when a recipe calls for grinding the spices. They may be roasted in an oven before grinding to enhance their flavors, making them more rich and full of their natural taste.

Enjoy top-grade food seasonings from Castle Foods! We’re an importer, processor, and purveyor of spices, capsicums, herbs, and aromatics. Check out our products today!