You can use many of your kitchen appliances for more than just their intended purposes. For example, when you’re in the middle of preparing a delicious meal and realize that your food processor is no longer working, or you don’t even have one, you might find yourself staring at your coffee grinder.
Grinding things other than coffee beans in your coffee grinder might seem wild, but you can grind a variety of ingredients with this appliance. But can you use your coffee grinder as a food processor? We’ve got the answers you’re looking for.
The Short Answer? Yes and No
The simple answer to whether you can use your coffee grinder as a food processor is yes and no. Coffee grinders make great substitutes for food processors. You can grind grains and spices with relative ease.
You may be able to get away with grinding a hard cheese such as parmesan in the coffee grinder too. You can even grind a variety of produce in your coffee grinder. You can grind small onions and peppers finely with the use of a coffee grinder.
There are some things you won’t want even to attempt to grind in your coffee grinder, though. For example, soft cheeses or meats may not be the best products to put into your coffee grinder.
Due to them being soft and holding moisture, it can be difficult to get most of it out of the burrs. Another ingredient you may not want to put into your coffee grinder is any meat. Raw meat can easily get stuck to the burrs and cause cross-contamination.
How Will it Affect the Equipment?
The good news is that using a coffee grinder as a food processor won’t negatively affect your coffee grinder. You’ll want to keep an eye on it, of course, because while it’s unlikely that there will be any effect, the older your coffee grinder is, the higher the likelihood that the equipment could fail or break.
Attempting to grind certain ingredients in your coffee grinder may cause them to get stuck to the burrs. Soft cheese and meats could get stuck, even if you got most of it out, which can make the equipment more difficult to clean.
Will it Affect the Taste of My Coffee When Used to Grind Coffee Later On?
Whether the taste of your coffee will be affected is really dependent on what products you’re putting in your coffee grinder. If you’re grinding spices or hard cheeses in your coffee grinder, there’s a good chance that your coffee may come out tasting like cheese or whatever herb you were grinding, and vice versa.
With grains, it’s highly unlikely that there will be any flavor crossing. Grains typically don’t have a strong flavor, so it’s doubtful your coffee will taste like wheat or another grain.
The best way to prevent any flavors from crossing over is to thoroughly clean the coffee grinder when switching between coffee and other foods. Also, you shouldn’t use water in your coffee grinder as it can damage the equipment.
To properly clean your coffee grinder to prevent any flavor crossing, grind about a quarter cup of dry rice until it’s a powder. The rice will soak up any flavors leftover from spices or other products.
How to Use a Coffee Grinder as a Food Processor
Grinding spices or other products in your coffee grinder is just as easy if you were to grind coffee grinds.
You’ll input the product and start grinding. Something you’ll want to keep in mind is that depending on the product you’re grinding, it may take more than one cycle in the grinder.
For example, if you’re planning on using the coffee grinder to grind grains, you’ll need at least two processes in the grinder to get the fineness you want.
Pros of Using a Coffee Grinder as a Food Processor
If you’re not interested in spending the money to purchase a food processor, a coffee grinder will do in a pinch. When you use a coffee grinder for more than just coffee beans, you’re saving money on other kitchen appliances.
Coffee grinders are incredibly useful for grinding your own spices, grains, and even bread for breadcrumbs.
Cons of Using a Coffee Grinder as a Food Processor
Depending on what you’re using your coffee grinder to grind, there may be some cross-contamination with flavors.
For example, if you’re grinding spices or other intensely flavored things in your coffee grinder, if you don’t clean it before grinding coffee beans, there’s a good chance your coffee may come out tasting like said spice.
Coffee grinders can act like mini food processors. Being considered a mini food processor may not be a con for everyone, but it can be difficult to scrape out all the ground product from the coffee grinder compared to a food processor.
There’s nothing wrong with using your coffee grinder as a food processor. But, if you’re looking for other options, we’ve got you covered.
Purchase a Coffee Grinder to Use Only as a Food Processor
If you love how your coffee grinder works when using it as a food processor, you can always purchase a second one to use strictly as a food processor.
Invest in a Food Processor
There are a lot of relatively inexpensive food processors available nowadays. Investing in a food processor for your kitchen can allow you to grind up a larger amount of food or spices at a time. You’ll also be able to grind meats and soft cheese if you choose, unlike with a coffee grinder.
Use Your Blender
You may not have a food processor lying around your kitchen, but you may have a blender. The blades in a blender mimic the abilities of a food processor.
So if you have a blender on hand, it’ll also be a lot easier to scoop all the ingredients out of it when you’re finished as well as making the clean-up quick.