Dec 07, 2023

The Simple Trick To Cleaning Your Electric Spice Grinder

One of the best ways to elevate a simple recipe is to opt for whole spices instead of the pre-ground stuff. Yes, it's convenient to keep a well-stocked spice rack full of everything you'll need in a powdered form, but if you want the most flavor, it's best to grind your spices yourself.

Pre-ground spices have had more contact with light and air, which causes their flavors to break down more quickly than if they were left whole, according to Living My Veg Life, The best way to avoid this is to keep whole spices like star anise or cumin seeds around and blitz them quickly in a spice grinder. says that spice grinders have the same effect when used on fresh herbs, seeds, and nuts too. Grinding spices fresh releases essential oils that will give you the aroma and flavors you want in your dish.

The problem with those essential oils is that they also make a mess of your spice grinder. Cook's Illustrated notes that these oils tend to get clingy in the nooks and crannies of the grinder, and can linger several recipes later. If you don't want your next batch of cinnamon rolls to taste like last night's taco mix, then it's important to know how to properly clean your spice grinder.

Cleaning an electric blade spice grinder might seem intimidating at first, but it's actually as easy as grinding any other ingredient. Epicurious reports that cleaning a spice grinder with water and soap is ill-advised. While the interior might seem well sealed, liquids can still get in, and wreck the electric parts of the grinder. That's why it's important to dry clean the grinder.

Epicurious recommends using old bread and turning it into spiced breadcrumbs, but rice can work just as well for any coffee or spice grinder. These two substances do a great job of picking up even the smallest bits of any spice, as Bon Appétit points out. Simply pick apart a piece of dry or stale bread, and add it to the grinder before milling it for 30 seconds. Then, dump the remains and wipe out the interior with a damp cloth. Bon Appétit says using three to four tablespoons of rice can remove much of the lingering spice odors as well. If that doesn't do the trick, grinding a small amount of baking soda or wiping your machine out with some white vinegar can help eliminate some of the more stubborn aromas.