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Grinding herbs and spices

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  • Grinding herbs and spices

    Hello all!

    My wife & I plan to grow our own herbs and spices.  So we want to purchase a grinder suitable for grinding them to a fine powder.  Ive researched commercial spice grinders.  But they start at several thousand dollars.

    One thing in particular we need to do (which should limit the selection somewhat), is to powder (dried) bay leaves.

    Can any of the site retail supporters help with advice?  (Or maybe someone that already grinds their own spices, could you please pop a few bay leaves into your grinder and report back the results?)

    Thanks for reading.  

    Edit: Sorry, I meant to say that the machine will be dedicated only to this purpose.

  • #2
    Re: Grinding herbs and spices

    I have an old hand operated coffee grinder now dedicated for doing seeds and spice blends with (didnt grind even enough for coffee). Not sure how it would go with bay leaves? Less work than a mortar and pestle and a better job.


    • #3
      Re: Grinding herbs and spices

      Depending on the volume required wouldnt a blade grinder be ok? I have found the powder to be reasonably even when left to smash for a while. If you are pretty keen on preserving freshness, however, the heating may be a no-go.


      • #4
        Re: Grinding herbs and spices


        We tried some battery-powered Russell Hobbs salt & pepper grinders we have. I had to cut the bay leaves into smaller pieces to get them to feed into the ceramic burrs. But even on the finest setting, they just fell straight through, because the leaves are so thin. I did think about the manual coffee grinders with rotating handles, but figured that same thing would most likely happen. (But who knows!? The stores of course wont let you "dirty" one to find out.)

        I considered a mortar & pestle too. But a shop that sold several sizes told me I wouldnt be able to powder bay leaves in one!?  My first thoughts were...  Huh!? But ideally Id like something that can grind all sort of spices/herbs anyway, and I can imagine youd get sick of doing it manually pretty quick.

        But if I cant find the advice/experience I need to decide, I probably will try the mortar & pestle route.


        Yeah, "burning" (through friction) was one of my main concerns.

        Theres only one place Ive found where I can buy powdered bay leaves, and thats online.  And they lose their flavour quick, so you have to buy small amounts.  ie. Postage becomes a killer.

        Ive also thought how many more things will be hard or impossible to find, or expensive with postage, that we could easily grow and process ourselves.

        Thanks for the replies so far.


        • #5
          Re: Grinding herbs and spices

          I will throw a couple of dried bay leaves in my hand grinder later tonight and let you know how it goes. With leafy herbs I do have one of these shredders below that might get the bay leaves down to a better size for the eventual grinder to cope with?

          A good mortar and pestle never goes astray anyway, make sure it is proper stone and not a concrete one, cement dust doesnt taste good :P