Can You Grind Peppercorns in a Coffee Grinder?

You use your coffee grinder to prepare fresh, tasty coffee, and this is a must-have kitchen appliance if your coffee maker machine doesn’t come with a built-in grinder.

The coffee grinder extracts all the fantastic flavors from the coffee bean. It breaks down the beans into a fine powder you can use to brew delicious coffee using various brewing methods.

Many people are curious about the other uses of a coffee grinder – is it a one-trick pony?

Not it’s not. A coffee grinder is an extremely useful electrical appliance because it can be used to grind spices like peppercorns too. Contrary to popular belief, a coffee grinder has multiple uses in the household.

In this post, we will see if you can grind peppercorns in a coffee grinder and provide information about what other foods and spices you can grind in the coffee grinder. Keep reading to find out more!

Can You Use a Coffee Grinder to Grind Peppercorns?

Yes, you can use a coffee grinder to grind peppercorns. The coffee grinder efficiently pulverizes dry peppercorns. A coffee grinder works the same way as an electric pepper grinder, but it has an advantage because it heats up the peppercorns while it grinds them.

Compared to other grinders, the burr grinder uses less friction, preserving more of the natural pepper flavor.

As a result, the peppercorns release more flavor during the grinding process. Grinding the peppercorns with a coffee grinder instead of an electric grinder improves the overall flavors of the pepper.

So, How Do You Grind the Peppercorns?

First, you must clean the coffee bean grinder properly to remove any remaining coffee powder. This step is essential because it removes the coffee flavor and prevents cross-contamination of the pepper.

Next, you place your desired quantity of peppercorns into the machine and start grinding. How long you grind depends on the desired coarseness. The longer you grind, the finer the pepper powder will be.

The only drawback to using the coffee grinder for peppercorns is that you need to perform a thorough clean-up afterward. If the pepper powder remains in the grinder, you’ll end up with pepper-flavored spicy coffee!

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Can You Use a Coffee Grinder as a Spice Grinder?

Yes, you can use a coffee grinder to grind spices since the coffee grinder has powerful burrs which can break down spices into powders.

Spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom (and lot’s more) can easily be ground into a fine powder so you can use them when cooking.

The traditional electric or manual spice grinder has a built-in blade that only grinds small batches of spices. In comparison, the coffee grinder uses burrs to grind, and therefore you can grind larger quantities of spice at once.

After you’re finished grinding pepper in your coffee grinder, it’s extremely important to clean the burrs and the inside of the grinder.

Peppercorns, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc., are very strong spices, and they can seep into other foods you grind and ruin the flavors.

Using a coffee grinder to create your own fine powder spice blends at home is advantageous because you save money, and you can grind fresh spices right when you need them most.

There’s nothing quite like freshly ground pepper or chili to spice up your dish.

Can You Grind Peppercorns in a Food Processor?

Yes, you can grind peppercorns in your food processor if it’s powerful enough. Not all food processors can perform this action.

To get the best results and a fine grind, you need to follow a certain procedure.

Place a large quantity of peppercorns into the food processor. You have to pulse the peppercorns at even intervals to ensure the peppercorn powder consistency is the same throughout.

When grinding peppercorns with a food processor, you need to monitor the process because over-grinding the peppercorns removes a lot of the flavor.

Alternatively, you can grind the corns into larger pieces which might not be ideal for cooking – a smooth powder is best.

Some cheaper food processors won’t grind small peppercorns properly, resulting in uneven texture. Make sure to read the food processor’s instruction manual and specifications to ensure your model can be used to grind spices.

How to Grind Black Pepper Without a Grinder?

If you don’t have a grinder, you can use a mortar and pestle to grind peppercorns into a fine powder.

This is the old-fashioned way to grind spices, but the disadvantage is that you can only grind small amounts at a time.

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You need to place about 2 to 3 teaspoons of peppercorns into the mortar. Use the flat end of the pestle to grind and crush your peppercorns. This process requires a bit of muscle and force but work in circular motions and grind for approximately 2 minutes for a finer powder.

There’s also another way to grind peppercorns using a skillet and a small heavy pot. It’s an unconventional method and may result in uneven texture, but it works.

First, place your peppercorns into a skillet or frying pan. Then grab a heavy smaller pot or saucepan and starts crushing the peppercorns using the bottom of the pan. You need to apply a lot of pressure.

The result is a cracked pepper, so the pepper powder will be coarse, unlike machine-ground peppercorns, but this method still brings out the flavors, and you can use it to season your meals.

Alternatively, you can use your coffee grinder, food processor, or blender for the same task, but we’ve already mentioned those before.

What’s the Best Way to Grind Peppercorns?

What can you do when faced with a large quantity of green, red, and black peppercorns in front of you?

The best way to grind whole peppercorns into powder is to use a coffee grinder.

Although a traditional electric or manual pepper mill is a useful tool, the blades cannot grind as much peppercorn into fine powder as a coffee grinder.

Both electric and manual pepper mills are fine but not as efficient as a coffee grinder.

The manual pepper mill uses two gears to grind the peppercorns as you twist the mill. This takes a long time because you have to keep twisting to get very small amounts of ground pepper out.

Using an electric pepper mill is slightly easier. You must use a pushbutton to operate an electric pepper mill. The button triggers a small motor to start grinding. The disadvantage is that you always need to have batteries on hand. Once they run out, you can’t grind pepper.

Here’s Why the Coffee Grinder is better:

The burr grinder works by grinding spices or coffee beans between two abrasive flat rings. In some cases, you can select between two grind settings – closer or further apart, depending on how fine you need to grind the spices.

Using a coffee grinder to grind the peppercorns makes them super flavorful, and you’ll be able to taste the difference between freshly ground pepper versus store-bought bagged spices.

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However, the second-best way to get the most flavor out of peppercorns is to grind them manually using the mortar and pestle.

This method gives you control over how coarse or fine your pepper becomes. If you prefer coarsely cracked pepper for steak spice rubs, you can grind for about a minute or less. However, you can keep going for 2 to 3 minutes for a finely milled pepper texture.

Surprisingly, the traditional electric or manual pepper mill isn’t the best choice, and if you want to save time, the coffee grinder is the number one tool for the job.

What Else Can You Grind in a Coffee Grinder?

You can use a coffee grinder to grind other foods besides coffee.

It’s best to use the coffee grinder to pulverize dry foods and spices only. If you add in oily or wet ingredients, they will become pasty and potentially clog the machine.

In most cases, the oils will get stuck in the grinder, and you’ll end up with a bad flavor the next time you use the coffee grinder.

Here are the top dry foods you can grind with a coffee grinder:

  • All kinds of spices (i.e., cinnamon, nutmeg)
  • Vanilla beans
  • Chili pepper flakes
  • Oatmeal
  • Grains for different types of flour
  • Seeds like flax
  • Lavender flowers
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Sugar
  • Dry herbs
  • Herbs and dry plants for tea
  • All types of whole and chopped nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc.
  • Parmesan cheese

Your coffee grinder probably has three settings: fine, medium, and coarse. Therefore, you need to consider how fine you want to grind each spice.

For example, with dry herbs like tarragon or rosemary, a coarser grind retains more flavor. Chili and other dry, hot peppers should also be coarsely ground to keep some seeds intact. This keeps the pepper really spicy.

Conclusion: Can you grind peppercorns and spices in the coffee grinder?

Yes, you can as long as you clean your grinder thoroughly after each use to prevent flavor cross-contamination.

There’s no reason not to use the coffee grinder for other purposes besides coffee beans since it can replace various expensive appliances and save you money.

You can pulverize many common spices, herbs, nuts, grains, and even parmesan in the coffee grinder. That’s what makes this small kitchen appliance so versatile and handy.

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)