If you appreciate fresh-tasting coffee and
spices, keep a grinder in your kitchen. Most models are fairly
inexpensive. Cooks who enjoy making their own sausage may also want to
invest in a meat grinder.
The small, inexpensive propeller grinders
are the most popular type of grinder for both spices and coffee. Though
they are fine for spices, propeller grinders are not particularly
efficient for grinding coffee. Propeller grinders tend to produce grains
of uneven size, which can slow the passage of water through coffee in a
filter and cause a bitter, sour taste in the finished brew. Serious coffee
aficionados may want to purchase one of the more expensive and more
precise burr grinders.
To keep the flavor of coffee and freshly
ground spices pure, buy two grinders and use one for spices and one for
coffee. Or clean your grinder before switching the content to be ground.
It is relatively simple to clean a spice
grinder. Just sweep it out with a pastry brush reserved just for that
purpose. And to clean a burr-type coffee grinder, run some raw rice
through it and it will be cleaned.
When using a meat grinder, cut the food to a
size and shape that allows it to drop easily through the feed tube. Use
the tamper only to free foods that stick to the mouth of the feed tube,
not to force food down the feed tube. Be sure to chill the meat grinder
before using. This is an important sanitary precaution and it will produce
the best texture in ground meat.