You grab a bag of coffee from the store only to get home and discover that you have a bag of whole beans and no grinder! You may be wondering whether you can use your blender instead. We have thoroughly researched this question and have found an answer for you.
In the past, some have had concerns about using a blender as a grinder due to dulling of the blades. Thanks to the high velocity and high-powered blenders available now, you can use a modern blender as a grinder. This will work especially well in instances where a coarse or possibly uneven grind is acceptable. Some blenders come with a grinder blade included.
So should you grind that whole bean coffee in your blender? Keep reading as we address this question and more! We'll break down the differences between a blender and a grinder as well as wet and dry grinders too!
What Is The Difference Between A Blender And A Grinder?
The main difference between a blender and a grinder lies in their primary functions. Though there is some overlap in what a blender and grinder can do, there are jobs that each one does better.
A blender is primarily used for blending liquids and wet solids. Blenders will, on average, be larger in size and may come with more accessories. Use a blender for larger batches especially when needing a wet grind.
Blenders can have multiple blade sets or one blade set with upward and downward facing blades so that food items will be pulled into the blades to provide a uniformly smooth liquid or paste.
This Ninja blender is an example of a blender that uses multiple blade sets to funnel and pulverize ingredients. The goal of a blender is fusion.
Click here to see it on Amazon.
There are grinders designed for wet and dry grinding. Grinders are meant to provide textures from coarse to fine. Usually, one ingredient is ground at a time for best results unless making an herb mixture or paste. Grinders are a lot smaller than blenders and can usually only hold small batches.
What Is a Dry Grinder Used For?
The most popular use for a grinder may just be for coffee beans. However, there are other uses such as for grinding herbs, nuts, seeds, and grains. Use a grinder to break down other hard, dry, chopped foods into an even more uniform and fine texture. While some grinders can have more than one blade set, it's common for them to have just one horizontal, almost flat, blade set that will taper up or down only at the tips.
Click here to see this grinder on Amazon.
Use this type of grinder below for grains, rice corn, and more. It can also be used as a dry grinder for herbs as well.
See an example of a grinder for grains on Amazon.
What Is A Wet Grinder Used For?
Wet grinders are not usually used in most western cuisines but once discovered, are a great addition to the kitchen! Popular in cuisines such as those that originated in South India, the tabletop wet grinder has granite "wheels" in place of blades to crush anything from spices, such as garlic, to legumes for pastes. They are called wet grinders since liquid can be introduced to the mixture. There are now many electric grinders that do both wet and dry ingredients.
Users that prefer wet grinders over blenders or other electric grinders say that since low heat is generated by this grinder, the taste and quality of the spices or grains are not affected.
See this wet/dry grinder on Amazon.
What Can You Grind In A Blender?
To use your blender to grind an item, you will want to put as little as possible to just cover the first set of blades. For the best results, grind a cup to a cup and half or less at a time. Using the pulse setting will work the best as you will have more control. Tap the pulse until you have the consistency you would like. The best type of blender for grinding will be a smaller batch blender or one that has an attachment for single serves.
See this small-batch blender on Amazon.
Can You Grind Nuts In A Blender?
If you have a recipe that calls for ground nuts or seeds, you can use your blender to get it done! Use the pulse function to get a coarse grind for cookies or bread or use the high-speed setting on a professional-grade blender with a plunger to get a paste or smooth nut butter.
See this example of a professional-grade blender on Amazon.
If you want to know more on this topic, read this post: Can You Put Nuts In A Blender?
Can You Grind Herbs In A Blender?
It may surprise you to know that many chefs use the blender as a kind of wet grinder. They are easily able to make spice pastes and mixtures. The best type of blender for wet grinding herbs and other ingredients would be a single-serve or personal blender.
Is It Bad To Grind Coffee In A Blender?
There is some concern that the coffee oil and residue will dull the blades if done regularly, but if you find yourself in a pinch you can grind coffee grounds in a blender. This works best if you have a french press that would use coarse ground coffee and a high-speed blender with a pulse function. Pulse less than a cup of coffee at a time until it's the consistency desired. True coffee fans usually opt not to grind their coffee in a blender but some do argue this method is viable when there are no other options.
To get a finer grind on coffee without worrying about your blades, consider smashing the grounds inside a plastic freezer bag first with a kitchen hammer or rolling pin and then grinding. This can be done to achieve a grind that can go into a regular coffee machine.
Rather not risk grinding your coffee in a blender? This grinder below is especially for coffee and will satisfy even the toughest critic. It grinds 4-18 cups and can be set to grind from fine to coarse.
Click here to see it on Amazon.
What is Wet Chopping In A Blender?
Wet chopping, not to be confused with wet grinding is done in a blender. It is the process of adding ingredients and covering them with water. Then the mixture is pulsed until the desired texture is reached. The liquid and solids are then separated with a strainer and a cheesecloth.
Wet chopping could be a great option if you are needing to wet grind large quantities and don't need a fine texture. This is a great method for making nut spreads, milk, or salsa.
Always Read Your Blender's Manual Before Grinding
Now that you know that you can indeed use your blender as a grinder, always read your manual before you put it to work. These days, blenders come not only with the proper warnings but will come with tips and tricks to help you preserve the blades and motor for years to come.
You may be interested in the following articles about other ways to use your blender:
Can you Grate Cheese in a Blender?