By now I think most people have an electric coffee grinder in their kitchen. I actually have two - one for grinding coffee, and one for grinding spices (and just about everything else - more on that later). The grinder I use for spices is cleaned after each use to keep flavors from mingling. The grinder I use for coffee doesn't have to be cleaned quite so often, but it definitely needs to be cleaned to prevent the oily residue from going rancid and to keep the blades moving freely. Here's the best way I've found to clean them.
Fill the grinding chamber about 1/2 full with dry rice and whiz away until all the residue is removed (if your grinder hasn't been cleaned for a while, you might have to repeat the process).
Unplug the grinder and discard the dirty rice particles. Use a damp cloth or pastry brush to wipe away any remaining rice dust. That's it - clean and ready to go for the next time.
- grind granulated sugar into superfine sugar
- grind granulated sugar a bit longer to make confectioner's sugar
- grind flaxseed
- grind blanched almonds to make almond meal
- grind citrus zest
- grind grains into flour (wheat, oats, etc)
- grind kosher or flake salt into fine salt (my preference for baking)
- grind dry bread to make breadcrumbs
- grind dried minced garlic into garlic powder (or onion)
- grind dried vanilla beans (mix with sugar to make vanilla sugar)
- grind dried mushrooms (great to add to a pot of soup)
- grind freeze dried shallots (to sprinkle on everything - Yum!!)
- grind chocolate
- grind hard cheese (like Parmesan)
- grind nuts into nut butter
- grind onions, ginger, and garlic into paste
So how do you use your coffee grinder? Let me know if you have a suggestion to add to the list.