Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Kitchen tip: using a spice grinder as a coffee grinder

This is a tip I saw on the Food Network recently. Despite the fact that my kitchen remains the most fully furnished room in my apartment, I do not own both a spice grinder and a coffee grinder. In fact, I don't have either. I have a mortar and pestle and a Cuisinart mini-mate, but I do not actually have a spice grinder. And I don't have an espresso machine (something I would really like to change), so a coffee grinder has not been something I've needed. Anyway, I have not actually had occasion to make use of this particular kitchen tip, but it's something I've often wondered about, so I wanted to pass it on.

For those lucky chefs who have separate spice and coffee grinders, skip this post--you don't need it. For those of you who have one grinder that serves as both a spice grinder and a coffee grinder, this is for you. When you've finished grinding whatever you're grinding, whether spices or coffee, get a piece of bread and stick it in the grinder. Let it whiz around for a while, then dump out the contents. Supposedly this will clean out all the little bits of coffee bean or whatever spice you've been grinding. I have a feeling it might not always work perfectly on the first try, but it sounds like a neat idea. So, give it a go and see if it works. Can't hurt, right?