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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

All About Wheat Grinders (Grain Mills)

Attention to everyone who ordered a WonderMill Electric Mill through our site in the past month … all of the backordered mills should now have been shipped, YAY!

We have had a few readers ask us why we chose to recommend the WonderMill Grain Mills and even become an authorized dealer for them. We decided to give you a break down of the research we did on wheat grinders/grain mills to show you how we determined that they are our favorites.

Types of Wheat Grinders (Grain Mills)

Manual Wheat Grinders (Grain Mills)

Pros

  • Basic models are inexpensive (good ones are similar in cost to electric mills)
  • Can be used with no power source so they are great for emergency situations
  • Many models are very small thus requiring little storage space
  • Able to grind items such as oily seeds, nuts, herbs, and coffee that would normally ruin an electric mill

Cons

  • SLOW to grind (can take 5-6 minutes to grind one cup of flour)
  • Except for the very high-end models, you cannot grind grain into a fine flour
  • Some models are inconvenient (messy and hard to fit a large bowl underneath)

KitchenAid Attachments

Pros

  • Less expensive than an electric grinder
  • Small to store
  • Convenient to use the grinder attachment and then mix bread dough in the same machine

Cons

  • We have heard from multiple sources that these units will BREAK your KitchenAid mixer
  • Must have a generator or battery pack to use with no electricity
  • Not as fast at grinding as electric grinders

Electric Wheat Grinders (Grain Mills)

Pros

  • Grinds VERY quickly thus making it easy to use in your everyday cooking
  • Easy to select how coarse or fine to grind your grains
  • Large capacity for grinding a lot of grains/legumes at a time

Cons

  • Fairly expensive, even for the lower-end models
  • Must have a generator or battery pack to use with no electricity (unless you buy a high end model that comes with a manual crank)
  • Large appliance to store in your kitchen

Prices of Wheat Grinders (Grain Mills)

Manual Wheat Grinders

  • Low: $20-30 models will not grind flour, only coarse corn meal, etc. Not very useful.
  • Medium: $75-$225 is a good price range. Back to Basics Grain Mill can be found for around $70. It can grind fine enough for bread flour but not for very fine cake flour. The Wonder Junior is higher-priced at $169 but it can grind into cake flour and is higher quality. The Wonder Junior Deluxe is slightly more expensive but includes a counter clamp and burr heads for use in your kitchen.
  • High: Up to $400 for the Country Living Grain Mill. It is quicker than other manual grinders and is able to grind a fine cake flour (can also add a small motor to it to make it electric). The Family Grain Mill is $119 for a manual mill, but $259 to include a motorized base. You can also attach it to a Bosch if you don’t want to purchase the base.

KitchenAid Attachments

Electric Wheat Grinders

  • Low: Under $200 for grinders such as the Blendtec Grain Mill. This model is very noisy and cannot grind at a very coarse setting.
  • Medium: $200-$300 can get you a great grinder. The two most popular electric grinders are the WonderMill and the NutriMill. In our tests we found the WonderMill to be faster, quieter, cleaner, and easier to store. And priced at $259 it is slightly cheaper than the NutriMill which is $269.
  • High: You can purchase the Country Living Grain Mill for $400 and add a small motor to it to function as an electric mill.

Our Wheat Grinder Recommendations

Emergency-Only Usage

  • If you are planning to use your food storage and wheat grinder only if an emergency situation arises, it is not worth the expense and hassle of buying and storing an electric grinder. At a minimum you should get the Back to Basics Grain Mill which will enable you to at least bake bread. However, we would highly recommend purchasing the Wonder Junior Deluxe as it will do everything an electric grinder does and grind quicker and better than the Back to Basics Grain Mill. The Family Grain Mill might be a good option as well since you could have both the manual AND electric functions, but we haven’t personally tried that one yet.

Everyday Usage

  • If you plan to “store what you eat and eat what you store” we recommend the WonderMill Electric Grain Mill. It is the one that both of us use and we absolutely love it. If you are worried about what to do without power, you can pick up an additional hand grinder at a later time, or work on alternate power sources. We feel that the functionality and ease of use of the WonderMill is the best option for frequent usage.
Original: http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/2009/03/15/wheat-grinders-grain-mills/