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Which is better for grinding coffee for use in a drip coffee maker: Food processor or blender?


Update: I noticed that my food processor makes evenly-sized course grounds, and my blender grinds smaller, but unevenly: fine, packed dust and medium-course grounds.

Conclusion from my experimentation: A blender is overall better.

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  • 1
    Neither is going to do a very good job on that.
    – GdD
    Dec 10 '19 at 16:48
  • @GdD Why? How does the mechanics of a grinder differ?
    – Geremia
    Dec 11 '19 at 21:07
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I guess both food processors and blenders would act like big blade grinders. Blade grinders give particles of a wide range of sizes, from fine dust to chunks. This gives uneven flavor extraction (if you can taste it), and requires the use of the finest filter. If I had to choose, a small food processor might be superior, since the blades on blenders are pitched to stir more than to cut.

Lacking a burr grinder, which gives more consistent particle size and therefore predictable extraction, I'd repurpose an old pepper grinder!

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    A pepper grinder might work, but boy you'd need some patience - one cup would be one mill-full; that's gonna be something like 1,000 twists or so. I had a manual 'real' burr grinder which drove me nuts enough. 150 turns per shot. I got rid of the handle & slotted the top. My electric drill became the drive motor ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 10 '19 at 16:21
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Faced with that choice, I would buy pre-ground coffee. I suspect the results you will get with either a food processor or a blender will not rise to the level of a brick of vacuum packed Lavazza.

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  • This does not provide an answer to the question. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post; instead, provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker. - From Review Dec 29 '19 at 16:36
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    @PatrickSebastien it does to the extent that both appliances provide worse results than pre-ground.
    – JJJ
    Dec 31 '19 at 13:59
  • @JJJ I see your point but that wasn't the question. The question was whether a food processor or blender is better. Your answer is better provided as a comment on the question. Jan 1 '20 at 16:26
  • @PatrickSebastien answers that give alternatives (“don’t do this, do that instead”) are perfectly acceptable if the poster explains why the alternative suggestion is better than the asker’s original plan.
    – Stephie
    Jan 5 '20 at 17:57
  • My apologies - I see that I was wrong in that sense. My vote has since aged away, but if it hadn't, I would retract it. I will also upvote the answer. Jan 22 '20 at 15:26
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I used to use a spice grinder until I got a good burr grinder.

It doesn't give a perfectly even grind, but it works well enough.
The downside really is you have to dedicate it to coffee… unless you like cumin-flavoured coffee every once in a while.

A blender or food processor will make an even worse job of sizing the grind.
It's probably worth trying each once, but don't expect the results to be particularly good.

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If you have to choose between those two evils, use the food processor. It is made for reducing solid food to crumbs. A blender is something entirely else - it is meant for turning mushy food into a uniform liquid. While you can try throwing dry food into a blender, you 1) get a worse result, and 2) risk damaging the blender.

I will also note that neither of them is the right tool for the job. If you try the food processor and the results are bad, that's not because the blender would have been better, it's because to get it done well, you need a grinder.

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You can't beat a burr grinder as they produce consistent sized grinds.

But, if you're trying to produce the best cup of coffee with either a food processor or a blender. Post processing the grinds would probably be your best bet to avoid an inconsistent coffee grind size with an in uneven flavor extraction.

With no experience using the food processor or blender as a coffee grinder I'd choose the blender as a blender is going to stir and chop resulting in more even grind size. (based on the blade slightly slanted orientation in a coffee grinder. is no slant on a food processor)

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