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What to Know before Purchasing a Grain Mill/Flour Mill
So you're interested in purchasing a grain or flour mill from Everything Kitchens? There are a few things to consider before you pull the trigger. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I want a manual or an electric grain mill? Manual grain mills require a good deal of time and endurance to operate, and these excel at coarse flour. Electric mills require power and are best for very-fine flour, like that used for pastry. One of our electric mills can even be used manually in the absence of power. See the reviews below.
- What will I be using my flour mill for? The grind consistencies vary between models and types of flour mills. Consider whether the grain produced will be fine or coarse enough for the application at hand.
- Is a flour mill that produces excessive noise going to be an issue for me, my family, or my neighbors? Some flour mills can be very loud. Eectric impact-chamber types are necessarily loud due to the mechanics involved, though some units handle this better than others.
- Will flour dust from my grain mill be an issue? Small children and people with asthma may be adversely affected by grain dust in the air. Manuals tend to produce less ambient dust than electrics.
- What is my price range? Everything Kitchen's grain and flour mills range, at the time of this writing, from around $100 all the way up to $500. The reviews below will attempt to highlight and compare the features found in our entry-level and top-quality flour mills alike.
The most popular electric mills we carry are the Blendtec Grain Mill, the Wonder Mill (formerly the Whisper Mill Grain Mill), and the L'Equip Nutrimill. As for manual flour mills, the Country Living Mill and the Family Grain Mill are top sellers. We will highlight the pros and cons for each of these in the paragraphs below.
Electric Grain Mills
Blendtec Grain Mill
The Blendtec Grain Mill is one of the best buys for the money. Priced modestly, this grain mill has an adjustable grind setting capable of grinding flour from coarse to very-fine—plenty fine for bread. This model grinds grain quickly and has a 24-cup flour pan. The drawbacks are that it is very loud, and will not grind grains coarsely enough for cereals, cornmeal, or other foods requiring a very-coarse consistency. Also be advised that this mill has no option for manual operation.
This Blendtec Grain Mill will grind nearly all non-oily grains. This mill itself has stainless-steel grinding blades: a health advantage over stone grinding burrs, which are usually bound with aluminum oxide. If you want fine flour for breads, and want it for a decent price, and need to grind a lot of flour without emptying the pan, this is a good option.
The Wonder Mill Grain Mill (formerly the Whisper Mill) is priced a little higher than the Blendtec above. However, the Wonder Mill has a noise advantage over the Blendtec—still an impact-chamber mill, the Wonder Mill generates quite a bit of noise, but it isn't as noisy as the Blendtec. The grinding consistency is adjustable, ranging from fine to coarse flour yields, but will not accommodate very-coarse types like corn grits and bulgur wheat. This model will have no trouble with most non-oily grains.
The Wonder Mill Grain Mill has no option for manual operation, and can only grind 12 cups at once. This unit has stainless-steel grinding blades and a self-cleaning milling chamber. We recommend this one for people with respiratory problems, as this unit leaves less flour dust in the air than most other electric mills. If you like the features of the Blendtec Wheat Mill above, but are willing to pay a little more to save your ears and your lungs, the Wonder Mill might be for you.
The Nutrimill Wheat Grinder from L'Equip is our premium electric grain mill. With its higher price tag, this flour mill can handle the very-coarse grinds the above two cannot, producing flour ranging from cornmeal consistency to very-fine bread flour. The Nutrimill also matches the Wonder Mill at operation noise. This mill is equipped to handle most non-oily grains, but just as the other two above, a manual option is not available (yet).
The Nutrimill Wheat Grinder's 22-cup capacity nearly matches that of the Blendtec model. Other features include stainless-steel grinding blades and a self-cleaning milling chamber. The Nutrimill expertly blends the best elements of the above two models in a single, attractive package. We consider this mill to be the best buy if (big "if") you need the large capacity, wide grinding range, and reduced operation noise.
Family Grain Mill
The Messerschmidt Family Grain Mill is modular and may be used with or without a motor for manual or electric operation. Scroll down for more information.
Manual Grain Mills
Country Living Mill
The Country Living Grain Mill is perhaps the highest-quality manual grain mill on the market today. And if properly cared for, this mill could be passed down and enjoyed for generations to come. This manual flour mill uses stainless-steel grinding burrs and has an adjustable grinding range, from bread flour to as-coarse-as-it-desired. But however fine the bread flour may be, be advised a manual mill will not produce flour as fine as an electric mill. The Country Living Mill is no exception to this rule.
The Country Living Flour Mill can even be motorized through 1) a standard washer/dryer motor, or 2) a specialty motor sold by the manufacturer. However, this method is costly, and Everything Kitchens would sooner advise the purchase of one of the electric units above if finer flour is needed. If you so choose this route, however, the Country Living unit does include instructions for electric operation.
Of course, the big drawback to manual mills is that many people don't like to grind grain by hand: this method requires about 2–3 minutes of tiring labor per cup of flour. However, this is part-and-parcel to manual grain mill operation, and in the Country Living mill's defense, it is quite a bit faster than many manuals on the market. Our bottom line: if you enjoy manual grain mill processing and want the best there is to offer, and you have the budget for it, this mill is perfect for you. The Country Living is built to last, and is sure to provide your family with Old-World charm for generations to come.
Family Grain Mill
The Messerschmidt Family Grain Mill is not quite as high-quality as the Country Living above, though it is still a very well-built mill, and has some clear advantages over the Country Living unit: for starters, our customers tell us the Messerschmidt is the easiest-to-crank manual mill they have ever tried. The Family Grain Mill is easy enough for a child to use, with a flour output that matches that of the Country Living mill: one cup per 2–3 minutes of grinding, and this is accomplished with much less effort.
The Family Grain Mill is also the clear winner in terms of price and we are proud to offer this item and more here at Everything Kitchens. This mill is modular and is very easy to motorize by way of special attachments: these include a hand-crank base, a motorized base, grain mill attachment, flaker mill attachment, and an array of other food-processing attachments, all of which twist on with a snap to either the manual or electric grain mill base. Bonus: all the above attachments will fit onto the Bosch Bread Mixer with an adaptor (sold separately), which could save you a ton of money if you are already a Bosch owner.
Despite its versatility and attractive features, the Messerschmidt Family Grain Mill does not grind as finely as the Country Living Mill, and certainly not as fine as our electrics. Even still, the flour is acceptable for breadmaking, though not recommended for pastry. Our Verdict: the Family Grain Mill is ideal for anyone wanting an affordable, flexible, and easy-to-use manual grain mill.
We hope this article has shed some light on the different flour mills Everything Kitchens carries. If you need further help, please call one of our helpful customer service representatives at (866) 852-4268.
By Emily Church