Can A Food Processor Be Used As A Coffee Grinder?

For my last birthday, I received a big bag of delicious dark roast coffee beans from my sister-in-law. She knows that I’m a total coffee junkie and that I get a cup from my local café every morning. She said to me, “You go there so often that I figured you could have your favorite roast at home”. This was a really great gift except for one big problem: I don’t have a coffee grinder. I definitely have a coffee maker since you always need one of those when you’re entertaining guests but I usually go out when I want a really good cup of Joe. And I know coffee grinders aren’t all that expensive but I didn’t really see the point in getting a new piece of equipment just to accommodate one gift. In search of something that might be able to do the trick, I took a look at my food processor and blender. Both of them are pretty powerful so I figured that I might as well give them a try. Here’s what I found out…the hard way.

Food processors grind uneven beans

So I decided to experiment with my mini food processor since I don’t use it all that often and if it broke, I figured I could easily replace it. What I soon learned after trying it out is that food processors generally make uneven grinds. There were a lot of full beans left at the bottom of the processor and I had to frequently shake the machine in order to get them out. There wasn’t a lot of middle ground when it came to the beans either: They were either chopped into big chunks or ground down into powder.

Food processors can’t handle the hard knocks of the beans

Most food processors are made out of plastic and metal, with the plastic portion being where the food goes in and the metal portion holding the power source. The plastic casing is meant to hold relatively soft things like fruits and vegetables and dough. I found out that the hard outside shells of the coffee beans can actually dull the blades of the processor and scratch the plastic casing. A food processor isn’t meant to handle hard objects like coffee beans.

Blenders do a little better than food processors

So after my disastrous attempts with a food processor I decided to try out my blender and see if it did any better. And I found that it did except it still didn’t fully do the trick. A blender was better for two reasons: Firstly, the glass casing is better equipped to handle the scrapes that come from the beans and secondly, the funnel-like shape helps to grind the beans more evenly. I found that there was less irregularity when it came to the beans and most of them were ground to an even size. I could actually make a decent roast with my blender even though it was really subpar compared to what I got at my coffee house.

The moral of the story: Get a coffee grinder

After my two experiments with a food processor and a blender I discovered that the best thing you can do is to just buy a coffee grinder. There’s no point in using a processor or a blender in order to save money since you’re probably going to have to replace them anyways. A coffee grinder is really ideal because the blades spin faster and the chambers are a lot smaller, which allows all of the beans to be properly ground. There are really no shortcuts when it comes to getting that perfect cup of Joe.