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A spice mill with whole and ground spices

Microplane spice mill review

This neat and compact spice mill from Microplane is a specialist device designed for nutmeg, cinnamon and tonka beans. But how did it perform in test? Read our full review.

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
£24.95
Pros: Storage space for spices, no nutmeg waste, grinds finely, easy to grind
Cons: Not the most versatile

Microplane spice mill summary

Microplane is the company best known for their second-to-none, super-sharp graters. This spice grinder features the same sharp grater design in the base of the mill and is hand-cranked.

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It’s small, about the size of a pepper mill, and is designed to mill nutmeg, cinnamon, long pepper peppercorns, tonka beans and nuts.

There are two designs, one has a matte black body and stainless-steel top, the other is entirely matte black. The black portion of the mill has a slightly rubbery texture offering extra grip.

Is the Microplane spice mill easy to use?

With no electrical elements to concern yourself with, this spice mill is easy to use. Simply load up the chamber with the spices or nuts you want to grind and begin to crank the top.

Not much pressure is needed to get a good result as the blades are very sharp and, depending on the food being ground, a super-fine powder or thin curls are produced.

This model comes with a silicone lid that fits over the blades, this not only keeps the blade and base of the mill safe, but also protects the fingers and helps to prevent mess. There’s also some hidden storage in the lid, with more than enough space for a good handful of spices. It’s also airtight, so will keep them fresh.

There aren’t any clear instructions on how to clean this model, though we’d recommend hand-washing only to keep the blades sharp. This was easily done with hot, soapy water.

Results

This spice mill isn’t designed for a wide variety of spices, so we tested it out on a range of spices that Microplane says it can mill.

When grating nutmeg, this model produced perfect results. It was super-fine, exactly the texture you’d want for finishing Barney Desmazery’s next-level egg custard tart. We also loved that with this mill there’s no waste. Often when grating nutmeg on a grater you’re left with at least half of the seed unused, but with the Microplane, you can use it all. Plus, it’s a lot safer than a hand grater as there’s no risk of nicking the tips of your fingers.

We were intrigued to see how the cinnamon would fare as we had to break our stick in half to fit it into the chamber, so we thought the splintered parts might fall through. But we needn’t have worried; it produced fantastic, dust-like results and was simple to do.

Tonka beans, because of their slightly waxy interior, came out in curls. They were very fine and even. Most noticeable was the heady tonka bean fragrance of vanilla and clove after it had been milled. We saw the same light curls when milling hazelnuts and thought this would be a great way to infuse nut flavour into something without including the texture.

Conclusion

Although it’s not the most versatile spice grinder on the market, it’s a must-have for keen bakers who use nutmeg, cinnamon and nuts regularly. The results are as fine as they get and rivalled some of our electric spice grinders.

The blades are as sharp as can be, but we’d expect nothing less from Microplane. The gaps between the blades aren’t that large, so don’t feel restricted by the few nuts and spices listed on the box. We’d recommend experimenting with a few different ingredients to see if they can be milled – just bear in mind that they’ll need to be hard and solid in the centre.

Specifications

Wattage: NA
What can it grind? Nutmeg, cinnamon, long pepper peppercorns, tonka beans, nuts
Accessories: Silicone lid
Dimensions (cm): H: 11.4 x W: 4.4 x D: 4.4
Capacity: NA

Recipes with spices

Green curry paste
Basa Gede (Balinese spice paste)
Lamb vindaloo
Tom Kerridge’s madras curry paste 
Jerk spice mix
Ras el hanout spice mix
Five-spice mix
Garam masala spice mix

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This review was last updated in May 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk