8 Coffee Grinder Uses You Might Not Expect

While certainly great for providing freshly ground beans for a flavorful cup of coffee, blade coffee grinders are actually more versatile than you might think. From creating your own unique spice blend to making powdered sugar, expand your culinary toolbox with different coffee grinder uses to elevate your recipes. Follow these tips below to learn more about creating homemade ingredients with your coffee grinder.

Blade coffee grinder Blade coffee grinder

What are some alternative uses for a coffee grinder?

If you have a blade coffee grinder, there are a variety of other ways you can use it for other tasks like making bread crumbs, grinding spices to make your own spice blends and more. The KitchenAid® Coffee and Spice Grinder is a great tool to have in the kitchen to grind up small batches of different ingredients. Just note that if you own a burr coffee grinder, you should only use it to grind coffee beans.

A variety of spices in a brown ceramic bowl with a wooden spoon


Pack your dishes with fresh flavors by grinding whole spices to create your own new flavor combinations. You can experiment with a variety of ingredients such as cumin, paprika, cayenne and cinnamon. Simply add your whole spices to your grinder and grind using a fine setting. Continue grinding until your ingredients are mixed well and no large chunks are left in the blend. By using a coffee grinder to process ingredients, you’ll be able to fill up your spice rack with homemade blends in no time.

A person holding a white tea cup with ground herbs


Grinding your own dried herbs and florals can provide you with delicately herbaceous and flavorful teas, baked goods and more. If you have fresh herbs or edible flowers like rosemary, lavender or thyme that are beginning to wilt, dry them out and grind them on a coarse setting to add to your spice rack or mix into tea blends. To add dimension to your baked goods, you can create flavored sugar by experimenting with different mixes of ground florals like lavender or rose. 

Baked green beans garnished with breadcrumbs


Turn stale bread into breadcrumbs by adding pieces to your coffee grinder and pulsing for a few seconds. Add them to your meatballs, use them as breading for your homemade shrimp cakes or juicy air fried chicken

Medium-sized donuts covered in powdered sugar


If you notice that you're out of powdered sugar right as you're about to whip up some buttercream frosting, your coffee grinder can come in handy. Just add some granulated sugar to your coffee grinder and pulse—you'll have powdered sugar in seconds.

A person sprinkling flour onto a smooth kneaded dough ball on a wooden countertop


If you want to experiment with different types of grains like oatmeal or quinoa for gluten-free alternatives, simply add them to your coffee grinder. If you already grind your own grains but just need a small quantity of flour, you can utilize your coffee grinder.

A vanilla drink in a mason jar with a blue and white straw


You can also use your coffee grinder to make delicious vanilla powder to add sweetness to your culinary creations. To make this alternative to alcohol-based extracts, add fully dried, whole vanilla bean pods to your coffee grinder to use them for any recipe that calls for vanilla powder. Keep any leftover powder in an airtight container for future use.

A KitchenAid® blade coffee grinder in a modern kitchen setting A KitchenAid® blade coffee grinder in a modern kitchen setting

When should I use a coffee grinder vs. a blender or food processor?

A coffee grinder is, of course, the appliance best suited for processing coffee beans. You can also process smaller batches of other ingredients for a finer grind. For harder ingredients like almonds, or for bigger batches, using your food processor is a better choice, since you'll also be able to utilize the different blades to achieve a variety of textures. If you're looking to grind or blend wet or oily ingredients, then you can't go wrong with a blender.

Is there anything I should not try to grind in my coffee grinder?

Burr coffee grinders should only be used for coffee beans. Blade coffee or spice grinders give you more versatility to blend different ingredients in small quantities. However, you should avoid grinding any hard, wet or oily ingredients with your coffee grinder.

Chicken sandwich with breadcrumb coating Chicken sandwich with breadcrumb coating

Can I use the same coffee grinder for everything?

As long as you clean your coffee grinder in between uses, you can use your coffee grinder for different ingredients like spices and herbs. Just remember to thoroughly clean the grinder after using it for something other than coffee. To avoid this altogether, the KitchenAid® Coffee and Spice Grinder has a separate grind bowl for coffee and spices, so you don't have to worry about taste transfer.

Shop FOR KitchenAid® coffee bean grinders

Whether you're an avid coffee lover where only the best grind will do, or an inventive maker looking to expand your creativity, you'll be able to grind your favorite coffee beans and create unique blends of herbs and spices to liven up your meals with select KitchenAid® coffee grinders.

Learn more about KitchenAid® coffee grinders