Last Updated Jan 2020 – While it’s not necessary for every dish, an Indian grinder unlocks a whole new world of recipes. Wet grinders are used to grind rice, lentils, coconut, and other food into a fine paste or flour. This process is vital to making Indian dishes like dosa, idli, and more. Having access to a high quality wet grinder will enable you to make these inexpensive and delicious dishes for you and your guests to enjoy.
But what wet grinder is best? With many options to choose from, it’s not always obvious which wet grinder will fit best in your kitchen. In order to answer this question, we’ll go over several of the top Indian-style wet grinders on the market.
Indian Wet Grinder – What Makes These Machines Special
Recipes like dosa and idli call for a very fine paste made from rice, lentils, or beans. This requires an incredibly fine grind. It’s not possible to use something like a coffee grinder or a blender to get these ingredients this fine. Instead, you’ll need to use a mortar and pestle for hours or use a mill to pulverize the ingredients while they’re wet.
Wet grinders perform this process for you.
They utilize electric motors to drive large, rough stone rollers around a grinding chamber. These rollers pulverize the rice, lentils, beans, or other food that you’re grinding into the incredibly fine paste that you need for your recipe. It’s not an instant process – it still takes a decent amount of time – but it’s much, much faster than doing it by hand.
Setting up a wet grinder takes only a few minutes. Once you’ve got things going, you’re free to leave and do other things. When you come back, your grinder will be all done!
The Best Wet Grinder – Choosing The Best Machine For Your Kitchen
This Premier Small Wonder Wet Grinder is a perfect product for anyone who doesn’t need a gigantic wet grinder. It’s great for Indian food, like rice and urad dal batter, but it’s also great for making nut butter, chocolate, and more. The reliable design ensures that you won’t have to replace it anytime soon, while the powerful motor can crank out a batch of batter in 10 minutes or less.
The biggest downside to this unit is the medium size. It’s got a 1.5 liter bowl, which can process batches of between 150 and 1000 grams of most food. This isn’t a huge amount. It’s not small, however, and the rapid operation should allow you to grind 5 full batches within a single hour.
Luckily, that’s one of the few negatives of this unit, and it’s arguably not even bad. The Premier Wonder Grinder routinely outperforms machines that cost two or three times as much. It’s incredibly reliable, to the point where many specialty bakeries use this machine to grind chocolate day in and day out.
This machine is highly valued among candy makers because of the even nature of the resulting grind. The stone wheels generate a bit of heat and a moderate amount of noise while they grind, but the product that comes out of the machine at the end is incredible. If you want to make smooth, even chocolate or nut butter at home, this is one of the best units around.
When it comes time to clean this unit, you won’t have to do too much work. The stones lift out of the central drum, which in turn lifts clear of the motor for both cleaning and pouring. Since the central drum is the only part that gets dirty, it’s easy to put it in the sink and give it a thorough clean. It’s not dishwasher safe, sure, but few (if any) wet grinders are.
One quick note: if you’re planning to use this machine for making nut butter, consider running your nuts through a regular blender first. This machine works best with smaller-sized foods, like rice or lentils. Full sized almonds can cause the machine to seize, especially if they get wedged in at the wrong angle. Taking a couple of seconds to pulse your nuts in a standard blender should solve this problem completely.
Overall, the low cost, high reliability, and high speed of the Wonder Grinder make it an excellent choice for any kitchen where the 1.5 liter size isn’t a downside. The carefully engineered stones make short work of any food you put in it, allowing you to quickly make nut butter, chocolate, and Indian recipes like dosa and idli. If you want a wet grind that doesn’t cost a fortune, the Premier is probably the best choice.
* Panasonic Wet Grinder
Indian chefs will recognize this piece of equipment as one of the more popular wet grinders in India. It’s an excellent tool, with a 2 liter drum, a 5 year warranty on the heater, and high-quality stone rollers that turn all sorts of food into fine paste with ease. The only problem? It’s difficult to find in countries other than India.
While this grinder is popular, it often delivers slightly worse performance than the Premier grinder above. Users complain about long grind times, soft stones, and trouble using their warranty. Panasonic is known in the US for their electronics, not their kitchen tools, and there might be a few reasons why.
Overall, though, this is a perfectly serviceable grinder.
Even if it is a bit loud and a bit slow, it’s still quite effective at turning rice, lentils, beans, nuts, and chocolate into fine pastes or butters. While it may be slightly worse than grinders from other brands, there’s nothing wrong with picking up this Panasonic wet food grinder on sale.
The Prestige table top grinder tends to be difficult to find in countries other than India. This Ultra Grind + grinder is quite comparable, however, and it may even be better. With a roomy 2.0 liter drum, high grinding speeds, and simple cleaning, the Ultra Grind + 2 liter is a perfect choice for households that make lots of dosa or idil.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Ultra grinder is the odd shape of the stones. Instead of using simple wheels, this grinder utilizes conical grinding stones that are supposed to generate less heat. I haven’t been able to accurately measure a difference in between these conical stones in terms of heat retention, but they do seem to have more contact with the bottom of the chamber than the cylindrical stones found in other models. This should result in lower grind times, in theory.
Like other Indian grinding bowls, both the central cylinder and the stones lift out of the Ultra Grind+ for easy cleaning and pouring. Ultra is keen to point out that you can even store the cylinder in the fridge to cool your batter, although this feature is common to pretty much every grinder out there. You probably wouldn’t want to store things in your heavy, stone-bottomed grinding cylinder anyway.
Other features advertised by Ultra include an odd bit of plastic that helps scrape batter from the stone, a coconut scraper, and even a dough kneader that you can use to make baked goods. While these aren’t groundbreaking, they are quite nice to have for when you want to use your wet grinder to make different types of recipes.
In terms of performance, the Prestige really delivers.
It makes absolutely incredible nut butters, chocolate, and Indian rice, bean, and lentil batters. Just like other wet grinders, you should process the nuts in a normal blender or food processor to get them somewhat small first. After you’ve done this, however, making nut butter is as easy as throwing in your nuts, turning the machine on, and waiting ten minutes or so.
This unit isn’t noiseless or vibrationless, but it is fairly quiet as far as wet grinders go. It’s probably the best choice if you need a machine that won’t wake up the other occupants of your house. As long as you don’t use it right next to them, you should be fine.
Of course, one of the biggest advantages of this Ultra wet grinder is the higher capacity. 2 liters of soaked rice is a marked improvement over other common wet grinders, enabling you to make bigger batches without having to run the machine as much. Each batch can be made in 10 minutes or less, depending on exactly how fine you need the batter to be.
User reports suggest that while this wet grinder offers excellent performance, it’s not quite as even or consistent as the Premier above. You may want to turn the machine off, stir your batter (or nut butter or chocolate) by hand, and then turn it back on every once in a while. Without this step, you’ll want to spend lots of time stirring up your batter by hand to ensure that it’s smooth and even.
Warranties are a pretty good indication of build quality and manufacturer confidence. The makers of this wet grinder offer a full 5 year warranty on the motor, meaning you don’t have to worry about unexpected failures. You’ll be able to make dosa till you drop for half a decade!
The Ultra Grind + table top wet grinder is my favorite 2 liter wet grinder that’s easily available in the US. It’s perfect for raw foods, nut butters, chocolate making, and all sorts of Indian cooking. The dough hook attachment allows you to use it for baking, while the quiet motor and reduced vibrations make it friendly on the other occupants of your house. I think it’s a solid choice for anyone who thinks they’ll make big batches of any of the foods above.
The Best Tool For Nut Butter?
Wet grinders might be ideal for Indian cuisine, but they’re even better for making cocoa butter and nut butter. The stone grinding apparatus pulverizes nuts in an impressive way that’s difficult for other tools to match. While you can make something that resembles nut butter in a normal blender, it takes a long time and doesn’t have that smooth, creamy consistency that you get from professionally ground nut butter. Using a wet grinder instead gives you better results that often take less time.
So how do you do it? The process is simple.
First, chop your nuts until they’re in pieces about the size of rice grains or smaller. This is quickest to do in a food processor or blender with a bit of oil. Next, prepare your wet grinder and put the nuts in the central chamber. Add any salt, seasonings, or other mix-ins your nut butter recipe calls for.
Finally, turn on your wet grinder! You’ll get very smooth nut butter in about ten minutes. You can grind it longer if you’d like an even smoother consistency, but I find that 10 minutes in a wet grinder is already much smoother than the stuff my friends make.
Cocoa butter can be made in essentially the same way. Prepare your cacao beans (sort them, roast them, and shell them), then pre-grind them in a food processor or blender. Next, add the beans and sugar to your wet grinder. Finally, let the wet grinder run until your cocoa butter gets smooth enough for you. The more you grind it, the more you let aromatics escape, so don’t grind for too long! That said, cocoa butter often is ground for several hours or even overnight.
The Best Wet Grinder – Authentic Indian Cuisine And Brilliant Raw Foods
Whether you’re making chocolate, nut butter, or dosa, a wet grinder is a fantastic tool to have in the kitchen. You don’t have to ship one from India, either! There are several companies that make high quality wet grinders that are available at affordable prices in the US and other countries. With one of these tools, you can quickly pulverize food into a very fine paste or butter, giving you lots of new options in the kitchen.