Pros: Quick, quiet, easy to use, doesn't require electricity
Cons: Uses armstrong power
Well, it's no secret that I've been wanting a wheat grinder for quite some time. Truth is, I think the only person who didn't seem to know that I wanted one was the one person who could afford to buy me one. Of course, my dream grinder was both electric and hand-crank, but let's not look a gift horse in the mouth. Truth is, I am as happy with this machine as I have been since my husband gave me the violin I have wanted for 15 years...
My story goes like this. I asked for a dual-power wheat grinder for the first time ten years ago. We had put up quite a store of wheat in case of disaster. I have used this 400 pounds of wheat in one way only: by sticking it in the blender with milk for blender wheat pancakes. Granted, the pancakes rock, but three blender motors and 5 sets of blades later, I really needed a wheat grinder.
I got an electric grinder for Christmas. It was the K-Tec grain mill and it is great (see my review of that product), but I also needed a hand-crank model. Not five minutes after I open the K-Tec machine, I grab for another box, slightly smaller and elongated. It is this Back to Basics hand-crank grain mill.
I waited almost 5 hours before I used it the first time. I had already tried out my K-tec about five minutes before I hooked this one up to my table and started cranking away. I had been a little upset when I realized my high-dollar electric machine couldn't do cracked wheat cereal, but my sadness faded away as I looked at the perfectly cracked wheat that came out of the bottom of this little hand-crank model. Plus, by tightening the knob that holds the detachable handle on, you can grind anything from cracked wheat cereal to the finest pastry flour.
Let me just say that although an electric grinder is faster, this little model works wonders. I cracked a cup of wheat in about a minute. A cup of cracked wheat cereal feeds me for breakfast for about 6 days, so I was impressed.
It is much quieter than an electric model, and you don't have to worry about electricity going out, or sticking it in the dishwasher. That is what I liked most about it! I can stuff the whole machine in there with everything else I own. I sure can't do that with an electric mill.
The machine is sleek and stylish, being made of a stunning steal and black plastic construction. Okay, I sound like an infomercial. Truth is, it really would fit into any decor, being steel and black, and it is really easy to use.
Other than the above, there is not much to say. It can be attached to any standard table or bench, but due to the fact that my counters don't have a lip, I couldn't put the screw-on holder onto them. Basically, if you can put an apple peeler/corer/slicer on your surface, you can put this grinder on it.
I like this little machine and recommend it if you like the convenience of making your own cracked wheat, and don't like all the noise of an electric grinder.
Oh, and you can use any grain in it, including rice, barley, oats, corn, wheat, even coffee, though I would recommend washing it EXTREMELY well if you use it on a grain after coffee, as the oils may carry over and give your baked goods a different flavor. Talk about coffee cake!