The idea of eliminating flour from your day is a foreign and horrifying concept for most people.
Unfortunately, many dietary restrictions and preferences make it difficult or unappealing to buy all your baked goods from commercial manufacturers.
That is why more and more people are deciding to mill their own flour at home. You can use a grain mill to make flour out of wheat berries, of course, but you can also make flour from legumes, nuts, corn, or several alternative grains.
So what is the best flour mill for home use? The best flour mills for home use should be powerful, durable, and easy to use. Many prefer a smaller model, as well as a versatile choice that can grind other items such as coffee or corn. Electric models are ideal for those who use mills often, but manual grinders are also a good choice.
To help you decide which is the best small flour mill for home use in your family, we’ve created a very detailed buyer’s guide to help you choose the right unit for your needs.
What is a Flour Mill?
A flour mill is a machine designed to grind grains into flour. This is a vague definition because there are a lot of variables involved, including whether the mill is human-powered or electric.
Flour can be made from a variety of different grains, as well, and not all mills grind all grains equally.
While many different machines qualify as a flour mill, not all of them will meet your individual needs, so we’re here to help you choose the right grain mill for your home use.
Choosing a Grain Mill – A Buyer’s Guide
Before you rush out to buy yourself a grain mill, it’s important to take some time to think carefully about how you want to use it and what your requirements may be.
Here are a few aspects that you will want to consider:
Manual Vs Electric Grain Mill
There are two basic types of flour or grain mill – manual or electric.
Manual grain mills work by using a hand crank to grind two gears together, pulverizing your grains.
Depending on the quality and the grain your milling, they shouldn’t require extreme feats of strength to operate, but after grinding a few cups of grains into flour your arm(s) will have had a decent workout.
Electric mills, on the other hand, are all powered by a motor. There is an extreme variance in the quality of electric mills. They’re each made with different kinds of blades, which work for different types of grains.
They have different power outputs as well, some of them operating on as little as 350-watts and some as much as 1,250-watts or more.
The higher the power of your unit, the longer it will be able to operate before overpowering your motor, which is crucial for grinding some of the harder grains like wheat or corn.
Types of Grains to Mill
Flour can be made of much more than just wheat berries.
One of the greatest benefits to milling your own flour is to be able to make flour out of a variety of grains, particularly attractive to those who may be gluten-intolerant or have celiac disease.
Corn, barley, and other grains are commonly used to make flour and they are very hard and dry, similar to wheat berries. You can also grind dried beans and legumes to make protein-rich flour, or rice to make light, sweet flour.
Some mills will even grind nuts and seeds, coffee beans, and various other plants and meats.
Think long and hard about what you want to be able to grind with your mill before making your choice, as many mills are limited to only dry grains, or only hard or soft grains.
Some will do it all, but they will typically require a higher initial investment.
Size of Flour Mill
Flour mills can come in drastically different sizes as well.
This article focuses mainly on the smaller units you can find, since these are ideal for home use, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of variety.
Manual grain mills tend to take up less space because they don’t have motors, to house and usually don’t have built-in canisters to catch the flour either.
Electric flour mills range in size from approximately the size of a 2-piece toaster to much larger units that are comparable to a professional stand mixer. In fact, some grain mills are merely attachments to add to your stand mixer.
The size of the flour mill, electric or manual, will vary depending on the size of the hopper and how much grain you can grind at one time.
The size of the container to catch the flour will also differ and, specifically for electric machines, the size will increase along with the capacity of the motor.
The more you expect from your flour mill, the larger it will probably be. Although every item on this list could fit on a typical home kitchen counter.
How Often Do You Mill?
How often you plan on making your own flour or, more accurately, how much flour you plan on making, will make a difference to your choice of a grain mill as well.
Speed and power are two criteria to consider but also cost.
If you are only going to mill enough flour to bake a loaf of bread once or twice a year, it will take a lot longer to make up your initial investment.
In this case, you may be more interested in a more economical manual grinder that can be stored in a cupboard when you’re not using it.
If you bake daily, however, an easy-to-access, very reliable unit may be what you need.
Flour Mill Price Ranges
As with most things in life, you will typically pay considerably more for quality.
There are less expensive manual grain mills that you can buy for less than $50 and there are professional quality units that will cost hundreds of dollars. In both cases, there are reliable options and poor quality options.
We have sifted through them all so that you can choose from only the best of the best.
Best Small Flour Mills for Home Use
If you are ready to take your home baking to the next level, both nutritionally speaking and for flavor and bragging rights, it may be time to invest in a grain mill so that you can make your own flour.
Use that flour for pancakes, bread, or maybe even to make your own nut or seed butter.
The following list includes 9 of the best small flour mills for home use:
|1.||KitchenAid KGM Grain Mill Attachment||Attaches to KitchenAid|
|2.||Victoria Cast-Iron Grain Mill||Hand crank grain mill|
|3.||ChefCaptain Corn/Grain Grinder||Simple grinder|
|4.||Wondermill Electric Grain Mill Grinder||Professional quality|
|5.||NutriMill Classic Grain/Flour Mill||High-speed|
|6.||Roots & Branches Adjustable Mill||Hand-operated|
|7.||Blendtec Electric Grain Mill||Grain mill for bread flour|
|8.||CGOLDENWALL Electric Grain Grinder Mill||Large capacity grinder|
|9.||NutriMill Harvest Stone Grain Mill||Stone grain mill|
There are options for the once a year flour maker, the daily grain grinder, and everyone in between.
Whether your needs focus more on price, longevity, speed, or cleanliness, we’ve outlined all the best and worst features of each unit to help with your buying decision.
1. KitchenAid KGM Grain Mill Attachment
If you’re planning on making your own flour there’s a good chance you do a lot of baking. This means you more than likely already have a KitchenAid stand mixer.
If this is the case, the best flour mill for you will be one that attaches to the machine you already have, like this metal grain mill.
- Best flour mill for Kitchenaid
- Grinds hard, low moisture grains, such as wheat, corn, and rice
- Various grind settings, from coarse ‘cracked’ to extra-fine
Biggest Drawback: The mill takes a lot of power to run and really should only be used if you have one of the professional quality KitchenAid stand mixers.
Even then, if you want an extra-fine grain you might have to run your flour through more than once or grind smaller portions at a time.
2. Victoria Cast-Iron Grain Mill
If you’re new to grinding your own grains to make flour, you may want to start with an easy machine with fewer frills first, to be sure you enjoy the results.
This manual grinder is very versatile, allowing you to grind your coffee beans as easily as corn.
It also has a trendy, industrial-style appeal. Just because it’s inexpensive compared to other grain mills on this list does not mean it’s low quality. This machine is made out of cast-iron – which means it’s made to last.
- Best hand crank grain mill
- High hopper for large capacity grain grinding
- Adjustable and versatile – grind everything from coffee beans to barley or even meats and vegetables
Biggest Drawback: This mill won’t produce a super-fine pastry flour and it has a tougher time with small, hard grains like wheat, but it is very respectable for the price.
It has heavy-duty construction, but it does require some extra TLC in the form of washing, drying, and oiling each individual piece after it’s been used.
3. ChefCaptain Corn/Grain Grinder
This unit is a generally less expensive option, but it’s definitely worth a mention.
Especially for those who like a reliable, but simple machine, this is a great choice.
This unit is great at grinding anything, as long as you read the instructions first and follow the best practices suggestions, you can get a lifetime of grinding out of this cheap but lasting-quality grain mill. It’s definitely worth keeping on your list.
- Best cheap grain mill
- Made from cast iron for quality and durability
- Works for hard, dry grains and goods with high moisture or oil, like nuts
Biggest Drawback: This unit requires some patience if you want a super fine grind. You cannot place whole grains in the hopper and expect to get a fine, flour or powder consistency.
You have to work your way through the process by starting with a coarse grind, and working it through again until you have the consistency you desire.
4. Wondermill Electric Grain Mill Grinder
If patience is a virtue that you have in only limited supply, Wondermill is the brand you want to choose for your grain mill.
This electric grain mill has a very high-powered motor, especially in comparison to other mills in its price range.
This means you get more flour prepared in much less time, even for small hard grains like wheat, and it comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Best electric wheat grinder
- 1,250-watt motor for high capacity, fast-grinding, and a long lifespan
- Dust-free sealed canister with filtration tube operates with less noise and dust
Biggest Drawback: This machine is more of a pulverizing unit than a grinding mill. This means it can work fast and furious, but only on dry goods.
It isn’t designed for grinding anything with a high moisture content, which includes oily nuts and seeds. If you like to sprout your grains before milling them, make sure they are completely dehydrated before putting them into the machine.
5. NutriMill Classic High-Speed Grain/Flour Mill
If you want to be able to grind a variety of types of grains and goods as quickly and healthfully as possible within reason, NutriMill is the best option for you.
The unique tech used for their grain milling heads provides better grind adjustment with less impact on the grain, protecting the nutritional quality better.
It also makes it more effective for a wide variety of dry grains, both hard and soft.
- Best electric grain mill
- Advanced technology protects nutrition better while also reducing noise, keeping the motor cool, and extending the life of the machine
- Includes extension to increase capacity, an air filter, and a separator cup
Biggest Drawback: The canister doesn’t seal completely, so this unit does create more dust than some of the other options on the list.
However, it works incredibly well, so a bit of flour dust may be worth the results. If you or anyone in your household is sensitive to dust of any kind, however, it could present a problem.
6. Roots & Branches Hand-Operated Adjustable Mill
When you want to use your grain mill, this unit looks sleek and stylish.
When you’re done grinding your flour, it is compact enough to store away in a cupboard or drawer, saving your counter space for other important cooking projects.
It will clamp onto any countertop or table edge up to 2 inches and is sturdy enough to manually grind everything from soft oats to hard, dry rice.
- Best small grain mill
- Adjustable grind from coarse cracked to fine bread flour
- Compact and easy to store while still having a hopper that fits up to 2 cups of grains at a time
Biggest Drawback: To make this unit even more compact, the handle comes off to save space. However, the quality of construction isn’t the highest, so the more times you remove the pieces, the quicker it wears out.
If you have the space to leave all pieces intact when storing, it will extend the life. However, if you only use it a few times a year for special baking occasions, it shouldn’t be a problem.
7. Blendtec Electric Grain Mill
If you make a lot of bread, this unit is great for producing a great quality bread flour grind in short order.
Their milling chamber is specially designed to create the least amount of starch damage to the flour, which means taller, loftier bread.
- Best grain mill for bread flour
- Produce up to 24 cups of flour in under 6 minutes, depending on the type of grain you use and the coarseness of the grind
- Grinds a variety of grains, including high-moisture rice and oily soybeans
Biggest Drawback: The latches that hold the lid onto the canister aren’t great quality and tend to break a little too easily.
This leads to a dusty kitchen whenever you use the machine. The hopper also isn’t the best design because the grains don’t always auto-feed, but need a nudge downwards to the mill gears.
8. CGOLDENWALL Electric Grain Grinder Mill
Some homes only need small flour mills to support their family while others need a higher capacity.
The CGoldenwall grinder mill is one of the larger units on this list, but it is still small enough to fit in a home kitchen, particularly if that home sees a lot of baking.
It’s commercial-powered but safe enough to be used in a home full of kids and it doesn’t break the bank either.
- Best large capacity grinder
- Safety upgraded to automatically stop grinding when the cover is opened
- Use for grinding herbs and spices as well as grains for flour
Biggest Drawback: The biggest drawback to this unit is the cleaning process.
It does a remarkable job grinding anything you need it to, but then you have to take it apart piece by piece and clean it carefully to make sure nothing is stuck inside and left to either go bad or contaminate future grinds.
9. NutriMill Harvest Stone Grain Mill
This is the second NutriMill product on our list and that is because the brand knows what they’re doing and they provide great quality products.
This particular model is built with milling stones that are nearly as hard as diamonds, making it easy to mill even the hardest of dry grains.
- Best stone grain mill
- Auto-shutoff ensures that the unit will shut down before it overheats to protect the motor
- Body made from eco-friendly, sustainable, and stylish bamboo
Biggest Drawback: The unit is high-powered and, like most mills, will get hot as it operates.
This unit saves the motor by shutting off automatically, which is great for the lifespan of your unit, but it can be frustrating to have no control and be forced to continually wait, even if there is only a small amount of grain left to be ground.
What is the Best Grain Mill for Home Brewing?
Homebrewing is best with freshly crushed grains, just as home-baked bread is. However, brewing tends to take a lot more grains than a loaf of bread, so the capacity you’ll need is much bigger.
Our favorite grain mill for home brewing is the FERRODAY Malt Crusher Malt Mill.
It has a 7.7-pound hopper designed specifically for grinding wheat, barley, and, of course, malt. It is designed for home brewers and should not be used for corn, soybeans, or other types of grain.
What Are the Benefits of Grinding Your Own Flour?
The biggest benefit of grinding your own flour is knowing that you’re getting all the nutrition from the grain. Unless specifically stated otherwise, commercially produced flour is processed to remove the bran, where most of the nutrients live.
By grinding your own flour you may have a slightly different texture, depending on your flour mill, but you will also have all the vital vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants from your food.
Is Milling Your Own Flour Worth It?
Grinding your own flour does have an initial investment in terms of the machinery involved, but that cost varies depending on your needs and the amount of work you want to put into the grinding process.
However, once you have a machine, the cost of dry goods can be considerably less if you have the space to buy in bulk.
If you are only grinding your own flour one or two times a year, you will certainly want to be conscious of your investment, as the more flour you mill, the more value you are getting in return.
While it’s ultimately a personal decision, if you do mill your own flour, you will receive plenty of benefits in terms of maximizing nutritional value and freshness.
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