Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tools of the Trade For Prepping

Prepping can lead you into expensive investments in tools that will help you prep. Not all of them are absolute necessities, you can make do with what you have now. What you have now may be less efficient or be more work, but it can work.
You can dehydrate in your oven overnight, or you can buy a dehydrator.
You can buy a spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle.
Grinding wheat into flour can be done in a gee-whiz electric grinder, an old fashioned manual grinder, or heck---you can just grab a couple of rocks and grind it down like like they used to many years ago---or still do in some undeveloped countries.
I am posting some good basic tools of the trade today, some I own, some I have owned in the past, and some I have friends that own them and are very pleased with their performance.
We'll do the electrical division first...
Spice grinders:
A coffee grinder can work as a spice grinder. Regardless, I use mine to grind dehydrated odds and ends into powders.  (read this post for info on that)
This coffee grinder works well as a spice grinder and is fairly inexpensive. It is good for small amounts and occasionally you have lumps or you have to re-grind, but all in all, a fairly good deal. The last one I had lasted me about a year...gotta replace it! I seriously used it A LOT.
My dream spice grinder is considerably more, but I really, really hope to save the bucks to get this one!

There's this fairly inexpensive dehydrator from Nesco that does the job and makes jerky fairly inexpensively. It is what we have now.
Dehydrator of my dreams is the Excalibur. Drooooool.

Flour Mill
Reasonable priced electric flour mill  that a lot of folks out there have and that I have used myself. It works well, is a bit noisy, but does get the job done.
The creme-de-la-creme of electric flour mills  and the one I desperately hope to get some day! A friend has this and I always ask her if I can grind some wheat for her when I visit, lol! You can also grind many other grains in it, adjust for fineness of grind, etc. Me want!

Now, onto the manual division...where the tools require much more effort, but the reward is just as satisfying!
 Manual Spice Grinders:
Okay, no foolin'... this coffee/spice grinder is probably the best of the batch. Yes, there are cheaper ones, but most will not give you the fine grinds you want for spices and powders. I do not drink coffee, but those that do and have this model are very happy with it.
There will be no second place awarded in this category!

Okay, look at this picture. Look at that price. Laugh. Realize you could make the same thing, more or less for about 5 to 20 bucks.
I have made my own dehydrators as easily as putting the food to be dehydrated on window screens (cleaned very well) and then covering the food with cheesecloth to keep fly's off. It works and works well.

Manual Flour Mills:
I have one of these. It is heavy, clunky and hard to use.You can make cracked wheat or cracked corn with it. Flour or corn meal? KEEP CRANKING! You have to grind and re-grind several times to get acceptable flour---remember to sift! It is a *back-up to my back-up* Good to have in case of emergency. And hope that emergency never happens!
A MUCH better one   has a MUCH higher price, but can be used daily without making you feel you just pulled the plow on the lower forty! No need to grind and then re-grind...repeatedly--like the first one!

For those looking for these tools, I hope this helps!


  1. If I may make a suggestion, if you're going to use electric, burr grinders are much better for spices than blade type grinders. It all comes down to heat and blade grinders produce too much. Some say that burr grinders produce heat also, but mine, a Breville, does not. In fact I've yet to see one that does. Heat destroys oils, critical in the taste of most spices. Otherwise stick with manual grinders.

  2. Thanks for posting this... I have thought about splurging for a coffee grinder and knowing what others like and use make it much easier!


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