A few months ago, I began looking into buying an inexpensive grain mill to include in our family’s emergency essentials closet. While looking at the low end “Back to Basics” mill, I discovered that it would work fine for emergencies but would only grind a very coarse flour and wouldn’t work well if I decided to incorporate it into daily use. I realized that in order to rotate the wheat in our pantry I would have to buy something a step above the “Back to Basics” mill. While rotating our pantry I would also be adding more nutrients to my baked goods and saving money at the same time.
When I started my research, I failed to realize how difficult it would be to pick from so few mills on the market. The next mill to be crossed off my list was the “Country Living” mill, only because the $395.00 price tag was too much for my budget. I briefly looked at electric mills but wanted something that would work in an emergency during a power outage. That only left a couple of hand grain mills available. The following table from the Kodiak Health website was very helpful in my decision. (http://kodiakhealth.com/catalog/default.php/cPath/25_36)
Back to Basics
|Our Rating||Best Buy||Great Mill, Expensive||Fair||Fair||Low Price, Low Quality|
|Warranty||Limited Lifetime||Limited Lifetime||Limited Lifetime||Limited Lifetime||2 years|
|Hopper Capacity||4 cups||4 cups||2 cups||2 cups||1 cup|
|Weight||10 lbs.||20 lbs.||9 lbs.||9 lbs.||5 lbs.|
|Grinding Speed||1/2 cup / minute||3/4 cup / minute||1/2 cup / minute||1/2 cup / minute||1/4 cup / minute|
|Coarseness Variations||Fine flour to cracked cereals||Fine flour to cracked cereals||Fine flour to cracked cereals||Fine flour to cracked cereals||Medium flour to cracked cereals|
|Ease of Turning Wheel||Very Good||Excellent||Fair||Good||Fair|
|Can be Motorized||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Nut Butter Quality||Great||None||Fair||Poor||None|
|Clamping Power||Best (double clamp)||No, Must be Bolted||Fair||Good||Weak|
|Outer Finish Quality||Best||Very Good||Good||Fair||Fair|
|Stone Quality||Best (thickest)||No Stones||Good||Good||No Stones|
|Burr Quality||Best||Large, Good||Poor||Poor||Small, Poor|
The most important qualities to me were ease of use, flexibility and quality. The “Wonder Mill Junior” had the best of those qualities, and a double clamp base for better stability. I went ahead and ordered the “Wonder Mill Junior Deluxe” on Amazon for $199.95. The “deluxe” version has two sets of burrs; stone burrs for flours and stainless steel burrs which can handle more oily grains, nut butters and coffee beans.
I received the mill a few days after I placed my order. My first impression was the quality of the mill and how easy it was to put together. The body is solid and has a beautiful powder coat finish.
Grinding the grain is not a walk in the park, but you also don’t need to be a body builder in order to mill a few cups of grain.
To adjust the fineness of the flour you simply turn the knob in the center.
As you probably guessed, it is more difficult to mill a pastry grade flour than it is to mill a coarse whole wheat flour. If I am in need of a pastry four I will likely run the grain through once as a coarse flour and a second time at a finer setting.
Overall I am very impressed with the quality of the “Wonder Mill Junior” and recommend it to anyone in the market for a grain mill. I am looking forward to grinding my own corn meal, peanut butter, oats and more.
Please feel free post any questions or comments!
Thanks for reading!