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Can You Grind Coffee Beans in a Food Processor? What to Know!

white electric food processor

When you have a coffee grinder, grinding your coffee beans is a simple task. However, it can be challenging to grind your coffee beans without a coffee grinder, especially if you are unsure of another method that could help you crush the coffee. In such situations, you might consider multiple grinding techniques, and if you have a food processor at home, using it to grind your coffee beans may come to mind, and we have to say it’s not a bad idea.

The blades inside the food processor will quickly grind your beans, although the finished product won’t be the same texture and consistency as if you used a coffee grinder. Still, it’s an excellent substitute when you’re in a hurry and don’t have a grinder. Essentially, yes, you can grind coffee beans in a food processor, though a coffee grinder will do a better job.

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Differences Between a Food Processor and Coffee Grinder

These machines function on a different principle, so the coffee consistency and texture will never be the same when you use a food processor and when you use a grinder.

Coffee grinders have burrs that crush the coffee beans with their abrasive surface, resulting in a soft, fine, uniform grind. Most have adjustable settings, so you can choose the grind size. Because of that, the crushed coffee will have a strong, smooth flavor.

When it comes to food processors, instead of using burrs, they crush the coffee beans with sharp blades. As they’re not made for crushing coffee beans, they will not be able to provide a smooth grind. Instead, the grind can become coarse, and they will be less uniform. Still, you can make excellent coffee even with a coarse grind.

You could make the grind finer, but you’ll need to run your food processor longer or repeat the grinding process multiple times.

Food Processor vs. Coffee Grinder
Image Credit: (L) Serghei Starus, Shutterstock | (R) Becca Tapert, Unsplash

How To Grind Your Coffee Beans Using a Food Processor

Grinding your coffee beans using a food processor is simple, but you’ll first need to think about the type of grind you want to achieve. Depending on that, the process might have minor differences. Check out the grind options below, along with instructions on accomplishing them.

  • Coarse grind: To achieve a coarse grind, you can add coffee beans into the food processor, grinding them for just a couple of seconds. While grinding, shake the processor to push the coffee beans closer to the blade. This grind type is perfect for a French press or a coffee processor.
  • Medium grind: To achieve a medium grind, you’ll need to spend more time grinding the coffee beans. You should grind the beans longer, shaking the food processor every 5–10 This grind type is excellent for a machine-dip coffee and pour-over coffee maker.
  • Fine grind: Although it can be challenging to achieve a fine grind using a food processor, it’s not an impossible mission. You’ll need to grind the coffee beans longer, and you should sift them with a fine sieve. Repeat the process until you get the desired grind. It will work perfectly for a Moka pot or espresso.

Different Methods for Grinding Coffee Beans Without a Grinder

If you’ve tried grinding your coffee beans with a food processor, but the final result wasn’t to your liking, there are other grinding methods you can explore. Many people do not know that there are various hand and power grinding techniques and that we have the majority of required tools inside our homes.


coffee bean in blender at coffee shop
Image Credit: Suti Stock Photo, Shutterstock

A blender is a suitable replacement for a coffee grinder and functions similarly to a food processor. The coffee beans won’t have the same consistency, but you should be pleased with the finishing product.

Some blenders even have a setting for grinding coffee. While grinding, you should use short but quick bursts, shaking your blender between each grind. The blenders typically work at high speed, making your coffee taste bitter if the beans overheat during grinding.

Rolling Pin

You could turn to this hand technique if you don’t have any electrical appliances to help you grind your coffee beans. Other than a rolling pin, you’ll also need a zip-lock bag where you’ll place the beans to prevent them from spilling all over your work surface.

Once you place the coffee beans in a zip-lock, you should first crush them with a rolling pin. You can repeat the process as much as needed to get the best results.


hammer on white background
Image Credit: Benjamin Nelan, Pixabay

Although this might sound strange, you can use a hammer or even a mallet to grind your coffee beans. Still, you should use this grinding method with caution because you could get hurt. You’ll also need a zip-lock or regular plastic bag to place the coffee beans inside before grinding.

Instead of hitting the beans, you should firmly press the hammer on the bean-filled bag. With this technique, you won’t be able to achieve a fine grind, but you shouldn’t have any issues getting a medium or a coarse grind.


knife on white background
Image Credit: Nick, Pixabay

We all have knives in our homes, which make an excellent coffee grinder replacement, especially when you need a quick, simple solution for grinding your coffee beans. It’s best to use a larger butcher or chef’s knife, but if you don’t have one, a regular knife will work just fine.

You should crush the beans with the flat side of the knife as that will allow you to make a medium to a medium-fine grind. Before starting, place the coffee beans on a cutting board, and use the knife to press the beans firmly, pulling the knife towards you to make the grind finer.

Spice Grinder

coffee beans and spice grinder tool
Image Credit: Stefan Lehner, Unsplash

Among all kitchen devices, a spice grinder will provide you with a grind the most similar to a grind from a coffee grinder. If you’ve already used it for grinding your spices, thoroughly clean it to prevent your coffee from tasting like a spice.

Simply place the coffee beans into the spice grinder and grind them until you get the consistency needed for your perfect cup of coffee.

Garlic Press

garlic press
Image Credit: Erika Varga, Pixabay

Using a garlic press to grind your coffee beans is very different from using a coffee grinder, but the method is pretty straightforward. You should place the coffee beans into the press and squeeze them out. Due to the larger holes on the garlic press, you won’t be able to achieve a fine grind.

Instead, you’ll get a medium or a coarse grind, but you could mix this with other methods, such as using a knife or a rolling pin to make the grind finer.

Mortar and Pestle

grinding coffee using mortar and pestle
Image Credit: Ashes Bijoux, Shutterstock

This is the most time-consuming coffee grinding method on the list, but it can help you accomplish the finest grind out of all the mentioned methods. You should grind a few beans, slowly adding more to prevent them from hopping out of the mortar.

Once you start grinding, use your strength to press the beans inside the mortar firmly, forcing the pestle to crush the beans. When the beans are ground, move the pestle in a circling motion to make the grind even smoother.

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Final Words

If you find yourself in a situation where you have coffee beans but no coffee grinder, there’s no need to panic! You can use your food processor to get the desired grind, and if that’s not something you want to try, you can turn to other grinding methods to help you make the perfect cup of coffee.

See Also: Can You Grind Coffee Beans in A Nutribullet? What to Know!

Featured Image Credit: Serghei Starus, Shutterstock


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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