I previously mused about my thoughts on hand-powered versus electric powered mills here. I settled on an electric mill, and specifically, the grain mill made by Komo. Specifically, I bought the Komo K1 pictured below. It was a little pricey, but so far I am quite happy with it.
One of my favorite uses for the mill is to open it up to the coarse setting and grind 2 ounces of oat groats into a cereal bowl, which I then cover over with vanilla yogurt, and mix to hydrate. I usually mix in some fruit and put it into a small container and take it to work for breakfast. Our 1-year old also loves this for breakfast, which is a bonus.
Of course, you don’t need a $600 mill to make coarsely ground oats, and you might even prefer a “flaker” to turn the groats into bigger flakes. Where the Komo mill really shines is at grinding fine flour from wheat berries. You will find no shortage of reviews for grain mills in general or the Komo mill in particular, and I suggest reading and watching them.
Here are a few things to note in the event they are important to you:
The flour comes out rather warm. The more you grind the warmer it gets. The heat can be reduced somewhat by refrigerating the wheat berries before you grind them. I have decided that the warm flour is a ‘bonus’ feature, allowing me to grind right into a bowl of room temperature water so that when I mix up my dough, the dough is warm. This isn’t really a feature as I’d prefer cold flour which I can mix with the water temperature of my choosing. But, this mill does not turn out cool temperature flour.
The mill is noisy. It is less noisy when I make my “groats” and yogurt because oats are a lot softer and because I grind very little of them so the noise ends very quickly. But if you are grinding 4 cups of wheat berries, it is not a quiet process and it is not a terribly quick one. Keeping the lid on the hopper dampens the noise somewhat.
The Komo grinds the flour right into your mixing bowl or other vessel. But, the spout is not all that high so you can’t use a very tall container unless that container rests somewhat below the counter. The unit fits under the cabinet, though I usually pull it out a bit to make it easier to get the lid off and pour in the wheat berries. When I am done with it I usually push it back under to make more room on the counter.
One “con” about grinding into a bowl is that it is probably messier than the mills that have a flour chamber. Often times when the grinding is done, there is still a bit of flour in the spout which will trickle out over time if you don’t reach in there and wipe it out. I don’t care too much, as I will just wipe the counter if flour gets on it.
I have not done any taste tests to determine whether my whole wheat flour yields better tasting loaves than store-bought whole wheat flour. But, I love grinding my own flour because I know that it is never stale. I also love having wheat berries around because they make delicious and very simple pioneer pancakes.