How to Finally Get the Cumin Smell Out of Your Spice Grinder
You may love taco seasoning more than life itself, but that doesn’t mean you want your bread pudding to taste like it. We’re guilty of just wiping our spice grinders clean after blitzing coffee or spices, but it’s only a little more work to give them a thorough clean between uses. Test kitchen assistant Gaby Melian is here to share four of her favorite methods, which involve ingredients that you already have in your kitchen.
To Get the Excess Spices Out
Gaby used fragrant toasted cumin seeds for this test, grinding a few tablespoons of seeds into powder. After emptying the spices and wiping it out with a paper towel, there were still lots of cumin granules in there. To remove them, she took about an inch-wide slice of baguette, ripped it up, and blitzed it for 30 seconds. It pulverized into breadcrumbs, gathered all the remaining cumin from the sides of the grinder, and emptied out easily into the garbage can. “It doesn’t matter if it’s crusty and hard or soft bread—it all works the same,” she explains. If you have savory spices, you could even toast these breadcrumbs and use them on another dish. The grinder still smelled a bit like cumin, but it was easy to wipe completely clean.
Instead of pieces of bread, use 3 to 4 Tbsp. of rice—any kind you have in the cupboard—and blitz for about 30 seconds. This method seemed to take the scent of the cumin out more effectively. If you have already-stale bread you don’t mind wasting, do bread. If not, rice is cheap and usually in the cupboard.
To Get the Smell Out
Bread and rice are both great at getting the grinder clean, but neither took the strong scent of the cumin away completely. Since baking soda is a great way to keep your fridge from smelling, she tried it for the spice grinder. Use 2 Tbsp. of baking soda and pulse for 30 seconds. It will take out some of the scent, but won’t make it brand new again.
When the baking soda didn’t fully do the trick, Gaby poured a little bit of white vinegar on a paper towel and wiped the grinder clean. (FYI, you should never wash your grinder under water because of its electric parts, but a slightly-dampened paper towel to wipe it out is okay.) It took away most of the residual cumin scent. but it replaced it with the potent smell of vinegar. After a few hours of airing out with the top off, it will smell pretty neutral and be ready to grind up something new. When in doubt, use vinegar: it’s a cure-all to most stinky kitchen problems.
Discover how to clean your spice grinder using bread, rice, baking soda, and white vinegar.