Can You Grind Coffee Beans in a Food Processor: A Detailed Guide for the Coffeeholic

Coffee Grinder Tips & Advice

can you grind coffee beans in a food processor
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The food processor is a reliable kitchen appliance. You can use it to chop, shred, or slice fruits and vegetables.

You can even shred cheese in it with the right attachment.

If you are a coffee lover, you have probably asked, “Can you grind coffee beans in a food processor too?”

Grinding whole beans right before you brew them is the best way to get a perfect cup of coffee.

Since food processors work similarly to coffee grinders, it is normal to wonder if it can be an alternative.

Food Processor vs. Coffee Grinder

Both food processors and coffee grinders come with rotating metals.

These spinning metals produce the force that grinds the material you put in.

The main difference is the type of metal used in the grinding system.

Most coffee grinders use metal burrs that rely heavily on abrasion to break the coffee beans into smaller pieces.

These burrs can have either a conical or a flat profile.

You can adjust the distance between the blades, depending on what consistency you want for your grounds.

It takes the guesswork out of the process, producing coffee grounds of uniform size, which makes it ideal for brewing coffee.

Since it is designed solely for this purpose, this is expected.

On the other hand, a food processor uses sharp blades that produce a different force on the beans. 

As a result, the consistency is a bit harder to control.

Still, with some practice using your food processor, you could leave your coffee grinder behind and never look back.

Can You Grind Coffee Beans in a Food Processor?

The question “Can you grind coffee beans in a food processor?” is yes, you can.

It might require a bit of skill that will come only after a few attempts.

Nevertheless, once you get the hang of it, you can have a perfect cup even without a coffee grinder.

The same is true for just about any kitchen appliance with blades, such as blenders and mini-choppers.  

The blade system will pulverize the coffee beans to the size that you need.

It is not designed to provide a uniform consistency, but do not be discouraged by this.

With a few simple techniques, you can get coffee grounds of comparable consistency as coffee grinders.

How To Use the Food Processor To Grind Coffee

Not having a coffee grinder does not have to mean the end of the perfect cup of coffee.

Just break out your food processor and keep the good times rolling.

Here are some quick tips on how to get the most out of your small but dependable kitchen appliance.

The Overall Process

When using the food processor to grind coffee beans, the pulse button is your friend.

The blades on food processors are very powerful and can over-grind the grounds, rendering them useless.

The process could also generate too much heat if not done in short bursts, making your coffee very bitter.

To ensure a uniform grind, press the pulse button for one to two seconds at a time.

Once you release it, the blades on the food processor will stop spinning.

If your food processor does not have this feature, don’t worry. You can use the On and Off buttons instead.

It would take a bit more effort and practice, but it offers the same results.

Another thing to remember when using the food processor is to shake while grinding.

Doing this will push the larger particles closer to the blades, making it easier to achieve a uniform consistency.

learn if you can you grind coffee beans in a food processor

For Medium To Fine Grinds

Medium to fine coffee grounds are excellent if you want to put them on a filter and pour hot water over them.

Doing this gives you more time to pull the flavors out and make a bold but savory cup.

This is the process for drip coffee and batch brewers, which are very popular among coffee lovers.

To achieve this consistency using your food processor, you will need to let it work for a few minutes.

Remember not to let it spin continuously for too long to avoid overheating the grounds and ruining the oils in them.

For Coarse Grinds

If you plan to make French press, percolator, or cold brew coffee, you need coarse coffee grounds. 

You can use your food processor to do this too. 

It can be a bit more complicated than fine to medium coffee grounds, but still perfectly doable.

Just grind your coffee beans in short bursts by using the pulse function.

Make sure that you shake the processor in between pulses to create a uniform consistency. 

If the flavor of the coffee is too weak, then the coffee grounds you have made might be too coarse.

Just take note of this so you can make the necessary adjustment on the next batch.

Using the Grind Function

Some food processors are designed to perform the job of grinders.

If you have this model, your life will be easier.

To find out if your processor has this feature, look for the grind function.

If it does, you can use this to make coffee grounds with the ideal consistency.

Just remember not to put too many coffee beans in one batch of grinding.

If there is too much coffee in the bowl, heat cavities will form.

Heat is something that you do not want to introduce at this stage.

It can ruin the oil in your coffee grounds and affect the flavor once you use them.

Adding Small Amounts of Coffee Beans

There are many reasons why you should add your coffee beans in small quantities and grind them in batches.

Doing this will help you prevent the formation of heat cavities, as mentioned above.

It will also make things easier for you as you try to achieve a uniform coffee ground consistency.

Smaller amounts of coffee are easier to monitor and manage.

It will also give you the chance to make the necessary adjustments without wasting too many of your coffee beans.

Other Methods for Grinding Coffee Beans

While the food processor is a perfectly good substitute for the coffee grinder, many other alternatives are available.

All you have to do is go through your kitchen, and you will surely find something that you can use.

Even a hammer from your toolbox will do if you do not know your way around the kitchen.

Below are some of your options.


The blender features a rotating metal blade, similar to food processors and coffee grinders.

You can also use this kitchen appliance to break your coffee beans into smaller, uniformly-sized pieces.

There are even brands that come with a grind setting, similar to what some food processors have.

It is a great feature to have if you want to use a blender to grind your coffee beans.

Nevertheless, you should still be able to get things done even without this function.

The same general principles you use on food processors apply to blenders.

Use the pulse setting in short bursts to avoid burning the coffee grounds and ruining the oil. 

Three to five seconds at a time of continuous grinding should do the trick.

Pour around ¼ to ½ cup of coffee beans for each batch to make it easier for your blender.

If you have to, you can tilt the small appliance while grinding to help it get a uniform consistency. 

Meat Tenderizer

It is a bit crude, but a meat tenderizer can be an effective tool for grinding coffee.

A hammer or something else that is somewhat similar can also get the job done.

When using this method, place your coffee beans inside a plastic bag.

You can also put them in between two pieces of parchment paper, which is resistant to grease and moisture.

Next, lay the plastic or paper with coffee beans flat on a hard surface, like a chopping board.

Use the meat tenderizer to crush the beans by pressing them firmly instead of striking them.

Keep on doing this until you get the size that you need.

Garlic Press

This method is not as effective as the others, but it will do if this is all that you have. 

Place the coffee beans on the spot where the food material goes, then squeeze the garlic press firmly.

Repeat the process until you get the desired consistency.

If you are not satisfied with the results, you can finish the job using a meat tenderizer or hammer.


You may not know this, but your knife can be effective at grinding your coffee beans.

Just remember to use the flat side and not the sharp edge.

Lay the coffee beans on a cutting board and crush them by firmly pressing the knife over them.

Continue doing this until you get the right-sized coffee grounds.

Choose the Best Bean Grinder for You

A food processor is an excellent alternative if you do not have a coffee grinder. 

It would require a bit more skill and eyeballing, but it would help you enjoy a perfect cup of coffee on-demand.

If you do not have a food processor either, there are other options available.

Just choose one that best fits your preference or situation.

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