Restaurant Spice Suppliers: How to Grind Spices

Posted by World of Spice 26/07/2021

Herbs for Catering - Cloves Whole

As seasoned restaurant spice suppliers, we know a thing or two about how to get the most from your spices, especially when you’re running a busy restaurant. Grinding spice can really give your food the wow factor, bringing with it authenticity and full on flavour. Let us get to down to the grind!

Why Should I Grind?

Did you know that grinding whole spices to a powder makes the flavour even more intense? Grinding your whole spices will help to create aromatic and mouth-watering cuisine. It’s definitely worth the time and effort, and there are various ways you can do it for convenience. You’ll need a few tools, (more on that later) but once you’ve got them, be prepared to transform your food as you know it.

Is Grinding Whole Spice Better Than Buying Ground Spice?

Using ground spice can give your dishes a wonderful flavour if they’re high quality, but it’s grinding fresh whole spice yourself that will set your cuisine apart from the rest. During grinding, the volatile oils are unlocked there and then, creating intense flavour and aroma.

With all whole spice, the natural oils are locked inside, almost frozen in time, retaining every drop of potency. The moment the spice is ground, the oils cast their essence into food, wherever they are added. If your spices are pre-ground, that potent flavour has already had time to seep out long before you’ve brought them into your restaurant.

A great example of this is fresh, cracked black pepper. When the peppercorn kernels are ground there and then on top of food, it adds intense bite, with a warm background heat. Although ready ground pepper can do the trick, you often have to add a lot more to get the same intensity and aesthetic similarly.

What Spices Are Good to Grind?

As restaurant spice suppliers, we have a few recommendations for spices that are pure magic when freshly ground from whole seed. Next time you’re cooking try grinding for starters:

  • Cumin
  • Nutmeg
  • Cardamom pods
  • Cloves
  • Coriander

Ways to Grind Spices

Pestle and Mortar: 

For smaller amounts of spice, a pestle and mortar is a great to crush your spices, offering instant results. It’s also very satisfying to pulverise the whole spice by hand, to truly gain than ‘home-made’ food feel. If you’re after a coarser texture, this utensil is a great way of providing a chunkier version of ground herbs and spices. You also have the freedom to keep adding a dash more of anything you need to, without overpowering the final combination.

Be sure to choose a mortar with a rough bottom, as this will make a real difference to oil secretion and the texture of what you’re grinding. Granite is brilliant for harder spices, whilst ceramic is gentler and better for smaller amounts. Additionally, if you’re looking to just bruise, or lightly crush, wood pestle and mortars could be a worthy investment. Don’t use wood for hard griding though, as its porous nature means that it is susceptible to holding on to flavours, almost extracting them from the spice!


Talking of essentials, an extra tip our restaurant spice suppliers would recommend is to invest in a good quality peppermill. It’s even a good idea to have several of these on hand for different peppercorns or mixed blends – it’s a tool you will use every day on your spice journey!


The traditional Microplane is really helpful for breaking down large nuts such as nutmeg, tonka bean and also cinnamon. It can also prove extremely useful for finely grating ginger, garlic and citrus rind, to name a few. Great for adding a little texture and unlocking that full flavour on the spot, grinding your spice down with this little tool is super simple and worth the very small expense.

Blade Grinding:

If you’re looking for fast turnover, then use a spice grinder over a pestle and mortar. They’re super-efficient and a vital part of any restaurant kitchen. As expert restaurant spice suppliers, we can tell you that the majority of blade spice grinders available are also marketed as coffee grinders. Coffee grinders do a fantastic job of grinding spices, just be sure to clean thoroughly before making yourself a cuppa!

If you’re planning to grind a lot of spice, it’s worth getting two grinders to ensure that you don’t get a coriander flavoured coffee! This will also make the overall cleaning process easier because you won’t have to worry as much about cross contamination of strong flavours in unwanted places!

You must be careful with your spice ratio when using a blade grinder. They spin at high speed and if you don’t have enough spice in your device, they will swirl to the top and won’t get ground evenly. Grind a slightly larger amount to guarantee even texture and store the rest for later.

Although spice grinders are pretty resilient, you do need to be careful of damaging or dismantling the blade, which can occur if a larger seed gets stuck underneath it. If you’re grinding cinnamon sticks, or peppercorns for example, a great trick is to turn the grinder upside down, turn it on and let the blades get up to speed, then turn the grinder upright to finish the job.

One more important note: one spice to steer clear of in your grinder is whole cloves. The oil content can be very damaging to the device; they tend to saturate the grinder mechanics over time and shorten its overall life.

Get in Touch

At World of Spice, we are expert restaurant spice suppliers. Our produce is known internationally for its delicious and strong flavour. We always deliver the highest quality products, to aid authentic, traditional cuisine. If you’re looking to buy whole or ground spices online, we can arrange fast and convenient delivery to meet your catering business requirements.

From bespoke blends to a choice of packaging, complete with custom labelling, our comprehensive service can help you achieve your culinary goals. For more information about our services and what we can offer you, please contact us at, or feel free to call our team on 01277 633303. We look forward to hearing from you.

Return to blog index

Get the world of spice newsletter

Your email address is safe with us. We will never supply it to any third parties.