Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

The No Holds Barred Nutrimill Grain Mill Review

February 18th, 2011 · 32 Comments · What to Buy

Nutrimill grain mill size

When I got my Nutrimill in the mail, I was absolutely shocked at how LARGE it was. Between that and the Excalibur dehydrator arriving around the same time, my husband very seriously mandated that I get product dimensions before allowing any more boxes to come to our door.

Where to Grind?

I quickly decided the entire Nutrimill grain mill was too heavy and obnoxious to carry it up and down the stairs when I needed it, which is what I do with my food processor. Instead, I started by milling grain in my downstairs bathroom, which made for a pretty funny introductory blog post.

It didn’t take long to move to the laundry room, where I conveniently already had a random table. It’s now full of my dehydrator, grain mill, some jars of dehydrated tomatoes and extra wheat berries. It’s easy to carry the flour container upstairs after milling, and I get to fold laundry or load the machine in the few minutes it takes to grind the wheat.

Does it Make a Mess?

grinding flour (4) (475x356)

I’ve figured out how to stop 99% of the flour from poofing out the sides, and I just ignore the other 1%. It’s the basement, after all. Winking smile The trick? Push the bowl in all the way, give it another nudge after turning the machine on, and if you really want zero dusting, cover the opening on the left side with a towel. Just don’t grab a dirty sock from the laundry pile.

Extra Dishes?

I was a little worried at first that this huge bowl and complicated looking lid would be “just one more thing” to wash. I hate dishes. Plus, I knew it would need to be absolutely and totally dry before storing and using again.

My solution? Just don’t wash it. My philosophy is that it’s just dry flour, and the next thing that it will touch will be more dry flour. I can’t stress out about an 1/8 teaspoon of flour going rancid and touching the rest of my flour. Besides that, the inside of the mill, where you can’t clean no matter what, is going to have some flour residue on it anyway.

Grain Mill or Jet Engine?

And the noise? It makes for some funny conversation. Observe:

I was talking on the phone with my mom one evening and did everything I could do before soaking a recipe for the next day. I had to grind the grain. It couldn’t wait any longer. When I turned on the Nutrimill, my mom yelled, “What happened!” She thought I’d hopped on a jet plane or something.

Also:

My brother was visiting and was upstairs when I milled some grains with the door closed in the basement, and he was smirking when I returned. “Um, what the heck were you doing down there?” He guffawed and nearly fell off the couch when I said I was just grinding some grain.

It’s something to say when you want people to think you’re practically off the grid: “I grind my own grain, you know.” Ha!

My Final Thoughts on the Nutrimill

grinding flour smaller

  • I can’t tell you it won’t take you any more time.
  • I can’t tell you it’s not loud!
  • I can’t tell you it takes up very little space.
  • I can’t say it’s mess free, but flour is messy business, no matter how you shake it. Don’t shake your flour, folks. Also, don’t get a grain mill of any kind if you can’t handle some flour dust.
  • I won’t say that I can tell the bread and grain products I make are fresher, better-tasting, or the best stuff I’ve ever eaten, but many other people do. I’m just not that observant, honestly.
  • I will say the cornbread I made with freshly ground popcorn was the most amazing I’ve ever had.
  • I will say I’m so pleased that I’m using the whole grain, as fresh as possible. I am convinced there are health benefits to freshly ground grain. Then again, that opens another new can of worms.
  • I’m pretty happy that I can’t break the Nutrimill by turning it on or off at the wrong time like the Wondermill and Whispermill, from what I understand. (Check out the comparison of the Nutrimill grain mill with a Wondermill I vlogged last week!)
  • The flour grinds as quickly and finely as I could expect.

UPDATE 2012: I had a bit more to say about the Nutrimill; see HERE.

Anything else you want to know about life with a Nutrimill grain mill? Ask away! Want to get your own? Enter here!

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Disclosure: Pleasant Hill Grain provided a Nutrimill Grain Grinder at reduced cost for my review and is providing the giveaway product free of charge. This relationship clearly in no way affects my opinion! See my full disclosure statement here.

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32 Comments so far ↓

  • Jessica

    After using a Whisper Mill, Ultra Mill and NutriMill (actually 2), professionally for 8 years, I prefer the NutriMill. Yes, the directions say not to use it commercially – but we did – and it worked VERY well. On a weekly basis we made over 300#’s of Whole Wheat breads and that does not include the poundage for the brownies, cookies, cakes and muffins. Once you get used to using it it’s a breeze!! A good tip is to knock on the lid of the container with a wooden spoon once it has been removed from the mill. This helps the extra flour, that’s on the lid, to be knocked into the container (while it’s still contained). Not sure about the newer models, but mine has lines on the base that say “YES” and “NO” to help indicate proper container placement. Another benefit (as you mentioned) is that you can turn it off in the middle of a cycle…to answer the phone ;o) My NutriMill is still in use – we no longer operate the bakery – but it gets a workout every couple of weeks as I bake for my family and friends.
    Blessings to you and thank you for sharing such wonderful information.

    michelle p. from wa Reply:

    Would you be willing to share your favorite whole wheat bread recipe?

    Jessica Reply:

    Michelle, “Favourite” recipes can be subjective ;o) I will offer a few helpful tips
    1) put all wet ingredients in mixer bowl and add only 3/4 of the flour called for in the recipe. Mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes and let rest for 10 minutes – Yes,that’s right – turn off the mixer and WALK AWAY!! Because the wheat germ and bran remain in Freshly Milled Whole Wheat (FMWW), it needs time to be hydrated by the liquids.
    2) Knead the hydrated dough for 10-15 minutes, adding more flour as needed – after 6-8 minutes of kneading. Allow the dough to be slightly sticky. 100% FMWW bread dough will not clean the sides of the bowl like a white bread dough will…well, it can but you will end up w/ a dry and tough loaf of bread.
    3 ) The finished dough should “window pane” when stretched. What does that mean?? Well, you want to take a golfball sized piece of dough and give it about 4 kneads in your hand then stretch it – much like you would Silly Putty-(if the dough is too sticky to do this then you must add more flour) it should STRETCH and produce a thin membrane that you can see light through. If it does not stretch and just breaks apart then it’s not been kneaded enough OR you’ve added too much flour. Simply knead a bit longer or add some extra water 1 TBS at a time.
    4) Let the dough rise under an inverted bowl or in a zip top plastic bag. In the bakery we used 2 gallon sized zip top bags. We got tons of use out of these bags – we would launder them(yes, in the washing machine) and use them over and over – when they wore out we would cut the seams and use them to cover the rising loaves.
    5) It’s just bread…any mistake can, usually, be fixed…If you have any questions – just message me here ;o)
    Hope these tips help you along as you discover your favourite bread recipe.
    Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

    michelle p. from wa Reply:

    Awesome information! Thank you so much for your willingness to share. Blessings to you and your family!

    Katie Reply:

    Jessica! Amazing tips! I need you to come visit me and give bread baking tutorials, as you may have seen in my bread adventures of late. I need to print these for my fridge… ;) Katie

    Katie Reply:

    Jessica,
    Wow! That’s a lot of grinding. Awesome testimonial! Makes me glad I got a Nutrimill. :) Katie

  • Katy@ThoughtForFood

    I love my Nutrimill. It IS large — so I always tell people to have in mind a place to stash it before they buy. Mine is in a lower cabinet in my kitchen, along with my food processor, blender, etc.

    I’ve never owned another brand, but a dear friend milled my flour for me for FOUR YEARS (!) with a Whisper Mill, and the flour was the same quality.

    My only complaint about my mill is the fact that I can’t tell much difference between “fine” and “coarse” settings. Have you experimented with this?

    Katie Reply:

    Katy,
    I always use fine, unless I’m in a hurry. ;) The coarse grind did go almost twice as quickly, so something must be a bit different, right? I wish I was more observant sometimes… :) Katie

  • Esther

    Katie,
    Do you sift your flour? I haven’t been sifting mine, but my husband and I notice that some of our baked goods taste a little gritty. I always use the fine setting & high on the Nutrimill, but I was curious about sifting. Thanks!

    Katie Reply:

    Esther, I never even attempted sifting until the vlog for last Monday’s post, but you sure can get a lot of the bran out! Some say that’s the healthier way to go anyway, but I’m too lazy to take the time right now… :) Katie

  • Jessica

    Believe it or not my Nutrimill is on loan to me indefinitely from friends who don’t plan on using it right now! I offered to buy it from them, but they said, “Just use it.” We use it to grind spelt berries. After about 3 years of GF baking for a daughter with a mild wheat allergy, and then baking with wheat for the rest of us, we tried sourdoughing with spelt and she is doing great! SO much cheaper to buy the 50 lb sack and grind it myself! I will definitely be buying my own should my loaner have to return to its owner.

  • kara

    I wear earplugs when using my loud kitchen appliances!

  • WashingtonPharmGirl

    oh man, i need one of these! STAT!

  • Mrs. Mac

    I got my Nutrimill last month and just ground my first batch of flour last week. It sits on my counter for now .. but I may put it in the basement laundry room after spring cleaning. The bread I’ve made is wonderful.

  • Diana

    I wear my hubby’s gun-shooting earphones when I grind grain. :) If my mill ever goes bad, I’ll definitely consider a NutriMill after reading this review–thanks!

  • Diana

    p.s. love the new logo!!

  • Leigh

    Nobody’s adding their recipes!!! everyone’s waiting to be 18th? fine… OK, I’ll go! ;) I LOVE Laura’s Cinnamon Swirl bread from heavenlyhomemakers.com.

  • Sheila

    My mom used to grind her own flour a tiny bit at a time in her coffee maker (!) because my great-grandpa would give us milk jugs full of the triticale he grew in his front yard. I don’t know if it’s the home-grown-ness of the wheat, the fact that I was used to white bread, or the fact that it was freshly milled, but that is definitely, far and away, the best bread I have ever had. No contest.

  • Melanie

    This product is intriguing. What about using it for making gluten-free grains like nut flours? Have you ever tried that?

    Great blog with lots of helpful information.

    Thanks!

    Katie Reply:

    Melanie,
    The Nutrimill can do GF flours, but not nuts, sadly. Oils jam up the mechanisms. You need a Wondermill Junior or something (talked about it a little here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2011/02/14/nutrimill-vs-wondermill-grain-mill-the-head-to-head-challenge-vlog/ ) for nuts. :) Katie

  • Kika

    I love my nutrimill and have had it about a year. In particular I appreciate that I save $ by buying huge bags of spelt and grinding my own flour rather than needing to freeze my flour so it doesn’t go rancid. It is noisy but doesn’t last long per batch. I don’t wash it out all the time just periodically.

  • Stephanie Williams

    I so cannot wait to win this! :)

  • Katy

    What about beans? That is what I want grains and beans;)

    Amy F Reply:

    Hi Katy,
    I’ve been using my nutrimill for grains and beans for a year now and love it. I throw in pintos, lentils, millet, spelt, mung, soy, wheat, oat and even a vit C tablet sometimes. It does beans wonderfully although I have not tried them without being mixed with a grain. (sorry I just found this site today but I saw noone ever mentioned beans) Do not grind anything with much oil in it, as mentioned before.

  • Len

    Hi all

    I’m considering buying either NM or WM. What concerns me is the storage of the whole grain.

    I’ve read some keep it in the freezer (20 lb bag !?!?) is not for me.

    Some keep in a tightly sealed 5gal plastic can. Nah.

    Others just keep the bag (be it paper or plastic) just in a cupboard. No special setup.

    How do you all store your BIG bag of wheat/spelt berries? Any issues with how you do it?

    Katie Reply:

    Len,
    Mostly just in the bag for me, sometimes gallon jars, sometimes a big tin but still in the bag, too. Whole wheat berries are very resilient, not like already ground flour (which is what you need to store in the freezer). :) Katie

  • Len

    What I ended up doing was getting three 6 litre pails (from grape concentrate) from the local “u make wine” shop for wheat, rye and spelt.

    The bags fit perfectly (little room left over) and I keep all three in my cold cellar.

    Cold in the winter (about 50) and cool in the summer.

    BTW, the mill is working out great. I wasn’t too sure about the whole wheat recipe (on the sweet side with the honey in it) which I found on another site but once I made it properly (the yeast wasn’t ready for prime time), I found that the bread was addictive.

    My 2 yr old grandson just can’t get enough of it. He (almost) prefers my bread over a piece of candy it’s that tasty!!

  • Katie

    You have a vitamix right? Have you used it to grind grain? If not, would you and tell me how it compares in fineness of grind? I really want to know.

    Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    I don’t actually have a vitamix, but I do know many people who use it to grind grain and enjoy it. I’m guessing a little coarser, and it also will HEAT everything quite a bit more…
    :) Katie

  • Norm

    I’ve had a Nutrmill for almost 10yrs now. They are noisy (esp when grinding on fine settings as the motor is operating faster) and a bit dusty. The sealing between unit and flour bowl is poorly engineered. I’m surprised they haven’t bothered to change this.

    After some intial unit failures (4 times!), it now has been running very well. Two of those failures were from grinding popcorn, which I WOULD STRONGLY NOT RECOMMEND. The motor is not designed to handle milling popcorn and plastic housing at end cracked off of mine.

    Otherwise, it has been fine. Healthy Kitchens (Vancouver Island, BC) have repaired / replaced my unit every time there’s been a problem.

  • ann

    My nutrimill flour bowl will not push all the way back reveal the yes no matter how hard I push. Flour goes all over the kitchen. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Ann, time to call the company! Good luck, Katie

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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