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Cast iron spice grinder

I was thinking of getting the cast iron spice mill. In the email blast, it discusses adding zest, garlic, herbs, etc... However, on the store page it says to only use dry spices. I have also been considering a mortar & pestle, which I believe can be used to just grind spices as well as incorporate other non dry elements. Am I correct?


  • Hi Tamara - thanks for your question. You are correct - the Skeppshult Cast-Iron Spice Mill in the Milk Street Store can only be used with dried spices. Since it's made of cast iron any acid or even salt can cause the cast iron to corrode. We do love it, though, for grinding small amounts of dried spices, since it grinds the spices more coarsely than an electric grinder. It handles tough spices that can even trip up an electric spice grinder like peppercorns and cumin seeds like a pro. That being said, you can definitely use a mortar & pestle to grind dried spices and also incorporate salt, citrus zest and juice, and fresh herbs. We are currently testing some and hope to add one to the store soon! In the meantime, my personal recommendation would be to get one that is at least 6" in diameter and made of a heavy material like granite or ceramic. Some of us at Milk Street prefer the more coarse texture of granite especially for grinding tough dried spices and nuts like in our Egyptian Nut-and-Seed Seasoning whereas others prefer a smooth ceramic one, which is a little more delicate when making our Pesto alla Genovese the traditional way. I think either style would be a great addition to your kitchen! Best, Lynn C.

  • Thank you so much for your response, Lynn!

  • I recently received the cast iron Swedish spice grinder and I am embarrassed to say that I cannot make it work. Perhaps I am not strong enough. I tried it with peppercorns and with coriander seeds. I turned it counter clockwise and clockwise and it’s not grinding . Please tell me what I am doing wrong.

  • Hello! I am so sorry you are having trouble with the Skeppshult Cast-Iron Spice Grinder. The rough surface of the cast iron base does the work for you, but it does require some effort on your part to get the spices to break down. We recommend using a smaller amount of spices (no more than a few tablespoons) and turning the upper bowl back and forth to grind the spices. I would start with a tablespoon or so of peppercorns and see if you can get those ground to the texture you like and then gradually increase the amount once you get the hang of it. Good luck and I hope this works for you! Best, Lynn C.

  • Thank you. That sounds like very good advice. I ground some cumin seeds yesterday and they were very aromatic.

  • I really like this grinder but one of the iron teeth broke off. Should I return it or is one missing piece not important.

  • Hi there - Definitely contact customer service at the Milk Street Store at [email protected] They can certainly help you regarding a replacement item if necessary. Best, Lynn

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