Monday, March 15, 2010

WonderMill Junior - Kid Friendly and Parent Approved

WonderMill Junior Deluxe
This is a grain mill that even children will get excited about.  At least for a few minutes that is!  While it is hard to sustain the excitement with younger children, many older children and teenagers will often take the challenge seriously to mill grain for you.  This is because it is somewhat gratifying to enjoy the fruits of your labors by cracking your own wheat, grinding your own fresh, creamy wheat or milling your own super-fine pastry flower.   Of course, it is so much faster to turn on your electric mill and effortlessly watch as the machine finely mills your grain into flour.  However, the newer high impact electric mills feature high speed steel grinding burrs and plates that are not able to crack wheat or make coarse grade corn meal.  The best these electric mills can do is a medium flour or fine cornmeal at best.  The lower temperature of hand grinders will also help conserve additional nutrition of your flours and cracked cereals versus high-speed electric grinders.
Freshly Ground Creamy Wheat (Farina)
The grinder stones that come with the deluxe model hearken back to the older box style mill that featured stone heads that I enjoyed growing up.  The stones can be adjusted in the front of the mill using the adjustment knob.  You can crack wheat, grind creamy wheat consistency and even get down to pastry fine flour in one single pass.  The stones are obviously designed for dry, non-oily grains and seeds as stones are mildly porous.  The stainless-steel burrs on the other hand are ready for moist and oily nuts, seeds and grains.  The stainless-steel burrs are great for grinding brown rice flour, bean flour and corn meal.  You can really open up a wide spectrum of possibilities with having both stone and steel grinders and being able to control the consistency of your milling.
Stone Grinders Above and Steel Burrs Below

You can grind flax seeds, process lime soaked corn for masa and even make peanut butter using the stainless steel burrs.  Below you can see a picture of corn cooked in lime for tortilla masa that has been run through the WonderMill Junior.  Truth be told, this was a slow and laborious endeavor, probably better suited for a meat grinder, but I was able to do it in the WonderMill Junior and then completely clean my grinder afterword.
Yellow Corn Masa

Just one look at the WonderMill Junior shows you that this mill means business.  The WonderMill Junior is solid piece construction with a food grade powder coating.  The hopper will hold just over one quart of grain!  The WonderMill Deluxe has a set of grinder stones and a set of stainless steel burrs.  The large double clamp on the bottom of the mill allows for clamping on to a surface up to 2 inches.  The mill seats nicely on tables and counter tops due to the double rounded mounting plates that tighten down firmly using large, rounded tightening knobs.  The double clamp and mounting plates are both powder coated to protect your table top and counter.   

There are cheaper and more expensive hand mills out on the market, but in my opinion the WonderMill Junior hits the mark as to quality, versatility and price.  The key here is solid piece construction, heavy duty features, stone grinders and stainless-steel burrs.  These qualities make for a nice, heirloom quality hand grinder.

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