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When I prepare a poppy seeds filling (e.g. for a pie), I currently use an old-style coffee grinder. It takes small amounts (like 2 tbsp at a time) of poppy seeds and grinds them into powder in 2-3 minutes. The resulting quality is OK for me, but the process is not very easy as I often need to stop for the grinder to cool down, to move around the seeds that got stuck to the inner walls, and it takes quite some time when you need to process 200-300 g of poppy seeds that way.

So, my question is: Is there any kitchen appliance or just some other way to grind poppy seeds easier without losing on the quality?

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Have you tried using a blender? If you've got a good one it could work. –  jalbee Aug 26 '13 at 23:04
    
A stationary one or an immersion one? –  Enivid Aug 27 '13 at 5:22
    
It would have to be a stationary one, Enivid; I can only imagine an immersion blender making a complete mess without actually grinding any of the poppy seed. A stationary blender would just be a variation on the coffee grinder approach, except it would be harder to find that golden quantity of poppy seed so that the blades actually hit the seeds (instead of just rotating in the air above them) while not having so much that the blender overheats continually. I'd imagine that, like with a coffee grinder, adding sugar would help. –  Marti Aug 27 '13 at 16:04
    
Oh, and also, congrats: you've now given me an incredible craving for mákostészta (poppy seed noodles). –  Marti Aug 27 '13 at 16:08
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4 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You need to acquire a poppy seed grinder (picture #1). It's still not easy to grind a lot of poppy seed — you will need to break out your supply of elbow grease — but it's much more efficient than a coffee grinder. It also does a better job, because it actually crushes the seeds to release all their oils and other goodness, rather than haphazardly cutting apart some of the seeds and not others. (They do make electric grinders [picture #2], but they're aimed at bakeries and the like, not for home use.)

1.traditional poppy seed grinder 2.electric poppy seed grinder

If you're stuck using what you have, namely the coffee grinder, try adding sugar. It helps keep the poppy seed from sticking everywhere you don't want it to. Naturally, you then need to take the sugar quantity into account when you're actually using the poppy seed.

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Looks like what I need. Have you tried any of them? Is the result really a super fine flour-like powder? Or does a part of seeds "get away" without being ground? –  Enivid Aug 26 '13 at 19:16
    
@Enivid, no it's not flour-like, because the seeds are too oily for that. Because of the oil, it clumps up into something that more closely resembles cornmeal in texture than wheat flour. However, if you've got the grinder set right, there should be no whole seeds that survived the mashing. My family has had a grinder that resembles picture #1 (except my dad enameled it blue at some point) for over 40 years, so yes, I've definitely tried it. –  Marti Aug 26 '13 at 21:03
    
Please inform me about the company that produce electric poppy seed grinder (picture#2). Thanks a lot, Vasile –  user24046 Mar 27 at 7:27
    
@user24046: sorry, I no longer remember where I got that picture from. It was somewhere on the internet, though. If "poppy seed grinder" doesn't find it for you, try "mákdaráló". –  Marti Mar 27 at 14:23
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Poppy seeds are already small enough, what you are most likely trying to do is to break the shell so the flavors can get out. You can get the same result by crushing rather than grinding. A large mortar and pestle would likely give you a good result, and you could do much more at once. If you are going to be doing it often it may be worth investing in a poppy seed mill or grinder, you can get them off the web.

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Believe it or not, part of the issue with whole poppy seeds is, indeed, size: they're not large enough to be pleasantly crunchy, but they're not small enough to not feel gritty. So yes, the main reason you grind poppy seed is to release all the flavor, but that's not the only reason. –  Marti Aug 26 '13 at 18:42
    
Oh, and unless you have a very large mortar with a very heavy pestle, grinding poppy seeds that way is, shall we say, arduous. (Been there, done that, don't wish to do it again.) –  Marti Aug 26 '13 at 18:43
    
Sorry, tried that. It is not easier and the result isn't the same - I aim for a flour-like powder rather than just crushed seeds. –  Enivid Aug 26 '13 at 19:10
    
You'll never get flour-like powder because the seed have oil in them. the point is o break them open. Texture is secondary, particularly since you'll be mixing them with other ingredients. –  user21540 Nov 27 '13 at 20:43
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I use the small 1 cup jar for my Oster Kitchen Center. It takes lots of time to grind 2-3 Tbsp. Shake the jar often to get the most even grind. My Mom had grinder just for this.

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You don't need to specifically buy a poppy seed grinder. Any burr grinder that can grind fine enough will do. Personally I would use a burr hand grinder (usually still sold as coffee grinders), such as a Hario Skerton grinder.

Poppy seed grinders are also burr grinders, but with a general burr grinder you'll be able to adjust the size of your grind, so you'll still be able to use it for coffee, or other spices where you may not want a poppy-seed sized grind.

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