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Sesame seeds contain a lot of oil, so they can go rancid if they're stored too long. By keeping them whole until right before use they'll stay fresh for longer in your pantry. Opinions vary on how long before they spoil, and you can prolong their life by refrigerating them, but ground or roasted seeds do have a shorter shelf life than raw, whole seeds.
When freshly-ground, the aroma and flavor is released, so you'll also be getting a better overall experience and taste. Some great ways to use fresh-ground sesame is by sprinkling it over salads or a bowl of ramen or soup, making it into a paste like tahini, or using as a garnish on sushi rolls, stir-fries, and tofu dishes.
Here are four essential points to keep in mind when choosing a sesame grinder to purchase.
There are two manual types of sesame grinders: ones that you twist and ones where you rotate a handle to mill the sesame. And of course, there are battery-operated ones where all you have to do is push a button. Let's compare them all!
The twist type is the most common sesame grinder and is versatile and simple to use. You can easily adjust the coarseness and amount of sesame ground. This mechanism is also common for pepper mills, so you may have used something similar.
However, when you put these on the finer settings, it's more difficult to grind with, because the blades get closer to each other and more force is required.
These are often found at ramen shops in Japan, so you may think they must be the most traditional and best. But they are not all equal.
As you rotate the handle, the centrifugal force will cause it to shake, so it can be tough to control, even though it doesn't take much force to grind. If you like this kind, get one with a protruding handle and container that's easy to grasp.
We recommend this type if you use a lot of ground sesame in your recipes or grind it on a daily basis. At the mere push of a button, you'll have consistent, large quantities of pulverized sesame seeds. Of course, they need batteries, and they cost more than manual ones. And as we mentioned already, they can be noisy, like an electric coffee mill.
Store-bought, pre-ground sesame will be uniform in shape, and you'll have little choice as to the coarseness of the grind. If you want variety, choose a grinder that allows you to adjust the grind's coarseness to your taste and dishes.
Most of the ones on the market, electric or manual, are adjustable. Some only have fine and coarse settings, but others have a sliding scale. The most versatile allow for various settings, but be sure that it is easy to set and that there is a clear difference in the results.
The best kitchen gadgets are usually made of high-quality, long-lasting materials. In the case of a sesame grinder, it's better to avoid metal blades. They can impart a metallic odor that overpowers the delicate nuttiness of the sesame.
It's better to choose a grinder with a ceramic grinding mechanism. If you want something lightweight, look for a product with a body made of resin plastic.
Not only for a sanitary kitchen, but also to extend the product's shelf life, it's essential to keep your sesame mill clean and free of sesame gunk. We recommend looking for grinders that come with a brush, can be fully disassembled, and have parts that can all be washed.
This is one category where manual ones are better, since electric types can't be thrown in the dishwasher or soaked in the sink. Check the instructions before you buy one, either manual or electric, so you don't regret your choice!
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Spice Mill for Sesame Seeds
mybest's Top Choice for a Japanese Sesame Grinder
Electric Sesame Grinder｜YMG-160
The Best Performing Electric Sesame Grinder
Sesame Mill II
Compact, Powerful and Easy to Use
Adjustable Electric Grinder That Also Dispenses Whole Seeds
Electric Sesame Grinder｜BH-925P
Can Grind a Large Amount of Sesame Seeds Quickly
Bell One Sesame Grinder
A Simple Sesame Grinder That Does the Trick
Ceramic Sesame Mill Vege Cra
Grinds Sesame Very Smoothly to an Extra-Fine Powder
Iwaki Sesame Mill｜KS520N
Great for Grinding Large Amounts of Sesame
'Sesamin' Sesame Grinder
A Bit Tricky to Use, but Produces a Great Finish
Ceramic Mill for Sesame Seeds
Easy to Use, but Grinds Inconsistently
HARIO's Spice Mill for Sesame Seeds has markings on the side to measure the amount of ground sesame seeds. In terms of ease of use, it is lighter than it appears, and the handle is smooth and easy to hold. Although it cannot grind a large amount of sesame seeds at once, the grinding mechanism is smooth and comfortable to use, making it feel effortless.
Although you can't adjust the coarseness of the grind, we didn't mind, because the seeds come out uniformly finely-ground. This was the only hand-operated product we tested that scored a perfect 5.0 for the finish.
Among all of the options we tested, this sesame grinder was the top performing product that we highly recommend you try out!
Yamazen's Electric Sesame Grinder's performance far exceeds what you would expect given its price! No matter the coarseness setting, the sesame seeds are beautifully-ground and never come out in chunks. The finer grind setting produces a very fine powder, while the rough coarse setting makes sesame seeds with enough crunchy texture to enjoy.
Our only point of caution is that if you apply too much force when adjusting the grinder, the lid can pop open unexpectedly. It's not too noisy, so if you're looking for an electric grinder, this definitely would be our choice.
This is the smallest one we tested by far, and in fact we were worried it would be too small to use comfortably. But its shape snugly fits in your hand. Its size also belies its power! It can produce a large quantity of sesame powder in one light and easy twist of the grinder.
It's a shame that you can't adjust the coarseness, but it does its job very well, creating a consistently coarse powder. If you're looking for a compact grinder that won't take up kitchen space, this is a great option.
Zojirushi's Sesame Grinder has a separate opening to pour out whole seeds, allowing it to be used as an all-around dispenser and grinder for your sesame seeds.
The ground sesame will come out of a dispenser on its side, letting you direct the sesame powder precisely to where you want! Just be careful not to tilt it too much while grinding. The coarseness settings are easy to operate and adjust.
However, we found that some of the sesame seeds were not ground finely enough. Further, it does produce a high-pitched noise when operating, so if you have sensitive ears it may not be the best product for you.
Panasonic's Electric Sesame Grinder is the most compact among the electric models we tested, making it good for easy storage. This grinder is very powerful and works fast, making it a great option if you need a lot of ground sesame.
One thing to note that its dispenser button is not very responsive, taking about a second until ground seeds stopped dispensing. Perhaps due to it being too powerful, it grinds sesame into a fine powder even on the coarse setting, so there is no point in adjusting the setting.
This grinder is useful when you want to grind a large amount of sesame seeds to a consistent fine coarseness. However, it makes a high-pitched squeaking sound, so this may be a pass if you are sensitive to sound.
The oval shape of the ASVEL’s Bell One Sesame Grinder makes it easy to hold, and it fits nicely in the hand. Compared to other products, this grinder can be twisted with minimal force, and it produces a consistent, even grind.
You can't adjust the coarseness, but this affordable basic tool is super easy to use, so it can be manipulated by all regardless of age. We think it's a great choice to have in any household.
Pearl Metals’ Ceramic Sesame Mill is quite heavy and feels stable due to the non-slip material it's made of, which means all your power is transmitted to the device. It feels very satisfying to use. This one provides great results for a fine grind, similar to if you were using a mortar and pestle.
Although it does have a coarseness adjustment function, unfortunately we found that function lacking. The results seemed the same no matter which setting we used, and there's little indication to tell you which way to turn it to even change the setting.
That being said, if you don't care about having adjustable coarseness and only need finely-ground sesame seeds, we would still recommend this product.
Iwaki Sesame Mill from AGC Technologies is the only product we tested that has a coarseness adjustment dial on the exterior of the mill. It is very easy to adjust; in fact, it's so easy that you might accidentally do it while grinding, so be careful.
It has a large opening and grinds a lot of sesame seeds fast without much effort. The trick is to use the dial with light force, since too much power will cause friction and actually make it harder to grind.
Although the adjustable grind function works well enough, it's not capable of producing a really fine powder even on the finest setting. So if you want a grinder that can produce a very fine powder, maybe avoid this one.
Yoshikawa's 'Sesamin' Sesame Grinder is a manual grinder type with a handle, and we found that it requires a significant amount of force to grind. Despite the great finished results, we rated this product lower on our ranking due to it being difficult to use.
Another negative point was that the ground sesame was dispensed in a circular fashion, making it difficult to direct where you wanted the powder to go. Further, it was difficult to tell which coarseness setting you were grinding on.
If you are somebody that uses a lot of ground sesame seeds in your cooking, this product may not be the best for you; at least not in the beginning, since it takes some time getting use to.
Kyocera's Ceramic Mill for Sesame Seeds feels lightweight, despite it being larger than many of the products we reviewed. Its size makes it suitable for grinding large batches of sesame seeds at once.
It is incredibly easy to use, with a wavy groove shape that fits to your hand, allowing for stable and smooth twisting. However, while the adjustment function did change the coarseness of the ground powder, there was some noticeable inconsistency to it, so you might get larger pieces in your fine grind.
We tested each product for the following:
For the ease of use test, we were looking for several things:
If we only focused on the grinding, basically all the products passed. But those which had a bit of weight to them were easier to use. While lightweight ones were easy to use, heavier ones were more stable, and therefore could more accurately deliver the ground sesame to its intended destination. So, we recommend glass ones.
We also liked being able to see the setting for the coarseness of the grind. While many manual grinders allowed you to change the coarseness, they didn't show you where it was set. It was hard to figure out if we were on fine, coarse, or somewhere in the middle. In this sense, the electric ones were better, because they usually let you see which setting you were on.
There's little point in an easy-to-use product that doesn't make delicious ground sesame. First, we looked for how well the ground sesame turned out and was distributed by grinding it on the middle setting over a piece of black paper. For the adjustable products, we then tested the finest and coarsest settings and compared them to see if there was a difference, and how much.
Perhaps not surprisingly, because electric types use a uniform force, they also produce uniform results. They are also capable of grinding very fine all the way to very coarse, with clearly visible differences. We noticed a better aroma of sesame using the electric ones, too.
The manual types are more susceptible to user error, and sometimes the seeds will be unevenly ground because of uneven force applied by the person using it. Their coarseness functions also aren't as effective. If you really care about the quality of your ground sesame, we recommend an electric one, even though the initial investment will be higher and you'll need batteries!
We didn't include this as part of our scoring, but we wanted to consider how noisy the electric types were. As anyone who's used a coffee grinder or other similar item knows, they can be really annoying! We used a decibel meter and also our own ears to judge the sound.
All of the electric ones we tested came in at over 70 decibels or more! That's about as loud or louder than a vacuum cleaner. However, the most annoying ones were Zojirushi's and Panasonic's. They had a high-pitched whine that really rang in our ears. It reminded us of a dental drill (shudder.)
If you or your pets or your sleeping baby in the next room are sensitive to noise, please check our rankings and choose accordingly.
In addition to ingredients, sometimes you need special tools to really create the authentic Asian dishes you are craving! We can help you find just the right things to make your next Asian-inspired meal your best.
No. 1: Hario｜Spice Mill for Sesame Seeds
No. 2: Yamazen｜Electric Sesame Grinder｜YMG-160
No. 3: Japan Porlex｜Sesame Mill II
No. 4: Zojirushi｜Sesame Grinder｜CB-BA10
No. 5: Panasonic｜Electric Sesame Grinder｜BH-925P
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