Vitamix is no doubt the MVP of blenders, and not just for the exemplary performance. But also a well-made design that can serve you for several decades when cared for well. Nonetheless, which will be better to have between Vitamix dry container vs grain mill for milling?
Well, this has been a pretty common question on various kitchen community forums. And in this review, we’re going to have an in-depth comparison of the two. So, walk with me till the end if you happen to make bread a lot or would from now on like to start milling your own flour.
Milling with a Vitamix Dry Container vs Grain Mill
Technically, both Vitamix dry container and grain mill do a perfect grinding job. However, the former requires you have a motor unit like that of the Vitamix E320, or any other full machine from the brand.
In the case of a grain mill, it usually comes as a complete unit, with the power unit, milling hopper, and a collection canister. But with KitchenAid, you can purchase only the Grain Mill attachment if you already have the multipurpose stand mixer.
|Facts||Vitamix E320 w/ Dry Pitcher||WONDERMILL Grain Mill||KitchenAid Grain Mill Attachment|
|Country of Origin||USA||South Korea||China|
|Power Output||1500 Watts||1250 Watts||N/A|
|Milling Style||Pummeling||Cutting & masticating||Cutting & masticating|
|Recommended Ingredients||Oily & Non-oily Grains||Non-Oily Grains||Non-Oily Grains|
|Grinding Requirements||Up to 2 Cups/ time||Up to 8 Cups/ time||Up to 10 Cups/ time|
|Grinding Rate||2 Cup/ Minute||4 Cups/ Minute||Varies|
|Common Issue||Heating the flour||Dust||Dust|
|Standard Warranty||7 Years||Limited Lifetime||One Year|
While they still complete the task, both the Vitamix dry container and grain mill still have a lot of differences.
Vitamix Dry Container
When you purchase a Vitamix for the first time, you’ll receive it with the regular wet blade container. The Vitamix dry container is simply an add-on accessory that the company innovated for those users who frequently grind dry grains.
In the previous Vitamix wet and dry container review, we saw you can use either of the components to make flour and other powders. However, the dry-blade container is more effective and convenient on the task, thanks to its blunt blade and the reverse vortex.
In the part for the reverse vortex, the blades process the ingredients while pushing them up instead of pulling them down. You’ll notice the difference much easily when kneading dough, whereby the dry container leaves you with a ball sitting on the blades.
- It can process oily and non-oily grains
- Can grind both coarse and fine consistency
- The dry blade mills with a hit and miss style
- Might require stirring with a tamper or chopstick
- You can grind the grains and also knead the dough
- Requires milling in small batches- no more than 2 cups
- Vitamix recommends grinding for no longer than 2 minutes
Dedicate Grain Mill
Indeed, the tool is solely dedicated to grinding tasks, thereby you’ll find it more effective in performance and result. Of course, the power output of most consumer grinders is less than that of the full-size Vitamix blender. But the tool has a burr system comprising a fixed plate and another that rotates, which works together in crushing the ingredients.
More on that, the two burrs feature a set of teeth that cut and chew on the grains. Then, you can safely choose between the coarse and extra-fine consistency.
Even better, the grain mill has multiple grind levels, with a brand like KitchenAid featuring up to twelve settings.
- It processes the content fast
- Will only grind non-oily grains
- Delivers consistent flour texture
- Can produce many different textures
- The burry system mills with certainty
- It can grind 100+lbs of flour per hour
- You can grind in large batches (3-8 cups hopper capacity)
Read on below for the complete comparison on performance and convenience between Vitamix dry container vs grain mill.
Vitamix Dry Container vs Grain Mill: The Main Differences Between the Grinding Tools
As I’ve mentioned above, our two systems do vary in the grinding process. The Vitamix dry container processes by pummeling through the grains with the blade at a very fast speed. It’s also a “hit or miss” grinding technique from the large space between the blade leaves. So, it’ll be relatively slower to complete the task compared to a dedicated grain mill.
Yes, indeed, a dedicated grain mill will grind the produce faster, courtesy of the burr system. It processes the grains by cutting and chewing on them as they enter the surface of the teeth. And considering the burr plates has teeth aligned all around, the grains will have nowhere to escape.
Oily vs Non-Oily Ingredients
The Vitamix dry container is the best here as you can grind flour from both oily and no-oily grains. You can mill corn, wheat, rice, barley, millet, as well as sesame seeds, flax seeds, coffee beans, and nuts.
However, you’ll have to be very keen on the oily nuts as a simple mistake could result in butter instead of flour. For instance, you have to make sure the grains are completely dry, and so is the container itself.
When it now comes to a traditional grain mill, you can only use it with low-moisture, non-oily grains. When you process oily produce like nuts, the available oil and moisture content can clog the burrs, thereby slowing down the grinding process. In worst cases, the high oil and moisture content can damage the grinding mechanism.
When you compare wheat flour from a Vitamix dry container and grain mill, you’ll notice quite a significant difference. The greatest difference is visible when making a coarser “cracked” flour in that the Vitamix leaves an inconsistent texture.
If you want fine flour for like pastry, the dry container does perform pretty well. However, the appliance tends to leave some coarse bits hiding in the corners of the pitcher. So, I’d recommend you stir the flour (preferably with a chopstick) packed into the corners when blending if you want a super-fine consistency.
On its end, the grain mill can grind the ingredients into the desired fineness efficiently and consistently. It can create evenly coarser flour that leaves your bread or pasta with a neat, natural and nutty appearance. Then, you can set the adjustment knob for the finest grind setting if you want a super-fine flour for pastries like cakes.
Note, the auger of a dedicated grain mill can feed the grains into the grinding burrs as it rotates. So, you won’t need to push the produce into the hopper with your hands or a stirring paddle.
It’s also worth noting a grain mill is also not too perfect. When you sift its fine flour, you’re also likely to notice a few coarse bits that didn’t pulverize.
While making smoothies or juices with the Vitamix wet container, it’s common to fill the pitcher up to the MAX level. However, when you want to grind coffee beans in the same container, it should be done in small batches for the best results.
Surprisingly, the same “small-batch” rule applies when milling grains with the Vitamix dry container. In doing so, the blades will have enough working space, thereby achieving the desired consistency of each batch faster. Nonetheless, this also means you might take more time to grind your entire bucket of whole grains.
For instance, Vitamix recommends grinding at most 2 cups of grains each time. The company further suggests that the amount will grind into a super-fine fineness in one minute, but it can take up to 1.5 minutes. If you love to play with digits, that means you can grind the 2-cup capacity 15-20 times (about 13-17 pounds of grains) in one hour.
Meanwhile, a high-grade consumer grain mill like the WONDERMILL can grind up to 8-cup capacity in one run. The machine will take about 2 minutes to complete, which means in one hour, you could have ground about 100-120lbs of produce.
Therefore, a grain mill will be far more convenient when you have a lot of grain to grind- perhaps for flour to bake party pantries.
The Heating issues
Sadly, the Vitamix rarely comes with a milling blend cycle. That means the dry container will continue to grind your flour even after all the grains have been fully pulverized. But as you know, the Vitamix blades tend to generate heat from friction after running for a while. So, there’s a risk of heating the flour, which could kill some nutrients.
Even so, the blades can’t heat your flour to point of burning and smoking (usually occurs at 210-225°F). So, your flour will still be far more nutritious than the store-bought versions that have been sitting on the store counter for almost a year.
Besides, you can also prevent the issue of heat with your Vitamix dry container by not over-blending your content. Some people even freeze their grains for 30-60 minutes before grinding.
Note, a dedicated grain mill generally has a lower risk of heating the flour from the nature of the burrs. But, you might also feel your flour a bit warm for the few minutes it spent inside the system
The Dust issues
Unfortunately, the issue of dust is pretty obvious when working with a dedicated grain mill. Of course, brands like the WONDERMILL advertises to be dust-free, but some of the dust will still escape through the filter.
In the case of a Vitamix dry container, the processing takes place inside a secured space. Thus, don’t get any flour dust on the counter, unless when transferring to your mixing bowl counts.
Which Should You Pick?
In truth, choosing between Vitamix dry container and a grain mill comes down to your situation. Both tools are exceptional if you want to make your own fresh flour without the additives in the store-bought products.
If you can afford to have both, it will be even better as you can enjoy all the combined benefits. However, the Vitamix dry container will be more worthwhile if your situation doesn’t allow you to have the two appliances. That’s it gives you 90% of the advantages of a grain mill, plus its regular blending and food processing capabilities.