In another post, Meg wrote:
Chris, I have a few questions about the Wonder Junior. I have heard that the hand cranks are really labor intensive and then the flour comes out course. What are your thoughts? Also, I am interested in getting a mill with stone heads, the WonderMill Grain Mill doesn’t have stone heads right? I would love the ease of electric and the benefits of stone ground, but all the options I have seen on the market are $500. What do you suggest? Thanks.
Because of the length of reply, I’ve made it into a new post in addition to my reply.
Thanks for commenting. I’ll try to address each question individually.
Yes, hand mills are labor intensive, but that’s not all bad. An electric mill is great for large quantities of flour when you have electricity, but a hand mill can still get the job done, even when power is not available, or you just don’t want to use it.
For ease of use, our soon-to-be six-year-old can grind coffee in it, so it definitely doable, but yes, it will take more work than flipping the switch. So, I wouldn’t buy a hand mill for the ease of use, but I wouldn’t discount a hand mill because its too hard to use, either. Does that make sense?
As for the grind, I think you’ll find that with the stone heads, the grind is actually as fine (or finer) compared to electric mills. They do an excellent job. However, the labor does go up a bit more when you crank down the stones to get a very fine grind. But, like a mentioned before, still doable.
You are correct about the WonderMill electric mill…the heads are metal and not stone, so if you are specifically looking for stone ground flour, then the Wonder Junior would be the way to go. In addition, the Wonder Junior Deluxe comes with a set of steel heads that allow you to grind wet/oily grains, coffee, etc. Because the entire mill is washable, you can clean the steel heads when done, unlike the electric mill.
As for recommendations, it depends on what your priorities are. I think for most people, electricity is available, and most likely will be for a while. As long as “stone ground” isn’t a “must-have”, then the electric mill (WonderMill) is the ideal for those making breads. It is quick and easy to use, so you’ll tend to use it more often. It doesn’t do wet/oily grains, coffee, etc., but you can use a Vita-Mix to do all that. That’s what we primarily do. In fact, you can do quite a bit MORE with a Vita-Mix, but it won’t grind flour quite as fine as the WonderMill.
If you’re concerned about having power-out ability, stone-ground flour, or the ability to grind up nuts, wet herbs, etc., then the Wonder Junior Deluxe would be the way to go.
If you just want an all-around useful machine that does everything, then the Vita-Mix is the way to go.
Or, you can get all three. This lets you make great smoothies, nut butters, butter, ice cream, and more in the Vita-Mix, make great wheat in the WonderMill, and have an excellent power-out option using the Wonder Junior. The order we bought our appliances was: Vita-Mix, WonderMill (electric), Wonder Junior Deluxe. We also use them in that order of priority. Hope that helps, and feel free to ask more questions on any of those topics if I didn’t go into enough detail.