Updated: May 9, 2022 by Owen Richardson
You bought a Cuisinart coffee grinder not too long ago. It has been serving you well so far, and you are probably not thinking that it could stop working the next minute. Well, it’s okay to have such confidence in your device if you have been taking good care of it. But if you do not know how to clean a Cuisinart coffee grinder (and you have never done it), then that’s a reason for you to be worried.
There’s a lot that could go wrong when you fail to clean your Cuisinart grinder, from the device not working properly sooner or later to bad-tasting coffee. I’m sure that’s the last thing you want to encounter on a bright morning, so I’ll show you a simple way to clean your grinder.
Another risk you don’t want to take is taking your grinder apart and cleaning every part, assuming that there’s no specific formula to follow. Well, you might just permanently damage your unit without knowing. Learning the basics and steps to follow is a vital requirement.
Join me as I walk you through what to do at every step.
Types of Cuisinart Coffee Grinders: Blade and Burr
The process of cleaning a Cuisinart coffee grinder begins with understanding what kind of model you have. As you will find out soon, the cleaning process is different for the two varieties available today.
Just to let you in on what they are, here’s a brief overview.
Cuisinart blade grinders use rotating blades to crush your coffee beans. The mechanism is no different from what you would find in a blender.
Cuisinart burr grinders, on the other hand, are either conical or flat. If you have used such a grinder before, then you know they are more versatile. You can adjust them to achieve your preferred grind, and the best part is they produce a more even and consistent grind compared to blade grinders.
But I know the politics of which grinder is best isn’t what you are here for today, so I’ll put that matter to rest for now.
As you can already tell, there’s no way you are going to use the same method to clean two grinders that are built differently and also operate in their own unique ways.
What You Will Need
First, here’s what you are going to need for the cleaning process (for both types):
- ¼ cup of minute rice (for burr) or regular rice (for blade), uncooked
- Paper towel or cloth
- Tools for disassembling a coffee grinder
- Soft bristle cleaning brush
Now let’s look at the cleaning processes.
How to Clean a Cuisinart Burr Grinder
Method Using Rice
Because of the complex mechanism it uses, a Cuisinart burr grinder requires detailed cleaning. You will have to do much more than you would if you were cleaning a blade grinder. Check out the steps below:
Step 1: Remove leftover beans from the hopper (if any).
Step 2: Add a couple of tablespoons of minute rice into the hopper.
Step 3: Turn on the grinder to medium high and run the minute rice through it. Remove the hopper and let it run for a minute without the hopper on (this helps to clear any leftover beans in the grinder).
Step 4: Turn off the grinder and unplug it.
Step 5: Disassemble the grinder, but only remove the rubber and plastic components, as well as any other parts that are connected to the burrs.
Step 6: Wash the detached components (including the bin) by hand.
Step 7: Get rid of loose coffee grounds from the upper burr using the soft bristle brush. Do the same to the inside and outside of the feed tube.
Step 8: Use the same brush to knock off loose coffee grounds from the lower burr, then turn the unit upside down and empty the leftovers into the trash.
Step 9: Using a dry cloth or towel, wipe both burrs until there’s no oil or dirt left (do not use water).
Step 10: Leave all the parts you have cleaned and wiped to dry. Thereafter, reassemble your Cuisinart burr grinder.
Does this sound like too much for you? Well, you are in luck because there’s an alternative method you could use that’s a bit more simple.
Even though this method will clean your Cuisinart coffee grinder, it’s not as effective as the next method below. You might want to spare a few minutes to learn and master this technique.
Method Using Cleaning Tablets
Step 1: Purchase cleaning tablets for burr coffee grinders.
Step 2: Place the tablets in the grinder and turn it on.
Step 3: Let the tablets run entirely through the unit.
Step 4: Pour one ounce of coffee beans into the hopper, and let them run through the machine as well.
Step 5: Dispose of the grounds and all the residue from the cleaning tablets.
Step 6: Thoroughly rinse the grind bin.
Here’s how the whole process goes:
How to Clean a Cuisinart Blade Coffee Grinder
A Cuisinart blade grinder will have either two or three blades in its grinding chamber. It should be easy to clean a grinder with so few blades, right? Correct, it’s easy! This is how to go about it.
Step 1: Fill your coffee maker up about quarter-way or halfway with rice, then pour it into the hopper.
Step 2: Turn on the grinder, and let it run until the rice is fully ground.
Step 3: Discard the ground rice and empty it into the trash.
Step 4: Check the hopper for any lingering oils and other debris. If there’s still more left, repeat steps one through three.
Step 5: Once the hopper is clean and debris-free, turn off the grinder and unplug it.
Step 6: Use a damp paper towel or cloth to wipe the inside of the hopper.
That’s all, really! Your grinder is now back to a mint state. Maybe you are wondering how often you should do this. Well, there’s no preset time to follow; do it as soon as you notice your grinder is no longer clean and/or is producing an unusual smell.
Why should you clean a Cuisinart coffee grinder?
Earlier on, I briefly mentioned that you should clean a grinder so that it can continue to work optimally and not produce stale-tasting coffee grounds. I’ll expand on this a little.
After using your grinder for a while, coffee oils and crumbs will start to stick to some of its parts, including the hopper, feed tube, and burrs. Left unattended, the debris will affect how your grinder works and eventually lead to bad-tasting coffee.
Your grinder might look clean, but that’s not an excuse to not clean it regularly. Germs and molds may be invisible yet very present in the unit, making it a health risk. That said, don’t hesitate to clean your grinder as soon as you realize any presence of debris.
Can you clean a coffee grinder with water?
As you have noticed in the steps, not every part of the Cuisinart grinder should be cleaned with water. Only do so for the lid, water tank, feed tube, grinder chamber, grind bin, and any other removable plastic and rubber components. Do not wash the burrs or electric components with water!
Should I clean my Cuisinart coffee grinder after every use?
You can clean your Cuisinart coffee grinder after every use, but this is not necessary unless you use different types of beans every time. In this case, you have to do that so as to avoid combining flavors.
Also, if you use your grinder very often, say in a coffee shop or professional setting, then you should do the cleaning at least weekly or whenever you notice any signs of debris beginning to form. But if your grinder is limited to home use and only a few of you use it, you could do the cleaning once a month.
A Clean Grinder, Better Coffee
Learning how to clean your Cuisinart coffee grinder is not rocket science, as you may have observed. It’s a simple process that requires no professional skills or knowledge. You don’t have to take it to an expert appliance cleaner or take a short course to learn the basics. Just make sure you have all the items I listed earlier and you will be set to go.
That said, be careful while disassembling and reassembling the grinder. First off, make sure you have the right tools for the job. For more ideas on what to buy, check the manual.
Secondly, handle the delicate parts with care. Also, be gentle while knocking off the loose grounds. And lastly, remember not to wash the burrs with water.