Cleaning Method of Cast Iron Food Grinders

In recent years, hand-crank food grinders have taken a back seat to their automated counterparts.

Take care of your cast iron grinder and it will last forever.Take care of your cast iron grinder and it will last forever.
However, cast iron food grinders are still in use among those who appreciate antiques and traditional food preparation methods. Plus, they are relatively inexpensive, easy to use and virtually impossible to break. Cleaning the grinder, however, can be puzzling at first blush. But these grinders are easy to dismantle, clean and store for later use.

Run one or two pieces of bread through the grinder while it is still assembled. If you have ground meat or oily nuts in the food grinder, the bread will help absorb the excess oil and make the gears much easier to clean.

Disassemble the cast iron grinder according to the manufacturer instructions.

Scrub the surface down with a white rag moistened with linseed oil until no more debris or residue transfers to the rag. This is sufficient for every day cleaning. If you find caked on debris or particles on the grinder, move on to step two.

Scrub the surface of the food grinder with soapy water and a soft sponge. If there is still stubborn grime, soak the food grinder in the soapy water for a few minutes, and then scrub again. Once you have rinsed the grinder clean, place the food grinder's pieces in a 150 degree Fahrenheit oven until they are bone dry. The grinder may rust if put away wet.

Things You Will Need

  • Bread
  • Linseed oil
  • Rag
  • Soap
  • Soft sponge

About the Author

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.