I have been grinding my own wheat and making my own nut butters for some time now. It’s all part of living a self-reliant and healthy lifestyle. So when WonderMill asked me to review the Wonder Junior Deluxe, a manual mill, I jumped at the chance!
As I was doing some research on this mill, I noticed that I am not the only one who has reviewed this product. I will provide links to my favorite reviews below. However, I did noticed that most of the reviews I found did not go in-depth. That is, people milled wheat in the grinder and that was about all; well one guy did put a few rocks in the mill but I’ll get to that later. I wanted to repeat what has already been done (I am one of those who likes to see with my own eyes) but I wanted to be a bit more thorough. After all a lot of people want to know if this mill can not only serve as a backup to their electric gadgets, should the need arise, but they want to know if it could replace the gadgets in their kitchen in the here and now?
Here is what I found:
Here are the parts of the WonderMill Wonder Junior Deluxe. Starting from the left, the drill bit adapter (you can turn the mill into an electric mill with a power drill), stones for grinding, a brush for cleaning, flour guide, adjustment knob, steel burrs, and in the back is the mill itself attached to my counter. Not pictured is the clamp that is holding it on the counter. (Click here to see the clamp.)
The first thing we tested was the easy of turning the handle. Here you see my 10 year old having fun turning the handle.
Here my older son is giving it a try. I’m not sure I’d want to crank this mill every day is there were other options, but if there were not this mill does do the job and it does it well!!
Here is a close up of the wheat in the grinder. You can see that the wheat is being crushed by the stones and then coming out in the guide.
This is the best manual mill for grinding wheat!
One of the selling points of this mill is that it can be turned into an electric mill with a drill bit attachment. This is how I got my teenager to help me. I promised him the use of power tools……:) So here he is with the drill. In order to use the drill bit attachment we had to remove the handle which was stuck on the mill. WonderMill suggests tapping with a hammer. I suggest tapping it with a rubber mallet. I put a scratch in the paint when I tapped it with a hammer.
We ground coffee with no problem using the drill attachment.
I was able to grind wheat, corn (popcorn), chickpeas and rice with no problem. WonderMill created a website entitled Will It Grind? (a take off of Blendtec’s Will it Blend) which is helpful when trying to figure out what you can and cannot grind in the mill. The list for the Wonder Junior Mill (the manual mill) is much longer than it is for WonderMill’s electric mill.
According to this list you might consider actually replacing any electric mill with the Wonder Mill Junior because it will grind so many more things than an electric mill. Electric mills can not handle food that contain oil, such as nuts or coffee; they also can not handle things like rolled oats because they cause the mill to clog.
Needless to say the idea of having just one machine to grind everything is almost intoxicating. That would mean I would have more counter space, more storage space used, less money spent. Then the idea of it being an off-grid friendly machine almost sounds too good to be true. Well, you know what they say! And really even though I would love to say the Wonder Mill Junior Deluxe is the exception to the rule, it’s not. It is the best hand mill on the market to grind dry grains and coffee. However, I did not have good luck with nut butter.
To be fair this was a tall order because I started off with one of the hardest nuts to grind, almonds. I roasted them and put them into the hopper. We tried the electric drill but this was all we could get to come out of the mill. The almonds were too big to feed through the mill. Also, even though I thoroughly washed the steel burrs they were still greasy from the factory and my first bit of almond butter was filled with grease. They do recommend grinding a pound of wheat and discarding it when using the stones in case bits of the new stone come off into the wheat. However, I got no such warning for the steel burrs and wish I had put something a little less expensive than almonds in the mill to get the grease out.
I was mystified because I saw a video of the Wonder Junior Deluxe making almond butter. The directions suggested I add a little oil. I do not add oil to my nut butter and would not on any regular basis, but I wanted to see if I could get the thing to work. So I added the oil, but I still could not get the almonds to feed into the hopper. Finally, after putting the handle back on and adding the almonds a handful (about 10) at a time I was able to get it to work, sorta.
At first the mill just ground the almonds (not really into nut butter, see the two pictures above), but at least they were feeding through the mill. After a while the almond butter started coming out of the mill but the oil (this was a fresh batch of almonds not the previous one I had used with the drill attachment, where I added oil) was too much for the burrs. I could not get the adjustment knob to stay in the right spot for the almond butter to flow. You can see a close-up in the above picture. This was all the almond butter I got out of the mill after feeding it 10 almonds at a time before I gave up.
Don’t get me wrong! I love the Wonder Junior Deluxe as a grain mill! I have said it 2 times in this post. And I will say it again. It is the best hand mill on the market for the price! That is proven by me and other reviewers and I would definitely recommend adding this mill to your preps! However, is it a replacement to every mill/grinder in your kitchen? No! I would not rely on the Wonder Junior Deluxe to make nut butter.
WonderMill also sells a motorizing pulley that can be hooked up to a motor or a bicycle. As you might remember we love to bike, and my husband loves to make things. I told him I would love to have the Wonder Junior Deluxe hooked up to a stationary bike in the corner of my kitchen. He said he would work on it this Summer…..:)
Here are some great reviews on the Wonder Junior Deluxe grain mill.
- This video is by WonderMill and introduces the mill and all it’s features.
- Again one by WonderMill that explains the drill attachment.
- My friend Vickilynn Haycraft at Real Food Living Reviews the Wonder Junior Deluxe.
- My friend Donna Miller from Miller’s Grain House tells you what she thinks about the Wonder Junior Deluxe.