how to grind whole cloves

How to Grind Whole Cloves Without Making a Mess | 6 Steps

If you want to add ground cloves to your cooking, grinding them yourself is the best way to do it. This will ensure that you get the most flavor and potency from the cloves. However, grinding whole cloves can be messy, especially if you don’t have the right tools. This article aims to explain how to grind whole cloves without making a mess.

What Are Cloves?

What Are Cloves

Cloves are the dried, unopened flower buds of the clove tree. These trees are native to Indonesia, but they are also grown in other parts of Asia, Africa, and South America. Cloves have a strong, pungent flavor that is both sweet and bitter.

They are commonly used to add flavor to savory dishes, but they can also be used in sweet dishes. Cloves are vital in many spice blends, such as curry powder and garam masala.

What Tools Do You Need?

The first step is to gather the tools you will need. For this project, you will need:

  • A coffee grinder
  • A clean, dry rag
  • A bowl
  • A spoon

If you do not have a coffee grinder, you can use a mortar and pestle. However, a coffee grinder will produce a more delicate powder ideal for cooking.

How to Grind Whole Cloves: A Step-by-Step Guide?

How to Grind Whole Cloves A Step-by-Step Guide

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to grind whole cloves:

1. Heat a Pan:

To release the cloves’ essential oils, you need to heat them first. Place a pan on the stove and turn it to medium heat. Then, add the whole cloves to the pan. Stir regularly and heat for about three minutes or until the cloves are warm to the touch.

2. Toast the Cloves:

Once the cloves are warmed up, it’s time to toast them. This will help to bring out their flavor. Place the cloves in a dry coffee grinder and pulse until they’re evenly ground. In case you don’t have a coffee grinder, use a mortar and pestle.

3. Let the Cloves Cool:

After grinding, the cloves will be hot. So, let them cool for a few minutes before handling them. If you’re in a hurry, you can place the ground cloves in a bowl of cold water.

4. Put the Cloves in the Grinder:

Once the cloves are cooled, it’s time to grind them. Add a handful of cloves to the Grinder and pulse until they’re a fine powder. Be sure to Pulse the Grinder instead of grinding continuously. Otherwise, you’ll end up with clove paste.

5. Sift the Cloves:

Once all the cloves are ground, it’s time to sift them. To do this, place a clean, dry rag over a bowl. Then, pour the ground cloves into the bowl and rub the rag in a circular motion. The goal is to remove any clove pieces that didn’t grind up thoroughly.

6. Store the Cloves:

After sifting, the cloves are ready to be used. You can store them in an airtight container and use them as needed.

Grinding whole cloves is a simple process that doesn’t take much time. But it’s essential to follow the steps carefully to avoid making a mess. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to grind whole cloves like a pro.

What Are Some Great Ways To Use Cloves?

What Are Some Great Ways To Use Cloves

Now that you know how to grind whole cloves, here are some great ways to use them:

1. Add Them to Savory Dishes:

Cloves can be used to add flavor to a variety of savory dishes. Try adding them to stews, curries, and roasted meats. If you want to add a little sweetness to your dish, you can also add a cinnamon stick along with the cloves.

2. Make a Spice Blend:

As well as using cloves to make spice blends, they can also be used in baking. Try adding them to curry powder or garam masala. Most spice blends call for ground cloves, but you can also use whole cloves.

3. Use Them in Baking:

Cloves can also be used in baking. They pair well with cinnamon and nutmeg. Try adding them to cakes, cookies, and pies. It’s also good to add a few whole cloves to your sugar cookie dough. This will give the cookies a unique flavor.

4. Make a Tea:

There is also the possibility of making tea with cloves. Simply steep a few cloves in hot water and enjoy. If you want to sweeten the tea, you can add honey or sugar. Cloves tea is a great way to warm up on a cold day.

5. Add Them to Cocktails:

The flavor of cloves can also be added to cocktails in order to enhance the flavor. Try muddling them in a mojito or adding them to a summertime spritzer. Cocktails are a great way to show off your juice making skills.

6. Use Them in Potpourri:

Cloves can also be used to make potpourri. Simply add a few drops of essential oil and some whole cloves to a sachet. Then, place the sachet in a drawer or closet to enjoy the fragrance.

7. Make a Clove Tincture:

You can also make a clove tincture. This is a great way to enjoy the benefits of cloves without having to consume them. To make a tincture, simply add some whole cloves to vodka and let it sit for six weeks. After six weeks, strain the liquid and store it in a dark glass bottle.

8. Use Them as a Natural Insecticide:

Cloves can also be used as a natural insecticide. Simply add a few drops of clove oil to water and spray it around your home. The scent of cloves will repel insects such as mosquitoes and flies.


How Long Do Ground Cloves Last?

As long as they are stored properly, ground cloves will remain of their best quality for approximately 3 to 4 years. Ground cloves purchased in bulk should be stored in tightly-fitting containers with tight lids to prolong their shelf life and maintain flavor and potency.

How to Find Right Cloves?

When looking for cloves, you should choose those that are plump and have a reddish-brown color. Avoid cloves that are shriveled or have a greenish tint as this indicates they are old and of poor quality.


Ground cloves make a great addition to a variety of dishes. They add flavor and aroma to savory and sweet dishes alike. If you want to make the most of your cloves, always buy them whole, store them in a dark, dry place, use them often, and grind them before use.

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