Grinding crickets to make a flour seems like a simple idea. Just get a grinder and grind ‘em, right? Getting the right grinder is obviously important and I thought I’d give some common grinding options a try before committing the dollars to a hammer mill, which is a little more industrial and probably what I need long term. Let’s see if we can get by using stuff you’d find on the shelf at the local store. For the record, I do not recommend making any alterations to the equipment.
We started our foray into flour with a Wondermill, which I have to say, is solely made for grinding grain and nowhere in their documentation do they claim anything about being able to grind crickets. We tossed a handful of crickets into the hopper and most of them got stuck right away due to the little safety dome that covers the opening to the grinder.
We sort of figured that would be the case and promptly removed that piece. Probably can forget the warranty, huh? After removing that piece, the crickets went into the grinder opening much easier only to get caught up on what is probably another safety design feature. There is the little opening in the hopper which leads to a plate and the grinder hole is off to the side of the hopper hole. I presume this is because if someone should happen to remove the safety dome for some crazy reason, they wouldn’t grind their finger tips off by putting them in the hopper hole. Good idea for grains. Not so good for cricket grinding since they got stuck so easily. What we needed was a pre-grind. Coffee beans are oily and about the size of crickets, so maybe that could be the trick?
The coffee grinder worked really well as far as a pre-grind process goes. I imagine this fine of a grind would do for some types of culinary dishes, but for a fish pellet, I’m looking for more of a flour-like consistency.
After taking the ground cricket from the coffee grinder and putting it through the Wondermill, we ended up with a very nice flour!
So it worked pretty well. Next step is to see how long it takes to grind the many pounds of crickets that have been piling up and then start mixing up some some fish food batches!