How to Grind Compost—and the Best Compost Grinders to Use

compost grinding
You can add small batches of compost to your grinder, depending on its load capacity, and turn it on. A manual grinder needs you to rotate the lever until all the compost materials are grounded. Machines like a meat grinder can effectively break down compost into tiny bits. 

Compost grinders are relatively new to the market, having overtaken older models of kitchen waste shredders with their ability to crush and dry your food scraps for compost within hours. 

Several businesses today provide unique shredding machines that mill food waste and produce compost without needing a compost mound. 

Furthermore, you can place some of these grinders on your kitchen countertop.

What Is Compost Grinding?

Compost grinding is breaking down composting materials into smaller, more manageable bits to speed up decomposition. A compost grinder can crumble your kitchen scraps into small chunks. 

Grinding huge organic waste into tiny bits expands their surface area, allowing numerous soil organisms equal opportunity to act on every little piece, and so quickens the decomposition process.

Why Should You Be Grinding Your Compost?

Smaller particle sizes of the compostable material create quality compost faster than large-sized components. Grinding compost speeds up the process since it expands the surface area on which microbes can act. 

Grinding compost also accelerates the composting process and produces a more uniform mixture with enhanced pile insulation. It also increases the moisture content of the soil to which it is applied.

What if You Don’t Grind Your Compost?

By expanding the surface area of the biodegradable material, grinding wastes may accelerate decomposition in the compost. It will also assist in the disintegration of materials such as eggshells. 

5 Types of Compost Grinders

1. Electric Meat Grinder

Electric meat grinders can crush your composting material faster than manual ones.

Still, a manual hand-cranked meat grinder is a fantastic option if you want to save electricity. You can also use it outside in your yard.

2. Food Processor

Your blender can easily break down composting ingredients like a meat grinder. However, blender compost can be applied straight to the soil.

It will soak and degrade over time, providing key nutrients for the garden. Also, remember that blender compost might be too intense for some garden spaces.

3. Stainless Steel Manual Grinder

A steel manual grinder is handy when dealing with a large volume of compost. These machines break down your large composting materials into tiny bits suitable for your compost pile.

4. Meat Shredder Drill Attachment

A meat drill is meant to mix drywall mud and mortar, so it will easily slice your compost into tiny bits.

5. Vitamix FoodCycler

This machine converts most kitchen scraps, including chicken bones, into fine particles and has additional settings to dehydrate the food waste further.

It processes the materials within hours and is built with a carbon filter to reduce bad smells, allowing comfortable indoor composting.

Buying Guide for Compost Grinders

Consider the qualities that will be most useful to you before buying a compost grinder, including: 

  • Size

Check the size of your indoor or outdoor composting area and how much fertilizer you’ll need to purchase for your plants when buying a grinder.

  • Noise Level

Small kitchen-top grinders are quiet compared to meat grinders and drill attachments, which cause noise pollution in your neighborhood!

  • Quality Manufacturing

Verify that the grinder is built from durable material, especially if you want to use it outside. Look for EPA-certified products as well, as the EPA regulates air pollution nationwide.

  • Convenience

Choose a grinder that is compact and easy to move around your backyard. Seek designs with appropriately sized openings to load and unload your compost quickly.

The best compost grinder on the market?

I personally love the Vitamix 068051 FoodCycler FC-50. This kitchen compost grinder breaks down food waste into a tenth of its original volume; it quickly creates a nutrient-rich fertilizer you can mix into your soil.

The only downside is that this grinder is great for small quantities of food waste rather than larger compost piles.

If you need an appliance to break down larger materials, I recommend the PowerSmart Wood Chipper.

This wood chipper shreds 1.63″ branches and sticks, turning them into small pieces. It’s the ideal solution for turning lawn clippings, twigs, and foliage into high-grade nutrient-rich mulch.

What’s the Difference Between a Compost Grinder and a Compost Shredder?

When breaking down brown compost materials like large tree branches and limbs, a heavy-duty wood chipper/shredder is your best bet.

In contrast, a smaller home appliance, a “compost grinder,” is better suited to processing green waste materials like leaves and grass clippings and yields a finer end product.

Do You Need to Shred or Grind Food Waste to Compost Them?

Shredding or grinding organic materials accelerates the composting process by expanding the material’s surface area and making it accessible to decomposers.

However, shredding is unnecessary unless you add twigs or other woody materials.

Can You Use a Food Processor to Shred Compost?

Yes! Food processors make excellent compost shredders for lesser quantities.

You can typically purchase additional bowls and stronger blade attachments for more accurate results.

Can You Use a Wood Chipper to Make Compost?

Yes, you can use a wood chipper to make your compost; however, only for brown materials; otherwise, it will likely clog quickly.

These machines are meant to transform enormous tree branches into small wood chips, but introducing tiny, soft organic wastes with higher moisture content, such as leftover food scraps, poses the risk of damaging the mechanism.

Can You Use a Meat Grinder for Compost?

Yes, if you wish to conserve energy, a manual meat grinder could be a viable option as it has the added benefit of functioning directly in your yard.

Most meat grinders can process fruit and vegetable waste and tiny, fine bones. Still, the outcome won’t be as fine as using a grinder/shredder with rotating blades.


Discovering composting as a way of life or even better, as nature’s way of recycling, Ana dedicates her time to trying out new methods of composting at home. Her goal is to share everything that she’s learned in the hopes that it will help others discover the amazing rewards of composting.

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