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- Royal Lee grain mill
- 4 quart glass flour bowl
- Bowl cover
- Cleaning brush
- Disassembly tool
- Owner's manual
Royal Lee Household Mill
The Royal Lee Household Mill grinds dry grains, including dried sprouted grains, into whole grain flour or meal right in your kitchen. The Lee mill is a precision-engineered appliance based on Dr. Royal Lee’s original 1940s design. In the current mill, Lee Engineering has upgraded the electrical components, made the motor quieter, added an automatic overheat protection circuit, and made many other improvements.
The Lee mill has a unique design; it's a high speed micronizing mill, but unlike most micronizing (aka "impact") flour mills that use disks with opposing rows of stainless steel teeth, the Lee mill features impeller arms that sling grain particles at high speed against a stationary synthetic stone. By adjusting a gap at the outer circumference of the milling chamber, the user determines how fine particles must be to exit the chamber. Setting the outlet gap tighter increases the time flour remains in the chamber, and decreases the throughput rate. In this respect, the Lee mill is identical in basic concept to a commercial hammer mill. A typical stone burr mill controls output texture by the burr gap, a typical impact mill controls it by input restriction, and the Lee mill controls it by output restriction.
Input rate is self-governing in the Lee mill, so the rate of grain input automatically keeps pace with the texture setting you choose.
Capable of grinding most dry grains, experience with this mill has demonstrated to us at Pleasant Hill Grain that the Lee mill is uncompromising in its focus on ultra-fine flour. It produces the finest flour of any home grain mill we've ever seen, and if making the finest whole grain pastries is your goal, we think the Royal Lee mill certainly should be a finalist in your selection process. At its finest setting, the flour truly is incredibly fine, containing virtually no coarse bits at all. Such flour is just what you want for pastries, but offers no advantage for making most types of bread. To decide whether the Royal Lee meets all of your needs, you'll want to weigh some additional factors.
As is usually the case in life, achieving an accomplishment as remarkable as the fineness produced by the Lee mill, involves tradeoffs. From our perspective, we find those principally in the Royal Lee's price, milling speed, flour temperature, and ranges of input and output sizes, versus those of other mills.
Starting with cost, the Royal Lee clearly occupies the upper tier of mill pricing. How you personally look at that price will likely depend on your mill budget, how highly you value ultra-fine flour, and how important the mill's limitations are to you. Some will say “no way,” others “well worth it.”
“I have never before received such prompt service when ordering any item from a company. I placed my order late in the afternoon and had exactly what I ordered in my mailbox less than 48 hours later. It was a pleasure doing business with you.”
– Sue Belair, WI
Looking at milling speed, at its finest setting we timed the Royal Lee mill at 25 minutes to grind a full hopper (8 cups) of hard wheat. As mills go, that's a long, long time—easily the slowest milling performance we've ever observed. In fairness, of course, at that finest setting the mill is using that time to make incomparably fine flour. At the Lee mill's medium setting, which produces flour perfect for making bread, it ground 4.7 ounces per minute, still 2-4 times slower than most of the mills we offer. A slower mill can simply be started earlier to have your flour ready when you need it, but a two-to-four-fold difference is a lot, bearing in mind that grain milling is inherently a somewhat noisy operation.
Related to milling time, in the Lee mill, is the temperature of the flour. Excessive heat destroys nutrients, and while most of the mills we offer keep flour around 118 to 120 degrees at their finest settings, we measured the Lee mill's finest flour at 155 degrees F, which is simply extreme. Milling bread-texture flour kept it at 122 degrees, just a little over what's common among other quality mills. These results were for full-hopper batches; when milling smaller amounts, temps likely won't get quite as high. We aren't aware of quantitative figures on the difference in nutrition loss between 118 degrees and 155 degrees, and when making pastries your primary focus may not be on nutrition, but the presumption would seem to be that it has some value, or you'd just be baking with white flour.
Output texture range: Having established that the Lee mill has fine flour nailed like never before, it can also produce excellent bread flour and, by moving the texture lever to the coarse end of its range, it will also produce a meal texture. Some mills that are claimed to produce meal actually only make coarse flour (which is finer than meal), but the Lee mill will indeed make a true, gritty meal texture—something that other micronizing mills cannot do. And because the adjustment mechanism is continuously variable within its range, you can choose any texture between true meal, and ultra, ultra fine. The Royal Lee mill's output range stops at meal texture, so it does not share the ability of some mills we offer, to produce a cracked-grain result (coarser than meal texture.)
Input size range: While some mills will accept large-kerneled field corn, the Lee mill's inlet size requires that field corn (also called dent corn) be reduced in size first, using a food processor. You could probably use a blender instead, taking care not to go too far with this pre-milling, as Lee Precision says not to regrind flour with the mill.
Another limitation of the Lee mill is that it cannot grind beans or oilseeds. The oilseed restriction applies to most home grain mills of the types that can make good bread flour. The makers of the Lee mill recommend that users who want to mill products that are higher in oil or moisture content purchase a second mill of the steel-burr type, made for grinding coffee or seeds. Most such mills are quite inexpensive, and we think this is good advice. Most grain mills can grind beans if they fit into the mill's inlet which, for some mills, requires pre-processing.
We've found installation of the flour skirt between the mill and the included flour bowl awkward, and its removal after milling to be messy. Also, if the stationary stone is removed for cleaning, its reinstallation is quite difficult due to its tight fit tolerance with the milling chamber.
Overall fit and finish of the mill are impeccable, as one expects—but doesn't always get—from a countertop machine at this price point.
In summary, we find that the Royal Lee Household Mill's ability to make incredibly fine flour from whole grains is unparalleled. If your baking focuses on whole grain pastries and if none of its tradeoffs are deal breakers for you, then we think this mill offers excellent value.
For more details please see the specs tab, above.
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Select product option(s) from the drop-down menu at top of page to see item-specific specifications here.
|Manufacturer Part Number||S-700|
|Brand||Royal Lee Organics|
|Product Weight||23 lb.|
|Grinding burr diameter||6.25|
|Housing Material||Cast aluminum|
|UPC||Does not apply|
|Warranty Length||1 year disc assembly, 5 years motor and stone, 15 years other parts|
Select product option(s) from the drop-down menu at top of page to see item-specific specifications here.
By Shawn L. in VA on 5/5/2018 - Verified BuyerCons:
During the milling process, flour dust flies out the side of the machine and creates a fine dust of flour that covers a wide area.
There are several steps to disassemble the machine. Not hard, but may but some may find it time consuming.
The machine is not self-cleaning, so you must clean it after each use to prevent bugs and rancid flour from accumulating in the machine.
Heavy (metal exterior).
A little noisy, but no worse than my Vitamix blender.
Made in the U. S. A.
Heavy (metal exterior) - no cheap plastic. I believe that that there may be some plastic in the motor compartment.
Makes the finest flour that rivals the all purpose flour found in the grocery store.
I have only milled barley berries. I will update after I have had the time to experiment with different grains.3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?
By Michelle P. in OR on 8/9/2018 - Verified BuyerLove it! On the finest setting, the whole-grain flour is so fine, it would be great for cakes and pastries.1 person found this review helpful. Did you?
By Robert H. in CO on 2/13/2017 - Verified BuyerThe above heading says it all. If you want to mill grain into flour as fine as white flour, this is the ONLY mill that can do the job. Therefore, using soft wheat, it is excellent for making flour for cakes. Of course, there are settings for milling coarser flour for whole grain breads as well. Nothing is perfect and there are a few issues with this mill. First, it is time consuming to clean. Cleaning becomes easier if one freezes the grains before milling as this reduces the amount of gluten that will cake on to the inside of the mill. Second, you need to tip the mill back to make sure all grains are milled. To me, these drawbacks are minor compared with the great milling job it does.12 out of 13 people found this review helpful. Did you?
By Henry B. in FL on 4/3/2017 - Verified BuyerHard time with short grain brown rice. Maybe this is not the right mill for this kind of rice.3 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?
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