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Chefman Electric Burr Review

Not terrible, but certainly not the best budget option out there
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Price:   $50 List | $40 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive
Cons:  Mediocre taste, very loud
Manufacturer:   Chefman
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Nov 8, 2018
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45
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Taste - 45% 5
  • Ease of Use - 35% 4
  • Mess - 10% 5
  • Noise - 10% 3

Our Verdict

The Chefman Electric Burr falls into the category of an attractively inexpensive burr grinder that doesn't quite live up to its burr pedigree. In fact, for the same price we think you get better tasting coffee and a superior user experience from the KitchenAid Blade. Apart from a fairly average taste quality, the Chefman Electric Burr suffer from some serious static electricity issues and makes quite a grating noise. Therefore we would not recommend it to most people.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The Chefman Electric Burr makes fairly average coffee, and makes quite a ruckus while doing it. If $50 is your coffee grinder budget we think there are better ways to spend your money.


Performance Comparison


The Chefman Electric Burr earned one of the lowest overall scores in our testing. It is by no means a terrible grinder, but there are certainly better vlaues to be found.

Taste


The Chefman earned an average score in our taste testing. Overall we felt it was a moderate improvement over most pre-ground beans, but not to a substantial degree.


We found the Chefman, like many of the other budget burr grinders we tested, to produce a lot of fine coffee dust. When using a coarser grind setting the burr also got quite loose, allowing some larger chucks making it through as well. This resulted in pour over and drip oriented grind size settings producing a slightly over-extracted and bitter taste. Coarser french press oriented settings still produced this dust along with the larger chunks, resulting in varying taste profiles depending on how may larger chunks vs. dust the grinder produced on that go around. Overall the freshness of the beans did generally have us enjoying brews from the Chefman a bit more than most comparable pre-ground fare. However, we felt the difference wasn't large enough to justify the extra hassles presented by the Chefman.

The Chefman's inconsistently sized grounds.
The Chefman's inconsistently sized grounds.

The similarly priced KitchenAid Blade was actually able to produce fewer grind inconsistencies in our testing and thus create a better brew. For those shopping on a budget, the KitchenAid would be our top pick.

Ease of Use


The Chefman was one of the worst performers in our ease of use testing, mostly due to the hassles we encountered in general cleaning.


Again, in our testing the Chefman's user experience was plagued with many of the problems we found in budget burr grinders. The worst is a lot of fine coffee dust that tends to get stuck in all of the nooks and crannies of a burr that isn't particularly easy to remove or clean. We generally found the Chefman to need more frequent cleaning than higher quality burr grinders like the OXO Conical Burr, and found that process to be more arduous and annoying. In this price range the KitchenAid Blade again offers an improvement, as it produces less coffee dust and is thus easier to clean.

The Chefman's controls are fairly simple and straightforward.
The Chefman's controls are fairly simple and straightforward.

Outside of cleaning, the Chefman is fairly intuitive and simple. It has 2 knobs to adjust grind time and grind size, and a button to start grinding. These controls feel a bit flimsy compared to other models, but we didn't feel like they were going to break on us.

Mess-Free Operation


The Chefman earned a relatively low score in this metric, mostly thanks to its static electricity problem.


Due to a combination of lots of fine coffee dust, a healthy amount of static build-up, and a plastic grounds bin with sharp corners, the Chefman was one of the worst perpetrators when it came to coffee sticking to the sides of the container. This led us to either have to bang the bottom of the bin to get the coffee out, which generally sent it flying everywhere, or laboriously scooping coffee out of the bin when it really wanted to stay put. For this reason we made a much bigger mess when using the Chefman compared to most other machines. Notably, we found the operation of the KitchenAid Blade to be much more cleanly.

The Chefman has a problem with coffee sticking to the container due to static electricity  which increases the messiness factor.
The Chefman has a problem with coffee sticking to the container due to static electricity, which increases the messiness factor.

Noise


The Chefman sounds a bit like a broken helicopter trying to take off. The noise is fairly high volume and of a hig enough pitch that it is pretty grating. It will almost certainly wake people up in your house when you use it.


Value


In our opinion, the Chefman Electric Burr doesn't live up to its $50 price tag, as the $50 KitchenAid Blade does a better job in a much more user friendly manner.

Conclusion


The Chefman Electric Burr certainly looks good on the outside, but we think it has too many drawbacks to be a good budget grinder.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata