I wanted to leave a review of the Nixtamatic masa grinder because I see references to it all over, and several recommendations, but little accurate information. This is a device specifically designed to grind masa from wet nixtamalized corn. Most home grinders can't do this (despite claims to the contrary in some cases). According to several sites on the internet, the Nixtamatic is the answer though you have to get it in Mexico.
It is now possible to buy the Nixtamatic off eBay in the United States. It won't show up if you search eBay for Nixtamatic, though, inexplicably. You need to search for "molino" and then scroll a while. Eventually you'll find it. The device sells for $550 including shipping from the source in Mexico. It ships by FedEx. In my case shipping was fast, two days, though FedEx estimated a week.
The Nixtamatic arrived in a crate made of wood slats. It had been assembled enthusiastically with hundreds of tiny staples which almost all came loose during shipment, leaving the crate half apart. The appliance itself was not damaged though.
Now. The eBay listing claims the device is "all aluminum" and they are not kidding. Aside from the motor, every bit of this thing is cast aluminum INCLUDING THE BURRS. The part that actually grinds the corn. And when I say cast, I mean cast, not cast then milled in places which require precision. The burrs look as if somebody drew them in casting sand with a quill, then filled the mold with melted down beer cans. It's that crude.
Aluminum is too soft to last long in any sort of burr grinding application so even if this ground well out of the box I wouldn't expect it to keep it up for long. But it doesn't grind very well even brand new. It does create masa from nixtamalized corn, but it's a pretty rough grind. The Nixtamatic is adjustable, but not indefinitely, if you crank it in tighter and tighter, eventually you'll hit the point where the motor stalls. The grind at this point might (might!) work for tamales but it's nothing like what you'd expect from a tortilleria.
I think this device really does have potential if somebody would create some nice sharp milled STEEL burrs for it. The aluminum auger itself is fine and insofar as it works, it's fast. Throughput is great. If anybody is interested, look me up, we'll find somebody with a CNC mill, share costs, and get some decent burrs made.
I'll try to post some photos later because I bet you think I'm exaggerating. Don't buy this thing. $550 is a lot of money.
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