Finding a quality burr grinder that can give you consistent results is not an easy task. There are many models in the market, but not all of them are good. Two of the most popular entry-level models right now are Oxo Brew vs Baratza Encore. In this article, we’ll compare the two to find out which one that’s the best.
Continue reading below to find out further about:
– The design and dimensions of each burr grinder
– The comparison of their build quality and durability
– The maximum capacity of each burr grinder
– The additional features on Oxo Brew and Baratza Encore
– The performance of Oxo Brew vs Baratza Encore
– Which burr grinder that is more recommended for the money
Design and Appearance
We can say that Oxo Brew and Baratza Encore are good-looking in their own ways. People may have different style preferences, either the clean stainless steel look of Oxo Brew or the elegant dark appearance of Baratza Encore. That said, these two burr grinders do have different dimensions. See also: Cuisinart DBM-8 vs Baratza Encore.
Oxo Brew is a little bit larger. This is because the grounds container protrudes outward from the main unit, rather than stepping fully into the housing. Oxo Brew measures 7.4 inches x 5.25 inches x 11.75 inches. The weight is about 5.6 lbs.
Oxo Brew looks modern and stylish with the stainless steel finish. The front panel of the main unit is black, and there are also black accents on the lid of the grounds container and the base. The bin hopper is transparent with a slight black tint. The combination of the colors is nice. Unfortunately, the grounds container isn’t transparent, so you can’t see the content without opening it.
Baratza Encore is more compact and space-friendly. Thanks to the grounds container which goes entirely into the main unit’s housing, this model doesn’t need much space and can fit easily on your countertop. It measures 6.3 inches x 4.7 inches x 13.8 inches, and it weighs about 6.83 lbs.
Baratza Encore offers an elegant, classy appearance. The housing is matte black. Both the bin hopper and the grounds container are semi-transparent, but they have a dark tint which complements the main unit very nicely. Since the bin hopper and grounds container are semi-transparent, you can easily see how much coffee beans and coffee grounds that they hold without opening them.
In terms of build quality, Oxo Brew vs Baratza Encore are great. They both have high quality parts that are tough and durable. There are a few notable differences, but you can be certain that both of them are made to last.
Oxo Brew may seem to be slightly better in terms of build quality because it comes with 40mm stainless steel burrs, which are more resistant to corrosion. In addition, it comes with a stainless steel grounds container, which is not only durable but also very convenient to use. The stainless steel material doesn’t build static as much as plastic, so coffee grounds won’t cling stubbornly.
However, the bean hopper is still made of plastic rather than glass. The housing is also plastic, though the internal parts are indeed metal. As the effect, some fines may still cling on the plastic surfaces.
Baratza Encore has a very good build quality, even though there are a few things to note about. It does have 40mm steel burrs, but these are not stainless. You will need to clean the burrs frequently to keep them in good condition, especially after grinding oily coffee beans. The housing, the bean hopper, and the grounds container are plastic, so coffee fines tend to stick.
Both Oxo Brew vs Baratza Encore are designed for beginners. Their capacity is relatively small, so they are more suitable for home use. Perhaps you can use them for a small café as well. But you will need a larger, more capable machine if you want to grind multiple pounds of coffee on a daily basis.
Oxo Brew actually has a slightly bigger capacity. The bean hopper can hold up to 0.72 lbs (12 oz) of coffee beans. This will allow you to grind a larger amount of coffee at once for serving several people. The grounds container has a capacity of 100 grams, which is said to be sufficient for about 12 cups of coffee.
Baratza Encore is slightly smaller. The bean hopper capacity is 8 oz. This is a common capacity for small-sized grinders of the same class. It is also suitable for grinding enough coffee beans for a few cups of coffee. Compared to Oxo Brew, the grounds container of Baratza Encore is actually larger, with a capacity of 142 grams.
Regardless of the grinder that you choose and its capacity, keep in mind that you should not “grind in advance” (grinding a large amount of coffee for use later). People use a grinder instead of pre-ground coffee because they want to get fresh coffee. Grounds will lose their quality over time as they get into contact with air, so don’t store coffee grounds for later use. You should only grind as much coffee as you are going to use immediately.
Now, let’s take a look at the features of Oxo Brew vs Baratza Encore. What you need to know about these coffee grinders is that they are basic entry-level models, so they don’t actually come with many additional features. Oxo Brew and Baratza Encore are simple and straightforward to use.
Oxo Brew comes with 15 grind settings, ranging from fine to coarse. Although the range isn’t really wide, the available options will already allow you to get quality coffee grounds for espresso, pour over, and French press. In order to select a grind setting, simply slide the ring under the bean hopper to the desired position.
On the front side, you can see a dial knob with time markings of 10, 20, and 30 seconds. The timer is really useful once you are familiar with the grinding speed of the unit at the grind setting that you want to use. After turning the dial, press the button to start the grinder. It will keep the last timer setting so that you won’t need to repeat the dial too often.
Baratza Encore offers 40 grind settings from the finest to the coarsest. With these options, you can easily get your desired grind texture with excellent precision. This grinder can give you grounds for various coffee drinks, including espresso, pour over, mocha pot, French press, and automated machines. Unfortunately, this model doesn’t have a timer.
Baratza Encore relies on manual control. On the side, there is a knob for turning the unit on or off. As long as the knob is at the “On” position, it will grind continuously until you switch the knob to “Off”. Meanwhile, on the front, there is a button for on-demand grinding. The advantage of the manual control is that you can get exactly the amount of coffee that you want to use, no more and no less.
Performance-wise, both Oxo Brew and Baratza Encore are great. They are among the best coffee grinders available in the low-end price range. Despite their affordable prices, they are capable of producing consistent grind results.
Oxo Brew doesn’t show its grinding in the specs. But it is quite slow, just like Baratza Encore which has a grinding speed of 450 RPM. The low grinding speed is important for getting quality coffee. The low grinding speed ensures minimal heat build-up, so that the burrs won’t get overheated too quickly.
Both models work really well when grinding at fine and medium settings. However, they do produce some fines when grinding at coarse settings. This is to be expected from entry-level models. Even so, the grounds are still quite uniform and consistent, and more than just good enough for French press.
Finally, when choosing between Oxo Brew and Baratza Encore, you have to consider the parts availability. When it comes to quality burr grinders, the burrs will eventually wear off and you will need to replace the burrs every once in a while. Cheap grinders often don’t have replacement parts, as they are designed to be thrown away instead of maintained.
The parts availability for Oxo Brew is somewhat obscure. There isn’t much information about how to replace the burrs once they are worn off. However, the grinder is backed by a 2-year limited warranty, and you can get the optional 4-year limited warranty if you add a few more bucks into the purchase. The warranty will ensure that you can get a replacement if you happen to receive a defective product.
On the other hand, Baratza Encore encourages you to maintain the grinder instead of throwing it away. The grinder has been designed like a commercial-grade unit, with replacement parts that are easy to find in the market. So, once the burrs are worn off, you can just replace them and continue using the unit. No need to buy a new grinder altogether.
Oxo Brew vs Baratza Encore
Both are good grinders. In the end, though, Baratza Encore is better and more recommended. The manual control will make it easier for you to get the precise amount of coffee grounds that you need. It also has better parts availability. You can replace the burrs once they are worn off, so there is no need to purchase a new grinder in the future.