The mortar and pestle set has been a kitchen staple for thousands of years. Even with technology revolutionizing kitchen applies, there is something special about making a delicious paste by hand.Vegetables, nuts, fruits, herbs and spices are some of the kitchen ingredients pressed, grounded and crushed with a pestle. However, the best mortar and pestle is versatile and goes beyond typical kitchen functions. Other uses are in alchemy, masonry and pharmacology.
Contrary to what most people think, mortars and pestles still hold a superior position to blenders and food processors. Instead of mixing everything and adding oil to make a paste, a mortar and pestle set breaks down the cell wall of ingredients to release the flavor, aroma and juice. In addition, mortars and pestles are available in different materials, shapes and sizes. Below, we have a list of the best mortar and pestle sets and a guide on choosing the best set for your culinary purposes.
Best Mortars and Pestles
1. ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set
- A kitchen must-have: Mortar and pestle set (mortero de cocina - morter and pessel - molcajete or...
- Versatile tool: Take advantage of your brand new stone motar and pedestal set’s various...
- Effortless use: This ChefSofi stone mocajetes motor & pedestal set was designed with your...
- Quick cleaning & zero kitchen messes: As granite is inherently durable and heavy, this mortar will...
- Satisfaction guarantee: We want you to be absolutely elated with your moter and pestle set, which is...
ChefSofi mortar and pestle set serves as a versatile kitchen appliance. It is often used to pulverize nuts, seeds, ginger root and garlic. If you plan to make homemade salad dressing, sauces, and condiments, such as fresh mustard, guacamole, pesto, salsa, chutneys, and more, this set will make the perfect ingredients mix for you. In addition, this Mexican molcajete set is widely used in pharmacies to powder pills for optimal ingestion or hide them in your stubborn pet’s kibble.
This set is made from unpolished granite to provide natural friction for fast grinding, powdering and crushing. In addition, this stone mortar has a 2 cup capacity (500ml). This size minimizes the need to refill ingredients.
This granite mortar and pestle weigh in at 7 pounds to prevent it from slipping on the kitchen counter. The weight also allows it to withstand pressure during the grounding of whole spices. Cleaning this set requires hot water and lemon to remove any strong smells. It is recommended not to use dish soap.
2. Tera Stainless Steel Mortar and Pestle Set
- SOLID RUSTPROOF MATERIAL: Both pestle and mortar are made of food grade 18/8 stainless steel. Not...
- DURABLE AND STABLE: Made of solid metal, the pestle feels substantial in your hand and the mortar...
- FOOD-SAFE: Because stainless steel does not hold residue or leftover odor, all it takes is a...
- MESSY NOT: Translucent lid allows you to gauge your strikes and keeps the contents in the bowl, not...
- ALL YOUR GRINDING NEEDS: This grinding setup will accommodate just about anyone’s grinding needs....
The Tera pestle and mortar are made of food-grade 18/8 stainless steel. This material makes them rust-proof and resistant to damage and corrosion caused by acidic food. In addition, the mortar bowl has a capacity of 250ml, which is just about the size of the average palm.
The stainless steel pestle provides a sturdy feel on your hands, while the mortar rests comfortably on your kitchen counter. In addition, the mortar has a padded bottom to increase stability. Stainless steel is durable; hence the set can withstand griding for many years.
Tera Stainless Steel mortar and pestle set is easy to clean. This is because stainless steel is food-safe and does not hold any fragrance or residue odor. To clean the set, you only need to rinse it under the tap. The translucent lid helps keep the contents in the bowl and prevents dust from spreading all over the kitchen.
3. Sagler Mortar and Pestle Set
- Pestle mortar for crushing foods and pills
- Pestle and mortar easy to clean nice looking Marble
- Granite mortar and Pestle hand washing recommended
- Mortar & Pestle Dimensions: 3. 75 inches diameter x 2 inches tall. Pestle is 4. 2 inches long.
The Sagler mortar and pestle set is convenient if you have a small counter space area. The marble mortar has 3.75 inches in diameter, while the pestle is 4.2 inches long. The size makes it perfect, especially if you don't like bulky kitchen types of equipment.
This marble mortar and pestle is super lightweight and holds about 3 ounces. The size of this Sagler marble mortar bowl is designed for grinding small ingredients to make sauces and dressings. In addition, it is used to pulverize hard-to-swallow pills.
4. Vasconia Granite Molcajete Mortar and Pestle
- AUTHETNIC TOOL FOR GRINDING: Enjoy an authentic, hands-on tool for grinding grains, spices, and...
- LARGE CAPACITY FOR GRINDING: The beautiful granite Molcajete has a 4-cup capacity, this mortar and...
- THE IDEAL GRINDING TOOL: The smooth interior is an ideal grinding surface and overall it bears a...
- EASY TO CLEAN: Do not place in dishwasher, for best results hand wash and set out to dry.
- DIMENSIONS: Overall dimension: 3.4 H x 7.9 W x 7.9 D inches, product weight 7.05 pounds.
The Vasconia granite mortar and pestle have a 4-cup capacity to make a party-size curry paste. This Molcajete set is applicable for grinding grains, spices, and herbs. In addition, if you enjoy a delicious bowl of guacamole or making salsas, then this set is the right pick for you.
This Molcajete mortar and pestle set weighs in at 9 pounds. Due to its size, it is best to let it rest on the kitchen countertop rather than haul it every so often from the cabinets. In addition, it has an appealing aesthetic and you can happily place it on the table when serving homemade salsa.
This solid granite set features a smooth interior to enhance grinding. It is easy to clean by just hand washing and leaving it to dry.
5. Jamie Oliver Mortar and Pestle
- Granite mortar and pestle allows for quickly crushing spices, herbs and more
- Constructed with thick walls and base to form a generous 2 cup capacity
- Unpolished mortar interior-exterior and pestle for effective grinding
- Before using, season the mortar with white rice, followed by garlic then cumin with salt and pepper
- Rinse with warm water and air dry, do not use soap
The Jamie Oliver mortar and pestle made from granite is constructed with thick walls to allow for quick crushing of spices, herbs and pine nuts. It has a 2 cup capacity to allow you to add needed ingredients in one go. In addition, the diameter is 1," and the height is 6" tall. The pestle is 8" to pound the ingredients without touching the mortar.
This solid granite mortar pestle duo features an unpolished interior to support hard grinding spices. Similarly, the exterior of the pestle is left unpolished to increase abrasiveness and friction. In turn, this helps to grind ingredients effectively.
It is recommended to season the mortar with white rice, followed by garlic, then cumin with salt and pepper. This helps remove white ashy particles and soil from manufacturing and prevents them from coming into contact with the food. In addition, this mortar pestle set is easy to clean, needing only to be rinsed with warm water and left to air dry.
Why Should You Use a Mortar and a Pestle?
Despite many attempts to replace the mortar and pestle set for simpler and faster kitchen appliances such as a food processor, the need to taste all the different flavors in your food will have you itching to grab the nearest mortar and pestle. This is because crushing and grinding spices or herbs releases the aromatics, flavor, and essential oils contained. In addition, the scent from smashed herbs is unique to it and is unlike what you get after using a grinder, blender, or food processor.
Grinding spices and herbs together builds a layer of intoxicating flavors. Whether you are making pesto, a marinade, or a spice mix, you marry the flavors together. In turn, coupling up the flavors creates a new cumulative flavor. Apart from extracting all the flavors, the mortar and pestle keep the ingredients' colors brighter. This makes the difference in how tasty and creamy your food is, unlike when using a food processor.
Having the ability to control the size and texture of your grind is yet another reason you should ditch your spice grinder. For example, if you want to make a rub for meat, you want to make a mixture that is a bit coarse. However, if you decide to use the same mixture for mushroom sauce, you will grind it to a fine powder.
In addition, using a mortar and pestle allows you to crush as little as a tablespoon of dry spices. Unfortunately, even the smaller-sized grinders are not equipped to grind such small amounts. Making smaller batches gives you the comfort of knowing that each meal is made from fresh ground spices. Besides, you can say goodbye to the molding jar of pesto at the back of the fridge.
How to Use a Mortar and a Pestle
A mortar and pestle are essential in almost every recipe, from making curry pastes to crushing garlic and making guacamole. Fortunately, the steps involved are easy and doable in just a matter of minutes. The main step is adding the ingredients to the mortar bowl and continuously hitting them with the pestle stick.
You want to rotate between pounding the pestle and grinding it around in circles until you've mixed your ingredients to your preferred texture. This ensures that all the flavors are released from the ingredients and that the various ingredients are mixed uniformly.
How Do You Choose the Best Mortar and Pestle?
The intended purpose of the mortar and pestle will determine the size you choose. For example, if you plan on crushing garlic, ginger, herbs and spices only, a small mortar bowl is sufficient. However, to make pesto, fresh salsa, guacamole, or hummus, a large mortar with 4 cups capacity is suitable.
The best way to look at it is that a larger mortar bowl is preferable if you have adequate storage space. This is because it can serve more purposes than a smaller bowl.
The shape of the mortar and pestle set determines how easily you will grind the ingredients and the texture of the result. Ideally, you want to look for a fairly round bowl. This will ensure that you can whirl around and grind everything in the bowl. Additionally, a shallow mortar increases the surface area to work with. Deep, narrow and cylindrical mortar bowls hinder the contents from being reached by the pestle.
Similarly, it is important to pay attention to the shape of the pestle. You want a pestle that is long enough to comfortably pound and grind spices without touching the rim of the mortar. Likewise, the end of the pestle responsible for crushing should be wide to increase the surface area.
Mortars and pestles are made of different materials. Each material has a significant effect on the quality of output and the energy put.
- Granite is strong, heavy and durable. As such, you can use pressure without worrying about chips and cracks. Some granite mortars and pestles are pre-seasoned, while others need to be seasoned before using. In addition, granite has an abrasive surface that is perfect for grinding spices finely.
- Ceramic mortars and pestles are more affordable compared to sets made of granite or marble. However, they are likely to crack when pressure is applied.
- Marble makes appealing mortar and pestle sets. However, it is important to differentiate between polished and unpolished marble. Polished marble is less abrasive for crushing spices. Therefore, an unpolished marble mortar and pestle set is more suitable, but it is more predisposed to staining.
- Wood Mortar and pestle sets are less common than other stoneware sets. They are perfect for combining ingredients, hence suitable for pestos and curry paste. In addition, a wooden pestle, though less powerful than its stone counterparts, is easy on the hands.
- Metal is the most sought-after material, especially for small mortar and pestle sets. The only downside is that such stainless steel sets are more suited for grinding whole spices. In addition, these metallic sets do not grind spices into fine powder.
4. Ease of Cleaning
Mortars and pestles with a glossy finish are easy to clean. However, more abrasive sets require better attention and care during the cleaning. For example, using scented dish soap will leave the set with fragrance. This is because the rougher surfaces are more porous. In addition, some mortar and pestle sets are dishwasher safe, while others are not.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best material for a mortar and a pestle?
Marble and granite mortar and pestle are best for general use. These materials are heavy, strong and durable to withstand pressure during the pounding and grinding of dry spices.
2. Which stone is best for mortar and pestle?
Granite makes versatile and reliable sets of mortar and pestles. The irregular rough texture makes it easy to grind spices and other ingredients. In addition, granite sets are popular in India and Thailand.
3. Is granite or marble better for mortar?
Granite and marble stones have similar characteristics. Therefore, mortars made from marble or granite are suitable for heavy pounding. However, always make sure to season your set with rice before using it. This will prevent the stones from coming into contact with food.