The 5 Best Mortar & Pestles

There are several techniques chefs employ to get the most flavour out of their ingredients. Using a mortar and pestle is one of the oldest and most effective methods yet.

The mortar and pestle is a simple yet powerful toolset that lets you take dips, curries, and side dishes to the next level. You can use it outside the kitchen, such as in apothecaries, labs, and pharmacies.

If you’re looking to purchase the best pestle and mortar set, but don’t know what to look for, keep reading below.

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Our Top Mortar and Pestle Picks

Image

Product

Features

Recommended Products

h & s pestle and mortar
  • High-quality Granite
  • Easy Clean
  • Sturdy and Robust
white mortar and pestle
4.5/5
  • Marble Finish
  • Easy to Use
  • Cheapest option
best mortar and pestle
5/5
  • 100% Granite
  • Unpolished Granite
  • Anti-slip pads & garlic peeler included.
mexican mortar and pestle

Molcajete/Tejolote Mortar and Pestle​

4.5/5
  • Best For Guacamole
  • Easy to Clean
  • Volcanic Lava Rock

An Indepth Look At Mortar And Pestles

Molcajete/Tejolote Mortar and Pestle

mexican mortar and pestle

Features

Rating

Price

  • Purpose-Built for Guacamole
  • Easy to Clean
  • Volcanic Lava Rock
4.5/5

Molcajete/Tejolote Mortar and Pestle Review

If you’re a fan of guacamole and all things Mexican, you’ll love this Made in Mexico salsa maker. With an eight-inch diameter, this mortar and pestle have a fantastic size, allowing you to grind up large dips in one go.

Apart from the fantastic size, this mortar and pestle set is made from volcanic lava, giving everything you create an authentic Mexican flavour. It is also easy to clean and incredibly long-lasting.

If you want to add a touch of rusticity to your kitchen and cooking, this mortar and pestle set is one of the best choices.

BYFRI Resin Mortar Pestle

resin mortar and pestle

Features

Rating

Price

  • Only 10g in Weight
  • Easy clean
  • Longer handle
4/5

BYFRI Resin Mortar Pestle Review

It is a handy mortar and pestle toolset that you can use for a variety of purposes. The convenient size makes it perfect to use on the go.

Furthermore, you can grind up pesto, salsas, dips, curry pastes, and much more in no time at all. You can quickly grind up both soft and hard ingredients.

It has a classic design that’ll look great in any kitchen and has a deep bowl that prevents any spillovers.

H&S Pestle and Mortar

h & s pestle and mortar

Features

Rating

Price

  • High-quality Granite
  • Easy Clean
  • Sturdy and Robust
5/5

H&S Pestle and Mortar Review

As you’ll know already, granite is the best material for a mortar and pestle set. It offers you an earthy, authentic taste each time guaranteed to elevate your dishes each time.

Furthermore, this is a durable option that can easily be an investment of a lifetime. You can grind up all sorts of ingredients with ease, without worrying about anything falling out.

It is made from premium quality granite, making this a high-quality choice.

Tera Mortar and Pestle

best mortar and pestle

Features

Rating

Price

  • 100% Granite
  • Unpolished Granite
  • Anti-slip pads & garlic peeler included.
5/5

Tera Mortar and Pestle Review

If you’ve ever felt limited by your mortar and pestle bowl, this extra-large set will be a game-changer. It has an 8-inch diameter and a 5-cup capacity, letting you grind up huge quantities all at once.

What sets this mortar and pestle set apart is the fact that it comes with a stick-on anti-slip rubber pad to prevent mishaps in the kitchen. It also comes with a garlic peeler that makes light work of any garlic cloves.

Made from unpolished granite, it has immense friction, allowing you to grind your ingredients in a flash.

Classic White Marble Pestle and Mortar

white mortar and pestle

Features

Rating

Price

  • Marble Finish
  • Easy to Use
  • Cheapest option
4.5/5

Classic White Marble Pestle and Mortar Review

While the other mortar and pestle sets on this list are predominantly made from granite, this one is in stylish marble. It has a smaller design, making it easy and handy to use.

It is also durable, and you can grind, mince and mash a variety of ingredients. The marble surface is much easier to clean compared to granite.

Furthermore, it has a stylish, sleek design, which will look great in your kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Mortar and Pestle

Can I use a food processor instead of a mortar and pestle?

Many might assume the food processor to be a much better alternative to the mortar and pestle, but that isn’t the case. While the food processor gives you a smoother paste in a shorter time, it compromises the taste.

The food processor tears apart the ingredients, but it doesn’t release flavour and aroma from the individual cells. The mortar and pestle rupture all individual cells, giving you a paste with a deeper, more complex flavour.

If you’re short on time but don’t want to sacrifice on flavour, you can use the mortar and pestle to grind the ingredients first. Then, you can get a smooth texture using the food processor.

How do you clean a mortar and pestle?

Cleaning the mortar and pestle is an easy and effective process. Start by soaking both items in warm water for a few minutes.

Then, use an unscented dish-soap to clean the mortar and pestle well. You can use a scrubber if your mortar and pestle are porous.

What is the best material for a mortar and pestle?

Agate, marble, or granite are the most preferred materials from a mortar and pestle. These materials are sturdy, matte, and non-porous, letting you get the perfect grind with ease.

Wooden pestle and mortar are too porous and lightweight for proper grinding and can develop smells. Ceramics are delicate and cannot withstand pounding ingredients.

Which is the mortar, and which is pestle?

The mortar is the deep bowl that carries the ingredients, while the pestle is the rounded club used to grind ingredients.

Are granite mortar and pestles safe?

A granite mortar and pestle are the safest you can use in the lab or the kitchen. It doesn’t chip easily, so you don’t need to worry about any residue in your mixtures.

However, you need to season your granite mortar and pestle well before use to keep it safe.

Should I wash my mortar and pestle?

Yes. To prevent the flavour from your old ingredients from mixing into the new ones, you need to wash your mortar and pestle thoroughly after each use.

Furthermore, if your mortar and pestle are porous, they need extra cleaning care. Food particles can get stuck in the pores, and not only can this transfer flavour, but it can be unhygienic.

If you don’t wash your mortar and pestle, it can develop mold and contaminate your food.

What is the purpose of a mortar and pestle?

You can use the mortar and pestle for a wide range of applications. You can use it to grind, mix, mash, and mince a range of ingredients for culinary and non-culinary purposes.

It lets you grind your ingredients into a fine powder and extract the deepest flavour from them. You can use it in the kitchen, lab, or pharmacy.

Do you need to season a granite mortar and pestle?

It is imperative to season your granite mortar and pestle before use. It is because granite is a porous material, and there can be a lot of dust trapped in the pores.

To prevent any dust or grit from making its way into your food, seasoning is essential. The best method to season your granite mortar and pestle is by grinding some rice and water several times.

It brings up any dust trapped in the mortar and pestle and cleans it thoroughly.

Mortar and Pestle Buying Guide

You need to assess several factors when buying your pestle and mortar. These can include size, material, shape, and your needs too.

Size

When looking at size, bigger is always better than smaller. With a large mortar and pestle, you can mash smaller quantities as well as larger ones.

It means that you aren’t restricted when you’re grinding. Furthermore, in a smaller mortar, the ingredients can often jump out of the bowl when you mash them.

Material

You want your mortar and pestle to have a hard, stable surface. It shouldn’t be too light not to grind your ingredients properly.

Additionally, the material shouldn’t be too porous; otherwise, it’ll be tough to clean. However, the material shouldn’t be too smooth either; otherwise, you won’t be able to grind anything well.

Look for a rock hard, heavy, matte surface that allows you to mash the ingredients quickly. The material needs to be sturdy so that it can withstand pressure.

Shape

The shape is one of the most important factors to consider when buying your mortar and pestle. You need to consider the form of both items, not just the mortar.

For the pestle, you want a broader, gently rounded base allowing you to grind faster. You also want the pestle’s handle to be easy to grip, allowing you to work without getting tired.

For the mortar, you want a deep, rounded shape that keeps the ingredients from falling out. You also want the mortar to have a stable base, allowing you to grind without fearing that the bowl will spill.

History of Mortars and pestle

The mortar and pestle are easily one of the oldest tools used by humankind. We can find the earliest record of the mortar and pestle in Ancient Egypt, around 1550 BC.

However, researchers assume that ancient civilizations used the mortar and pestle around 6000 years before this. They used it to prepare spices for cooking, much as we do today.

The mortar and pestle’s special thing is that their design is incredibly similar to what it was over 10,000 years ago. It is a straightforward tool that can give your dishes a deep, rich flavour and lets you grind your seasonings perfectly.

Ancient Egyptians also used the mortar and pestle to grind cosmetics. People made ancient mortar and pestles from various materials, such as rock, stone, wood, or metal.

People also widely used the mortar and pestle to grind medicine.

Conclusion

The mortar and pestle is a dynamic tool you can use in any setting. It’s something that has been around for thousands of years and stays relevant even in this mechanized age.

If you want your curry pastes or dips to have a rich, deep flavour, the mortar and pestle should be your go-to tool. The effort takes to grind the ingredients makes the process of cooking even more special.

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Andy Canter

Andy

Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best!

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