The Best Mortar and Pestle Buying Guide
Choosing a mortar and pestle tool is not an easy task, because there many types and materials available all competing for the precious space in your kitchen.
If you are like me you want to buy the best mortar and pestle that delivers both excellent grinding feature and is still great value for the money.
Luckily for you, I’ve just finished researching over 20 different mortar and pestle brands and settled ChefSofi’s granite model as #1 choice.
It’s great value for the money, it is an Amazon’s best seller with more then three hundred 5 star reviews and is the best mortar and pestle tool.
The current price is around $30, so if you can get at this price, go grab it. That’s one heck of a deal for an extra quality large granite mortar and pestle! (Be sure to check current prices by clicking the link bellow, as they can change from time to time!)
If you would like to read complete reviews about my top picks for the best mortar and pestle and you would like to know what is the best material for mortar and pestle then read further bellow! You will also learn where to buy mortar and pestle at sale prices.
No mater if you are looking for mortar and pestle for pesto, crushing pills, grinding spices, guacamole or powdering herbs, you will find the perfect solution for your needs.
What’s the best Mortar and Pestle 2018?
Here’s a a list of my best mortar pestle reviews in 2018. The list is grouped by mortar and pestle material: granite, volcanic stone (molcajete), marble, wood and stainless steel.
I’ve seen these mortar and pestle sets for sale in stores such as Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Sears, Lowes & Kmart, however I recommend getting yours online from Amazon or eBay as they usually offer the best price together with free shipping.
Also, I’ve found the best deals are offered around Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holiday season. Look out for big discounts during these periods.
Table of Contents
- 1 What’s the best Mortar and Pestle 2018?
- 2 Granite Mortar and Pestle
- 3 Volcanic Stone Mortar and Pestle – Molcajete
- 4 Wooden Mortar and Pestle
- 5 Marble Mortar and Pestle
- 6 Stainless Steel Mortar and Pestle
- 7 How to Choose the Best Mortar and Pestle
- 8 Conclusion
Granite Mortar and Pestle
For the past thousands of years, people have used the mortar and pestles as the most suitable way for crushing, grinding or powdering and dry spices and herbs.
Granite mortar and pestle provides natural friction for best and swift grinding, crushing or powdering.
The ChefSofi Mortor and Pestle set is one of the best set available on the market. Having it in your kitchen will be one of the best things you will do to your kitchen.
The ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle set is a method of manual grinding that fully extracts the flavor from your herbs or spices.
Once purchased, the set comes with a free anti-scratch protector and an Italian dishes recipe book.
This product is ideal for everyone who cooks. It fits right into any kitchen you put it into.
Features, Benefits & Drawbacks
- checkThe ChefSofi is fully made of unpolished granite. Unpolished granite is naturally course so it provides additional friction during grinding or crushing making it easier and faster.
- checkAlso, granite is durable and heavy. This gives it stability and prevents it from slipping from your kitchen counter during the grinding process.
- checkThe mortar also comes with an anti-slip pad which can be attached to the bottom for extra stability.
- checkThe mortar’s capacity is approximately 500 ml. This is large enough for pounding a lot of ingredients in one go rather than refilling it with little bits.
The major drawback is that when it is used to ground soft or fresh herbs, they tend to stick to it and harder to get them out.
- With the high capacity mortar, large quantities of herbs and spices can be ground at a time. This saves you time and energy.
- This mortar and pestle set can be used for various uses. You can use it from grinding herbs and seeds, crushing fresh spices, pulverising fruit for fine-textured baby food to powdering pills for better intake.
- The ChefSofi mortar and pestle set is made from granite making it sturdy, durable and long-lasting.
- The set is easy to clean, keep and maintain.
- The only con is that it is a little bit pricey. But with the benefit it brings to your kitchen, it is totally worth it.
If you want to naturally and easily crush your ingredients before you use them to cook a delicious meal, then this is the perfect mortar and pestle set for you. With its granite texture, durability and ease of use, this is definitely a set you need on your kitchen counter. This is a product worth checking out and you can click here to check it.
2. Laevo Cook
For those who love cooking and bringing out the taste and flavor here is the best product for grinding and separating the smell and the flavor.
Granite Mortar and pestle by Laevo Cook is designed to be used in the kitchen to help with the grinding and crushing of spices, salt, coffee beans and more.
It is convenient for seasoning and making of dishes. In case you have been wondering how to get the best and affordable mortar and pestle to help in the kitchen then you have got it.
Laevo Cook’s granite mortar and pestle is a bowl and stick that is used in the kitchen to help with the grinding and crushing of hard stuff like coffee beans, spices, pills and more. It makes work easier for you when preparing the best dish for your family or friends. It is environmentally friendly and natural for that matter. It is durable since it is solid granite stone.
Features, Benefits & Drawbacks
- checkHas two sides that allow you to separate stuff you are preparing for a different section.
- checkThe material used to make the granite mortal is hard and does not break or affected by the ingredients that are grinded in. This is a great benefit to you since it is durable as compared to the same product but different materials.
- checkCleaning the mortar and pestle is easy since it does not absorb water and the herbs do not stain the mortar.
- It is durable due to its hard material
- Easy to clean after use
- It is affordable and comes with a gift wrap
- It is time taking when compared to blending the spices with the blender
- You have to hold down the mortar to be steady to smash with the pestle
If you were asking yourself which type of mortar and pestle to purchase don’t ask anymore. With the durable granite mortar and pestle, you save money that you would have been using to purchase frequently and also electricity if you were using a blender.
3. Cilio Goliath
Cilio’s Goliath granite mortar and pestle is specially created for all kitchen enthusiasts and even professional chefs.
The granite pestle and mortar can be used to grind and crush the spices you need for all of your cooking, making of guacamole and crushing of herbs.
The granite pestle and mortar is made from green granite making it a pretty strong crusher for all of your needs.
The product promises to give you efficient and easy crushing of your herbs, spices and other cooking ingredients without having to strain so much.
Features, Benefits & Drawbacks
- checkThe pestle comes with a comfortable and easy to hold the shape that will allow you to easily crush whatever you need.
- checkAfter purchasing your granite pestle and mortar, you will find a mortar that measures around 5” in length and an equally heavy pestle.
- checkAnyone who is into culinary arts will be pleased by the performance of this product at all times depending on the type of product they need to grind.
- checkIt has rough and untreated interior edges that will improve its grinding abilities by increasing the amount of friction necessary to grind your ingredients. This will also allow you to keep your working area clean at all times.
On the other hand, if you are the kind that goes for aesthetics, then this product is not the best for you as it comes in a grey and dull shade.
- It’s easy to use
- It’s efficient at all times
- It’s cost effective for a product of its kind.
- It has a slippery pestle that may make it hard for you to grind your ingredients.
Based on its rating as one of the best pestle and mortars in the market, I would consider this as a very reliable and easy to use the product at all times. Its price range is also very affordable and any of you should try using it.
Volcanic Stone Mortar and Pestle – Molcajete
If authentic Mexican dishes, especially guacamole, infused with herbs and other spices sounds great to you, then yes, the molcajete is for you. But don’t limit yourself, a molcajete can be used for stews, salsa verde, and many other foods.
Molcajetes are made from volcanic rock. They’re rough to the touch, heavy, and porous. Molcajetes gather flavors to season future dishes with the spices you choose. When you receive your molcajete you may want to use it, immediately, but much patience is needed. For maximum flavor, you’ll need to grind the flavors in, first.
Bellow I will show you the top volcanic stone mortar and pestle Molcajetes.
1. RSVP Molcajete
This Mexican-style volcanic stone mortar and pestle set by RSVP is ideal for someone who likes to make delicious salsa or guacamole, or finely-grind small ingredients.
Popularly known in Mexico as “Molcajete,” this culinary set is a cherished treasure in many Mexican households.
Like the name indicates, both the mortar and pestle are completely made of volcanic stone, which is great for high-quality grinding.
It comes with an informative booklet that shows how to cure your molcajete. To use it, you simply have to place the ingredients in the mortar and use the pestle to grind them as desired.
As a widely-used product by both professionals in the food industry and regular household cooks, it is highly recommended to anyone who wants to make high-quality salsas and guacamole.
Features, Benefits & Drawbacks
There are many “molcajetes” out there that are not authentic because they use other types of rocky material, such as concrete.
This molcajete is authentic and of the highest quality, as the volcanic rock grinds ingredients in a way that gives salsas a much better taste. This is how traditional Mexican salsas acquire their tastes. You can also use this product to make other international spices and mashed foods.
A downside to the molcajete is that you have to cure it if it’s brand-new. This means that you have to get rid of all the dirt and debris left from the volcanic rock, and it can require quite a few steps.
As an internationally-popular tool originating from Mexico, the molcajete has proven to be a top-of-the-line culinary instrument that delivers excellent salsas.
Using a high-quality rock for its entire composition, it is one of the best mortar and pestles that you will find in the market.
While the curing process may seem somewhat lengthy, it is absolutely worth it as the sauces and foods that can come from this powerful product are exceptional.
When your molcajete from TheLatinProducts arrives, it’ll come with the molcajete (8.5″ in diameter), pestle, and a simple guide to cure the surface.
The molcajete weighs 7.5 pounds and fits 2 – 3 cups of guacamole. If you need more than this, another batch can be made, quickly.
Curing the surface is a long process that involves a lot of effort to sand down the rough spots and then grind the flavor in the molcajete.
But that’s expected. After all, it’s never been easy to catch perfection, right? For those of you who love great food, you know it takes patience. Your effort will be well rewarded.
Now, if your goal is a quick, flavorful, meal with easy preparation, a molcajete isn’t for you. Yes, you’ll get enough flavor to stuff your taste buds, but it won’t be easy or quick. The curing process takes days and requires a lot of repetition.
The TLP Molcajete Mexican Mortar and Pestal is crafted in Mexico. Both handmade and authentic. There are different methods to smooth it. One involves sanding. Sanding every area makes sure the molcajete is safe to use, can be set down anywhere, and gathers the most flavor. Sanding paper, rice, dremel, or a hard-bristled brush can all be used to smooth the inner surface.
After sanding for a few days, it’s time for the curing process. This is where you grind the flavors and oils you want in. When you’ve baked your molcajete a few times, these flavors will enhance every dish you make. The reviews rave about the taste. One customer says, “Standing on its own it smells amazing and it makes the BEST guac I’ve ever eaten.”
Around 28 Amazon reviews out of 135 are negative. Customers report their molcajete arrived broken, it was the wrong color, the pestle was missing, or it was the wrong size. Either it was too small or too big. Receiving a molcajete that is “just right” may be an issue.
- Adds exceptional flavor.
- Very high-quality product.
- Works well in the oven, as well.
- Can’t be used immediately.
- May be difficult to transport.
- Requires a lot of effort.
The TLP Molcajete Mexican Mortar and Pestle is an excellent product for deeply seasoned food that only gets better with time. It holds ground-in flavors for a long time and smells amazing.
Wooden Mortar and Pestle
1. Rusticity Indian Antique
Anyone keen on cooking uses a mortar and pestle from time to time. Not only can the spices be mixed using this kitchen gadget, but also dried herbs.
Rusticity’s vintage looking, Indian- inspired mortar and pestle is designed for people who value design and aesthetic of an item- in this case the item is something that can be found in most kitchens.
Crafted by hand, every mortar and pestle from Rusticity is unique. I was amazed how something so simple can be designed so beautifully.
If you like decoration which is usable, this might be something you would like to add to your collection, however if you prefer simplicity over design, you might want to stick with your old mortar and pestle.
Rusticity’s mortars and pestles are made of high quality Indian rosewood, which should be quite durable. You can prepare your own sauces, mix spices or turn something solid (like garlic or ginger for example) in powder or minced state.
Rustic textured pattern on the side makes the item more appealing and eye catching. It goes well with any other items and gadgets you might have in your kitchen. Although it might prove to be a little slippery for some, I believe the item is well crafted.
This set of mortar and pestle is well designed and looks quite stunning. Mortar and pestle do their job fairly well. Not everyone will find the color of it appealing though.
The shade of brown might make some individuals look for something more modern-looking.
I think it’s a perfect item that you can put on the table to serve as a decoration. Being hand made can have some drawbacks. Thing you should note is that not every item will be the same, some mortars and pestles will be better crafted than other.
Anyone looking to buy a new pestle and mortar should look at this one. If you appreciate rustic items, it should be your cup of tea.
This item does it’s job, it can be a piece of decoration if you want it to be and it will look interesting to anyone you invite over for lunch. It’s up to you whether you like how it looks or not.
2. Home Basics Bamboo
Over a period of time, spices lose their flavors, so it is always advisable to use freshly ground spices for making food items, tea. It also more difficult for a person to eat hard items like nuts, dry fruit especially if he or she does not have good teeth.
The bamboo mortar and pestle available online has been designed for grinding spices and crushing other food items like nuts into a smaller size, which can be easily eaten or used for cooking.
The pestle is, brown in color adding a natural look to the kitchen. The inexpensive mortar and pestle set is of approximate size 4.5 inches in length, 4.5 inches in width and 4.5 inches in height.
The pestle which is the part used for grinding is rounded at the bottom, while the mortar is the bowl where the spices or items to be crushed have to be placed.
Features, Benefits & Drawbacks
The mortar and pestle set is made from solid bamboo for greater durability. It can be used for crushing fresh spices, herbs,nuts, dry fruits like pepper, onions, garlic, which are used for making food, drinks and other cocktails . The supplier recommends that oil be added to the bowl to coat it.
- Effective for crushing spices
- Light weight and compact
- Well designed and elegant addition to the kitchen
- Can be used as a decor item
- Ideal for small families, people living alone
- Warning on packaging that it contains some dangerous chemicals
- Limited capacity
- Design quality varies
- Not suitable crushing for very hard items
So the mortar and pestle set made from bamboo is ideal for crushing nuts and other food items with a peel or cover, as a decor item. It can be used in the kitchen or given as an inexpensive elegant gift to friends and relatives.
Marble Mortar and Pestle
1. RSVP White
This marble mortar and pestle is for you, if you frequently grind grains, spices, and herbs, especially for the family cooking and for small gatherings.
This mortar and pestle promises to help you release those beneficial aromatic flavors of spices and herbs, making it easier to blend them with other cooking ingredients.
It is a fascinating white-colored marble mortar combination that is made from solid wood finishing.
This product comes with 1 mortar, a 5 inch long pestle, and a piece of clean cloth for cleaning.
Features, Benefits & Drawbacks
- checkThe Mortar has a dimension of 2 inches x 4 inches in height and diameter respectively- this dimension makes it heavy and sturdy, hence it will help prevent the item from sliding around during grinding.
- checkThe Pestle measures 5 inches in length, which is long enough for a perfect round grip for your hand. It is not too short nor too long, hence grinding is very comfortable.
- checkIt is made up of solid marble wood, which makes it sturdy and long-lasting.
- The end of the pestle used for grinding is not polished, this will make grinding more effective and a lot easier.
- You can easily clean the mortar and pestle with a damp cloth. Similarly, you can store the items easily in a small kitchen cabinet.
- Very affordable
- It can hardly contain 8 oz. size of items, which means the capacity is quite small and can be used for small applications only.
This mortar and pestle has solved the problem of mixing and grinding different herbs and spices, especially when you want to mix different flavor and taste. Secondly this mortar and pestle is very convenient especially when you want to clean it and store it.
Stainless Steel Mortar and Pestle
Bekith brushed stainless steel morter and pestle set is a compact household device used for doing crushing and grinding of herbs and spices.
The device is made up of heavy gauge stainless steel and also is very easy to wash and clean.
Its designed composed of a non skid base and heavy duty pestle press.
It is a food safe product free from any harmful chemical effect.
Its shipping weight is 1.55 pound and the product weight is 14.1 ounce. Package dimension is 5 x 4.8 x 4.3 inches.Inside the package the product comprises of two parts, a semicircular mortar and a smooth small pestle press. Both are shiny grey in colour.
A silver colour modern design compact product which will looks great in any kitchen and pharmacy.
- Very smooth surface gives a stainless and fine powder type result. Weather it is with spice or herbs
- A portable type device which is small in size doesn’t occupy a very big space in your kitchen.
- Being made up of stainless steel it corrosion free and hence can last very long in your kitchen.
- Very easy to use and to clean after use.
- All the grinding and mixing work are to be done manually and hence the result is entirely dependent on your effort.
- Unlike an electric mixer you have to spend a long time here for your grinding and mixing work.
- You have to put effort, if you don’t you won’t get a fine result.
Since it just cost around 14$ (at the moment of writing) and is also capable of doing work nicely hence can be called a brilliant product for general household and pharmacy use. In this product one can easily grind most of the herbs and spices.So overall a nice product to be kept in kitchen.
How to Choose the Best Mortar and Pestle
What is a mortar and pestle?
The mortar and pestle is a kitchen tool that has been around since ancient times. This tool is used to prepare ingredients by grinding and crushing them into a powder or some fine paste. It has also been used in alchemy, pharmacology, and masonry applications.
If you have been using an electric spice grinder to prepare your ingredients, then you are missing out on something. The more subtle flavors in food can only be achieved by a hand-grinding process. The other reasons that make the mortar and pestle a better tool are the convenience, clean up, and ease of use.
What to look out for?
If you are planning to purchase a mortar and pestle, it is important to choose the best product on the market. Some of the key factors you will look at include material used, its size, and shape. You need to know how you are going to use the set to be able to make the right purchase decision.
Your mortar and pestle need to have a hard surface which is not overly porous or too smooth. A porous surface is quite difficult to clean while a smooth one is slippery and likely to squirt out ingredients. A large capacity mortar will hold more ingredients and give you enough room to mix than its smaller counterpart.
You also need to look at your personal preferences and kitchen needs before making that choice. A bowl that is slightly bulky will remain stationary during the grinding process. One that has a matte finish or some slight pebble is able to create enough friction that holds the ingredients together.
In order to retain the ingredients within the bowl and prevent them from squirting, you will have to consider buying a deeply rounded mortar. It is good to get a pestle that is wide and has a gently curved base that is broader than its tip. This ensures comfortable handling and retention of ingredients within the bowl.
What is a mortar and pestle best material?
The mortar and pestle can be made from different materials. They include hardwood, ceramic, stainless steel, volcanic stone, granite, and marble.
Most stone models, especially those made from granite and marble, are quite effective as they can withstand the heavy pounding.
Wood models are quite handsome but often too light for heavy-duty pounding tasks. The ceramic models also have their own shortcomings. The clay material, for instance, is fairly porous and hence fragile for pounding.
The best material for a mortar and pestle tool should be something hard and hefty. It should not be too rough to make it hard to clean and it should not be too smooth to make it slippery. Granite is one of the best materials to choose because of its matte surface and hefty made.
Wood materials are less effective because of their light and soft nature which limits their grinding power. The porcelain materials tend to break easily.
The stainless steel materials on their part have a slick surface that allows too many ingredients to slip around.
Size and shape importance for a mortar and pestle
Apart from the material used, you will also have to consider the overall size of the mortar and pestle as well as its weight.
The internal capacity of the bowel will determine how easy it is to pound your ingredients. A small bowl will make it get a smooth paste because of the limited space available to move things around.
If you intend to make between 4 to 6 ounces of paste, then its good to choose a large mortar and pestle with bowl that is at least 6 inches deep and 6 inches across.
The best mortar needs to have a deep and rounded shape to contain the ingredients within. It should also have a stable base to minimize the chances of toppling.
Most pestles on the market are rounded and narrow which causes ingredients to pop out during pounding.
The best pestle should have a broad and gently rounded base. If you are intending to crush large quantities of spices, then a spice grinder would be a more appropriate choice.
Choosing the best mortar & pestle unit on the market may not be an easy task. Having the right information is one way of easing this process. You need to choose a material that will support the different kinds of items that you need to grind.
Your personal preferences, as well as budgetary limits, may have a direct impact on the final decision. We have tested the various products on the market and presented the best of them to you. These products we believe have the qualities that you would desire to get in a mortar and pestle unit.
Be free to share your top mortar and pestle choice bellow in the comments section.