One of the ancient tools that is still around at this age is mortar and pestle. This tool comes in handy from cooking and Alchemy to masonry and pharmacology. So it is safe to say that all modern kitchens should be with this utensil.
Aside from being convenient to use and handy, mortar and pestle are known to complete your kitchen decor with a touch of dramatic flair.
This utensil is great for cracking peppercorns and spices, crushing tender herbs, grinding aromatic roots for pastes and pesto, and crushing medications for humans and pets alike. Unlike food processors or electric spice grinder, mortar and pestle provide you with finer and more subtle flavors that the hand-grind process offers.
In terms of convenience, clean up, ease of use, a properly-constructed mortar and pestle is a winner over its electric counterparts.
THE HISTORY OF MORTAR AND PESTEL
The impact of the mortar and pestle (and similar implements used to crush and pulverize foods) on human history is staggering. Hominids first appeared on the scene between five and ten million years ago. They figured out how to make stone tools to cut and chop foods between two and three million years ago.
It also goes beyond food: one of the earliest activities that gave birth to work songs—music timed to the rhythmic activities of preindustrial life—was the steady beating of a pestle in a mortar. We’ll never know what our music would be like today if not for the thousands of years of thuds that preceded it.
They mastered fire somewhere between 500,000 and one million years ago. We modern Homo sapiens first appeared around 100,000 to 200,000 years ago, with archaeological evidence indicating that we used mortars and pestles about 50,000 to 100,000 years later.
Agriculture would not appear until a much later time, around 10,000 years ago. That’s right: agriculture predates the mortar and pestle.
HOW TO SEASON A MORTAR AND PESTEL?
- First, scrub your new mortar and pestle hard with warm water. Anything you do, do not use soap.
- After drying completely, sprinkle salt and add an entire bulb of garlic cloves in the mortar. Spread the mashed garlic all inside the new utensil for a whole day.
- Next day, scrape out the spread garlic paste and rinse with warm water.
- Add wet rice about a handful and mash to a paste. The rice paste should be white, else repeat the process. If you got a white paste, then move to the next step
- Add 2tps of rock salt and grind into a fine salt powder.
- Now, the mortar and pestle is ready to use
So, let’s take a look at the top america’s test kitchen mortar and pestle on the market, and after which, we’ll cover key factors to consider when purchasing this utensil.
REVIEWS OF BEST MORTAR AND PESTEL AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN
Here are top rated mortar and pestle on the market by consumer reports
Top 1 – ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set
The ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set is our top pick with a deep round shape to keep ingredients from spilling or jumping out. This utensil is 6 inches and offers the 2-cup capacity to ensure users can mash small quantities of spices and herbs.
Its round-base pestle is broad enough to ensure ingredients don’t pop out when mashing. The mortar features a stable base, thanks to its non-skid base, to prevent the granite from leaving scratches on your countertop.
More importantly, ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set is made of minimal-porosity granite stone, which means this tool won’t absorb odor and flavor. Thus, it makes cleaning this product after each use snappy.
To clean this unit, you only need to grind some uncooked white rice into powder to eliminate the unwanted flavors that might be sticking to your tools. With this tool, you should avoid using soap as much as you can. This model is available in two sizes: 6-inch (2-cup) unpolished and black polished heavy granite and -inch (5-cup) unpolished heavy granite set.
Beyond grinding spices and herbs, this utensil is great at whipping up amazing chimichurri, pesto, curry paste, guacamole.
- Sweat free clean up
- Ease to use
- Non-skid base
- Heavy-duty construction
- Poor quality control
Top 2 – UMIEN Granite Mortar and Pestle Set, Natural Stone Grinder for Spices, Pastes, Pestos and Guacamole
The UMIEN Granite Mortar and Pestle Set is a must-have for every modern kitchen. This model is built to crush, grind, mix, and mash any herb, spice, and grain, to create stunning dishes, including sauces, salsas, and guacamole.
Its grinding bowl sports authentic granite design with a beautiful color pattern to complete this kitchen’s decor, including your serving table and countertop. This unit is designed to impress your families and guests with mouth-watering recipes and excellent taste.
This model is easier to clean, which is why people stayed away from traditional models. While this model requires hand wash, it’s easy to maintain and re-use. This product comes with a free bonus avocado tool to achieve delicious, nutritive avocado meals with the hassle of dicing, slicing and peeling. Even better, it comes with a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with results.
- Authentic granite design
- Easy to use
- Includes a BONUS avocado tool
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Requires breaking in before excellent results
Top 3 – Tera 18/8 Stainless Steel Mortar and Pestle with Spice Grinder,Herb Bowl,Pesto Powder
Next on our list is Tera 18/8 Stainless Steel Mortar and Pestle feature a solid rust proof construction using food grade 18/8 stainless steel. Aside from being rustproof, this product is resistant to corrosion and damage by acidic food.
Crafted with solid metal, this utensil is stable, durable, and feels substantial when held. The bottom padding ensures this model stays put even more. Thanks to its stainless steel construction, this utensil does not hold leftover or residue odor, which means all you’ve to do is rinse thoroughly and ready for use.
Further, it comes with a translucent lid that lets users gauge their strikes to avoid making a mess by keeping flying debris in.
More importantly, this product will accommodate most users’ grinding needs from herbs and spices to medical pills, from your kitchen to the pharmacy.
- Durable and stable
- Food safe
- Translucent lid for a mess-free experience
- Non-skid bottom
- Leaves excess residue
Top 4 – Cool Kitchen EZ-Grip Silicone & Porcelain Mortar and Pestle
When it comes to products that won’t slip or slide all over your counter, you should consider Cool Kitchen EZ-Grip Silicone & Porcelain Mortar and Pestle. This product stays in place while using it to crush, thanks to its silicone bases.
For convenience, this unit sports an EZ-GRIP handle to allow users to find the right grip for easy grinding. This product doubles as a muddler for muddling ingredients. It also performs well as crush fibers for herbs rather than chopping through and helps release a wider range of essential oils, aromatics, and flavors.
Further, Cool Kitchen Mortar and Pestle is dishwasher friendly, which makes cleaning snappy. This model is built to stand up to repeated cleaning without transferring flavors or absorbing odors. Thanks to its unglazed grinding surface, the mechanism is safe from powdering or flaking. It’s crafted with porcelain, which is the ideal material for a smasher to a grinder.
This model comes in handy for powdering seeds, teas, herbs, spices, grains, nuts, biscuits, as well as medicines or pets and humans.
- Available in different size and color options
- Apothecary grade porcelain
- Dishwasher safe
- Offer strong grip
- Small size
Top 5 – RSVP International (BGMP-80) Beige Marble Mortar & Pestle
If you are in the market to purchase a beautiful solid marble, then you can’t go wrong purchasing RSVP International (BGMP-80) Beige Marble Mortar & Pestle. This product will grind herbs, pills, grains, and spices.
This beautiful beige marble mortar measures 3-inch tall and features a 4-inch diameter bowl. The pestle measures 5 inches. Also, this utensil makes healthy spice rubs and pastes without hassle.
Another thing about this product is its easy-to-clean design with a damp cloth. This round shaped model is built with stoneware for durability’s sake.
- Easy to clean
- Beautiful utensil
- Available in different color options
- Solid and heavy
- Not very durable
Top 6 – Home Basics Bamboo Mortar and Pestle
For those looking to purchase the best bamboo mortar and pestle, Home Basics Mortar and Pestle is the way to go. This utensil is designed to crush fresh herbs and all the ingredients, Which offers you freshener flavors.
Another amazing thing about this product is its bamboo construction. This unique construction makes this utensil appear natural and simplistic. With its 4.5-inch by 4.5-inch, this tool is ideal for cocktails and cooking.
- Ideal for teas and cocktails
- Solid thick bamboo construction
- Easy to clean
- Ideal for people with small hands
- The handle might be too small for some users
Top 7 – Laevo Marble Mortar and Pestle Set
The Laevo Mortar and Pestle Set boast of being the only products on the market capable of separating the smell and flavors of your ingredients. However, according to several reviews that are shown that this product does live up to its hype.
This set features a unique design for the sake of durability and convenience. Also, it was designed to allow users crush and grind herbs, salt, spice, coffee beans, and pills.also it comes in handy for creating amazing dishes like dressing, dips, and paste curry guacamole, seasonings, and more.
Even better, a silicone lid and wooden spoon come free with this purchase. This will keep your countertop protected and fresh dish longer. This set is eco-friendly and all-natural, crafted with longevity in mind.
This 100% solid stone is durable, stable, and heavyweight. Plus, it comes with a risk-free warranty to protect customers from any issues.
- Easy to use
- Includes silicone lid/placemat and wooden spoon
- Comes with a risk-free warranty
- Convenient to use
- Poor quality control
Top 8 – Cilio Granite David 3-1/2″ Tall Mortar and Pestle: Choice by America’s test Kitchen
This is another model crafted from uncoated granite, making it ideal for crushing or grinding herbs and spices. This unit is designed to crush or grind whole herbs and spices easily and quickly. Thereby releasing essential oils and full flavor.
The untread interior comes with a coarse finish for effective grinding. And, the tall walls prevent the ingredients from escaping.
The pestle is a bit heavy and 3.5-inch tall, yet it offers a strong grip and comfortable hold. In terms of cleaning, this product is not dishwasher safe, but easy to hold.
- Comfortable to hold
- Tall walls to keep ingredients in
- Coarse untreated inside to facilitate grinding
- Effective grinding
- Strong smelling scent
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT BUYING AND USING MORTAR AND PESTEL?
Consider what you intend to make. Small mortars (1-cup capacity and under) are ideal for grinding spices, but for making dips and sauces like guacamole, salsa, and pesto, you’ll need at least a 2-cup capacity. Make sure the pestle has a broad enough bottom to grind and pulverize ingredients; otherwise, it will just push the ingredients around the bowl.
Also, check the measurements to see if the pestle will be long enough to prevent your knuckles from scraping the edge of the mortar. Consider the storage size as well, as well as whether you intend to keep it on the counter or in a cupboard.
Mortars and pestles are available in granite, marble, and stainless steel. Stone mortars with abrasive interiors, such as those made of granite or rough-hewn marble, proved to be the most effective.
Mortars and pestles are essentially a sturdy bowl and pounding tool that come in a variety of depths and lengths. Molcajetes are essentially Mexican mortars and pestles, with the molcajete serving as the mortar and the tejolote serving as the pestle, though they aren’t as deep as most mortars. They are better suited to making guacamole and salsa than pesto.
Many of the granite models we tested required seasoning before use, which entailed grinding white rice to a powder and then grinding garlic cloves with a seasoning mixture of salt, cumin, coriander, and pepper. Seasoning aids in the removal of any stone or grit particles from the porous surface so that they do not enter your food when you first use it.
A couple of models also required letting the mixture sit overnight before washing and using it for the first time. If you want to use your mortar and pestle right away, choose one that doesn’t need to be seasoned.
THE BEST MATERIAL FOR MORTAR AND PESTEL
The mortar and pestle will always come in contact with your food, so it is vital that you consider the material used in crafting these latest utensils.
ceramic models perform an excellent job at grinding spices. But keep in mind that they are fragile, and maintenance can be a hassle.
When it comes to sturdiness, Wood mortise, and pestle is a decent option. Sadly they are a bit porous on the inside, which often results in stains. Also, they are likely to retain your food odors since residue will be stuck in the wooden wall.
Stone options are durable and studied and make finely ground ingredients. But it has to be done meticulously else your paste may contain sand particles.
4. Stainless steel
This material, stainless steel, top recommendation since it does not contaminate your food, bend, or break. Also, it is easy to clean and very hygienic to use.
TYPES OF MORTAR AND PESTEL
- Alumina Mortar And Pestles
- Glass Mortar And Pestles
- Agate Mortar And Pestles
- Ceramic Mortar And Pestles
- Wood Mortar And Pestles
- Marble Mortar And Pestles
- Granite Mortar And Pestles
We have compared 8 America’s test kitchen mortar and pestle, so which model have you decided to opt for? But for me, ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set comes out a winner with its impressive durability, ergonomic handle, and ease of use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Marble and granite mortars and pestles are long-lasting and nonporous, providing a very hard base for grinding spices, seeds, and nuts—as well as a smooth surface for cleaning. Because there is no texture in the bowl, you can easily collect and use every speck of spice without losing any to crevices or cracks.
Porcelain, with its smooth finish, is an excellent choice for grinding wet or oily ingredients, as those that turn to powder are difficult to extract from the mortar. Modern mortar and pestle sets are made of metals such as stainless steel.
Mortar selection should also take into account properties such as durability, bond strength, flexibility, moisture resistance, and ease of use. Each job necessitates a mortar that balances work requirements with project performance. Other details are also crucial.