Grinding is a crucial part of life. And I’m not only talking about working hard at your dreams to achieve some sort of extreme success— I’m saying using the best mortar and pestle for your cooking and, crucially, choosing the mortar and pestle best material is essential to eating good food. What’s the big deal with using this set of tools?
Why do you need to use a mortar and pestle when you could stick to alternatives (like a processor or just your kitchen knife)? Easy: there is no actual substitute for what the mortar and pestle do to your food. These tools, as opposed to knives and food processors that cut, grind.
And grinding or crushing ingredients does something very special for their taste: it enhances flavors and scents by releasing the essential oils that are trapped inside. This is something other tools (such as your knife) don’t do. So, yes, even if it looks old-fashioned and bulky, the mortar and pestle set you’re thinking of getting is totally worth it! As a pro cook, I stand by it!
Table of Contents
- Best Mortar and Pestle Sets Review Guide
- Comparison of 10 Best Mortar and Pestle in 2021
- Top 10 Best Mortar and Pestle Reviews in 2021
- 1. Cole & Mason Granite Mortar and Pestle
- 2. RSVP White Marble Mortar and Pestle
- 3. eBoTrade Dirct Stainless Steel Mortar and Pestle
- 4. StainlessLUX 75552 Brushed Mortar and Pestle Set
- 5. ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set
- 6. JAMIE OLIVER Mortar and Pestle
- 7. HIC Mortar and Pestle Herb Grinder Pill Crusher Set
- 8. Fox Run 3822 Marble Mortar and Pestle
- 9. Ironwood Gourmet 28341 Olmec Mortar and Pestle
- 10. EZ-Grip Silicone & Porcelain Mortar and Pestle
- Materials: What’s the Big Deal?
- How to Maximize the Use of Your Mortar and Pestle Set
- Happy Grinding!
Best Mortar and Pestle Sets Review Guide
In my many kitchen years, I have come across countless sets of mortar and pestle. Some were good, some were terrible, but there have been some that truly stand out and deserve the limelight and a standing ovation for adding so much great flavor to my meals!
That’s why I’ve compiled a full list of the 10 very best mortar and pestle products you can get your hands on. Check out this table with the basic info on mortar and pestle sets and, if a product catches your eye, scroll down to find everything I liked (and, perhaps, did not like) about it.
Comparison of 10 Best Mortar and Pestle in 2021
These are the specifics of each of the mortar and pestle I have reviewed. Pay close attention!
|Cole Mason||Check Price ➜|
|RSVP International||Check Price ➜|
|eBoTrade Direct||Check Price ➜|
|StainlessLUX||Check Price ➜|
|ChefSofi||Check Price ➜|
|Jamie Oliver||Check Price ➜|
|HIC Harold Import Co.||Check Price ➜|
|Fox Run||Check Price ➜|
|Ironwood Gourmet||Check Price ➜|
|Cooler Kitchen||Check Price ➜|
Top 10 Best Mortar and Pestle Reviews in 2021
Got it? Good! Now, on to everything I liked and did not like when trying out these top-end, best mortar and pestle products.
Cole and Mason has created a pretty durable, stylish set that is one of the main competitors for the best granite mortar and pestle product. It’s black and spotted, rigged on the outside, and with a bowl 7 inches wide.
This product has the perfect balance between durability and (non-)permeability (as long as you seal it correctly) which allows you to grind different ingredients without much residue. Since the inside is polished, you can clean this easily. It is also satisfyingly large and heavy, not suitable for those who are looking for something lightweight.
- Well-balanced product
- Easy cleanup
- Can hold up to 4 cups of water: impressive!
- It might be too large and heavy for some users
This small set of marble mortar and pestle is great for many functions and tasks around the kitchen. I’ve used it to crush pills and spices without any issue— just make sure to clean it with a damp cloth in between uses.
What is truly unique about this set of mortar and pestle is that the pattern in the natural marble varies from set to set, which gives you a pretty, unique design of your own. The interior is unpolished, which makes it easier for the material to ‘grab’ the ingredients and grind them well. Although, it can also be a bad thing, as it makes the bowl harder to clean up.
- Each set has a unique marble pattern
- Manageable size, easy to use
- Cleanup not so easy
A contender for the mortar and pestle best material is stainless steel, which makes this eBo product one of your best accessible options. As it has a proportionately deep bowl, this set is good as the best mortar and pestle for grinding spices and other small ingredients.
Because it’s steel, it’s quite light when compared to other sets, which makes for easier (if somewhat less pleasing) handling. Also, as long as you take care of it properly, it will last. Steel products have been known to stay usable for decades! Also, the steel interior holds no residue from previous grindings.
- Made of lightweight steel
- Lasts for a really long time
- The aesthetics are lacking
If you’re looking for something small and of good quality, you can’t go wrong with this StainlessLUX grinder. Its stainless steel construction is carefully designed, making it durable and good at what it does.
I love that it has a base that stops it from sliding around. So many other sets tend to have that problem! The quality of the materials and the brushing process do show in the finished product.
- Convenient base
- High-quality product
- At least half of the pestle is completely solid
- The bowl is too small for big batches
Back to the dark, solid granite! If a book witch owned a best mortar and pestle, it would be this one. It looks fanciful and as a lovely shape that’s both tough and attractive. Its 5.5 inches are completely solid. Tough as nails, it can crush the hardest ingredients without showing wear.
- Can be used to grind very hard ingredients
- Aesthetically pleasing
- The weight and fit of the pestle are perfect
- You’ve got to invest a little time in sealing it before you start using it
When a famous cook makes a specialized mortar and pestle, you obviously try it out. And this Jamie Oliver set doesn’t disappoint: it showcases amazing quality and an attention to detail in the design that are hard to equal. Maybe the best mortar and pestle for guacamole. There, I’ve said it.
The top-notch, unpolished granite gives this product a rough, sensuous feel. The capacity is also quite standard, not too big, but enough for most of my needs.
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Holds two cups of ingredient
- The texture makes for easy, fast grinding
- Very heavy
Simplicity and ease of use are the main attractions this HIC mortar and pestle set offers. Very small and light, it won’t do for big amounts of preparation and is less durable than other materials: it just depends on what you need it for.
I really like this small, light set as it is easy to move around. There’s no seasoning to be done, as the porcelain is glazed. Also, since porcelain doesn’t retain residue, it’s god for grinding pills and remedies. Additionally, it is dishwasher safe!
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- Extremely manageable
- Seasoning is not needed
- Good for medicinal use
- Very easy to clean
- Not durable enough
Green, tough, and lovely. This Fox Run mortar and pestle set might be the best type of mortar and pestle. It’s moderate in size— just 3 inches in diameter— and not as heavy as to prevent natural handling.
Its depth-to-width ratio makes it perfect for crushing and grinding small ingredients without sliding around and spilling out. Although, you need to spend some time to diligently seal it. Otherwise, there might be green marble powder in your meal!
- Convenient design prevent spillage
- The color is very attractive
- You can feel the good quality of the material as you hold it
- Needs proper sealing
When you think ‘ceremonial mortar and pestle’, this Ironwood set pops to mind. Designed in Acacia wood and inspired by ancient, pre-columbian Olmec models, this grinder looks polished and decorative, besides being useful.
It is the perfect balance between decor and practicality, this acacia wood design is comfortable to use. You just need to hand wash it. However, let me teach you the one trick that will help you make the most of this set!
If you use it the right way (aka always for the same preparation), it will store and enhance the flavor the more you use it. The wood material tends to absorb and store residue in its pores. Get this product if you’re only ever going to use it for just one ingredient.
- Comfortable to hold and use
- Clean-up isn’t complicated
- Enhances flavor
- Should only be used for one preparation
This product is a good option for most people, while remaining in the realm of porcelain. The proportions and ergonomic design of this set makes it easy to use, which is especially important for people suffering from arthritis or other diseases that limit hand mobility.
What makes it attractive to me is the detachable anti-slip mortar base and pestle handle, both made of silicone. Using it to grind is just a really pleasant, satisfying experience. It’s also quite thick for a porcelain set.
- Ergonomic design
- Dishwasher safe
- Well-designed size and proportions
- Its durability is still nowhere near stone or steel
Materials: What’s the Big Deal?
Mortar and pestle sets are found in cultures throughout the world. Sometimes they have different names (like molcajete) and they’re made of diverse materials. The main requirement is for the material to be durable, able to grind the substance, and not easy to crack!
So, which are the best materials for your mortar and pestle? It depends on what you’re planning to use it for, and how much you are going to use it:
- Granite: Incredibly solid and sturdy, granite makes for a hefty, durable product. This is perfect for Asian food, and its coarse surface grinds all sorts of materials. However, granite is porous, so it absorbs the substances you put in and can be hard to get completely clean.
- Marble: The surface of marble is incredibly smooth, which makes it tops for crushing spices but less so for those ingredients that move around a lot. While pretty durable, it is even more porous than granite.
- Porcelain: This material is easier to clean than stone, but also more fragile— that means no pounding or rough handling. This kind of mortar and pestle set is lighter (easier to use) and less porous than stone.
- Stainless steel: This material is the most durable of all (you will not get stone chips in your guacamole) and easier to clean than stone— though less so than porcelain. The negatives— you will not get the powdery finish of traditional best mortar and pestle, because the surface of the bowl is too slick.
- Wood: This mortar and pestle is light and also traditional. Grinds ingredients quite easily, but is the most porous of all: you only want this set if you are going to use it always for the same ingredients.
How to Maximize the Use of Your Mortar and Pestle Set
With traditional mortars (rock or wood), you have to prep before use. This means seasoning the bowl— ‘sealing’ the surface so you won’t get bits and pieces of the material in the ingredients you grind.
There are lots of techniques to do it, but one of the usual ones (for rock sets) is to just rinse it until you don’t see as much debris coming off. Then, grind uncooked white rice with a bit of water until it is a spread-out grey paste (yes, yuck!). Rinse and repeat until you get white paste. Yay!
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So, now you have everything you need to choose the very best mortar and pestle product for yourself. Materials, uses, how easy it is to clean— it all comes down with just how comfortable you feel with it, so trying can’t hurt. So, give it your best shot, relax, and enjoy your home-ground meals with those you love— no pressure!