6 Ideas for the Best Mortar and Pestle

A best mortar and pestle is a great idea for a kitchen tool that you don’t need, but once you have one and start using it, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. The mortar and pestle have been used in the scientific field for centuries and are an excellent tool for grinding and mixing ingredients in the kitchen. Not only are they used in science, but they were also our first ancient tool for grinding things into a pulp. For many people, the feeling of taking a granite pestle in their hand and pulverizing things.

Mortar & Pestles are made of various materials and come in multiple shapes and sizes. A wood mortar and pestle is a common material. However, most people prefer stone, marble, granite, ceramic, cast iron, Japanese earthenware, and volcanic rock.

Before buying the best mortar and pestle, knowing what you will use it for is essential.  You want it to be of a material that can handle whatever ingredients you intend on crushing in it as well as being easy to clean. You will also need to learn how to clean a mortar and pestle. Most of them require specific care. The best mortar and pestle will be very durable, effective for grinding your spices, herbs, nuts, and other ingredients.

Remember, if you cook a variety of cuisines with differing spices, then it’s best to dedicate one mortar and pestle for each flavor profile. Meaning if you use your mortar and pestle for gremolata (parsley, lemon rind, garlic), then perhaps get a second one for curry spices.

granite one of the best mortar and pestle for thai cooking
A granite mortar and pestle – great for mashing and grinding just about anything!

Our Top Mortar and Pestle Picks:

#1

Gorilla Grip Heavy Dut, Granite Mortar, and Pestle Set

Gorilla Grip 100% Granite Slip Resistant Mortar and Pestle Set, Stone Guacamole Spice Grinder Bowls, Large Molcajete for Mexican Salsa Avocado Taco Mix Bowl, Kitchen Cooking Accessories, 1.5 Cup, Gray
  • BUILT GORILLA GRIP TOUGH: the last mortar and pestle you will ever buy, the Gorilla Grip Mortar and Pestle is ultra durable and built tough; featuring a heavy duty grinding pestle that crushes and mashes ingredients effortlessly, the mortar and pestle is ultra durable, and scratch resistant; its heavy base helps keep it in place and resist slipping and sliding, even while crushing the heaviest of ingredients
  • 100 PERCENT NATURAL GRANITE: Gorilla Grip granite is sourced from natural granite mines, then handcrafted with care; granite is cut, shaped and polished into the mortar and pestle; natural granite has been used for generations due to its natural durability and long lasting use; no more heavy mixers or food processors, this granite mortar and pestle takes the effort out of food prep while also helps release the natural flavors of the ingredients
  • GUACAMOLE, SPICES, NUTS, AND MORE: not just for guacamole, the mortar and pestle is a great option for nearly any ingredient; crush up spices and herbs; create homemade pesto by grinding up nuts and seeds; serve up fresh dips; even a great choice for homemade dressings and salsas; impress your entire guest list with the tastiest dishes ever
  • NON SCRATCH BOTTOM: even though the mortar and pestle is heavy duty, it resists scratching countertops and surfaces; it features an optional foam bottom underside that helps protect surfaces, while also helping to prevent slipping and sliding while you prep
  • LARGE CAPACITY MORTAR AND PESTLE IS A PERFECT GIFT: mortar and pestle comes in 3 sizes; large size measures 5.2” x 3.2”, weighs 3.9lbs, and holds up to 1.5 cups of ingredients; a perfect year round gift for anyone who enjoys cooking; beautifully designed so that it can be displayed on any countertop and add to the décor of the kitchen

Here at the chef Anja Wolf headquarters, we have a few contenders for best mortar and pestle; one of them is a granite mortar and pestle. With granite being naturally non-porous, it makes an ideal substance for pulverizing spices.

The granite mortar and pestle are also some of the most durable materials you can get. Yes, if you are looking for something that will last a lifetime, this might be the best mortars and pestles for you.

We spoke to a traveling chef, Chef Luna, who has been cooking for over 30 years. “I have used many different types of mortars and pestles. I have to say that my favorite is the granite mortar and pestle.

The granite mortar and pestles are the best for me because they come from inert material that can’t react with any other chemicals in my kitchen.”

It’s also among the most durable mortars and pestles on the market today. It is very likely they will last for generations, if not hundreds of years.

Manufacturer Specs:

  • It comes in 3 sizes 1.5, 2, and 4 cups
  • 100% granite
  • It comes with a non-slip foam bottom

#2

Mortar and Pestle Set Marble

Sale
Laevo White Marble Mortar and Pestle Set (Large) | Stone Spice Grinder | 2.1 Cup Capacity | 5.5 inch | Reversible | Molcajete Mexicano | Guacamole, Pesto, Spices | Large Mortar & Pestles | Gift Set
  • UNIQUE REVERSIBLE DESIGN FOR ENHANCED FLAVOR SEPARATION: 100% solid marble, heavyweight and stable with large 2.1 cup capacity. You will love our white marble mortar and pestle for the unique reversible design which allows you to separate flavors.
  • EFFICIENT GRINDING AND CRUSHING FOR HEALTHY HOMEMADE MEALS: Make healthy, homemade, nutritious meals with your new mortar and pestle. Unpolished and non-porous interior texture helps with efficient grinding and crushing of spices, herbs, salt, coffee beans and creates dishes like guacamole, curry, pastes, dips, dressings, seasonings and more.
  • THOUGHTFUL GIFT PACKAGE: IDEAL FOR CHEFS AND HOME COOKS: Wonderful gift in great box for any chef or home cook for birthday or housewarming! Get bonus items today - spoon and silicone lid / placemat free with your purchase. Protect your countertop and keep the food fresh longer.
  • ECO-FRIENDLY PREMIUM QUALITY: Save money with this set that will last a lifetime. Invest one time into a natural, eco-friendly, premium quality 100% solid marble stone mortar and pestle set.
  • EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SUPPORT FROM LAEVO GROUP: Outstanding customer experience is our mission at Laevo! We will do our best to ensure that you are happy with your purchase! Should you have any questions or concerns about the product, its delivery or use - kindly contact us by clicking on “Laevo Group” near the “Buy now” button, then “ask a question”.

A marble mortar and pestle have a smoother surface than a granite one. Moreover, many people use it for making pestos, so if you want o to dedicate one tool in your house for pesto making, then definitely get a marble mortar and pestle.

As you can see from the photo, marble mortar and pestles will often stain. If you crush a lot of red chilis or curry spices, they will stain orange.

Another thing I often use my marble mortar and pestle for is chopping hazelnuts. A chocolate chip hazelnut cookie requires coarsely chopped fresh or roasted hazelnuts. Every time I make the cookies, I use my marble mortar and pestle to crush one cup of hazelnuts quickly.

Manufacturer Specs: for the Amazon model

  • It comes with a Slip-resistant pad
  • 100% solid marble stone
  • Capacity is 2.2 cups
marble mortar and pestle on a granite countertop - one idea for a best mortar and pestle
As you can see a marble mortar and pestle will stain.
marble mortar and pestle on a granite countertop in a NYC kitchen
A marble mortar and pestle gets stains.

#3

Granite Mortar and Pestle Set – Best Mortar and Pestle for Guacamole

Sale
Umien™ Granite Mortar and Pestle Set Guacamole Bowl Molcajete 8 Inch - Natural Stone Grinder for Spices, Seasonings, Pastes, Pestos and Guacamole - Extra Bonus Avocado Tool Included…
  • MORTAR AND PESTLE Diameter 8, Capacity 3.5 Cups, Pestle Length 4.25 - A must-have for every household – use granite mortar & pestle set to grind, crush, mash and mix any grain, spice or herb and create stunning dishes, including guacamole, salsas, sauces, recipes & more!
  • MOLCAJETE MEXICANO - Authentic granite design – Our grinding bowl comes in a beautiful color pattern that will match the décor of your kitchen counter as well as your table if you decide to serve food on the bowl!
  • MORTAR AND PESTLE SET - Easy to use, even easier to clean. This mortar & pestle set is very easy to use, hand-wash, maintain and re-use as often as you want!
  • PESTLE AND MORTAR BOWL - Available in various sizes, just choose right for you.
  • GUACAMOLE MORTAR AND PESTLE - We invite you to give our premium mortar & pestle a try and if you are not entirely thrilled with your purchase, simply get in touch with us and we promise to make it right.

One of my favorite restaurants in Brooklyn, NY – Chavela’s – serves their guacamole in a stone guacamole bowl. I’m sure it’s just psychosomatic, but the guacamole tastes better out of the stone bowl. As you can imagine, I love their guacamole so much that I decided to buy one of these granite mortar and pestle sets for my home. If you are looking for a stone guacamole bowl, this one will not disappoint.

It’s good to have a few mortar and pestle sets for different purposes. It’s a good idea to season this best granite mortar and pestle before the first use. Seasoning a granite mortar and pestle requires salt, rice, and sometimes garlic. You are smoothing out the rough edges, so you don’t end up ingesting granite particles.

Manufacturer Specs:

  • Unpolished granite
  • Slip-resistant padded legs
  • 4 cup capacity

#4

Sagler Mortar and Pestle Set – The Best Small Mortar and Pestle Set

Sale
Sagler Mortar and Pestle Set - Small Grinding Bowl Container for Guacamole, Spices, Salsa, Pesto, Herbs - Best Mortar and Pestle Spice and Pills Crusher Set, Holds Up to 2.5oz - 3.75x2’’, Marble Gray
  • Handy Kitchen Tool - Enjoy the rich flavors of fresh ground spices, paste, or herbs with our grinder mortar pestle set. At 3.75x2”, the stone grinder bowl can hold up to 2.5oz of wet or dry ingredients.
  • Crafted to Last - Made of solid marble stone, our molcajete bowl won’t easily break or crack even with frequent use. The spice crusher bowl's interior is unpolished and rough for better grinding.
  • Beautiful Pill Crusher Set - The stone mortar and pestle are all white with gray accents and a smooth outer finish. This grinder set for spice will look gorgeous on your countertop or kitchen shelf.
  • Versatile, Easy To Use - Crush ingredients like garlic and ginger using circular motions and firm pressure. Crack seeds and nuts, add some oil, and grind them into a fine paste. Pulverize large pills into powder!
  • Effortless Cleaning - After use, rinse the marble mortar and pestle with a sponge soaked thoroughly in warm water and let them dry. The guacamole bowl molcajete won’t harbor stains or odors.

The size of this is about that of a medium-sized tomato. It’s good if you have a tiny kitchen but still want the luxury of grinding your spices. When you grind spices, you add a depth of flavor to your food that you just can’t get from pre-ground spices.

Since it’s marble, it will handle crushing hard peppercorns or softer chilis. Since it’s so tiny, you cannot mash large amounts; you’ll have to crush a little bit at a time. The inside is not smooth; however, it’s not as coarse as a granite one. Remember that marble is a little bit more porous than granite and is best if you dedicate one group of spices to the small mortar and pestle.

Manufacturer Specs:

  •  Size is 3.75 inches diameter x 2 inches tall
  • No non-slip bottom
  • 100% marble

#5

Cole & Mason Granite – Best Mortar & Pestle

Sale
Cole & Mason 5.5-inch Granite Mortar & Pestle - Unpolished Stone Mortar & Pestle for Kitchen - Large Grinding Bowl for Herbs and Spices - Grey, 4 pounds
  • Stone Grinding Bowl: The granite mortar and pestle helps you quickly crush spices, herbs and avocado
  • Small Mortar & Pestle: This kitchen accessory has thick walls and holds about 1 cup of spices
  • Stone Grinding Bowl: The unpolished mortar interior and pestle tip offers effective grinding
  • Granite Herb Crusher: Before using, season mortar with white rice, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper
  • Seasoning & Spice Tools: Cole & Mason continues to place seasoning at the heart of the kitchen

Granite is one of the best stones for a mortar and pestle. It’s extremely durable, effective, easy to clean with hot water. However, do not throw granite mortar and pestles into the dishwasher. You will ruin your best granite mortar and pestle. The bowl’s interior is not polished, which helps with pulverizing spices and herbs.

One of the best things about granite is that there are no pores so that it won’t absorb any spices or flavors from your meals. Non-porous is extremely important because the last thing you want is your garlic-infused granite mortar and pestle smell to get on your hazelnuts. If you are a mixologist, you can use this for mottling fruits and herbs for various drink concoctions.

Manufacturer Specs:

  • 100% Granite
  • Its size is 5.12 x 5.12 x 3.15 inches
  • It does not have a non-slip bottom

#6 

Imusa Mortar with Pestle Kitchen Essentials – best wooden mortar and pestle

Imusa Mortar with Pestle Kitchen Essentials, Jumbo, Natural
  • Made of Wood
  • Natural & Authentic Design
  • Easy to Clean
  • Can be used to Grind or Crush
  • Ideal for Spices, Herbs, garlic, and More. Easy to use and handle

Last but not least, we will feature a wooden mortar and pestle. However, we have a complete review guide for choosing the best wood mortar and pestle. It’s important to know about the various types of wood like acacia wood, olive wood, and other hardwoods.

As we mentioned earlier, it’s good to have different mortars for varying purposes. Some people prefer the way a wooden mortar feels in their hands. It’s not as cold to the touch as a stone mortar and pestle. Not only that, but it’s a little lighter and easier to maneuver than granite or marble.

Manufacturer Specs:

  • Solid wood
  • Size – 1.44 x 1.44 x 3.49 inches
  • Does not have a non-slip bottom

#7 

The Best Molcajete

We love this molcajete because it’s an affordable,e authentic one made with volcanic stone. You won’t find a cheap molcajete since people make these mortar and pestles with original basalt rock from a volcano. Having a piece of earthenware from a volcano is out of this world! The lava stone is the best molcajete for grinding salsas, guacamole, or even homemade mole. You can also use it with a wooden pestle instead of a stone one if you’re concerned about damaging the porous volcanic stone interior. Genuinely a unique experience.

It’s large enough to fit five medium HAAS avocados; if you use tiny avocados, you can do 5-10. Perfect for displaying your guacamole on the table!

Manufacturer Specs:

  • 100% volcanic stone
  • 8.5 x 5.2 x 8.5 inches (holds about 5 cups)

What Is A Mortar and Pestle And Why You Need One

A mortar and pestle is a tool for crushing, grinding, or crushing herbs, spicy vegetables, nuts, and fruits into tiny bits. This tool’s working principle is to grind the substances with friction by rolling them between a heavy bowl and pestle.

They are great for creating layers of flavor by using fresh spices, which is an excellent way of flavoring your food. You will be able to discover tastes that you never knew existed and create some fantastic dishes with this kitchen tool.

For centuries people have been using mortar and pestles to crush seeds, herbs, and nuts into pastes or powders to make incredible-tasting dishes. For example, traditionally, Italians make pesto using mortar and pestle.

For centuries in many cultures, they have gotten good use.  However, the mortar and pestle somehow lost their place in modern kitchens, with people opting instead for pre-ground spices or powders.

However, they are making a comeback into modern kitchens because they are becoming more popular to make homemade spice mixes, pestos, salsas, and rubs.

The Most Popular Types of Mortar and Pestles

  • Granite – Granite is an attractive option for anyone looking for a dense, non-porous, coarse mortar and pestle that can quickly grind or mince food.
  • Marble – Marble is not as coarse as granite and tends to stain. However, it makes an excellent hard surface for grinding and mashing various foods.
  • Wood – Wood is more lightweight than stone mortars; how. However, people prefer a wooden mortar and pestle if only mashing light ingredients. Learning how to season a wooden mortar and pestle properly is essential.
  • Volcanic Rock – Mexican Molcajete – Hand carved from basalt rock. Although most mortars and pestles are hand-carved (even the wood ones), you usually get a unique piece of art for your kitchen, no matter what type you choose. Each one is unique.
  • Ceramic – These are great for mashing softer items like fruits for drinks, pestos, and guacamole.
  • Japanese earthenware  – Excellent for mashing tofu with chili paste or softer ingredients. You can also grind seeds, like flaxseeds. One of my number one things to use my best mortar and pestle is to crush flaxseeds and then put them on a piece of toast with butter.

 8 Benefits Of Using A Mortar and Pestle

– Easier to use than a food processor.

– More affordable than commercial equipment.

– Create unique spice blends that will add depth to your meals.

– Easier to clean; just rinse out the pestle and mortar with hot water.

– No BPA or harmful toxins may be found in plastic equipment

– Food retains more nutrients when you grind it yourself rather than buy pre-ground spices.

– Get back in touch with your roots and feel more connected to the earth.

– Enjoy the process of making your spice mixes, pestos, salsas, and rubs!

3 Things To Look For In A Best Mortar and Pestle

– The material of the mortar and pestle. Do you need it to crush complex spices and nuts? If so, you will want to go with granite or heavy marble.

– The size of the mortar and pestle. Are you using it for small or large recipes? How much counter space do you have? If you live in a smaller than average apartment, then make sure to get a small mortar and pestle. We like how the Gorilla Grip granite comes in 3 sizes, which was a substantial reason we chose it as the best mortar and pestle.

– The shape of the mortar and pestle. Some of the best mortar and pestles even come in square shapes. Do you want one with a shallow bowl or a deep bowl?

FAQs for The Best Mortar and Pestle

How safe is it to use a granite mortar and pestle?

Yes, the granite mortar and pestle are safe as long as they do not have a glossy surface. If your granite mortar has a shiny surface, it has been coated with a substance that may or may not be suitable for you. Granite is nonporous, so it won’t absorb the flavors and oils of the items you crush. I would only use unfinished granite mortar and pestles.

Is it okay to put oil in my mortar and pestle?

Yes, you can put oil in your mortar and pestle.  You should just be sure you are not using porous mortar and pestle, such as wood. If you choose to use a porous mortar and pestle for oily things like pestos, then make sure you dedicate it to only pesto making.

What happens if you don’t season a mortar and pestle?

If you do not season your mortar and pestle, you may get sand and grit in your foot. Use the proper methods for tempering your mortar and pestle before the first use. A wood mortar and pestle have different seasoning requirements than a granite mortar and pestle.

Final Thoughts on The Best Mortar and Pestle

Choosing the best mortar and pestle can be as simple as deciding if you want granite or wood. For those looking for an economical substitute to expensive commercial equipment, a granite mortar and pestle might just do the trick! In reality, there are many factors to consider when choosing your perfect set of mortars for crushing ingredients in varying degrees of hardness.

We love the granite mortar and pestles as an all-purpose tool; however, we also use marble and wood for specific purposes.  It depends on personal preference, price range, and goals.

We hope that our website helped you in your search for the best mortar and pestle!