Best Mortar And Pestle For Everyday Use
There’s nothing like a good quality mortar and pestle to help extract flavors from spices and herbs in the kitchen. In fact, more often than not, we underestimate the power, and utility, of a good set of mortar and pestle. The pounding action in a mortar (bowl) with the help of its pestle, actually is the best way to release flavors in everyday ingredients like ginger, garlic, cumin and coriander seeds, and black peppercorns. But how do you know what type of Mortar & Pestle is best for everyday use?
We reviewed multiple kinds of mortar and pestles – these were different in shape, size, weight, and material too.
We tried ones made of stainless steel, wood, aluminum, marble, and granite. And after hours of crushing dry spices like pepper, and cloves, and grinding cooking essentials like ginger and garlic, we believe a Marble Mortar and Pestle, with an anti-skid base and mouth equal to or more than 4 inches is the Best Mortar & Pestle For Everyday Use.
Watch: What to look for while buying mortar and pestle for everyday use
Mishry TOP Picks based on our review
1. IKARUS Marble Mortar and Pestle Set for Kitchen (4-inches, Green)
A kitchen essential mortar and pestle made out of natural green stone. Mortar – diameter 4 inch, height 2.5 inch.
MRP: Rs 599*
*Price at the time of review
2. NikkisPride Marble Stone Mortar and Pestle Set
NikkisPride Marble Stone Mortar and Pestle Set As Spice, Medicine Grinder Masher (Green)
Size of mortar: diameter 10 cm, height 7 cm, weight 800 g and size of pestle: diameter 3 cm, height 14 cm, weight 156 g.
Use it for grinding and crushing herbs, spices or medicine. It is non-porous, natural and very durable
3. Kleo 6″ Wide (Big Size) White Natural Marble Stone Mortar And Pestle Set
Kleo 6″ Wide (Big Size) White Natural Marble Stone Mortar And Pestle Set As Spice, Medicine Grinder
Dimensions: Size – 15 cm Diameter x 7.5 cm Height Weight – 1500 grams.
Carved out of a single piece of stone. Easy to maintain/clean, dishwasher safe and won’t absorb food odors or stains.
4. Pure Source India Stone Mortar and Pestle Set (Green)
Pure Source India Stone Mortar and Pestle Set (Green)
Diameter 15 cm and height 8 cm.
This Pure Source India Mortar 7 Pestle is made from ultra-durable natural stone, this mortar & pestle extracts essential oils from herbs and spices.
Our Review Process
1. Benefits Of A Mortar And Pestle
Mixer-grinders can’t really do what a mortar and pestle can, neither can fancy food processors. Grinders can chop, and make a fine paste. But if you want to simply pound a spoonful of freshly roasted cumin seeds (jeera) or bruise a small piece of ginger before adding it to masala chai, then there’s nothing better than a sturdy mortar and pestle to do it.
Yes, they are heavy and need some extra effort, but totally worth it. And, on most days, very convenient and handy.
2. Who This Review Is For?
The purpose of this review is to look for a good set of mortar and pestle, for every day, home use. So we were looking for a mortar and pestle hygienic, effective and handy set to do routine tasks like mixing, grinding, crushing ingredients into paste or powder. We were looking for a small-size mortar and pestle which would be good for a family of 4-6 members.
This review would not serve those who routinely cook or host large gatherings and need a mortar and pestle for making dips/sauces in large quantities. Thai mortar pestle sets that are big in size, very heavy, also steeply-priced are usually the ones that passionate cooks and recipe aficionados.
3. What Factors Matter?
1. What Is The Mortar And Pestle Made Of?
The bowl (mortar) and the pestle come into direct contact with the ingredients we crush and grind, making it imperative that the material is safe and hygienic for use.
2. Size and shape of the mortar
Mortar should be deep and round. A peculiar issue with Cylindrical mortars is that small bits of food tend to get stuck near the inside edges and you have to keep scraping and pulling them to the center for even grinding. A round, and deep bowl allows the pestle to reach every bit uniformly.
3. Size of the pestle
First, you want the pestle to have some weight, a lightweight pestle will mean you have to put in extra effort and time to get the job done. Secondly, a thin pestle, with a small head, also means you spend more time pounding away, without the desired results. Chunks of food that come into contact with the out periphery of the pestle-head tend to jump away; this is not the case when the pestle itself has a wider head, allowing for more surface area to come into contact with ginger/garlic/jeera in the mortar.
4. Texture surface of a mortar
Smooth is not good, in this context. You want a slightly rough surface for optimum grinding.
5. Durability, Weight:
A light mortar and pestle, like one made of light wood, maybe the wrong one for the purpose of dry grinding dry spices like peppercorns and cardamoms.
Durability too matters. We don’t buy these very often, so you want something that lasts for long. In fact, a good mortar and pestles get better with age.
How did the mortar and pestles we tested fare?
Even though wooden mortar and pestle sets are available in the market these arent really fit for everyday use. if the surface is shiny, you can be sure some sort of chemical has been used to polish the exterior. How this chemical will react when it comes into contact with dry and wet ingredients is hard to tell.
Moreover, we observed that wood tends to absorb liquids which may lead to bacterial growth.
Mortar and pestle are widely used now primarily for their cost. But these are very lightweight and unable to perform the basic task pounding and griding well. It took us extra effort and time to crush the same amount of garlic in an aluminum mortar and pestle.
3. Stainless Steel
SS mortar and pestle are also very popular and available in different sizes. This material does not lech and is safe for grinding wet ingredients as well. SS mortar and pestle are not light and provide a heavy base and pestle that work quite well.
The only issue with a stainless steel set is the smooth texture. The pounding and grinding action, especially for wet ingredients like ginger, green chilies took more time and effort.
Granite too has all the good qualities of a stainless steel mortar and pestle, and it also suffers from the same issue. With a smooth surface, granite mortar and pestles do not offer enough friction.
A marble mortar and pestle with a deep bowl, the anti-skid base worked best during our testing. Marble is heavy so this gives the pestle enough load to pound through spices and herbs. Marble pestles are thicker than steel or aluminum ones, providing more surface area for crushing. The bowl itself is not smooth, unlike granite or steel, making grinding/crushing easier.
Across all our parameters of material, size, shape, durability, and weight, we found that a marble mortar and pestle (4 inch and above) is the best type to use every day in a home kitchen for a family of 4-6.
If you do agree with our review, please give it a thumbs up! If you don’t, please tell us why! And, which one is your favorite from this list.
Food & Beverage is a constantly evolving segment with new categories of products being launched daily. Our endeavor here is to help shoppers buy better. Our reviews are unbiased and all samples used during the reviews were paid for by us. Read our entire ethics statement here.