Which marble mortar and pestle is best?
You don’t have to go out to a restaurant to get the fresh, tableside guacamole that you love. With a marble mortar and pestle, this delicious snack is available anytime you want it, in the convenience of your own home. Pestles are used to press and grind herbs, spices and vegetable or fruits in a mortar — a deep bowl shaped for grinding. This ancient kitchen tool is just as useful today as it was in kitchens thousands of years ago. The best marble mortar and pestle can make kitchen tasks a breeze.
For good looks and versatility, the Mortar and Pestle Set (Double-Sided) is a good choice.
What to know before you buy a marble mortar and pestle
For small-batch dips and sauces and single servings of spices, a small marble mortar and pestle will suit your needs. These smaller versions feature a mortar that is 6 inches across (and can be either shallow or deep).
For larger batches of guacamole or pesto (or for grinding large spices and herbs) a deeper, wider mortar might work better. Eight-inch mortars can handle higher volumes of herbs and spices.
You might want a larger mortar and pestle in the future, so keep that in mind when you are selecting the best marble mortar and pestle for you.
The design of the base affects how stable your mortar and pestle is. Some have wide, short bases that give the mortar weight and stability, while others are perched on three or four legs.
Marble makes both types of base substantial, but a solid base is definitely better for vigorous grinding. Some people prefer the look of a legged base for serving, but a legged base is less common in marble mortar and pestles.
A marble mortar and pestle is classic, but these are available in other materials, too. Mortar and pestles can be found in a wide range of materials, including granite, wood, plastic and stainless steel.
What to look for in a quality marble mortar and pestle
An extra pestle
For the sake of convenience, an extra pestle allows you to change the grind while using the same bowl. Maybe you want to crack spices, crush garlic and mash fruit. Changing the size of the pestle can help you accomplish these actions more efficiently.
Shallow mortars are great for serving dips (easy to dip a chip into), but in terms of using your mortar and pestle to make those dips, high sides will serve you better. A deeper mortar means less chance that food will spill over the top as you cook.
Pre-seasoning is necessary to smooth rough edges in the mortar. But some marble mortar and pestles come pre-seasoned and ready for use.
How much you can expect to spend on a marble mortar and pestle
A top-quality marble mortar and pestle can cost $50 or more. If you’re just starting out and want a more basic model, you’ll get a solid kitchen tool for right around $30.
Marble mortar and pestle FAQ
How do you season a marble mortar and pestle?
A. Seasoning a mortar and pestle before the first use is crucial. This seals the marble so that bits of food cannot get trapped.
To season, rinse and dry your mortar. Add a small handful of rice and use your pestle to grind it to a powder. Make sure that you grind up the sides, too. Dump the powder out, then repeat as necessary until the inside of the mortar is smooth. Rinse again and allow to dry. Re-season your mortar whenever you notice food stains or smells lingering.
Some marble mortar and pestles do not require seasoning before the first use. Check with the manufacturer to see if yours is pre-seasoned.
What can you make with a marble mortar and pestle?
A. A marble mortar and pestle can make everything from pesto to guacamole, but consider using it for other tasks, too. These include:
- Grinding medications (whether for people or pets, clean out completely after use)
- Grinding fresh spices for baking
- Creating fresh spice blends
- Grinding coffee
- Chopping nuts
- Making cocktail bitters
- Processing herbs for medicinal use
- Making hummus
How do you clean a marble mortar and pestle?
A. Marble is a natural stone that will, over time, absorb the flavors of the food made inside it. To avoid this, rinse your marble mortar and pestle thoroughly after each use and allow it to dry. If you notice lingering odors or food stains on either your marble mortar or pestle, re-season with dry rice as directed above.
Avoid using any type of soap in your marble mortar or pestle. Do not place it in the dishwasher.
What’s the best marble mortar and pestle to buy?
Top marble mortar and pestle
What you need to know: This mortar and pestle looks good and works even better.
What you’ll love: The highlight of this set is a double-sided pestle that can be used for different grinding. It comes with a nonskid silicone mat and a wooden spoon for serving.
What you should consider: It’s too small for a large amount of herbs.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top marble mortar and pestle for the money
What you need to know: Home cooks will get a lot of use out of this entry-level set.
What you’ll love: This comes with a nonskid silicone mat and spoon. The mortar holds 1 ½ cups of food and is made of all-natural marble.
What you should consider: This marble mortar and pestle needs to be seasoned before use.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This large-capacity mortar and pestle is perfect for both cooking and serving.
What you’ll love: The 8-inch marble bowl is unpolished inside for better grinding. The bowl is large, but the overall design is sleek and classic.
What you should consider: It’s heavy (8 pounds).
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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