You may be wondering why you should use a separate mortar and pestle to grind spices and roots when an electric grinder does the job. A grinder can grind spices well, but it may not bring out the actual aroma and flavor of spices the way a mortar and pestle can. With a mortar and pestle, it is like giving special attention to the spices and herbs, and in return, they give the best color, fragrance, and taste to your food.
Used for over centuries, a granite mortar and pestle set is considered one of the most reliable options because of its high strength. Spices or nuts ground in a mortar form a very fine powder or paste. There are all kinds of mortar available out there, but only the right kind can give you the best possible powder or paste. Here are 15 best mortars and pestles available online.
15 Best Mortars
This set is made of unpolished granite that makes grinding and powdering easy and quick. It comes in a good size of around 6in in diameter and offers two-cup capacity, eliminating the need for frequent refills. The pestle is designed to give you a firm grip while working with it. You can easily make pesto, salsa, guacamole, and sauces in it.
- Equipped with self-adhesive, anti-scratch protection at the base
- Heavy granite does not slip on the kitchen top easily
- Minimal-porosity granite stone does not absorb flavors and odors
- Easy to wash clean with plain water
- Pestle may lack durability
- Could be a tad heavy for some buyers
Made of premium quality porcelain, this mortar and pestle set can help you grind your peppercorns, nuts, cinnamon, etc., into a fine paste or powder. You can also use it to pulverize medicinal tablets that are hard to swallow. The mortar color is a classy white that can add to the beauty of your kitchen décor. Once you have used it, you can effortlessly rinse it with water.
- Sturdy build
- Good value for money
- Works well as a pill crusher
- Washable in a dishwasher
- Mortar’s straight sides and flat bottom can make contact with the rounded pestle ineffective
- Size may be smaller than expected
This marble mortar and pestle set comes in a variety of patterns. The mortar is 3-inch tall, while the pestle measures 4in. Its beautiful design makes it eye-catching. It comes with a polished outer surface, while its interior and the grinding end of the pestle remain unpolished for better friction, so items grind into the finest of paste or powder. Cleaning it is quick and easy because you only need a damp cloth to wipe it clear of anything stuck to it.
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Absence of enamel on the inside makes it safe to use
- Suitable for crushing and grinding small quantities of food items
- Rubber pad on the base enables stable use
- Mortar may not be very sturdy
- Tends to develop scratches easily
Known for its rustproof design, this stainless steel mortar and pestle set does not get impacted due to acidic food. It is corrosion-proof and comes with a base padding that keeps the mortar in place when in use. It does not retain residue or odor and can be easily cleaned with just regular tap water.
- Easy to clean and maintain for years
- Translucent lid prevents food from spilling out when being grinded
- Package includes a brush to clean pestle and mortar
- Does not contain lead or BPA
- Size can be a little small to grind larger quantities of ingredients
- Plastic lid may not be very durable
What features does the best mortar pestle set have? Well, features similar to this set. It comes with three tiny feet, a wide base, and a three-cup capacity for food preparation. The interior is unpolished to help bring out the best flavor of the crushed items. Its curvy pestle gives you a comfortable and firm grip to grind easily.
- Legs come with felt pad for a firm grip when being used
- Brand offers a free avocado cutter with the set
- Easy to wash clean with water
- Not washable in a dishwasher
- Mortar bowl lacks depth
A stone mortar and pestle set as attractive as this one can make anyone want to start grinding spices and herbs. Weighing around five pounds, this solid granite mortar and pestle can grind dry and wet ingredients easily. Cleaning it is very simple. All you need is some hot water and a cleaning brush that will clear it of any smell or food particles.
- Durable build lasts long even after frequent use
- Wide mortar makes grinding easy and convenient
- Tiny size makes it easy to accommodate on the kitchen top
- Reasonably priced for a quality product
- Needs to be seasoned before using it for the first time
- Food can have granite debris if not seasoned properly
Brought to you from Thailand, this mortar and pestle set is handmade and does not chip or crack. The stone mortar is made from a single block of extremely hard granite. It offers a capacity of 3+ cups. At 15lb, it is a heavyweight bowl. The grey color makes it pleasing to the eyes, so you can flaunt it on your kitchen top.
- Mentioned as the best mortar and pestle in an American magazine in 2007
- Huge size and heavyweight makes grinding easy
- Long-lasting and sturdy build
- Hard stone base tends to scratch the kitchen counter
The pestle can be used on both sides. Cool, isn’t it? It comes with rounded heads on both sides for grinding and crushing. The mortar bowl comes with a deep base and has a capacity of 2.1 cups. Made of natural grey marble, this set can grind and crush spices, herbs, seeds, coffee beans, and so much more. Additionally, the brand offers a free wooden spoon and silicone lid with the set.
- Heavyweight build makes the mortar durable
- Silicone lid can be used as a placemat to protect the kitchen top
- Wooden spoon helps stir and mix ingredients
- Includes a free recipe for guacamole
- Food particles tend to stick to the pestle when grinding
- Mortar is deep but not very wide
Coming straight from Japan, this mortar and pestle set is made of non-porous, solid natural stone that does not absorb oil or food juices. The curved mortar and pestle are designed to crush spices and herbs easily. The wide interior of the mortar ensures the crushed items do not spill out easily. To clean it, all you have to do is wash it with some warm water and let it air dry.
- Attractive rustic design
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Suitable for both dry and wet ingredients
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Base may not be very durable
Here is a two-piece set containing a wooden mortar and matching pestle. Its small size makes crushing tiny seeds, nuts, and spices easy and convenient. The brand offers the same design set in a bigger size too.
- Lightweight body is easy to use
- Does not require to be seasoned before first use
- Easy to clean and maintain
- May not be durable
- Flat pestle makes grinding difficult
Have a look at this wooden mortar and pestle made of Mediterranean olive wood. Its wooden design has a rustic appeal. Placing it on your kitchen counter will add to the beauty of your kitchen. It is made of hardwood that can easily crush food items, reducing them to powder or paste.
- Unique design
- Sturdy build
- One of the best mortar options for gifting
- Not safe to wash in a dishwasher
- Mortar needs to be seasoned before use
Here is a unique mortar and pestle set that is not only functional, but also beautiful to look at. Made of black granite, it comes with a red copper base and an anti-scratch pad to keep your kitchen counter protected. The brand states that grinding in this mortar will cause some granite dust to mix with the ingredients. The granite dust contains 5% potassium that helps the development of cells in our bodies.
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Unpolished mortar interior ensures smooth grinding
- Heavy pestle allows quick and easy crushing
- Thick walls for long-lasting usage
- Set may not be very durable
Mash garlic or dehusk grains, this stainless-steel mortar and pestle set will crush any ingredient with ease. With a height of 8.3cm and a diameter of 12.2cm, it is suitable for crushing small quantities of food items. It is also useful for pulverizing pills and supplements.
- Sturdy build makes it long-lasting
- Does not occupy too much counter space
- Does not contain BPA, lead, or mercury
- Interior lacks grip
- Pestle may be small for the mortar
Available in multiple colors, this stoneware mortar and pestle set can last you a while because it is resistant to chipping and cracking. Its interior and pestle tip come unglazed so grinding food items becomes effortless for you. It can be safely placed in an oven, freezer, or microwave.
- Resistant to scratches and stains
- Suitable for small portions of food items
- Enameled exterior makes it attractive
- Washable in a dishwasher
- Pestle may seem small for some users
- Mortar size may be small for grinding wet ingredients
The eye-pleasing design and great functionality are why this porcelain mortar and pestle set is on this list. Use it to crush both dry and wet ingredients, and it will do the job well. Its unpolished interior helps make grinding an easy process. Its nonporous reinforced unbreakable ceramic bottom can withstand the pressure of crushing.
- Comes with a bamboo placemat for stable use
- Wooden placemat can be used as a covering lid when not in use
- Pestle comes with a bamboo handle for a firm grip
- Porcelain does not absorb odor or bacteria
- Reasonably priced
- Pestle gets detached from the bamboo handle easily
How To Choose The Right Mortar?
A great mortar has certain features that make it indispensable. Below are the features you can look for in a mortar.
- Material: If you look at the list above, you will notice that mortar and pestle sets are available in various kinds of materials such as granite, marble, wood, stainless steel, and porcelain. Each of these materials come with their advantages and disadvantages. What you need to look for is a mortar with a hard surface along with a pestle set that provides good friction, so the ingredients are crushed effectively and also remain in the bowl.
- Weight: Mortars and pestle sets are available in various weights. Stainless steel or wooden mortars and pestles are lighter compared to stone or granite mortars and pestles. Depending on your comfort, consider the weight of the set before buying.
- Surface: Avoid pestles and mortars with a flat surface because it does not give you maximum friction, and it is also not great at grinding ingredients. Also, ensure that the interior of the mortar and even the tip of the pestle is unpolished as it will have better abrasive quality.
- Seasoning: Mortars made of stone or granite usually need to be seasoned before they are used. If they are not seasoned properly, the granite debris will likely enter the crushed powder or paste.
- Porosity: Do not buy mortars that are made of porous material because such mortars will absorb the fragrance and flavor of the ingredients and leak into the next items crushed in the mortar.
A mortar and pestle may be a primitive tool, but it is surely a crucial tool that has been used for centuries for crushing food ingredients and medicines. Mortars made of good-quality materials can help enhance the taste of your food while allowing your body to absorb ingredients better. We suggest you go for a mortar that is completely safe to use and is highly functional. We hope this list helps you find a good mortar and pestle set.