Mortar and pestles might not be the sexiest of kitchen implements, but they actually make a great gift. Since they’re useful in so many ways, they’re also practical. Pestles are ideal for grinding spices or herbs before adding them to your cooking; mortars can be used as the base for making a tasty batch of pesto, hummus, or guacamole. Mortars and pestles can even double as an adorable addition to your living room.
One of the most popular and best-selling mortar and pestle sets is the Set It and Forget It (Stir It Up) set by Setco. Sturdily made from cast iron, they’re also dishwasher safe. A great gift for the foodie in your life, it includes a mortar, pestle, bowl and scoop. The Set It and Forget It set comes in three different styles, so you can pick the set that matches their personality best.
For a more traditional look, the Mortar and Pestle by Prestige is another great option. Made from wood, it’s also made to withstand some wear and tear, as well as dishwasher safe. It also includes a spatula for adding spices instead of using your fingers.
Comparison of the best mortars and pestles
H&S mortar and pestle
In solid granite 16 cm in diameter
Designed for grinding herbs and spices, this solid granite mortar and pestle is ideal for dry or wet mixtures. Polished on the outside, this object is not only aesthetic. It is strong enough to withstand any grinding and last for decades.
Its textured interior allows you to easily grind food thanks to perfect adhesion of the ingredients. Perfectly robust, this object is large enough to offer you great stability during use.
With a diameter of 16 cm (12 cm inside) and 8 cm high (6 cm deep), this mortar is ideal for culinary preparations requiring the grinding of many ingredients. In addition, it is easy to clean and does not require much space for storage.
- Easy to clean
- In solid granite
- Quite heavy
Large enough for a basil pesto for 2 people. You can do it with a food processor, but the ingredients are chopped up and will never taste as good as if they were ground in a mortar. Especially when it comes to pine nuts and fresh basil leaves. Exact dimensions announced and beautiful finish. Read all reviews.
EZ-GRIP Mortar and Pestle
ceramic and silicone
This white mortar and pestle from Cooler Kitchen, with its elegant and refined look, is a modern take on the traditional mortar and pestle. Made of ceramic and silicone, this 12cm device is an excellent choice for grinding the fibers of herbs, grinding grains, spices, nuts, seeds, coffees etc. It can even be used in the preparation of your dishes based on bread crumbs. You can even use it as part of a medical treatment by grinding your medications into it.
Despite less robustness, ceramic is a material that offers undeniable advantages. It does not absorb odors, does not transfer flavors and is very easy to clean. Unlike other materials, you have no chance of finding small pieces of mortar in your preparation.
One of the most remarkable features of this mortar and pestle is the presence of silicone to increase its adhesion to your kitchen worktop while offering you a perfect grip thanks to its non-slip handle.
The Cooler Kitchen is one of the easiest mortars and pestles to clean. It can go directly to the dishwasher but we advise you to wash it by hand.
- Non-slip handle
- Easy maintenance
- Not suitable for ramming, more for grinding
Aesthetic and practical, it is very decorative, moreover, it is out of the question to store it in a cupboard, it is on display in the kitchen. In practice, silicone is pleasant to the touch and the non-slip effect is there. Note that it is more intended to grind than to pound, ceramic is more fragile than stone or wood. Read all reviews.
Tera Mortar and Pestle
Stainless steel is one of the most robust alloys, it offers great resistance, great durability, as well as anti-rust action. Simplicity is always a key factor to consider when buying a mortar and pestle. So you can rely on this product for its ease of use.
The material used does not retain any residue or odor. With this model, you don’t have to worry about the maintenance and cleanliness of your equipment. By its nature, stainless steel is a recommended and food safe material.
The mortar and pestle is easy to clean and the translucent lid prevents spillage while allowing you to watch what you’re doing. Unlike other materials, this model does not chip and therefore has a longer life.
- Easy to clean
- Overflow lid
- Grinding action more suitable for spices, herbs and medical pills
This mortar and pestle is exactly what I was looking for. It is perfect for quickly grinding all kinds of condiments. Thanks to its non-slip pads and its weight, this kitchen equipment is really stable and easy to use. Moreover, it is also very easy to clean. The garlic peeler is a bonus. I highly recommend. Read all reviews.
Silk Route Mortar and Pestle
With a sleek and sober design, this marble mortar and pestle is perfect for grinding herbs, spices and nuts. Marble is a noble and very robust stone that guarantees you use for many years.
While the entire exterior is finely polished, the interior is not to give you more grip with food. With a diameter of 14 cm, this object is relatively compact and heavy for better stability.
Easy to clean by simply wiping or rinsing, this mortar and pestle is completely safe to use with a good grip.
- Noble and robust materials
- Comfortable grip
- Quite heavy
Very good kitchen pestle: size, seat, ease of use; and in white marble for the duration. Read all reviews.
Ezo Home Mortar and Pestle
In granite for double-sided use
Ezo Home offers you a multifunctional mortar and pestle that can be used on both sides. This feature allows you to grind small quantities of spices as well as to make a larger mixture of ingredients using the 5.5 cm depth of the device.
Supplied with a silicone saucer that can be used as a sticky support or as an anti-splash lid, this 14 cm wide mortar and pestle is extremely resistant and can easily serve you for many years.
Made of granite, this object is practical and functional and has the particularity of not absorbing odors.
- Double usage
- Multifunction lid
- In natural stone
I was looking to make a gift to an amateur cook and she told me that good! The size is great, a little heavy but at least it doesn’t move when you use it…especially with the silicone saucer. The 2 sides for making curries or just crushing some leaves is a big plus. Nothing to say, we like it a lot. Read all reviews.
Mortar and pestle
Made of granite with copper plated base
This mortar and pestle is made of granite on a copper plated base. Very stable and robust, its inner face is naturally rough to facilitate the grinding of ingredients. With a diameter of 14 cm, this object is average and can be useful in most situations. Whether it’s grinding nuts, spices or garlic, this mortar and pestle fulfills these functions perfectly.
With an attractive design, this kitchen appliance is easily cleaned with hot water, without soap so as not to deteriorate its properties.
- Compact in natural stone
- Mention of the fragility of the pestle for one person
It’s the perfect mortar and pestle, so beautiful and functional at the same time. Excellent for grinding and crushing without the need for great force. It’s really easy to handle, I use it almost every day. It is very heavy, but so sturdy. I would say it’s more grey/charcoal than black, but still stylish. Easy to wash, so I’m very satisfied – so happy to have chosen this model! Read all reviews.
Mortar and pestle by Emile Henry
Ceramic made in France
Emile Henry is a French brand whose products are all made on national territory. This kitchen specialist offers you a red ceramic mortar and pestle combined with a beechwood handle with a ceramic head.
Ideal for preparing sauces such as aioli or pesto, cocktails or any spicy dish, this kitchen utensil has an interior enamel specially designed to hold food to be crushed. Without the risk of stains or odors, this product will easily overcome all types of textures, whether spices, nuts or herbs.
The compromise found by Emile Henry between lightness and stability of this mortar and pestle provides perfect stability without wobbling when using the device.
- Made in France
- Ease of maintenance
- 10 year warranty
I did not know this brand, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality, does the job well for which it is intended, I was very surprised by the ease of use, very easy to wash, no need for a dishwasher , by hand it is much faster. Dries very quickly. It is happiness. I recommend this mortar from all points of view, it is much better than a wooden mortar. Read all reviews.
Kleo Mortar and Pestle
In green natural stone
This mortar and pestle in green natural stone from Kleo is a very designer kitchen appliance. Useful for crushing or grinding all kinds of spices, it is not porous and therefore easy to maintain and clean. With a diameter of 13 cm for 1.5 kg, the mortar is equipped with a rubber felt under its base in order to limit the impact of blows during crushing while guaranteeing you better stability.
- Easy maintenance, possibility of placing it in the dishwasher
- Higher price compared to other products in the same range
Solid and as pictured. Fast and perfect packaging. Read all reviews.
Mortar and Pestle by Jamie Oliver
In granite, the largest of the selection with 20 cm in diameter
Having a large capacity can be very useful in the development of certain cooking recipes. Due to its ergonomics and its imposing pestle, this Mortar and Pestle from Jamie Oliver is perfect for grinding any food.
Having a granite mortar is good for durability as this stone is very strong and does not break easily. With a thick wall, there is no need to be afraid of crushing food strongly. Its unpolished internal surface gives it perfect grip for products while promoting mixing.
On the upkeep side, just rinse with warm water and air dry for best results.
- Big capacity
- very robust
I prepare my curry paste, my pesto, my almond powder etc. In short, now everything is homemade, it’s much better and I know the ingredients. The large capacity is perfect, the color conforms and the weight gives a lot of support. Read all reviews.
Kasa mortar and pestle
Kasa’s excellent mortar and pestle made of natural bamboo is an excellent option if you want to have a high quality and natural material. Bamboo is an antibacterial that resists bacteria very well, perfect for maintenance. Just clean it with warm soapy water and dry it well.
The finish is smooth so you can extract maximum flavor without your herbs and spices sticking to the sides. The mortar has a diameter of 11.5 cm for 8 cm in height.
- Easy to maintain
- natural material
To see in the long term but seems solid and is very pretty. Read all reviews.
Mortar and Pestle Buying Guide
The mortar and pestle is one of the very old kitchen accessories. This object was already enthroned in the caves of our ancestors 35,000 years BC. JC. Favorite tool for grinding food, it transforms its texture while releasing its aroma and flavor .
Nowadays, the mortar and pestle is widely used in spicy dishes : Asian, Indian, Mexican etc. Practical and easy to use, it is perfect for cracking peppercorns, grinding aromatic plants or crushing spices.
How to choose a mortar and pestle?
Ideally, the mortar and pestle should be made from a non-porous material to facilitate cleaning. So prefer a marble or granite object , heavy and hard enough to be able to grind your ingredients.What size ?
Before buying a mortar and pestle, ask yourself the following question: for what purpose? If you plan to use it for tapenades during a dinner with friends, prefer a device with a large capacity and a greater depth . This will allow you to contain all the ingredients so that you can mix them more easily.
On the other hand, if you want to use it to grind some spices from time to time, choose a small, more manageable model .What weight ?
A good mortar and pestle should be large and heavy to ensure good stability during use. This mass will also guarantee it more robustness and resistance. Also consider the weight of the set. A large granite set can easily weigh 5 kg, which can quickly become overwhelming and difficult to handle.What material?
Opt for a durable material like granite or marble . You can also go for less heavy stainless steel or ceramic models. Wood can also be an alternative solution for your mortar and pestle.
Look for a set with rough walls to create enough friction when grinding. Ideally, it should be equipped with a non-slip pad under its base so that it can be easily stabilized.What form ?
When looking for a mortar and pestle, choose a product with a fairly wide and slightly curved base. Avoid objects that extend over height as they are less stable. An ergonomic pestle handle is preferred as it is generally easier to maneuver. Consider a shape that fits your hand and gives you some grip. A smooth handle is more likely to slip through your hands and fall off.
How to use a mortar and pestle?
- If you are lucky enough to have several models of different capacities and sizes, select the appliance that best suits your recipe and all of your ingredients.
- Put the ingredients to be ground in the mortar . The ingredients can be pepper, garlic, cinnamon or anything that can be used to develop a recipe. Be careful, however, not to overfill the mortar so as not to scatter the material under penalty of splashing. The best is to fill it to a third of its capacity.
- Use your pestle to crush your ingredients . To do this, one of your hands must grind the condiments with the pestle, and the other is used to hold the bowl in place. Start with small strokes, then speed up. When you are almost done, make circular movements with the pestle to regularize your mixture.
- Collect your preparation in a suitable container using a spatula or spoon.
- Don’t forget to clean and maintain your mortar. To do this, you must take into consideration the material from which your mortar and pestle are made. The dishwasher-safe models, however, are the easiest to maintain.
How to clean the mortar and pestle?
Depending on the composition of the mortar and pestle, it will be necessary to adapt the cleaning method.
For wooden and granite objects, do not use soap because these materials do not tolerate this liquid very well. You can simply rinse it with hot water and then dry it. You can also use lemon juice to remove the last traces and odors.
For other materials, you can easily wash them with the rest of your kitchen utensils and dishes.
Tip : if odors emerge from your mortar, just grind dry rice in it. This will make them disappear.
The Parisian Gastronome
Frequently Asked Question
Which mortar and pestle is best?
While both are great options, the Set It and Forget It set is slightly more expensive, but luck may be on your side. There’s a chance that the Mortar and Pestle by Prestige could be sold out or discontinued.
What kind of mortar and pestle does Gordon Ramsay use?
Gordon Ramsay is a food expert known for his fiery on-screen personality and the restaurants he runs across the globe. So what kind of mortar and pestle does Gordon Ramsay use?
To find out, I headed to his restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, to see for myself – and guess what? He actually uses the Set It and Forget It set from Setco! The wooden design complements the rustic look of his dishes.
Are mortar and pestles worth it?
So are mortar and pestles worth it? It depends what you’re looking for. For the traditionalists, a mortar and pestle are a must-have. Many people who visit my blog have commented that they use it as an alternative to making tomato sauce with a food processor. The best part is that using a mortar and pestle doesn’t take as much effort or time to make tomato sauce.
What should I look for when buying a mortar and pestle ?
It’s easy to fall in love with the first mortar and pestle you see – but it’s important to take a few things into consideration before you commit.
Size: Don’t underestimate the importance of size, especially if you’re giving this as a gift or if you’re planning on using it regularly. I sometimes cook for two (my husband and I) and sometimes I cook for 20+ people.
How big should my mortar and pestle be?
If you just plan on cooking for two, any mortar and pestle will do. However, if you’re planning on doing some serious cooking, be sure to get a larger mortar and pestle. A smaller one will not be able to accommodate large batches of sauces or spices that you need to grind.
Is marble good for mortar and pestle?
Marble mortar and pestles are popular, but the stain and discoloration problems people encounter can be difficult to overcome. Marble is porous, so stains can set in quickly. If you’re insistent on getting marble, make sure that you buy a non-porous marble or consider sealing it with polyurethane.
I did an experiment to see if marble is a good material for a mortar and pestle . To test if it’s absorbent or not, I filled up my mortar and pestle with water.
- 1 Comparison of the best mortars and pestles
- 2 Mortar and Pestle Buying Guide
- 3 Frequently Asked Question