Mortar and pestle come in handy for a wide range of purposes, from cooking and alchemy to masonry and pharmacology. This kitchen utensil is incredibly practical, which makes it a must-have for every modern kitchen.
It’s convenient to use and handy. Plus, it improves your kitchen decor by adding a touch of dramatic flair. Mortar and pestle can be used to grind aromatic roots, crack peppercorns and spices, crush tender herbs for pastes and pestos, and medication for both humans and pets.
While some people own a food processor or an electric spice grinder for a couple of reasons, using mortar and pestle offers more subtle and finer flavors. A high-quality model is a decent choice over electric models considering the convenience, easy cleanup, outstanding performance, and ease of use.
Without further ado, let’s consider the best mortar and pestle America’s Test Kitchen & Cook’s Illustrated, Consumer Reports, , The Wirecutter and Food & Wine… out there and how to make a smart decision.
What is a mortar and pestle?
In ancient times, mortar and pestles are used to prepare substances or ingredients by grinding and crushing them into a fine powder or paste in the pharmacy, laboratory, and kitchen.
Typically, the mortar is a bowl made of hard stones (like granite), ceramic, metal, or hardwood. The pestle features a blunt club-shaped but can be quite heavy. This utensil can grind or crush both dry and wet substances to your preferred texture.
See more: Best Garlic Press America’s Test Kitchen
Reviews of the Best Mortar and Pestle America’s Test Kitchen & Cook’s Illustrated
#1 – ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set: Best Choice
Our top choice, ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set, is made from heavy granite, which is one of the hardest stone options out there. Despite using a super hard material, this manufacturer manages to give this utensil a smooth finish and excellent shape.
This incredibly robust set is capable of grinding any thrown into the mortar. Also, it has an anti-scratch protector to prolong this utensil’s originality. Further, ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set are hassle-free to clean. And it comes with a free recipe eBook with more than 150 different recipes, which should keep you grinding and pounding several times each day.
ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set comes with a full refund guarantee for peace of mind, assuring buyers that this model can take the heat.
- Includes a free anti-scratch protector
- Built from superior hard material
- Full refund guarantee
- Comes with a free recipe eBook
- Likely to break if it drops hard
#2 – UMIEN Granite Mortar and Pestle Set
If you need a kitchen utensil to help you mix, mash, crush and grind any herb, spice, or grain for making stunning dishes, then you can’t go wrong with UMIEN Granite Mortar and Pestle Set.
UMIEN Granite Mortar and Pestle Set features an authentic granite design and elegant color pattern to match your kitchen counter’s decor, including your table, if you’ll be serving your guest on the bowl.
While traditional mortar and pestle are challenging to clean, this model is very easy to use and maintain. Furthermore, UMIEN Granite Mortar and Pestle Set comes with a free avocado tool to allow users to create highly nutritious avocado meals without going through the hassle of dicing, slicing, and peeling.
Not to worry, this model comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee to ensure to offer peace of mind with the purchase.
- Simple and classic looks
- Easy to use
- Affordable price point
- High-quality construction
- On the heavier side
#3 – Tera 18/8 Stainless Steel Mortar and Pestle Set
This handy tool from Tera is arguably the best stainless steel mortar and pestle on sale. It is made of food-grade 18/8 stainless steel, which makes it rust-proof and resistant to corrosion and damage by acidic food.
More so, the mortar sports padding on the bottom to ensure that it sits firmly on any kitchen counter and holding the pestle feels substantial. Its stainless steel construction is food safe since it doesn’t retain leftover odor or residue.
This way, users can easily clean Tera 18/8 Stainless Steel Mortar and Pestle with a thorough rinsing. Even better, it includes a translucent lid, which helps gauge your strikes and prevents debris from flying to create a mess.
Also, this grinder is designed with a wide range of grinding needs in mind. Thus, you should expect the grinding setup to handle anything thrown at it, from spices and herbs to medical pills, from your kitchen to the pharmacy.
- Sturdy stainless steel construction
- Includes a translucent lid
- Easy to clean
- Ideal for most grinding needs
- The bowl tends to hold substances.
#4 – Cooler Kitchen EZ-Grip Silicone & Porcelain Mortar and Pestle
The Cooler Kitchen EZ-Grip Silicone & Porcelain Mortar and Pestle is taller and slender than most options out there. Its unique design allows you to exert more pressure for more efficiency.
This model makes sure of modern material in its manufacturing process to offer unbeatable performance. It is made from porcelain and silicone, which makes it unbelievably durable.
What’s more? The base features a silicone cap allowing this model to offer a non-slip experience, making this unit much safer to use. Likewise, the pestle features a non-slip silicone cap for easy and secure use.
More so, it does not rust, peel, flake, or anything to contaminate your food quality. Cooler Kitchen EZ-Grip Silicone & Porcelain Mortar and Pestle is excellent at grinding a wide range of different foods and toss into the dishwasher afterward.
Next, its ergonomic features ensure this model is easy to use for anyone, including people struggling with arthritis or wrist injuries, and even senior ones. It offers maximum convenience to allow you to make the perfect spice and herb blend.
- Tall, slim design for quick food processing
- Non-slip base
- Ergonomic, non-slip silicone handle
- Dishwasher safe
- Not really suitable for grinding harder items such as ginger
# 5 – RSVP International Beige Marble Mortar & Pestle
Next on the list is RSVP International Beige Marble Mortar & Pestle. This model is made of beautiful solid marble and offers a unique design and bright color to complement any kitchen decor.
This model is designed for grinding pills, grains, species, or herbs. The mortar is 3-inch tall and has a diameter of 4 inches with a long, 5-inch pestle. With this handy kitchen tool, you can make healthy pastes and spice rubs and clean with ease using a damp cloth.
RSVP International Beige Marble Mortar & Pestle comes at an affordable price. It comes with a classy bowl shape allowing users to grind larger batches of grains, species, or herbs. This textured design makes it great for grinding just about anything.
- Easy to clean
- Grinds large batch
- Made with Stoneware
- rubber no-skid bottom
- Likely to break
#6 – Home Basics Mortar and Pestle Bamboo
If you want a more traditional feel with your bamboo and pestle, then you need to consider Home Basics Mortar and Pestle. This model is made from bamboo to ensure your food’s quality is not contaminated.
Home Basics Mortar and Pestle Bamboo is ideal for crushing fresh herbs and other ingredients. With this bamboo grinding setup, this model helps you make fresher flavors. Furthermore, this unit offers a model natural and simplistic look. Nonetheless, it’s perfect for cooking and cocktails.
- Easy to clean
- Offers a traditional feel
- Easy to use
- Lightweight design
- Breaks easily
#7 – Laevo Mortar and Pestle Set Marble
If you want a versatile grinding set, then Laevo Mortar and Pestle Set Marble might be just what you need. This unit features a reversible mortar and pestle, which lets users use both sides for separating the smells and flavors.
More importantly, this model offers a unique design, impressive durability, and convenience. It is easy to use for crushing and grinding salt, herbs, coffee beans, spices, and pills. This way, you can create dishes such as pastes, curry, guacamole, dips, seasonings, dressing, and more.
More so, it comes with a free silicone lid for a mess-free experience and a wooden spoon. Laevo Mortar and Pestle Set is made from solid stone to ensure it’s durable, stable, and heavyweight to last a lifetime. Even better, it’s backed by a risk-free warranty to assure users of satisfaction.
- Beautiful design
- Double well as a serving bowl
- Easy to clean
- Reversible design
- Durability issues
Things to Consider Before Buying a mortar and pestle
The best mortar and pestle to purchase depends on some key factors, which will be discussed in this section.
Generally, a hard and sturdy grinding set will offer better performance. The mortar should be designed to sit properly for an easy grinding experience. Usually, the best mortar and pestle will come with a non-slip base to prevent accidents in the kitchen while using it or not.
In addition, the pestle should feature an ergonomic handle to allow easier use. In our opinion, pestles shaped to fit hands properly and sporting a non-slip feature is a decent choice. While this kitchen utensil offers optimal convenience, you want to stay away from the smooth handle as they are more prone to damage by rolling or sliding and falling off your kitchen cabinet.
It’s essential to opt for a mortar that is made of food-safe materials since your food will get in contact with the mortar. However, you don’t need to worry, as most products reviewed in this post are safe for grinding and crushing your spices, herbs, etc.
Mortar and pestle sets are made from a wide range of materials such as porcelain, wood, stainless steel, stone, including marble.
Ceramic mortars and pestles are ideal for grinding species to a fine powder. Nonetheless, these grinding sets tend to be quite challenging to maintain. Plus, they are fragile.
Wooden models are usually sturdy. However, the inside is a bit porous, which causes the grinding set to stain easily. In some cases, odors linger on the mortar’s wooden wall.
A mortar made from stone offers impressive durability and sturdiness, allowing users to grind your ingredients finely. However, it requires the process to be meticulous to prevent sand particles in your ingredients.
When it comes to mortar and pestles, we recommend purchasing a mortar and pestle made of stainless steel – why? They do not bend, break, or contaminate your food. On top of that, this grinding setup is hassle-free to clean, easy to maintain, and hygienic.
The mortar’s size to opt for depends primarily on your ingredients and the food you intend to prepare. This factor is based on personal preference.
Therefore, you should consider small models if only you will be crushing spices. Similarly, larger versions will go just fine for creating stunning recipes for large servings.
FAQs about mortar and pestle
Best material for mortar and pestle?
When it comes to materials used to make mortar and pestles, there is a wide range of options. Regardless of the material used, the grinding tool should offer an abrasive effect and friction to make users grind and crush easily without having the content fly out the mortar. You should consider mortar and pestles made of stainless steel if you want a lightweight model with a snappy cleanup experience. For heavyweight options, the go-to is granite and marble mortar pestles.
Best type of mortar and pestle
- Glass Mortar And Pestles
- Ceramic Mortar And Pestles
- Wood Mortar And Pestles
- Marble Mortar And Pestles
- Granite Mortar And Pestles
- Cast Iron Mortar And Pestles
- Japanese Earthenware Mortar And Pestles
- Volcanic rock / Basalt Mortar And Pestles
What is a mortar and pestle used for?
Although these products are mostly used for cooking purposes, it has lots of applications out of that space. Mortar and pestle come in handy for crushing pills in pharmacies and preparing medication for their pets. It is also used to grind varieties of chocolate, coffee beans, tea leaves, and many more for making drinks and desserts.
The best mortar and pestle will always come in handy for grinding spices, crushing pills, and many more. While they are quite practical, purchasing the wrong model can be frustrating.
Therefore, before making a choice, ensure you consult our buying guide section to ensure you make a smart decision. Nonetheless, you can’t really go wrong with any model reviewed on this list.