Growing my own herbs is a dream come true, but I love having the best mortar and pestle to crush them up. Sure, it’s easier to buy herb and spice mixes in the market, but who knows what preservatives and fillers are in them? It’s much better to go the organic and authentic way, even if it does take a bit more effort.
Most of us grew up seeing a mortar and pestle only in old-timey shows and movies. However, I would say that this is one area where technology isn’t of much use. The magical, intense flavor that you get from manually crushed herbs and spices is simply not replaceable.
Passionate home cooks and chefs still use this good old tool for that authentic hands-on experience and taste. Still, not every set will be the best mortar and pestle for your kitchen. There are several kinds available now, so you should consider the different features before making a decision.
We’ll give you some tips here, as well as review some of the top options available on the market today.
Editor’s Recommendations: Top 5 Best Mortar and Pestle
Bringing The Magical Kitchen Tool Home: How To Choose The Best Mortar And Pestle
The very best mortar and pestle set is out there! However, you’ll have to weigh the features and factors surrounding each choice. Below are a few of the most important considerations:
The Mortar Design
When you grind ingredients, the best mortar and pestle is the one that gives you stability, balance, and easy results. The mortar, which is the bowl where you put in the whole ingredients, should have an even distribution of weight for the purpose of stable grinding.
You should check the interior of this bowl as well. If the texture is a bit rough, it will help you grind, crush, and mix more easily whether the ingredients are wet or dry.
You’ll find most mortars with a rounded shape and flat bottom, but some manufacturers design them shaped like a pedestal. This design is also useful because you can hold it around the stem more easily. If you’re crushing nuts or other hard ingredients on a regular basis, the latter design might be handier. Otherwise, it’s just a matter of personal preference.
The pestle is what you use to crush and grind the ingredients in the mortar. The design is mostly the same in any set you look at, with a rounded edge for the grinding and a flat edge at the holding end.
This shape makes it easy to grind even hard ingredients such as nuts, seeds, peppercorns, and raw rice. There are several variations in the shape and size of pestles, with some being slim and elongated, while others are short and broad.
You’ll have to consider the size of the handle in order to choose the right pestle for your kitchen. A shorter pestle might make for easy grinding, but a longer handle will give you a better shifting experience.
The size of the best mortar and pestle may range from a small, palm-sized item to a large 7-inch diameter model. The smaller ones are great for grinding spices and seeds, while the medium sizes are better if you want to mix up some ingredients.
Do you have to make guacamole on a regular basis? If yes, you should invest in something with at least a two-cup capacity.
The best mortar and pestle come in several materials, so let’s take a look at the benefits of each:
Granite looks good on your kitchen counter and is also a solid and sturdy option. The material is natural, so you don’t have to worry about any polish or chemicals getting into your mixes. Plus, the unpolished interior makes for maximum grinding efficiency, which is excellent if you want crushed nuts, seeds, or pills.
Whatever you grind in granite, it won’t absorb the flavor. This means that you can easily use it for all sorts of herbs, spices, seeds, and anything else without worrying about the flavors mixing where they don’t belong. The only downside of this material is that it usually needs the effort of seasoning before you can bring it into everyday use.
Marble is an extremely strong material and is also a gorgeous adornment for your kitchen. If you’re up to withstanding its heavy weight, marble could make for the best mortar and pestle of them all.
This option gives you flexibility and versatility in the kitchen, as you can crush and mix any type of ingredient you want. They can be wet, dry, mixed, or separate — a marble set will deal with it all.
Porcelain mortars and pestles are other attractive options, and they’re also easy to clean. Plus, there are no odors or flavors from one grinding session to the next, provided you wash the set in between.
The only issue here is that porcelain is quite delicate, so it’s liable to break easily. This means you shouldn’t grind hard ingredients in it, as you might get porcelain traces in your food.
iv. Ceramic (apothecary grade)
This sort of ceramic has all the benefits of porcelain. It looks stylish, has a smooth exterior, and is great for grinding several spices and nuts. What’s better here is the rough interior, which does half of the grinding work for you.
Again, though, we have a breaking risk with the ceramic mortar and pestle. Wet and small ingredients are best, so you should try to stick with pesto and guacamole.
v. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is great for use in the kitchen, so it’s no surprise that a mortar and pestle is among one of the offerings. This would be an extremely strong and stylish choice, while also giving you convenience. The last fact is due to its ease of maintenance, as this option is easily washable. However, you have to remain alert to make sure no rust forms.
You should keep in mind, though, that a steel mortar and pestle could be quite smooth and even cause hard ingredients to slip around. You don’t get much traction here, so you should avoid any sticky or hard ingredients.
If the stoneware is properly fired, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be strong and sturdy enough to resist cracking and chipping. This is why so many high-end brands have such options, though they still leave the inside a bit rough in order to provide the most traction.
Wood can make the best mortar and pestle for your needs through a rustic effect and a beautiful appearance. Some of these might even be carved, which would make for a unique, memorable, and stunningly beautiful gift.
Wooden mortar and pestles are usually of a lighter weight than other synthetic offerings, even if they do have longer handles. These make for easy handling and blending.
Wooden options are not good for grinding tough nuts without damaging the wood, though. Therefore, you should only invest in the wooden mortar and pestles if you know how to maintain them properly. They also retain flavors and scents, so you might want a separate set to avoid mixing everything up.
The pricing of the best mortar and pestles differ based on their material, size, brand, and several other factors. For instance, a hand-carved wooden set would obviously cost more than a mass-produced ceramic option.
Nevertheless, the price range for the best mortar and pestles we’ve reviewed below are around $15 to $85. From this, you may gauge how much you want to invest in this delightful tool and proceed accordingly.
How We Reviewed Some Of The Best Ones
We’ve reviewed what we think are the best mortar and pestle sets available on the market today based on certain considerations. For one, we’ve tried to include the best materials possible. There are also several renowned brands in this list, such as Jamie Oliver and Le Creuset.
You’ll also see that these sets are available in a wide price range, but none of them are low in quality or performance. They all have an average Amazon rating of at least 4 out of 5 stars, so you can rest assured that every pick is a decent one.
The Most Promising Mortar And Pestle Options Available Today
We now come to the best mortar and pestle sets you might want to consider buying. Even if none of these clicks, the discussion and reviews will hopefully guide you to the perfect selection.
1. Jamie Oliver Mortar and Pestle
- Granite mortar and pestle allows for quickly crushing spices, herbs and more
- Constructed with thick walls and base to form a generous 2 cup capacity
- Unpolished mortar interior-exterior and pestle for effective grinding
- Before using, season the mortar with white rice, followed by garlic then cumin with salt and pepper
- Rinse with warm water and air dry, do not use soap
The Jamie Oliver recommendation for the best mortar and pestle set is a piece made from unpolished granite. It’s a 6-incher, so we have a decently large size for all kinds of mixes and pastes. Since this is an endorsement from someone who works cooking magic with his hands, we’re doubly assured of the quality of this mortar and pestle.
With the thick walls and the rough interior, you can grind or crush just about any ingredient. The two-cup capacity should be enough for your needs at any given time. Plus, this set’s reviews report that it doesn’t leave behind any smells or tastes from any ingredient.
However, there is a fair amount of seasoning required, along with hand-washing. Once this is done, though, you’d have a beauty on your hands! The Amazon rating for the Jamie Oliver mortar and pestle is 4.4 out of 5 stars. The price range starts from $$ and goes up to $$.
2. Ironwood Gourmet Mortar and Pestle
- ONE-OF-A-KIND: Made from gorgeous acacia wood, known for its unique and natural contrasting patterns. This means every bowl is one of a kind, and just as individual as the person who owns it.
- PERFECT POWDERS AND PASTE: Extremely effective at reducing herbs, spices, and nuts to powders or pastes,
- UNIQUE DESIGN: Built in the pre-Columbian style, this mortar and pestle are sure to add charm to any kitchen.
- EASY MAINTENANCE: All you need to do is wash with warm, soapy water and air dry.
- MEASUREMENTS: Weighs 1 pound and has dimensions of 5.75 x 5.75 x 3 inches.
This Ironwood Gourmet mortar and pestle set is constructed from acacia wood. It’s renowned for giving a beautiful and naturally contrasting effect. Other than its beauty, this item is also excellent for converting any ingredient into powders, pastes, mixes, and any other blend.
We especially love the fact that the mortar is versatile enough to serve as a condiment cup for guests as well. What we don’t love is the fact that it needs quite a bit of maintenance if you want to preserve the wood grain and finish.
Still, that’s a small investment for this gorgeous piece. This set’s Amazon rating is 4.2 out of 5 stars, with a price range between $$ and $$.
3. Home Basics Mortar and Pestle Bamboo
- Mortar and Pestle crush fresh herbs and other ingredients for fresher flavors than jarred herbs and spices
- Bamboo construction is simplistic and natural
- Ideal for cooking and cocktails; 4.5-Inch by 4.5-Inch
The Home Basics mortar and pestle is the one to get if you want a lovely rosewood bowl that’s also durable enough for your kitchen needs. It’s engraved with floral designs, but the wood is still resistant to decay.
This means you can use it for crushing spices, herbs, and even pills. Since the material is natural, it would lock in all the flavors and ensure that you get the best result for your recipes. This is one of the few sets that are especially conducive to Indian food.
Even the maintenance is easy, only requiring wiping with a damp kitchen cloth. On the downside, you shouldn’t use it with hard ingredients like nuts. The average Amazon customer rating of Rusticity is an amazing 4.7 out of 5 stars, with the price ranging from $ to $.
4. Bekith Brushed Mortar and Pestle
- Food grade 304 stainless steel construction, no mercury, no residual taste, durable and rustproof.
- Functional design with non-skid base, the pestle feels substantial in your hand.
- Translucent lid allows you to gauge your strikes while keeping flying debris from making a mess.
- Easy to clean - Just rinse thoroughly under the tap to prepare it for the next use.
- Multipurpose - From medical pills, to herbs and spices; from the pharmacy to your kitchen.
This brushed stainless steel offering from Bekith has a non-skid base, a heavy duty pestle, and is an eco-friendly choice, as well. You’ll get no residual flavor here as it’s safe for food and is BPA-free.
While the pestle size might be a bit short for some, it would be a preference for others. Again, you’d have to be careful when crushing hard ingredients as the smooth interior will cause them to slide. This sturdy steel option has an average Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars while the price range is between $ and $$.
5. Cooler Kitchen Silicone and Porcelain EZ-Grip Mortar and Pestle
- APOTHECARY GRADE PORCELAIN - Pharmacies traditionally use non-porous porcelain to grind medication - with great reason. Consider these common issues: wood absorbs the taste of the previous grind - yuck! Marble or granite create marble powder- gross! Stone is is hard to clean (no soap!) - Stainless Steel can rust!
- DISHWASHER SAFE - EASY TO CLEAN AND BUILT TO LAST: Our dishwasher safe pestle and mortar will stand up to repeated cleaning and won't absorb odors or transfer flavors. Porcelain is the ideal material to use as a smasher to grind anything. The unglazed grinding surface prevents the mechanism from flaking or powdering.
- GREAT FOR ARTHRITIS AND WRIST INJURIES! Don't buy another small mortar and pessel set where the mortar slips and slides on your counter. Our mortar set has a silicone bowl, to keep it still while you use it. The pestle has a silicone handle to make it easier to grind. No more struggling to find your grip! You'll wish you had bought this mortar & pestle years ago.
- USEFUL IN ANY HOME KITCHEN OR AS A PILL GRINDER TO CRUSH MEDICATION OR AS GRINDER BOWL FOR SPICES AND SEEDS - 4.5 inches across, 3.25 inches tall; Pestle- 5.5 inches tall. Add To Cart Now!
- Your Top Seasoning & Spice Tools: Molcajete Mortar - GREAT FOR: powdering herbs, grains, spices, nuts, seeds, teas, bread, biscuits (for making homemade bread crumbs!), or crushing medicines for pets and humans alike. Ideal for unlocking the hidden oils in your everyday dry spices as a spice grinder.
With Cooler Kitchen combining silicone and porcelain, this might be the best mortar and pestle that uses the best of both worlds! None of us want to use silicone for crushing raw foods, so this set only uses it for stabilizing our grip. The result is a dishwasher safe option that makes it easy to grind up anything you wish.
This might actually be the best mortar and pestle for those with arthritis and/or wrist injuries. The lifetime warranty is another pleasant surprise. Still, you’ll be limited to very small, soft ingredients with this one.
The average Amazon rating for this combination set is an impressive 4.7 out of 5 stars. The price range is also quite reasonable, as it starts at $ and goes up to $$.
6. Le Creuset Stoneware Mortar and Pestle
- 10-ounce mortar and pestle for preparing flavorful herbs, spices, and pestos
- Made of high-fired stoneware with enamel exterior; resists chipping and cracking
- Unglazed, abrasive interior and pestle tip for efficient crushing and grinding
- Freezer-, microwave-, broiler-, and oven-safe (up to 500 degrees F); dishwasher-safe
- Measures approximately 4.5 IN 4.6 IN 4.6 IN
Le Creuset is a name known to everyone who possesses even a little knowledge about quality cookware. It doesn’t disappoint in this regard either, giving up what might possibly be the best mortar and pestle ever. The high-fired stoneware, the enamel exteriors, and chip-resistant construction make this wonderful choice for any cooking enthusiast.
We’re in love with the beautiful cherry-red exterior, though there are other color options from the same brand. The unglazed surface cleverly provides an even easier grinding experience. Unfortunately, this set is breakable, so you’ll have to be careful.
This delightful stoneware set has an average Amazon rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. However, the price ranging from $$ to $$$ might make one pause.
7. ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set
- A kitchen must-have: Mortar and pestle set (mortero de cocina - morter and pessel - molcajete or guacamole bowl and pestel) has been used for THOUSANDS of years as THE way to crush, grind and powder herbs and dry spices. Contrary to an electric grinder or crusher, the age-old, durable, traditional manual grinding method ensures that all cooking ingredients bring out their full flavor and aroma profiles, allowing you to further control their texture and make delicious, chunk-free dishes.
- Versatile tool: Take advantage of your brand new stone motar and pedestal set’s various applications in the kitchen and simplify your everyday life! Use your mortor to pulverize nuts, seeds, ginger root and garlic and make homemade salad dressing, sauces and condiments, such as fresh mustard, quacamole, pesto, salsa, chutneys and more. Widely used in pharmacies and apothecaries, your molcajete set will help you powder pills, for optimal ingestion, or hide them in your stubborn pet’s kibble!
- Effortless use: This ChefSofi stone mocajetes motor & pedestal set was designed with your convenience in mind. Made from unpolished granite, you will waste no time fumbling or stabilizing your pestal masher, as our motar’s cup interior provides the best, metate-like natural friction for swift ingredient crushing, grinding or powdering. With a 500 ml (approx. 2 Cup) capacity, this stone mortor also reduces the need for ingredient refills, affording quick food prep, in one go!
- Quick cleaning & zero kitchen messes: As granite is inherently durable and heavy, this mortar will not slip on your kitchen counters, remaining still throughout the grinding process. Our pestle offers foolproof grip, gliding across the mortar’s interior, without the need of excess hand motions, which would result in ingredient waste and kitchen counter messes! By investing in this stoneware set, you are gaining a timeless, multifunctional kitchen tool, which will make cooking a breeze!
- Satisfaction guarantee: We want you to be absolutely elated with your moter and pestle set, which is why we are offering you a Risk-Free purchase. In the unlikely event our set fails to meet or exceed your expectations, you are welcome to return it for a hassle-free, FULL refund. Purchase Now The Best, Unpolished Marble - Granite Mortar & Pestle Set On The Market!
With the two-cup capacity of this ChefSofi mortar and pestle, you’ll have plenty of space to grind and pulverize whatever ingredient you want to crush in it. This set has an abrasive natural surface, so you’ll have to make only a minimal effort for the best results.
Even peppercorns, seeds, and hard nuts have no chance of escape because ChefSofi handles even the tough ingredients well. Again, this granite set requires a fair bit of seasoning. But once you’ve put in the extra effort, what you’ll get will be the perfectly crushed ingredients.
It’s no wonder that granite is the preferred material of many culinary professionals. The average Amazon rating of the ChefSofi mortar and pestle set is 4.8 out of 5 stars, while the price range starts at $$ and goes up to $$.
8. Flexzion Mortar and Pestle Set
- Solid Marble Pestal Mortar Set - Polished exterior with an unpolished interior for improved grinding; The toughness of Marble is due to the interlocking crystal structure as it cools from melt, making it amongst the hardest of rocks. This makes our pestle and mortar very durable and makes it the best way to grind both hard and soft ingredients
- Kitchen Mortar And Pestle - Creates an authentic taste and texture that can't be duplicated with mixers and food processors; Deep mortar bowl and pestle are designed to crush, grind and powder herbs, dry spices, garlic, nuts, coffee, muddle drinks, human or pet medication and more, great guacamole bowls
- Easy Grip Handle And Non-slip Silicone Mortar And Pestle - Help prevent arthritis and wrist injuries with the easy to grip pestle and mortar bowl with a silicone base to ensure a firm, strong and stable grip to prevent sliding during the grinding
- Versatile Spice Grinder Bowl And Mixer - Fine-Quality is perfect for any home, kitchen or medication; Great for powdering herbs, grains, spices, nuts, seeds, teas, bread, biscuits (for making homemade bread crumbs!), science experiments, or even crushing medicines for pets (great for your dog!) and humans alike. Ideal for unlocking the hidden oils in your everyday dry spices
- Food-safe, no BPA, no lead, no mercury, elegant, durable, easy-to-clean, no residual taste, low-maintenance; Rinse with warm water and air dry, do not use soap
The Flexzion option for a mortar and pestle set actually comes in both granite and marble, but we’re looking at the first one here. With this, you’ll be able to work with a whole variety of ingredients for everyday cooking and meal prepping.
Once you season this properly, you’ll have an excellent tool on hand. It’s not dishwasher-safe, which some people might find to be a nuisance. However, rinsing with some warm water shouldn’t be too hard a task. This set has an average Amazon rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, and the price range is between $ and $$.
9. Greenco Marble Mortar and Pestle
- Kitchen Essential - Improve your recipes with this beautiful marble mortar and pestle, perfect for grinding herbs, spices, nuts and seeds to release natural flavors and aromas. Taste the difference in your favorite recipes!
- Versatile Tool - All pieces constructed from solid white marble with grey accents. Unpolished natural rough interior makes for better grinding. Creates dishes like guacamole, curry, pastes, dips, dressings, seasonings and more.
- Easy to Use & Clean - The design of the pestle provides ideal size and grip with the best natural friction, which can easily crush and grind ingredients. Its smooth exterior makes washing easy – simply wipe with a damp cloth and let dry.
- Saves Counter Space - Measuring only 4.5 inches diameter x 2.5 inches tall, with a 5-inch-long Pestle, this set takes up very little room on the counter.
- Great Gift Idea - Makes the perfect gift for Christmas, weddings, birthdays, housewarmings, or for any serious cook on your list!
The Greenco mortar and pestle set is available in both white and gray, with a 4.5-inch diameter. This might stop you from pulverizing large whole ingredients such as avocados, but it remains perfect for herbs, spices, pills, and similar-sized ingredients.
For cleaning the Greenco mortar and pestle, you need only wipe off the residue with a slightly wet cloth. Other than that, the durable construction will take care of itself. Since it’s a marble option, you have to be careful not to drop it from a high place.
The average Amazon rating for this set is 4.3 out of 5 stars. The price range is the lowest on this list, starting from $ and going up to $$.
Time To Blend Everything Nicely In The Best Mortar And Pestle!
Each of the options above could be the best mortar and pestle that you need in your kitchen. While the Le Creuset stoneware does provide a tempting option and seems to be the very best, it’s simply not in an affordable range for most. This is why we’ll have to go with ChefSofi when starting out with a mortar and pestle set.
ChefSofi has given us a set at a reasonable price, with a natural material and sturdy construction. While it might require us to put in a bit of hard work at first, we’re still going to take its excellent results over most other options.