Herbs and spices bring dishes to another level by adding flavor and texture. To take advantage of its tasty benefits, certain spices need to be milled, mashed or blended well with other food ingredients. While preparation has been easier with the availability of minced herbs and spices in cans, tubes or boxes, nothing still beats the freshly-ground kind—and by that, we mean crushing your choice herbs or spices using a traditional mortar and pestle. Sure, it needs a bit of effort, but this effort leads to dishes that has the restaurant-level quality you are after. Make sure to be in the know with the best mortar and pestle sets today by checking out this guide.
- What is a mortar and pestle and what are its advantages?
Answer: The mortar and pestle are an ancient equipment used to mill medicinal plants or food ingredients thru pounding. The mortar is a strong, durable bowl typically made from stone, wood or ceramic while the pestle is a grinding club with a round shape that’s often made from similar material as the accompanying mortar. The advantage of using a mortar and pestle for food preparation is that it encourages people to add more herbs and spices in their dishes. It also facilitates people to use fresh herbs and spices more compared to pre-packaged ones.
- What materials are modern mortar and pestles made of?
Answer: These days, mortar and pestle sets can be crafted from a wide range of materials apart from the usual stone, ceramic and wood. There are models made from either clay, granite, soapstone, metal, volcanic rock, porcelain, bamboo, stoneware, marble, onyx and glass.
- What factors should I consider when choosing a mortar and pestle?
Answer: First, you need to consider the type of herbs, spices and food ingredients that you usually work with. If you are often working with bigger condiments, consider using ceramic mortar and pestle sets. Porcelain is great for working on food with lots of moisture. If you do not want flavors, scents or ingredients from remaining in the mortar and pestle, get sets made from non-porous materials like glass or metal. If sturdiness is crucial for you, get ones made from glass or metal. Mortar and pestle sets also come in various sizes so go for a set that is most convenient for you to use. If you tend to work with spices, small mortar and pestle sets can do the job. If you plan on mashing bigger food items, choose bigger sets instead.
Our Top Picks
ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set
- 500ml mortar capacity
- Made from durable, heavy granite
- Easy to clean
- Foolproof grip
The ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set is a bestseller since it’s one of the sturdiest around, made from high-quality, heavy and durable granite material. It features a 6-inch mortar that’s equivalent to 2-cups of content, sufficient for mashing a small volume of spices and herbs. The pestle is quite wide and has a spherical base too so food ingredients will not burst out during the pounding process. The mortar also comes with a stable, non-skid base with felt so it will stay in place during use. It’s a breeze to use, versatile and a cinch to clean up as well.
Home Basics Mortar and Pestle Bamboo
- Perfect for grinding and crushing herbs and seasonings to unlock their savory scent and full flavor
- Smooth finish is gentle on the hands
- Pestle is crafted with unpolished ends for optimal mashing and crushing
- Made of eco-friendly bamboo
- Measures 4.62″ x 4.62″ x 3.2″
- Hand wash for easy maintenance
Maximum flavor extraction from your favorite fragrant herbs and spices is something you’ll never miss when you have this mortal and pestle at your fingertips. The large pestle pulverizes ingredients quickly, unleashing their full flavor with little and minimal effort. Both pestle and mortar are crafted out of solid bamboo and are substantial in weight to prevent slipping and sliding off your work surface. This convenient kitchen gadget is great for grinding seeds and peppercorns for smoking rubs or for pulverizing a whole avocado for a creamy and savory guacamole sauce. The finish is smooth to the touch so that you can extract the full flavor without having herbs and spices getting stuck on the sides. Instead of busting out the blender and dealing with the messy aftermath opt to use this bamboo mortar and pestle to get the job done right!
Kitchendise Granite Mortar and Pestle Set
- -Pouring lip prevents spillage
- -Premium natural unpolished granite material
- -Durable and easy to clean
- -Recipe Ebook included
The Kitchendise Mortar and Pestle Set uses premium natural unpolished granite in its construction, giving you the best natural friction to grind ingredients. As such, it easily crushes and muddles herbs, nuts, seeds and fruits, releasing their full flavors to make delicious and healthy food for you. The set also comes with a recipe Ebook of the company’s favorite Mortar and Pestle recipes to give you more inspiration in the kitchen. Thoughtful design choices have been made to make your life easier. The pouring spout helps to minimize spillage of liquid recipes and reduce mess. The anti-slip base ensures the mortar stays in place during use and the non-porous material does not absorb odors and is easy to clean.
Gorilla Grip Original Mortar and Pestle Set
- 5-inch mortar with 1.5-cup capacity
- 100% unpolished, durable natural granite
- Helps lock in flavor
- Easy to clean
The Gorilla Grip Original Mortar and Pestle Set features a capacity that can contain up to 1.5 cups volume of ingredients. It is made from quality, natural 100 percent unpolished granite material—the quality of the granite helps it remain in place during use plus it also comes with an optional foam bottom so it will not abrade tables or countertops. The mortar features a moderately rough interior too which suits both dry and wet ingredients. The material also prevents the mortar and pestle from taking in odors and flavors from various food ingredients. Very sturdy and easy to clean.
Bekith Mortar and Pestle Set
- Food-grade 304 stainless steel built
- Has non-slip base
- With transparent lid
- Easy to clean
The Bekith Mortar and Pestle Set is a versatile addition not only to your food preparation tasks, but for your herbal medicine preparations. It is made from strong, durable food-grade 304 stainless steel—this means it will not absorb any odors or flavors from different herbs, spices and different food ingredients. The material is also free from mercury and has reliable rust-proof properties so it will last many uses. The functional design offers a base that is skid-free and will remain in place during use. It is also easy to cleans and can be used to mill herbs and spices or create medical pills.
Sagler Mortar and Pestle
- 4.5-inch mortar
- Durable and sturdy marble material
- Versatile set
- Handwashing for maintenance
The Sagler Mortar and Pestle plays host to lots of food prep tasks. You can use this one to grind seeds, nuts, garlic and ginger root for sauces, salad dressings, pasta sauces, salsa and more. It is made from durable, solid white marble with grey markings on them—it is not only a functional kitchen prep equipment set, it also makes for an excellent aesthetic piece that deserves a place in your countertop. The material will not absorb odors and flavors from food ingredients too. Cleaning this one is pretty easy since all it needs is thorough handwashing.
Laevo Marble Mortar and Pestle Set
- 5.6-inch mortar with 2.2-cup capacity
- Unique reversible mortar and pestle design
- Natural and eco-friendly option
- Versatile kitchen tools
The Laevo Marble Mortar and Pestle Set features a unique design which makes milling ingredients a simpler task. It features two sides which allow for separation of flavors, better stability and easier cleanup. The deeper side is great for grinding bigger ingredients like herbs and coffee beans while the shallow part of the mortar is suitable for grinding smaller ingredients like spices and peppercorns plus for mashing/milling in smaller volumes. You can also flip the pestle for a more effective blending, mashing or grinding process. It has a silicone lid which you can use as a placemat to keep the mortar stable during use and it also comes with a wooden spoon for mixing and stirring ground ingredients.
EZ-Grip Silicone & Porcelain Mortar and Pestle Set
- Porcelain mortar and pestle set
- Has EZ-Grip features for easy handling
- Includes silicone base
The EZ-Grip Silicone & Porcelain Mortar and Pestle Set will make pounding and grinding food ingredients a very kind activity for your hands—the EZ-Grip feature allows better handling and a firmer, stronger grip for fast, efficient grinding. The mortar also features a silicone base so it will keep itself in place during use. It is made from durable and strong porcelain material as well which also makes it a breeze to clean—this one in particular is dishwasher-safe and has an unglazed surface which prevents the items from flaking or getting powdery. Great for both food and medicine preparation too.
Fresh herbs and spices are easier to prepare if you have a quality, ready mortar and pestle on hand. Check out our list for the best options today.