For centuries, the mortar and pestle has served as the foundation of many culinary traditions around the world. Since computerized food processors, the mortar and pestle have been left out of many kitchens. Many home cooks no longer have access to a basic piece of equipment that was once an essential part of their arsenal.
Using a mortar and pestle set, which breaks down cells and fibers to release essential oils and fragrances, is the only way to break things down properly. Using a knife or electric grinder to progressively reduce the size of an object will never achieve the same results as using a mortar and pestle.
As a result, you are now ready to make your first purchase of a mortar and pestle. There are countless variations in terms of size, shape, and composition. How do you do it if you want to avoid buying useless mortar that ends up as a beautiful flower pot? How can you tell which one is best for your kitchen? Easy! We will find out.
While buying a mortar and pestle, what to look for
There are three things to keep in mind when shopping for a hand held grinder:
Mortar and pestle size:
The size of the mortar and pestle is the first and most obvious consideration when purchasing one. The mortar should be large enough to throw several components in one batch. As long as you don’t mind dealing with ingredients flying out of the mortar as you crush them, there’s no need for a small mortar. For a large mortar, you’ll need an equally large pestle long enough to avoid hitting your palm on the edge of the mortar while using and wide enough at its base to actually crush the ingredients rather than just move them around. a bowl Kitchen space may be an issue for some, but if you plan to use many ingredients, you should not have a container smaller than a volume of three cups.
It is not necessary to have such a large mortar if you are only going to use it as a spice grinder. Even though you can get by with a little mortar and pestle for grinding individual ingredients, it’s best to keep a larger one in the kitchen for more complex recipes.
The form of a mortar and pestle:
The bottom of the mortar must be circular, without corners. They should not be hidden by the pestle in some corner to grind the components. Cylindrical shaped mortars are more specialized and will not help you if you are just starting out with your first mortar purchase. You may find bumps or other features to help hold the mortar in place while pounding it with a pestle in a mortar. A little help with the mortar is unnecessary, but some cooks prefer it.
The material for the mortar and pestle
The mortar (and pestle material) is critical to its usefulness; therefore, choose carefully. Solid stone countertops made of granite or marble are ideal for everyday use. When you use a mortar or pestle made of stone, you can expect it to last for many years of heavy pounding or grinding without replacing it. Using a mortar made of a flimsier material will result in a weakened mortar that cannot properly break down the ingredients. The bottom of some mortars is made of silicone or rubber as an extra material.
This will help keep the mortar from sliding while you grind and pound the ingredients, and will also silence some of the harsh sounds you may hear. If this is something, you want to have, check that the mortar you are buying has it.
Extended selection of mortar and pestle
Since this is one of the earliest cooking tools ever used by humans, we have narrowed our focus to two main regional varieties just for their versatility. Anyway, almost every culinary style has its own variation of this tool. There are many more types than just the massive granite shown above, even in Thailand (and Southeast Asia).
If you don’t already have a mortar and pestle in your kitchen, here are two more you might want to consider adding to your collection. The Molcajete from Mexico, and the Suribachi from Japan, are the two most popular. It’s rare to find kitchenware that is both attractive and functional, and these are two of the best examples.
Now that you know what to look for in a mortar and pestle and are familiar with several of the most prevalent styles, you’re ready to buy one and start pounding, smashing and crushing food in the kitchen. Every dish will benefit from freshly ground spices, and you’ll never go back to buying pre-made after making your curry paste or pesto.