Wood Mortar and pestle have been around for ages. In my opinion, wooden mortars and pestles are good and quite effective when it comes to crushing and grinding foods.
Wood as a material can be used as a really great pestle that would do the work perfectly in most instances but whereas in the case of the wood as a material for the mortar, it is less effective.
This is due to the fact that the density and also the hardness of the wood mortar are similar to some foods being ground making the wooden mortar less effective.
A harder material would perform better to be used as a mortar when crushing and grinding harder material like spices i.e. the way in which diamonds are used to cut glass.
Are Wood Mortar and Pestle really that good?
If you will be using the wood mortar and pestle to grind the same substances over and over again, then I’d advise you to go for it. Substances like spices, sauces, will work great in a wooden mortar and pestle. However, If you will be using your mortar and pestle for complex substances both hard and soft, then I will say you for other stone materials like granite, or marble mortar and pestle.
In certain instances, wood mortar and pestle can be excellent in grinding spices and other less hard substances in your kitchen. But you should be aware that the wooden mortar and pestle age quickly and will not grind as smoothly as your granite and marble mortar and pestle.
A wood mortar is great and works well if you love having a lingering flavor in the bowl. They were traditionally used in the Mediterranean for crushing spices and are a great option too if you plan on using the mortar repeatedly for that same purpose.
In some developed countries, the mortar and pestle have become somewhat obsolete and inefficient this should not be a reason to neglect it. Even though the work done by them has been replaced by electronic blades and choppers, the mortar and pestle transform the texture of the food in such a way these electronic blades and choppers could not.
Although the electronic blades like the food processor, blenders work effortlessly while mincing and chopping, they cannot get the crushed texture that the mortar and pestle achieves.
Reasons why you should own a mortar and pestle set
- Gives a whole new meaning to fresh flavors; use a mortar and pestle to grind and crush spices, dried herbs, and other ingredients. Grinding with a mortar and pestle gives more flavor to the meal, makes it more aromatic and you can be assured of the freshness of the spices
- Great for making different foods like pesto, aioli, hummus, fresh salsa, guacamole, curry paste and so much more
- It is also very useful for crushing garlic, berries, grinding nuts, seeds, crushed crackers, and also coarse salts and sugar
- The mortar and pestle make a smooth paste of the salad dressing
What is a wooden mortar and pestle then used for?
As stated earlier, wooden mortar and pestles have long been used for grinding and crushing ingredients into fine paste or powder when preparing the ingredients and spices.
There are a whole lot of things the mortar and pestle can be used to prepare and they are and while you can just doss the ingredients in a food processor and be on your way, the mortar and pestle are highly efficient as it crushes and bruises the ingredients leaving it with a great flavor.
- Mashing garlic
- Making of pesto
- Crushing chimichurri
- Grinding spices and making a spice blend
- Making hummus
- For making curry paste
These are just a glimpse of what the mortar and pestle can be used for, there are wide varieties of spices that can be ground finely using a mortar and pestle.
General uses of a wooden mortar and pestle
Keep in mind that the wooden mortar and pestle are really durable but they are also porous and can stain easily. The flavor of one spice might linger on the mortar between uses and this might taint the flavor of the spice which would be ground next. This mortar and pestle is the tool when you need to ground something into a powder or paste.
Step one: Measure your ingredients in our mortar and pestle
Get the mortar and pestle and measure out the ingredients and put it in the mortar. Fill one-third of the mortar with the spices for an even and easy grind.
Process the spices in batches if they are too much and would not fit in the mortar all at once
Step two: Ground to your desired consistency
Now you would want to use the pestle to grind or process the spices to the consistency you want. The mortar should be held with one hand and the pestle with the opposite hand, hold the pestle, and then twist it against the ingredients that you put in the mortar.
This way the ingredients will be ground against the sides and bottom of the mortar. Use this method to grind, crush, or even bash your spices till you have attained the consistency you want. You are able to grind the spices to how fine or coarse you want it to be.
Step three: use the spices and prepare your meal and store the remaining if any in a tight-fitting container
There are different techniques for grinding, bashing, and crushing ingredients and spices and these different techniques will give different consistencies and this, in turn, affects the flavor as well as the final turn out of the dish
How to use the wooden mortar and pestle to grind
- While holding the mortar with one hand and the pestle with the other hand in a firm grip, use the round end of the pestle and press down on the spices or ingredients and roll it well against the mortar while making sure to apply firm pressure. Grind the spices until you have attained the desired consistency.
How to use the wooden mortar and pestle to bash
- This method is usually used for larger ingredients. You would want to pound gently but firmly to crack the spices. This gives you the option to change methods when grind.
- To make the pounding faster, firstly grind the ingredients that can be crushed easily then pound or bash the spices. Go back to grinding if needed
- Energy can be conserved by using sharp but short pounds to speed things up
How to use the wooden mortar and pestle to crush
- This means not completely crushing or grinding the spices. The spices are kept mostly intact and this method is suitable for crushing garlic.
- The pestle should be rolled across the ingredients to burst or crush them. You can continue this till the spices have been crushed( not finely ground)
How long can a wooden mortar and pestle be used for
A wooden mortar and pestle is after all a wooden utensil. It should be worth noting that how you care for would determine how long it will last. The same way you would care for your other wooden utensils, you should also do the same for the wooden mortar and pestle. There are a few things to note when cleaning the wooden pestle and mortar and how to care for it.
- Oil the wood mortar and pestle regularly with a food-grade oil
- Depending on what it was used for or will be used for, wiping with a dry cloth quickly after grinding dry herbs and spices is required. While in the cases of preparing wet ingredients like a curry paste, Rinse it first with hot water and then grind rice in the mortar to get rid of the lingering taste the curry would leave. You would want to repeat this second process until the mortar remains neutral. Some also advise to also use salt for removing the lingering taste
- Do not use a dishwasher when washing the wooden mortar and pestle. No one wants to taste a dishwasher when preparing an ingredient and the reason for the no dishwasher policy is that wood absorbs any liquid it comes in contact with. That is why if you oil regularly, it should help reduce the absorption of flavor and liquids
- Advisable to just reserve a wooden mortar and pestle for dry ingredients
- Do not run it through a dishwasher or try to sock it in for a very long time as this is a very bad thing to do.
What is the cost of a wooden mortar and pestle?
|Size of the wooden mortar and pestle||Images|
|· 1.44*1.44*3.49 inches|
|· 5.75*5.75*3 inches|
|· 9.3*7.6*6.3 inches|
|· 4.5*4.5*4.75 inches|
|· 5.4*3.9*5.5 inches|
Wooden Mortar and Pestle Review
The Imusa mortar with pestle jumbo
Really great when it comes to crushing spices. The product is really sturdy due to its unique design and it crushes herbs and spices really well. It is also perfect when it comes to serving. When washing, it is advisable to hand wash with warm soapy water.
Ironwood gourmet Olmec mortar and pestle
This is made from acacia wood, which gives the mortar and pestles a very natural and unique contrasting pattern. excellent for crushing and grinding all your herbs and spices in turn improving the taste.
Wash in warm soapy water and rinse with clean water and do not soak it in the water at all. To dry the wood mortar and pestle, simply just prop it up off the countertop to make sure all the surfaces get air-dried.
The mortar and pestle can be rejuvenated and the wood can be protected by rubbing it down with ironwood butcher block oil. This oil preserves the natural colors and prevents cracks. Do not wash this in a dishwasher
Devine deli rustic olive wood mortar and pestle
Has a rustic style and the olive wood mortar and pestle are sourced from a small worker’s cooperation in Tunisia’s heartland. When cleaning, it should be hand wiped only.
Home basics mortar and pestle
Made from bamboo and has a natural and simple design. It crushes fresh herbs, spices, and ingredients giving fresher flavors and this mortar and pestle are ideal for cooking and cocktails. The bamboo is solid thick and ensures durability.
Gocraft wooden carved mortar and pestle
This wooden mortar and pestle are made of natural mango wood and it Is carved in such a really unique and cool way. This gives it a retro design which adds rustic but modern usability.
It is very useful and can be used when crushing soft herbs, spices, crushing pills. This mortar and pestle have a food-grade finish. The base of the mortar and pestle is non-skid proving a sturdy base and unlike marble mortar pestles it has power and strength but also lightweight.
It was clearly designed in consideration of your convenience in mind. Requires low maintenance and is really durable. This can be a wonderful gift item and should not be washed at all by water rather it should be wiped with a dry or moist cloth.
Some other types of mortar and pestle
Wood and mortar pestles are good but it is nice to also have a little knowledge about other materials and some certain tasks which they are best suited for.
This is great for crushing spices, pounding garlic, and ginger, and the bowl is heavily made of a snowy veined stone. It has a super smooth surface but this also means that this type of material for mortar would not work quite well when it comes to crushing nuts, seeds, herbs because these spices would tend to dance around the bowl.
This is part of the most versatile mortar and pestle and they were traditionally used for cooking especially when making pastes of spices. They have a slightly irregular surface and this with their weight makes for easy work when doing a variety of jobs like grinding herbs, crushing spice, and dried chili and also even when grinding of some fibrous ingredient like the kaffir lime leaves and also lemongrass.
This is a heavy-duty material which is a good choice when processing fibrous and hard ingredients. But keep in mind that it requires extra care as it can easily rust.
Some iron mortars have a heavy coating inside and it is really advisable to avoid them because even though this material of mortars discourages rust, work can not be carried out effectively on it as the surface is too slippery.
Ceramic; garlic, nuts, bread, herbs work well with this type of material. It is has been long favored by the European cooks for making foods like pesto.