Mortar and pestle have been a very important tool in the day to day kitchen activities of man since ancient times and up till this moment, the usefulness is still there in every home be it urban or rural.
What if a situation demands that you need to use a different tool instead of mortar and pestle? What will be your solution? This is the reason why this article is being developed for you to know the various tools that can be used instead of mortar and pestle.
Table of Contents
The Coffee Grinder
A coffee grinder is similar to a spice grinder in shape and functionality. There is only a slight difference and it is that a coffee grinder can be burr or blade. When it is a burr, the grinding mechanism is different from the spice grinder but similar when it is a blade.
What Coffee Grinder can Grind
A coffee grinder is specifically made for grinding coffee beans into a fine or coarse texture. However, it can also grind things like peppercorn, cinnamon, chilies, and other food ingredients provided they are dry.
The Mechanism of a Coffee Grinder
A coffee grinder is normally used to grind coffee beans put between two abrasive surfaces that do not meet due to the setting of the user.
When you set the two surfaces far apart the result of the product texture will be coarse but when the two surfaces are set closer to each other the resulting texture will be fine and smaller.
The grinder normally involves a revolving screw that pushes the food item through so that it can be ground. it can be either electrical or manual.
As it is, there are two types of coffee grinders. The burr grinder and the blade grinder. The burr grinder is more preferable as it does not produce much heat as the blade counterpart.
Another factor that makes the burr coffee grinder better than the blade is that it grinds food items evenly compared to the blade grinder.
Why you should have a coffee grinder in the kitchen
So far, I have presented the various alternatives to mortar and pestle. It is time to tell you why you should have these tools at home.
These mentioned tools including the mortar and pestle are very important to be available in our kitchens. Apart from the usefulness attached to each of them, a need may arise in which you will need one in place of the other.
Normally, the usefulness of kitchen tools is majorly helpful in maintaining orderliness or cleanliness in your kitchen. Some of these tools could aid in chopping, slicing, and neatly mince raw ingredients for delicious recipes. Mortar and pestle are not left out of this powerful kitchen tools but what if it is not available at a certain time?
This is the more reason why you need a coffee grinder so that it can act as an alternative to mortar and pestle when the need arises.
The Spice Grinder
In a similar way with the coffee grinder, throw the spice in the grinder, mix them up and start grinding until you reach your desired texture for a particular recipe demand.
The Spice Grinder Mechanism
This works with the use of high-speed blades to chop food material as it mixes it. This device works in a similar way to the coffee blade grinder.
Why you Should have a Spice Grinder
Despite that coffee and nut grinders can do the job of a spice grinder, they cannot give accurate texture as the spice grinder specifically designed for grinding spices
A blender can grind and powdered spices in a similar way spice grinder and coffee grinder can do. It can equally grind other ingredients alike.
In the case of a blender, you will need a larger amount of spices for it to work effectively as the ingredients such as spices or herbs must cover the blades.
If your blender is of high quality, issues will be minimized but cannot be as effective as mortar and pestle for lesser amounts of herbs or spices.
The Blender Mechanism
To begin working with a blender, push a button to start it up and the motor will immediately turn the blades. A circular whirring motion will be formed which in turn produces a vortex motion in the fluid.
The circular movement continues as it whips air into the food items to aid the mixing of the ingredients quicker until you get your desired texture.
Why you Should have a Blender in your Kitchen
A blender is one of the most important tools in the kitchen and the reason is that it can save your time and energy when it comes to blending food items to make pastes or soups. The immersion blenders are perfect when it comes to making hot soups but I prefer the table Blenders in terms of making smoothies, shakes, or fruit juice.
A Mixer Grinder
You can grind your spices with a mixer grinder. It is in fact an indispensable kitchen tool you must have in the modern kitchen. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, a mixer grinder is one of the best alternatives.
The reason it is one of the best substitutes to mortar and pestle is that it can be used to grind both dry and wet spices to make pastes, as it is a grinder with a dedicated wet jar suitable for grinding wet spices and prepare pastes of various kinds like chilies, coriander leaves, ginger and so on.
It is not recommended that a person should use the mixer grinder to constantly grind spices such as cumin, coriander, or pepper and generally hard seeds can damage the machine blades.
The Mecanism of Mixer Grinders
Why you should have a Mixer Grinder
This is a great multitasking device. It can be used to grind and mix food ingredients. This tool is fast and easy so you will not have to waste time grinding, mixing, or messing up everywhere.
This tool can help you achieve various food items, as it is a very versatile appliance. It can make your mixing and grinding food items easy. Whatever you want to grind be it coconut, nuts or meat, and many other food items.
You can even use it to make shakes and ice cream. This is the reason why you need this mixer grinder in your kitchen.
Cinnamon is a family of stick spice and a food processor can grind it. This is direct evidence that a food processor can grind spices even if not all types.
You can get a small food processor to grind the cinnamon it will do just fine. If you are intending to grind spices in the coarse paste forms of onions, ginger, and garlic though preferably for a finer paste, a blender will be more suitable.
Pour the spices into the food processor. Cover the lid and on the food processor and grind the spices until the coarse desire is met.
Mechanism of a Food Processor
A food processor is made of shredding and slicing discs that are themselves made of metal and sit at the bottom of the machine’s bowl above the shaft.
Push the food down the feed of the food processor so that it can have contact with the disc at which instance it can be shredded or sliced into the attached bowl.
A food processor normally comes with different types of plates that can make a food item either fine, medium, or coarse.
Why you should have a Food Processor
You need a food processor at home to ease the tedious tasks that are demanded in the kitchen. A food processor is a multipurpose machine, powerful, and can work for a long time with superspeed features. There are two major types of food processors, the manual and the electricity and they both are faster than mortar and pestle.
Pepper grinder is another alternative for mortar and pestle. Just like the name, it can be used to grind dry peppercorns. You may want to use it to grind ingredients such as dried paw-paw seeds.
Precisely, dry black, white, and dry green peppercorn is the ideal spice that should be ground in a pepper grinder.
The Mechanism of a Pepper Grinder
The mechanism of the Pepper grinder is not tedious. There is a long shaft that is attached to the head of a pepper grinder, so when it is turned, rotates the cutter that grinds ingredients within the grinder.
Why you should have a pepper grinder
A pepper grinder is ideal when it comes to grinding your peppercorn. It is easier and faster to use. If you don’t have mortar and pestle, using a pepper grinder will be a perfect alternative to grind your peppercorn of all kinds.
I have seen a lot of people making fantastic drinks with the aid of mortar and pestle. Do you think it is not possible?
What about if you pound your fruit in a clean mortar specifically bought for that purpose and then sieve out the juice?
The Mechanism of a Juicer
As soon as you provide electricity, your mixer grinder blades will begin to rotate. A motor will convert the supplied electricity into mechanical energy. The Blades grind and mix the ingredients as they rotate.
Why you Should have a Juicer Grinder
Now you get the idea. A cup of juice in the morning makes a healthy day. As the name appears, a juicer grind is a multipurpose machine that can do the job of grinding vegetables and fruits. It can grind fresh vegetables and fruit in their fresh forms.
This mechanism ensures that the entire vitamins, fibers, and nutrients are benefitted in the food ingredient. This implies that despite it is an electric machine the heat involve does not spoil food items.
You can mix fruits and vegetables together to prepare healthy food drinks to start your day. This makes the juicer mixer grinder a must-have in the kitchen.
This juicer mixer grinder is different from the mixer grinder. This works for juicing and mixing of food items. This is what makes it a suitable alternative for mortar and pestle.
Zippy bag and Hammer
It is not hard to get a zippy bag and hammer. They are also common in the local market otherwise try an online store in the links above.
Maybe you want to grind ingredients such as Onions, Coriander or fennel seeds, or even rosemary, you can put them in a zippy bag, and smash them continuously with a hammer until they are up to your desired consistency.
A coffee mug can be used to grind spices in the absence of mortar and pestle. As you can see, the coffee mug is made of glass or ceramic and can be heavy most of the time.
Get the spices such as garlic, chilies, or herbs and place them on a clean sheet after which you can gently press the under the surface of the coffee mug against them.
If the spices are watering like tomato, you may need to first remove the juice and then cut them into smaller pieces before the grinding process.
You can put the spices mentioned above between the bottoms of two pans. Allow one bottom side up and Place the spice(s) on it and the other bottom side down should be placed on top and then rotate it back and forth applying little downward force.
To grind your spices using the rolling pin, assemble the spice on a plastic wrap or alternatively put it in a Ziploc bag.
Chop the spice(s) into smaller pieces to ease the grinding process. After wrapping the spices over the plastic wrap, use the rolling pin on a flat surface, and grind them.
Ziploc and Blunt Object
A coffee mug cannot resistance higher forces before it gets broken. You will not like to drink your next coffee with your hand.
A coffee mug can be perfect for soft ingredients. Using it to pulverize hard ingredients can easily break it. In fact, using a coffee mug is just a quick hack to grinding soft ingredients when you have no other choice.
Use a stronger blunt object to grind really hard spices and seeds. Use alternative tools like a skillet, rolling pin, meat tenderizer to grind them. Put the dry ingredients in the provided Ziploc bag to avoid creating a mess or lose your effort.
You can shred or grind some ingredients such as onions, carrots, and other similar ingredients using a sharp knife especially the ones made of stainless steel.
Get a clean flat plate or surface, place your onions or carrot on it, and then cut into smaller pieces, continue to reduce the size of the ingredients until they become ground. The texture will not be smooth and this should be noted.
Meat pounder is also known as a meat tenderizer or meat mallet. It is a hand-powered tool used to pound slabs of meat in food preparation. As a cook, you need to be creative to select an alternative tool when the needed one is not available.
A meat pounder’s heavyweight advantage can be taken to grind your ingredients in the absence of mortar and pestle. Its hammer or mallet-like nature makes it a perfect alternative for mortar and pestle.
Just in a similar way with a hammer, get a zippy bag and put your spices or seeds in it and smash with the meat pounder. Pound the ingredients until you get your desired texture.
Nutmeg and cinnamon sticks can be handled by this low-tech option called Microplane grater. Microplane sells attachments you can use to grind smaller sized spices by hand.
All Microplane parts can be washed in the dishwasher and then tossed in a drawer so it is a portable size for the kitchen.
Manual coffee grinder
Mortar and pestle may be a very ideal tool but to grind faster, you need a manual coffee grinder as an alternative. This can grind a larger amount of spices according to Ben Walters.
A manual coffee grinder has an adjustable head to help you grind the spices into different textures.
How to maintain Kitchen Appliances
Having kitchen appliances is one thing, maintain and caring for them is another subject. Let us look at these kitchen appliance maintenance tips together.
Clean the kitchen tools
Cleaning your kitchen appliances is a routine that is mandatory for any kitchen owner. Cleaning your tools thoroughly after every use is an ideal way to take care of your kitchen items. You may be busy but if you can find a way to create the habit of cleaning will save effort in the long run.
The risk of not cleaning these kitchen appliances is that they accumulate bacteria or mold on their surfaces and can spread across the tools, bowls, cutting boards and can even get contact with the food, which can cause sickness in the household.
Grease could buildup in unclean kitchen appliance which can cause fire hazard and can put family life in danger.
Inspect your Kitchen Equipment regularly
It is a potential habit to inspect your kitchen equipment from time to time for a possible issue. You can do this while cleaning the tool in particular.
There could be some small issues that can be prevented as early as possible so you are free from major repairs and replacement ahead as well as preventing costly maintenance.
You can research online in case you don’t know what exactly the issue is or how to repair it. I recommend YouTube videos. You can also ask your friends that are experts in cooking to help you out.
Regular maintenance such as cleaning and calibration of your cooking kitchen tools can help elongate the lifespan of your item.
Sharpening of the knife
You may have different types of knives in your kitchen. In one way or the other may be useful in the absence of mortar and pestle. It is necessary to maintain them. The maintenance can involve both regular cleaning and sharpening.
Chef knife is the most common in the kitchen as it is more versatile compared to other forms of a knife. Sharpening and taking care of your knife will make them last longer, perform better, and safer to use.
Improvising is a skill every kitchen owner is expected to have to manage events that may come up such as when there is no available mortar and pestle to grind some ingredients in the kitchen.
If you can assimilate this article, it will be another plus for the improvement of your kitchen experience. Every item both manual and electrical is in one way or the other useful in the kitchen. They are very important to have in your kitchen.