What are a Mortar and Pestle Used for?
What are mortar and pestle? Used since antiquity, a mortar is a bowl of some sort and a pestle is a cylinder-type tool used to smash ingredients. Together, they can finely grind spices, nuts, and other ingredients to make pastes and sauces.
Yes, whether you're a cook-three-meals-a day-at-home kind of person or just an appreciator of a good sauce, you do really need one. A mortar and pestle will crush nuts and grind spices with ease. You can use it to emulsify garlic and oil into a creamy aioli and smash chiles and ginger into curry paste. Besides, mortar and pestle together are also used in pharmacies to improve pharmacist work efficiency.
How to Use Mortar and Pestle? Here's the Right Way.
Do you know how to use a mortar and pestle set properly? Think about it.
Here's a quick way to tell. Are the ingredients flying off your countertop instead of staying in the mortar? Do spices stay in uneven pieces instead of turning into fine powder?
If you answered yes to any of these, it's time for you to learn how to use a mortar and pestle the right way.
Using a mortar and pestle is really all about wrist movement. Start too fast and everything will fly around, too slow and it will take you forever to grind.
First, determine the texture of the item you're grinding. For example, saffron and pine nuts are softer than pepper and fenugreek seeds.
For soft foods, it is enough to press lightly with the pestle, then start to slowly change the texture of the food in a circular motion.
Harder foods like peppercorns need to be cracked before they can be ground. Use the pestle to press the ingredients on the sides of the bowl to break it up. The ingredients are then finely ground using a circular motion until the desired fineness is achieved.
Why Choose a Mortar & Pestle?
Even if you already own a food processor, you still want to invest in a mortar and pestle. Why? For one, you have more control - pesto and other sauces stay loose and slightly earthy, rather than being whipped into a homogeneous paste quickly, so each bite is more vibrant. Second, the mortar and pestle can actually extract more essential oils and fragrances from the stock by crushing the cell walls evenly, without the bitterness that comes from food processors and blenders, which rely on blades to chop and chop quickly into raw materials. Third, it's fun to use! Using a mortar and pestle can really give you an idea of what to eat and help you immerse yourself in each recipe (and let off some steam after a tough day).
Different Types of Mortar and Pestle
There are several different types of mortars and pestles, each serving a different purpose.
For value for money, we recommend Thai granite mortar and pestle. It's heavy, which means it won't fly off the counter when you're using it, and the pestle is heavy enough to help you smash but not tire your arms too quickly. The texture is slightly rough on the inside to help break down the ingredients, but not as rough as Mexican molcajete, which can sometimes be difficult to keep clean.
Wooden mortars and pestles are beautiful, but the wood is porous and can absorb the flavors you're working in. These are best to use if you plan to only make pesto or other single sauces because otherwise, the taste of your mortar will affect the taste of what you make next.
Ceramic mortars and pestles can be fragile and can sometimes crumble or peel if you crush ingredients too hard. They are better for making more delicate mixes.
Whatever the material, make sure your mortar and pestle are big enough to be practical - you don't want to worry about things being pushed out when you pound them. Choose one that is at least six inches in diameter and relatively deep, which will help keep the ingredients from escaping.
How to get a mortar and pestle set?
With over 10 years of experience in manufacturing pharmacy tools, Pro-Health Product Ltd. produces this product in good quality. They are ideal when a nonporous, nonstaining grinding surface is required. It won't absorb any oils or scents from whatever you're grinding; it's as fresh as new each time you use it. Besides, it’s easy to clean after use.
To find out more about the new Glass Mortar and Pestle Set, please directly go to the product page.