1

Even after conditioning/seasoning one can expect microscopic chips from using a mortar and pestle.

Intuitively it seems that a metallic M&P would be more inclined to shed not so healthy chips, in contrast to a combination of a hard mortar (granite) and a (food safe) soft pestle (wood) whose chips are non toxic.

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    ... except for the fact that a steel M&P does a terrible job of grinding anything. – FuzzyChef Aug 20 '19 at 16:41
6

A granite mortar and granite pestle; this combination will do everything.

The granite is hard and dense and will not chip under regular usage.

You need to remember that the mortar and pestle must be harder than what you need to grind.

Serious Eats Mortars and Pestles is a good read.

  • Hey can you identify that link with what it is instead of just "this"? That both helps readers know if they want to click it, and lets folks know what to search for if the link is one day broken by the source. – FuzzyChef Aug 20 '19 at 16:43
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    sorry, updated... – Max Aug 20 '19 at 19:26
5

I use Coors ceramic mortar and pestles. I bought my last one on the mid 1980's. It's never given me any trouble. The company got renamed at some point. It's now CoorsTek out of Golden Colorado, USA. Easy to find online.

They have a sturdy, tough construction, and are used in laboratories worldwide. The key feature I like about these sets is that the pestle curve matches the mortar curve through a wide range of angles. That increases the efficiency of grinding. I've looked at Marble, granite and lava units over the years, and have seldom come across a pestle that's a decent fit for the mortar. That flaw causes frustration and an irregular grind.

Maybe some day I'll find a better pair, but it's been over 30 years now.

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    I have used one for 15 years to grind medications, works perfectly. I believe they are "tabular alumina" ( a ceramic). – blacksmith37 Aug 20 '19 at 20:02
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    Generally they're just very high-temp white porcelain. I also have one, and can recommend them if you can find one. – FuzzyChef Aug 20 '19 at 20:11
  • er, correction, sometimes they're porcelain. The Coors ones are a special high-alumina clay. – FuzzyChef Aug 20 '19 at 20:19

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