The title should say it all. I have a pestle but lost the mortar that belonged to it and wonder if I can use it with my ol' plastic bowls.

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    A small glass or Pyrex bowl would be a better option. – paparazzo Nov 2 '16 at 16:14
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    I seriously doubt that a glass bowl is better. While I never tried it myself, my intuition is that glass will shatter pretty soon under the pestle, especially if you are hammering at something (breaking nuts) in it. Even if you are only pressing/grinding, the glass will first scratch and then at some point break. Basically the same as with plastic, only more dangerous. – rumtscho Nov 2 '16 at 16:24
  • Yea, only stone and ceramic are really safe. – Mołot Nov 2 '16 at 16:26
  • @rumtscho I would not use one to crush nuts and we used them in chem lab when I was in college fishersci.com/shop/products/… – paparazzo Nov 2 '16 at 17:36
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    @ChrisH I would be too cautious to roll marble on glass, but maybe it is my intuition going wrong here, especially after seeing Paparazzi's example. It certainly depends on the pestle material though - I wouldn't dare do it (rolling in a glass mortar) with a marble pestle, I would do it with a wooden pestle, and I am not sure what I would have done with a glass pestle before I saw that picture. – rumtscho Nov 2 '16 at 18:06

Yes you will damage plastic. At the very least, you will scratch them. At worst, you will get plastic dust in your food. Don't do it.

If you don't believe me, take empty plastic bowl (one you don't mind damaging) and push pestle against it's wall. You will see for yourself.

  • 2
    Some seeds (fenugreek for example) are harder than most kitchen plastic, so even with a wooden pestle you could damage the plastic – Chris H Nov 2 '16 at 18:43

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