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2 solutions: I have an unpolished granite pestle and mortar: they're much cheaper than the polished granite ones and are much more abrasive then a wooden or ceramic one. I also don't use any salt, (for taste reasons, not for health reasons), but if your partner is intolerant to the Na in the NaCl (salt) you can get get 100% chemically pure CaCl2¹ from any ...


13

Neither. The traditional instrument for making guacamole, and other Mexican mashed and ground preparations, is the mocaljete, which is similar to a mortar & pestle, but made with a shorter pestle and out of black basalt, a rough volcanic stone: A regular mortar and pestle out of ceramic or granite will not work for a fat, squishy fruit like avocado; it ...


10

I almost never add salt when grinding, in a rough ceramic mortar with a pestle to match. It simply doesn't occur to me: I've been light on salt for ages, much more so since baby-led weaning. So in many cases you can simply omit it, and maybe work a little harder. Most of what I grind is dry spices. Some, such as coriander, grind much better if toasted ...


9

Porcelain or ceramic ones are: lighter You'll have to grab them with one hand to use them. easier to break cheaper This is related with the last point. glazed Porcelain ones don't need to be so, but ceramic ones are. It gives them a smoother surface, but some parts of the shell might husk off. It is not affected by acids (marble mortars will), and ...


7

By grinding it, you are also increasing the surface are of the herb when it reaches the tongue, and you are exposing the raw/inner (bitter) flavors of the herb to the mouth. When cooking with it "un-ground", the cooking process extracts just the oils from the herb, and leaves the leaf in tact which does not taste unpleasant to the senses. I would certainly ...


7

Just to clarify, the mortar is the bowl and the pestle is the rod. I haven't ever seen a grooved pestle, but the grooves on a mortar will wear off with use. The grooves are useful for holding seeds and the like in place while grinding, but they are not strictly necessary. Spices can actually be ground finer in a smooth mortar than they can with a grooved one ...


6

That sort of grinding only works with seeds and such. Chiles are too fibrous. I use a cuisinart mini mate chopper/grinder for all my spice milling needs. There's a dull side to the blade for grinding stuff like peppercorns, and a sharp side for stuff like chiles. About the only thing my mortar and pestle ever gets used for is grinding kosher salt to a ...


6

Were you just working from the video, or following the recipe? They added some coarse salt when they started with the garlic, which isn't apparent in the video. The salt acts as an abrasive when you're crushing wet things (garlic, herbs, etc.), so it takes a lot less time and effort. I also tend to use the 'smash with knife' technique (even if they're ...


6

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.


5

You can do this, but it's a fair amount of work. First, you want to toast the peppers before grinding. This makes them easier to grind, and also deepens the flavor. Second, chopping them up before starting to grind doesn't hurt. Third, throw in a handful of coarse salt if there's going to be salt later on in your recipe. It'll help you grind them up. ...


5

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.


5

Should be fine, in fact some people argue that a pestle and mortar is suppose to have remnants of past spices and that it adds to variety and such. If you're really concerned of the taste, smell or if you ground nuts (allergies), etc. or just don't want the smell/taste then soak it for a long period of time, then rewash it and repeat till it fades.


4

What type of stone, lava, marble, granite? Bleach makes for a nice general purpose disinfectant, as it degrades on its own over time. Let the thing soak in bleach (1 part bleach 9 part water) for a few days then boil again, and you should be good to go; once you find a pestle that fits.


4

As usual, Serious Eats has an article for this, covering what type of M&P to buy. They recommend a large granite model for most purposes, but an olivewood or marble one for certain special foods, like pesto. Your question is specifically "replacing a blender", though, and "even make some soups". An M&P will never replace a blender for pureeing ...


4

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 ...


3

I've never heard of using salt as an abrasive with a mortar and pestle. I might just use more of the spice in question and filter whats left. But if you were looking to use something as an abrasive you could try whole versions of whatever spices you are already using (cardamom, coriander, mustard, etc.) Or for a generic option, peppercorn seeds. A bit of ...


3

OK, some thoughts... A mortar & pestle needs to be always clean, always handy & always the right size for the job. A teeny mortar & pestle rapidly becomes a decoration rather than a useful tool if it's not big enough to cope with the high volume tasks. On the other hand if all you're grinding is 4 cloves, then you'd be lost in a large one... so ...


3

Didn't even know they were toxic uncooked, and survived 40+ years of home cooking (both by me and my parents) without any ill effect, I would say 99% of the times ground uncooked. That is, however, not an answer, so I will just explain my point of view, and why I won't bother with extraordinary cleansing after grinding candlenuts. I can't find anything on ...


2

If a paste is an acceptable end product (as brought out in comments), then the mortar and pestle will work fine. I believe in toasting most peppers first; straight on the flame, in a dry skillet, or under a broiler all work. Bring a pot of water with a lid to a boil, salt as for pasta. Prep your peppers by washing and throwing away the stems. Tear the flesh ...


2

When it comes to equipment, I consider Cook's Illustrated to be the Consumer Reports of cooking and refer to them. They recommend granite, or at least the one they recommend is granite. The Cilio (Frieling) Goliath. I'll refer you to their January 2012 edition to find their commentary about mortars and their full review (available at most libraries). You can ...


2

If you make Thai curry paste in a mortar, try and find asian shallots. Ask an asian grocer if you aren't sure what to look for - they are between the size of a big clove of garlic and a cherry tomato, and more rounded in shape. They are far more concentrated and thus introduce far less water and volume into your mortar (most recipes using these don't add ...


2

If the mortar size vs volume of ingredients is truly the only concern, you can crush things in batches and mix them in a bowl afterwards. :-) I think the main reason for adding them into a prepared paste is for convenience in adding that paste to recipes later. If it has everything you need already in it, then it works better as a base. If it doesn't have ...


2

I think you are all obsessed with 'germs', cut off from nature so much you imagine everything a threat! You all need to get a grip! All you need to do with something left outside is wash it out with water, and if any stains some detergent. Children who grow up messing about in earth come to no harm, they have healthy immune systems which can cope with ...


1

Try NuSalt instead. It is potassium chloride (KCL). (It also works great for tight muscles or muscle spasms if you drink a lot of water and flush away electrolytes.) Or try a non-glazed mortar & pestle. Some are smooth, while others are rough. Or try buying the pre-ground spices and skip the mortar & pestle.


1

With the caveats about allergy already given, A traditional method to clean a pestle and mortar is to grind uncooked rice in it. Hard work, though.


1

I would add a hint of washing up liquid and fill the pestle with water and let it stand for a couple of hours or overnight if possible. The smell usually goes away.


1

Small fish like sardines, pilchards, etc., yes you should be able to pestle these down with no problem at all (although they tend to break down naturally when you mix them with other ingredients. When I eat sardines and pilchards, the bones are hardly noticeable. Larger fish would be another matter though. As with any unknowns, waste a little to learn a ...


1

If your seeds have been dried a marble mortar and pestle works quite well. I would suggest making a disk the circumference of the mortar out of cardboard to surround the neck of the pestle. It will limit the amount of dust that goes in the air.


1

I prefer to use a personal blender like the nutriblast that comes with a dry ingredients blade. As long as you remove the stems, it comes out soft and fluffy and aromatic. If you're worried about the surface area of the herb being exposed, then steep the herb in a piece of cheesecloth, then remove and discard. In this way, the flavors are instilled into ...


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