We’ll break everything down and reveal our top 10 buys for granite, marble, ceramic and wooden options available in the UK. We’ve scoured Amazon and John Lewis so you can find your way to flavour nirvana with the click of a button. Moreover, we have partnered with chef Ryan Yen for reviewing and fact-checking the article to deliver you the best information.
Ryan is a trained chef with experience in several restaurants (with various kitchen supplies across the restaurant experience) and hotels, he also attended le cordon bleu to further his training in cuisine and patisserie and focus on creating simple and delicious dishes. Ryan is now formally working as a chef tutor.
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Ryan is a trained chef with experience in several restaurants (with various kitchen supplies across the restaurant experience) and hotels.
He also attended le cordon bleu to further his training in cuisine and patisserie and focus on creating simple and delicious dishes. Ryan is now formally working as a chef tutor.
The mortar itself will be strong enough to take a bit more force when faced with these hardier items and will be stable enough on the worktop while you put the work in. So, if you like to cook with these kinds of ingredients, follow in the footsteps of tradition and consider a granite or marble set.
All in all, they are known as the preferred option when it comes to mortar and pestles, and as a plus, they don't absorb odours but can be stained, so be careful when switching from paste to paste due to colouration and cross-contamination. Another reason is they produce heat from the friction of the pestle and mortar to release essential oils from aromatics and spices to create a well-rounded, smooth paste.
However, they come into their own when used for whipping emulsified wet sauces such as mayo, salad dressings and pesto as well as crushing garlic. Ceramic is used in Mediterranean countries where these types of sauces are popular, so it's a great choice if you have a particular penchant for foods from this region and want to master an authentic handmade pesto.
Another well-known mortar and pestle are the Suribachi from Japan, with ridged edges in the bowl and wooden pestle. These are known for grinding sesame seeds and can also be used to make guacamole or pesto.
Ceramic mortar and pestles are also dishwasher safe and do not need special care, so are a popular choice for busy cooks or even those who want to use them simultaneously to crush up medicinal pills and tablets.
Unfortunately, the mortars aren’t strong enough to create the base needed to successfully grind tough ingredients. Like ceramic, they are better suited to soft herbs and other Mediterranean staples such as hummus, although they will absorb strong odours such as garlic. Some people think this only adds to the taste, but you won’t be able to make much else with it once you’ve committed!
Opting for a larger mortar does also have some practical advantages, such as providing more room to get stuck in with the crushing process. On the other hand, a smaller mortar can be useful for a quick spice grind or dressing mix and is much speedier than hauling out and cleaning an electric gadget. It’s up to you, but frequent cooks may like to have several sizes at their disposal.
As an additional point, the bigger the width of the pestle head, the easier and more efficient it will be. Large, round heads with plenty of surface area will better emulsify sauces and better pound harder nuts and spices. Although not commonly noted on products, we’d also suggest looking for a pestle with a large end, especially if you’re deciding between two products.
A weight of 3-4 kg is average for a solid stone set that won’t shift around, but those tipping the scales at 5 kg should only really be considered if you’re after a very weighty piece of kit. Be wary of sets under 2 kg if you do want them for heavy-duty use.
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Granite Mortar and Pestle
A Unique Dual-Sided Set That Can Handle Even Tougher Ingredients
Solid Granite Mortar and Pestle
A Smaller Choice That Doesn't Forgo Sturdiness
Granite Mortar and Pestle
A Great Quality Mid-Sized Option From Jamie Oliver
2 in 1 Pestle and Mortar Set
A Practical Addition to Your Kitchen That's Just the Right Size
Maison & White
Ceramic Mortar and Pestle Set With Silicone
Perfect for Those Wanting Something Light and Easy to Handle
White Marble Mortar and Pestle
Ideal for Quick Grinds or as a Second Smaller Mortar
John Lewis & Partners
Grey Marble Pestle and Mortar
A Great Balance of Sleek Looks and Good Depth
Stoneware Mortar and Pestle
A Smaller Ceramic Set That's Useful for Dressings
Cole & Mason
Large Granite Mortar and Pestle
Extra Large and Best for Big Quantities
World of Flavours
KitchenCraft Pestle and Mortar Set
Stunning Olive Wood Worthy of Display
Written and researched by Natasha Dziubajlo
No. 1: Ezo Home｜Granite Mortar and Pestle
No. 2: H&S ｜Solid Granite Mortar and Pestle
No. 3: Jamie Oliver ｜Granite Mortar and Pestle
No. 4: COSYLAND｜2 in 1 Pestle and Mortar Set
No. 5: Maison & White ｜Ceramic Mortar and Pestle Set With Silicone
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