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Friday, October 29, 2010

Tips: Selecting a Mortar and Pestle

There's no Guestbook Recipe post today. We still acquiring the necessary tools and ingredients for the first recipe we selected. We're almost ready to make it though! We have selected and ordered a mortar and pestle - now it just needs to arrive.

As with most kitchen gadgets, it turns out you shouldn't choose a mortar and pestle based solely on its design. In the process of trying to figure out what we wanted to review from Cookware.com, a CSN Store, I learned how you should select a mortar and pestle.

Basically after knowing what you plan to use it for (curry pastes, guacamole, salsa, etc.), you need to consider the following:
  • Material of both the mortar and the pestle. If you're making a guacamole or salsa, you won't want wood which will absorb liquid.
  • Porousness of the mortar. If you don't want the flavor of what you're grinding to season your next batch choose marbles, vitrified ceramics, or granites.
  • Surface of the mortar. They can be smooth like the Solid Thai Granite Stone, coarse like the Mexican Molcajete, or ridged like the Japanese Suribachi.
  • Weight of the pestle. A heavier pestle makes the pounding of ingredients go much faster.
  • Size of the mortar. If your mortar is too small, you'll have to work in batches. Small mortars typically yield a cup, large two cups, and so on.
For us of the mortar and pestle sets available from Cookware.com, the options that made sense for us to consider were: Frieling's "Goliath" Mortar and Pestle (Granite) for $49.95, Fox Run Craftsmen's Oversized Mortar and Pestle (Marble) for $59.99, or Le Creuset's Large Mortar and Pestle (PG4050-1230) (Ceramic) for $37.95.

If you're interested in learning more about mortar and pestles, check out these resources:

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