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Granite Mortar & Pestle?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I am shopping for a granite mortar & pestle to grind pepper & spices.... any recommendations or things to look out for? Thanks!
post #2 of 14
I'd look for one of those at either Fantes.com or Sur La Table.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #3 of 14
I found a small very very affordable mortar/pestle at IKEA. I use it for grinding spices and garlic and it's perfect because it's very heavy and it has little ridges along the inside that help crush hard spices. I believe it is marble.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #4 of 14
If you want granite only, you'll have to do some special hunting. There are plenty of other kinds out there that look good too. If other types will do, ethnic markets are a good choice, both Asian and Hispanic.

You might also consider a dedicated coffee grinder just for spices. Makes a world of difference on the big jobs like barbecue rubs and other tasks.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys

Thanks for the answers! The reason I was looking for granite is because I wanted something heavy that's going to get the job done with hard spices or peppercorns and such. I'm reading a really detailed Thai cook book where they recommend a granite one. For this purchase I'm not too concerned with big BBQ jobs yet.

I own a Japanese mortar and pestle, I believe the mortar is clay of some kind, it has ridges, but the pestle is wood, which is too soft, and the peppercorns have a tendency to go inside the ridges every time I pound them! annoying.

Thanks for the help so far, I'll keep searching, I've found a few ones online for $20 or $30.
post #6 of 14
i found a granite one at marshals, and have seen them at tj max.
post #7 of 14
Also checkout your local mexican supermercado where I've seen the granite ones, called mocajete (sp), for sale.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Great. I have tons of mexican supermarkets around here (this is L.A. !) and a Marshall's nearby, so I'll try both!
post #9 of 14
Great, you should be able to find one for really cheap. BTW some of my family hail from South Gate and Downey - when Downey was once populated with farms and barns and open fields! :crazy:

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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post #10 of 14
There are many granite mortor & pestle sets, in several sizes, at Amazon.com. Use the link from here, and help support Cheftalk.
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'll use the link if I buy from Amazon, but I'd rather see it in person if possible. I went to a mexican supermarket and they had a stone one, but it was HUGE (for making salsa). I just need a tiny one for spices and crushing chilis. I'll keep looking and if I can't find one at Ross or Marshall's, I'll probably go amazon.
post #12 of 14
The Ikea one is probably smaller. It is black marble but it weighs 4 pounds and is a really practicle size. The price is right too $10

IKEA | Preparing | Spice & condiment stands | RÖRA | Mortar and pestel
post #13 of 14
To be sure, a suribachi isn't made for peppercorns as such, but it should work... if it's large enough. Everybody seems to have the 3-4 inch ones, which are no good for things like this. If you have a big one, then your problem is the word "pound." Don't. Crack the peppercorns -- put them on a board and roll the bottom of a heavy pot or skillet on them just to crack them a bit -- and then put them with everything else in the suribachi. Grind, don't pound: the object is to stir while pushing down firmly, and let the ridges on the bottom do the work.

I'm not saying that a suribachi is the best thing, or that you should use it exclusively or at all, but as long as you've got one you might try using it this way and see whether it works better for you.

Of course, if you've got a little one, go get something else: you can't grind much of anything in the little ones, and it's got to be pretty soft. It's also a pain in the tail to remove once ground!
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Chris! Yes, it's a tiny one, probably 4 inches in diameter at the top of the bowl. It looks so fragile...

Thanks a lot for sharing the correct technique. I'll definitely give it a shot.
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