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Thread: What kitchen mortar?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Matus's Avatar
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    What kitchen mortar?

    This is a piece of kitchen equipment that we do not need often, but I got sick of mincing cloves (or similar spices) with knife.

    My grandma had a big heavy brass mortar with big heavy brass pestle - it was quite loud too . Today it seems that wood, ceramic, or stone mortars are more common (indeed the technique is a little different too).

    So - what do you use? What material/shape/size?

    thanks

  2. #2
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    i have recently bought a skeppshult mortar and can only recommend it. its made of cast iron and works better then any mortar i have used before. it even shreds full anis(stars? how do you call it in english?) in only a few seconds. id suggest you get one of these!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Matus's Avatar
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    Now that one looks interesting. The description says that the surfaces that do the shredding/grinding are rough - doesn't that release iron particles during the process?

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    havent noticed that yet. but maybe.

  5. #5
    Robert's Avatar
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    Buy a stone mortar and stone pestle if you use it for making a pasta of garlic or brake pepper etc. with it,Buy a clay one with wooden pestle if you need to bruise vegetables with it;both are at the Chinese shop for little money.

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    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    Matus, I'll go on a limb and say that traditional Thai M&P are the best. in an M&P, weight is your friend so buy the heaviest one you can afford. I have the 8" and its perfect for anything that you could through at it. Also, the technique isn't banging the ingredients, its more like holding the pestle upright and swirling it around the bowl in a grinding and crushing manner. Pounding up and down will only cause dry spices to splash out.

    as we all know the M&P is a very old tool that was originally made of stone and its design hasn't been improved since. These materials suck unless using them for: Marble--good for crushing pills, wood, good for bruising veg (papaya salad), cast iron, sounds good but for me would required additional care with all the water and acidic ingredients. Stainless, ceramic... "marketing BS."

    Also, I'd stay away from a Molcajete too. The pestle is not heavey enough and it will kill your wrist when pounding tough ingredients like lemon grass, long peppers or dried shrimp.

    This decision is a no brainer and for $35?

    http://www.amazon.com/Large-Thai-Gra.../dp/B000NVVUO6
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  7. #7

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    Why not grind them with a coffee grinder? cheap, fast, easy. (Yeah, I know it's not the same as a M+P, but for most applications I don't think it makes much difference.)
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Namaxy's Avatar
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    I'll second Mucho on this. I have the large Thai from his link...works great. I have the Emile Henry M&P and it's close to useless...way too small and light. On the other hand, I'll disagree somewhat on the molcajete....depending on size. The one I have must weigh 30 lbs., and the pestle alone is well over a pound. It works well but isn't practical.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    Neil, fair enough about the molcajete but wasn't thinking most folks would have a thirty pound rock crusher in their kitchen. Hard core!

    Z, as a man that appreciates detail, the advantage of the m&p is that it mashes the ingredients creating heat and drawing out the oils in spices.
    One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

  10. #10

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    I wonder how this compares to dry-roasting, then frying, then grinding (whirly-blade style).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mucho Bocho View Post
    Z, as a man that appreciates detail, the advantage of the m&p is that it mashes the ingredients creating heat and drawing out the oils in spices.
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

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