Homemade food isn’t really homemade if you aren’t using your own spices. While that may be a bit of a stretch, creating your own spices and herbs can really put the finishing touches on a meal and give you a sense of what you could be missing in your food. If you’re someone who loves spicy food, being able to grind those peppers and create some chili flakes can kick your food up a notch, both in taste and heat. In order to achieve this, you’re going to want a mortal and pestle. This gives you a vessel and a means of crushing your herbs and spices to make them easier to hold and then use. It’s a simple thing to have in your kitchen and it can really help you out if you’re wanting to step up your chef’s game. Below, we’ve highlighted three of our favorites for you to take a look at after you’ve made a bland meal and are dreaming of something better.

Best Polished Mortar and Pestle

Looking for a piece of kitchen equipment that will not only help you cook more savory dishes but also provide a sharp addition to your home? With the Jamie Oliver JB5101 Polished Mortar and Pestle, you’ll be receiving just that. This granite mortal and pestle allows you to quickly crush your herbs and spices to make them even easier to use in your cooking. This can hold a generous two cup capacity and has sturdy, high walls that are thick, just like the base. The interior of the mortar as well as the pestle tip are both unpolished to give you better assistance when it comes to grinding. But the outside of the mortar as well as the remainder of the pestle are polished and shine to look like brand new every time you use them. You should not use soap when you are cleaning this, as it could damage the integrity of the unit. Just use warm water and let it air dry for the best results. Before using these items, you should first season the mortar with white rice, then garlic, followed by cumin, salt and pepper. It will give it a seasoned feel and will help it last longer.

Best Unpolished Mortar and Pestle

Perfect for making guacamole, the ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set is very simple to use. Different from an electric grinder, this is the traditional way of grinding and brings out the full flavor of the spices. You’ll be able to control the texture of your spices and provide yourself with chunk-free dishes. Nobody likes to bite into their meal and get a huge piece of peppercorn in their mouth. This six-inch mortar holds two cups of ingredients and can help you with a variety of different dishes, including fresh mustard, pesto, salsa, chutney, sauces, condiments, and dressings. It is made from unpolished granite which provides natural friction with whatever it is you’re grinding. It won’t scratch and you’ll receive an Italian recipes e-book with your purchase. It is also backed by a full lifetime guarantee that will give you your money back if it falters. It can even be used to help you crush up any pills you have to take or make your pet’s food easier for them to eat. 

Best Stainless Steel Mortar and Pestle

The Bekith Mortar and Pestle Set is a solid choice because of how efficient it is. Made from food grade 304 stainless steel construction, it is safe to use and does not have any mercury or produce a residual taste. It is durable and rust-proof with a non-skid base, keeping it firmly on the counter while you’re grinding away. What’s different about this one is the fact that it has a lid. The lid is translucent, so you’ll be able to put it on top while you’re using the pestle and still see what’s happening inside the mortar. It will keep the ingredients from flying out of mortar while you’re going. All you’ll need to do to clean it is run it under the faucet. You won’t have to use any soap. Like the others, this can be used in a variety of ways, especially pharmaceutically.