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Granite is an excellent choice for anyone whosoever that is looking for a mortar and pestle that is dense, coarse and can easily grind or mash food to a fine smooth. As great as this M&P, there are still some unanswered questions as to whether they’re a great choice for preparing food or even safe.
In this article, I am going to look out whether or not it’s safe to use your mortar and pestle to prepare food and how best to season them.
So, Are Granite Mortar And Pestle Safe? Well, the answer is a big YES but you’ll need to season it the first time to take away grit to make it safe for food. You wouldn’t want the stones to come in contact with your food so the essence of cleaning before usage mustn’t be neglected.
Tip: M.V. Trading MTP92 Stone (Granite) Mortar and Pestle is a good choice for anyone considering buying a granite mortar that is safe for home use.
However, cleaning them for the first time isn’t enough either. Remember, you’ll be using them for a long while so ensure to wash them properly after each use with warm water and a sponge and don’t forget to rinse properly. Also air dry to prevent them from getting musty.
That said, let’s quickly dive straight to why you need to season a new mortar and pestle.
Do You Need To Season A Granite Mortar And Pestle?
Yes, seasoning a new granite mortar and pestle helps takes away small irregularities off the mortar. These small patches need to be closed up and the only way you can do that is to season them.
Granite by nature is porous so if you do not look for a way to close these porous surfaces, tiny grits of stones may find their way into your food especially when you’re using them for the first time.
When you cure a mortar and pestle, you’re deliberately and systematically preparing the surface and making them free from grits. Doing so will not only make them safe enough to be used for grinding but will ensure that you get all of the benefits from whatever you’re grinding.
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How To Season A Granite Mortar And Pestle
Step 1: Rinse With Only Water
The first step to curing a mortar and a pestle is pretty straight forward and that involves rinsing the M&P with clean flowing water.
Rinsing your m&p helps takes away some of the stones or dust out of the mortar. Remember, you’ll have to do this several times to take a substantial amount of these grits out.
Another thing I would like to say here is that you should avoid using soapy water. Once you’ve accomplished this task, you can now proceed to step 2.
Step 2: Pour Uncooked White Rice Into The Mortar
Now that you’ve successfully given your mortar and pestle a quick flush with water, the next step is to pour in a handful of rice into the mortar. You only need a little amount of uncooked white rice to get the job done.
Step 3: Starts Grinding
This is where you’ll need to get busy with work. You wouldn’t want to rush it and have rice flying around the whole place so be careful while at it.
Start by grabbing the pestle with one hand then use the other hand to support the mortar. This will give you some level of stability as you walk your way through the curing process.
Once you have the support, the next thing to do is to start grinding. Some people prefer to add a little bit of water to their uncooked rice while grinding which is fine as long as you’re grinding the rice all the way around the mortar with your pestle. You’ll need to do this process 2-3 more times to ensure that the powdered rice seal those pores or spaces.
Step 4: Rinse
Once you’re done grinding the rice in your mortar and successfully turning them into powder, you might want to give your mortar and pestle a good rinse before seasoning.
Step 5: Seasoning
This step is completely optional but I do prefer to do this to ensure that my granite mortar and pestle is completely safe for grinding.
I usually like using garlic and salt for this process. Although I’ve read that some people do use pepper as well but its something I haven’t really given a try but I’m pretty sure its quite ok anyway.
Put all of the ingredients in your mortar then grind it gently using your pestle until it turns into a paste. Leave this for a couple of hours before you rinse and dry.
How To Crush/Grind Things Using A Granite Mortar And Pestle
If you’re new to the whole mortar and pestle thingy, you might be wondering how to use it to grind things efficiently without having your stuff flying all over the kitchen.
Well, you ain’t alone in this. I was like you some years back until I learnt how to correctly use them to grind almost everything.
When it comes to grinding things with M&P, there are two approaches I normally use. It’s called the bashing and muddling technique.
The muddling is good for gently crushing things and taking them to a finer smooth. This method is especially important when you’re making pasta or herbs in general.
The bashing technique is what most people are used to as seen in most food channels. Bashing helps break down a larger chunk of an item to a smaller piece.
If you’re familiar with peppercorn, then you must have seen that most people usually start with bashing to break it down then finish it up with muddling.
Bashing and muddling is indeed a skill that takes constant practices to perfect. So if you’re just starting out, don’t be in a hurry, be gentle at it and with time, you’ll be good at it.
Below is a video of Jamie Oliver you might want to see. In this video, Jamie explains why bashing and muddling are important when grinding things with mortar and pestle.
My Ultimate Grinding Tips
For someone like me that has used a mortar and pestle for almost a decade, I can totally tell you that there’s a lot more you should know other than just pounding things with them.
Below are some of the tips I use on a daily basis that you might want to give a try.
- Whenever you want to grind things with your m&p, be sure to add your ingredient one at a time. Adding them once and bashing them altogether may cause them to fly all over the place.
- During bashing, It’s advisable to cover the mortar with your palm spread halfway around the mortar. This will ensure that what you’re grinding in there doesn’t fly all over your kitchen.
- If you live in a quiet neighbourhood, ensure to keep a folded towel underneath your mortar. This will help minimize the noise and also give you a good base for grinding.
How To Clean A Granite Mortar And Pestle
It’s no longer rumour that one shouldn’t wash a granite mortar and pestle with soap considering how porous the surface is. So what then is the best way to clean a granite m&p?
Well, the best way to clean a granite mortar and a pestle is to rinse with clean water then follow it up by grinding uncooked rice with salt on it.
This should help take out the residues and keep your mortar sparkling. Again, you shouldn’t forget to give it a good rinse once you’re done grinding.
Are Granite Mortar And Pestle Safe – FAQ
How Do You Care For Granite Mortar And Pestle?
The easiest way I’ve found out when it comes to caring for your M&P is to give them a quick wash with clean flowing water after every use.
It not enough to wash them alone, they should be properly stored so that they can be fit for the next use. The best way to store them is to put them in a place where it’s likely not going to get hit or cracked.
I’ve found out that keeping them on the lower cabinet is the best. You wouldn’t want to place them somewhere else especially when you know how heavy they are.
Which Is Better? Granite Or Marble Mortar And Pestle?
There isn’t a specific metrics that would help us know which is better out of the two but if there’s one thing I can say is that both are great depending on what you want them to do for you.
The only thing I really don’t like in granite is the fact that its way harder to clean compare to marble. Cleaning marble feels like a breeze.
Another thing you would love most about granite is its coarseness. If you’ve ever ground something on granite m&p, then you can attest to this claim.
What Kind Of Mortar And Pestle Does Gordon Ramsay Use?
Well, I can’t state categorically here the exact brand of mortar and pestle the award-winning Scottish chef uses for grounding but what I can say here is that Gordon Ramsay loves using granite mortar and pestle a lot.
So if you want to be like him, then it’s wise that you get yourself a set of nice granite mortar and pestles from Amazon.
Are Granite Mortar And Pestle Safe – Conclusion
Any mortar and pestle can be made safe once they’re well cured or season before every use. Seasoning a M&P is the only way to take the grits and dust out of these mortars.
So the next time you stop by to get a mortar and a pestle for your next recipe, ensure to season them thoroughly and don’t forget to wash them after every use with clean water and a bit of dried rice.
So, guys, that’s all you need to know about making your mortar and pestle safe for cooking. If you have any more questions concerning this topic, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.