I was never a great lover of the type of pesto that you purchase in the shops but when a friend of mine gave me some of her homemade pesto to try I was in heaven! I made sure I got the recipe from her and then looked at the ingredients and tools I would need to make my own. One item I certainly needed to buy was the best mortar and pestle for pesto making. The manual process as well as being much more fulfilling than using an electric grinder brings out the subtle flavors of the pesto.
I narrowed my choices down to five different products. I was looking for ones that had good reviews from users, I didn't realize I had such a choice there are literally dozens available online. As well as something functional, strong and that wouldn't slip around I wanted one that would look good in my kitchen as well.
This is a really nice natural looking marble mortar and pestle set that will look great in any kitchen. While they have made it look aesthetically pleasing by making the outside of it smooth and polished. the inside has been deliberately left rough and unpolished to make the grinding process easier. This one is easy to use and easy to clean and should be a sturdy workhorse in the kitchen,
While I find Marble more pleasing on the eye than porcelain this has a lot of great features that make this mortar and pestle probably the most functional among my picks. If you are planning on using your mortar and pestle for other users rather than just making pesto porcelain is probably a good choice as once it is cleaned it won't absorb the smell from the previous ingredients so if you want to make guacamole one day and pesto the next the flavors won't carry over.
The well designed non-slip silicone base is a great idea and stops it from sliding about during use. It also has an ergonomic handle so if you suffer from arthritis or don't have a strong grip you can still grind with ease.
This is my top pick for a great all round Mortar & Pestle.
This natural granite mortar and pestle set are big and solid with a rustic look. It also comes with a no questions asked lifetime guarantee. There is plenty of room to add a lot of ingredients and the bottom of it is nicely grooved and the rest of the interior is unpolished to make your crushing and griding a lot easier. This is a big mortar and pestle so if you have a big family or looking to make large batches of pesto then this could be the one for you.
If you prefer a more modern look to your kitchen accessories then you might prefer something in Stainless Steel. This is a heavy item and weighs pretty much the same as a comparable one in granite. The base is non-slip and heavy so it won't move when you are preparing your pesto or other pastes. Many users pointed out that for the price they were really pleased with the quality of this item.
While I prefer a more old-fashioned look those who are into contemporary and modern kitchen equipment will be impressed with this mortar and pestle.
I took one look at this Meditteranean wooden style mortar and pestle and fell in love with it. It is the sort of item I can imagine an Italian peasant woman of times gone by using to make her pesto with. While this one gets great reviews for its beautiful rustic charm it has a mixed reception regarding its functionality. If you plan on only buying a mortar and pestle for occasional use making pesto and like me fall in love with this piece then it might be OK but if you want one that you are going to be using a lot it might be worth going with one of my other choices. If you do love the look of this product then I would check out some of Naturally Med's other olive wood products as they would really stand out in a Rustic Italian look kitchen.