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Home ยป How to Season a Mortar and Pestle: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Season a Mortar and Pestle: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Season a Mortar and Pestle A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

If you enjoy cooking, you’ve probably encountered the versatile kitchen tool, a mortar, and pestle. This ancient grinding instrument has been used centuries to crush and grind spices, herbs, and other ingredients. While modern kitchens have embraced electric grinders and blenders, the mortar and pestle still hold a special place in the hearts of home cooks and professional chefs alike. To maximize its performance and extend its lifespan, it’s crucial to season your mortar and pestle properly. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to season a mortar and pestle effectively.

Choose the Right Material

Mortar and pestles are available in various materials, such as granite, marble, ceramic, and wood. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. Granite and marble are popular choices due to their durability and non-porous nature. For seasoning purposes, granite is often recommended as it has a slightly rougher surface, making it easier to grind and release the flavors from the ingredients.

Clean the Mortar and Pestle

Before seasoning your mortar and pestle, make sure they are clean and free from any dust or debris. Wash them thoroughly with warm water and mild dish soap, then rinse them well. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers that may damage the surface of the mortar and pestle.

Choose the Seasoning Ingredients

You will need rice and aromatic spices such as cumin, coriander, or cloves for the seasoning process. These ingredients will help remove unwanted odors or residues and infuse the mortar and pestle with their fragrant oils.

Begin the Seasoning Process

Start by placing a handful of uncooked rice into the mortar. Use the pestle to grind the rice in a circular motion, applying gentle pressure. The rice will absorb any moisture, oils, or residue from the manufacturing process. Continue grinding until the rice turns into a fine powder. Discard the powdered rice and repeat this step a few times until the rice powder remains clean.

Introduce Aromatic Spices

After the rice powder is clean, it’s time to introduce the aromatic spices. Choose one or a combination of spices mentioned earlier and add them to the mortar. Grind the spices with the pestle until they release their oils and fragrance. This step helps to further eliminate any residual odors from the manufacturing process and infuse the mortar and pestle with a pleasant aroma.

Repeat the Process

Repeat the seasoning process a few times, using fresh rice and spices. This repetitive grinding ensures that the mortar and pestle are thoroughly seasoned and any unwanted odors or flavors are eliminated. Remember to discard the remnants of each seasoning session before proceeding to the next.

Clean and Dry Thoroughly

Once you’ve completed the seasoning process, clean the mortar and pestle again with warm water. This time, you can use a gentle scrub brush or sponge to remove any remaining spices or rice particles. Rinse them thoroughly, ensuring no soap residue is left behind. Finally, dry them with a clean towel or air-dry them completely before storing them.

Store Properly

To maintain the seasoned surface of your mortar and pestle, it’s important to store them correctly. Place a small piece of kitchen paper or cloth inside the mortar to absorb moisture and prevent dust from settling. Store the pestle separately, if possible, to avoid accidental damage or chipping.


Seasoning a mortar and pestle is a simple yet essential step to enhance its performance and ensure the flavors of your ingredients are properly released. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can prepare your mortar and pestle for various culinary adventures. Remember to choose the right material, clean them thoroughly, and repeat the seasoning process multiple times. With a well-seasoned mortar and pestle, you’ll be ready to elevate your cooking and savor the authentic flavors and aromas of freshly ground ingredients.

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