If you’re new to the Mexican culinary world, Molcajetes and Tejolote are the respective Hispanic counterparts of the age old classic mortar and pestle. It’s most commonly used for grounding spices as well as preparing a large variety of salsas. Well-made molcajetes can easily outdo their electric equivalents in terms of functionality. Because let’s face it, blenders have never really lived up to our expectations when it comes to transforming textures. Designed to optimize pounding performance, molcajetes will also enable your salsa to retain maximum flavor and aroma from herbs and spices. So without further ado, here’s a walkthrough to scoring the best Molcajetes in the market!
All factors combined, our recommendation for the ideal molcajete would be the IMUSA USA MEXI-2011M Heavy Granite Molcajete as it delivers functionality and elegance all in one package. If we consider all the dimensions of the product, we get the following analysis
If you’re aiming for thriftiness, Vasconia 5031764 Granite Molcajete Mortar and Pestle is the right pick for you. It has all the essential features and offers the most bang for the buck.
Quick Comparison: Top 8 Best Molcajetes
1. IMUSA USA MEXI-2011M Heavy Granite Molcajete 8 Inch
IMUSA is one of the most prominent, trusted ethnic household brands with origins in Latin America. Built from durable granite, this mortar & pestle combo extracts essential oils from herbs and spices down to the very last drop. Since the constituent material is non-porous you don’t have to worry about the extracted product getting absorbed into the tools.
The flawlessly rounded edges of the tejolote (pestle) are perfect for pounding small and sturdy seeds and spices. In addition to that, you can also use it for preparing a wide variety of sauces and dips.
In order to give the customers a fair estimate regarding the size and capacity of the product, the manufacturers have labeled it as “large enough to grind up a party-size batch of guacamole” which translates to 8 inches. A larger capacity is a necessity for retaining the ingredients inside the molcajete while pounding. One of the cons of having a granite molcajete is its sturdiness. But this very feature helps you to attain stability while working. Functionality aside, this set has also great value in terms of aesthetics and comes in a great package.
2. Vasconia 5031764 Granite Molcajete
This product has been crafted with the aim of delivering the functionalities of an authentic, hands-on tool to enhance the culinary experience of its users. Built from non-porous granite, the product is guaranteed to prevent absorption of extracted essential oils into the tools.
Whether you’re working on attaining the perfect grind for your herbs or preparing dips and salsa for the weekend party, this is the tool you resort to. It possesses a large capacity which translates to roughly around 4 cups.
Moreover, this ruggedly beautiful product is bound to make a great centerpiece in your dining table while delivering a great deal of functionalities.
3. Authentic Handmade TLP Molcajete
This product is made from lava rock and hence, inherently porous. Each product is unique in the sense that each one is handcrafted individually by Mexican artisans. Thanks to the frictional qualities of its constituent element, it gives off just the right amount of abrasion for crushing tough ingredients.
The evenly round bowl shape of the molcajete enables the user to swirl and grind everything with ease. It contains a large production capacity which translates to about 8.5 inches. Sturdiness of the product allows it attain stability.
Before you start using the product, you have to go through a series of steps in order to cure it. The packaging comes with a manual that enlists the required steps in this regard.
4. RSVP Authentic Mexican Molcajete
Carved from volcanic stone, this molcajete offers you the ideal pounding surface for spices or making delicious fresh salsa. Unlike other molcajetes with a smooth interior, it provides sufficient friction and abrasion required for grinding spices and herbs.
It has a large capacity so you won’t have to worry about multiple batches even when you’re preparing guacamole for large groups of people. It also comes with an informative booklet that provides information on how to cure the product before use.
5. Ancient Cookware Lava Stone Molcajete
Handcrafted from the best quality basalt volcanic rock, this product is bound to bring an authentic Mexican feel in your kitchen. Its rough texture provides the necessary friction for grinding and pounding your ingredients. Since its constituents are 100% organic, it is free from any form toxin and harmful metal.
It boasts a large capacity and an extra deep bowl to accommodate any recipe in large amounts. The tejolote (pestle) comes in an ergonomic semi-cylindrical design that facilitates maximum ease of use for the user. With proper use and care, this product is guaranteed to last a lifetime.
6. Granite Molcajete by Culinary Couture
Culinary Couture equips you with not just the essential tools, but rather the full arsenal for pounding herbs and spices. It comes with additional accessories that ease up the entire cooking process for you. In the set you will find a wooden spoon, a silicone scraper (for removal of the residues from the molcajete) and a silicone mat in order to avoid scratches on your countertop.
The list of bonus accessories doesn’t end here; the package also consists of an e-book consisting of 35 scrumptious recipes. Carved from original granite, this product is guaranteed to deliver functionality and durability.
The granite molcajete is also non- porous so you can rest assured that it will not absorb any smell or taste from your food. The rich, elegant exterior makes it a great choice to be used as a serving piece as well.
7. Winco Molcajete Salsa Bowl
Winco has been a trustworthy and dependable brand in professional culinary world for over 20 years. Their Molcajete salsa bowl deeply resembles the ones you often see at Mexican restaurants, helping create an ethnic aura in your kitchen.
One of the rare features about this molcajete (especially useful if your schedule is often swamped) is that it’s dishwasher safe and hence easy to clean. One significant shortcoming, however, is that it does not come with a tejolote i.e pestle.
8. Ebuns Mortar and Pestle Set
This solid granite molcajete excels at a wide range of functions, starting from grinding delicate herbs to pounding stubborn peppercorns. With its unpolished granite interior, this product provides suffiecient abrasion for crushing tough ingredients.
The granite works to keep rust at bay whereas the sturdiness helps in achieving overall balance while you’re working with the product. Designed with an optimum size and diameter, this product is ideal for multipurpose use.
With a 100 percent 5 star rating at amazon, content customers report that the interior of the molcajete contains just the right amount of roughness to grip ingredients for easy and effective pounding.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Molcajete
The ideal material for molcajetes is something with an abrasive, hefty texture. Excessively jagged surfaces, however, would make it unnecessarily difficult to clean. Excessively smooth surfaces would not render desirable results, as friction is an essential component for pounding ingredients. The weight of the material should also be substantial enough in order to maintain stability and balance while you’re applying pressure on it to pound the ingredients. Hefty materials are also able to withstand more pressure.
Stone molcajetes are very efficient, especially those made of granite or lava rock. They’re sturdy and can endure heavier pounding.
The IMUSA USA MEXI-2011M Heavy Granite Molcajete above exemplified our ideal: Being sufficiently abrasive, its rough texture produced friction for crushing but was smooth enough to clean with ease. Several other stone and granite products were also very efficient. Carved from granite, it was inherently wired to harness certain properties such as heft and sturdiness.
The best molcajetes/mortars have a rounded shape that helps to retain the ingredients inside while pounding. Shallow shapes don’t contain ingredients as well and can prove to be counter-productive to your efforts. A well rounded, molcajete with sufficient depth is what you need to look for while shopping.
In case of pestles, a wider bottom works more effectively. Small and shallow pestles often tend to have ingredients slip out from under them, making it a hassle to properly pound and crush them.
As for size, picking going for the bigger one is often the smarter choice in case of molcajetes. Since there’s rarely the need to carry around this product you don’t have to worry about the extra weight causing any hassle. Apart from that, small ones contain insufficient grinding space and cause ingredients to pop out. Preparing and retaining salsas and guacamole might also prove to be a problem in such cases.
Seasoning your Molcajete
Authentic molcajetes made from rocks need to be seasoned before use. Otherwise, you might end up with loosened bits of undesirable rock particles scraping from the molcajete into your food. Seasoning/cuing is a onetime deal and quite easy too. So before you start using the product, make sure you’ve followed the manual provided with the packaging and cured it properly.