Mortar Pestle vs Blender, which is better for crushing, grinding dry ingredients into powder?
Though you can use a spice grinder if you like to grind spices at home, but a lot of people prefer to make powder from dry ingredients using a mortar pester or a blender.
The main difference between mortar pestle and a blender is the fine and smooth mixture that a mortar pestle can provide as compared to a blender. On the other hand, a blender is a perfect choice for large batches of grinding, since a mortar pestle is completely manual.
In terms of the price, a mortar pestle is very cheap and can be bought for as low as 250 rupees in India, whereas, a blender will cost you 1,000 rupees.
Before we figure out the difference between mortar and pestle vs blender, let’s quickly take a short look at what these kitchen appliances can do for you in the kitchen.
Quick Glance – Mortar Pestle vs Blender
Mortar Pestle – Fine crushing, cheap and traditional, manual
Blender – Good for large batches, expensive, electric
Mortar Pestle vs Blender – Which is Better? (Main Differences)
If you already have a blender in the kitchen, should you still buy a mortar pestle, if yes, why? Why do people prefer to keep a mortar pestle in the kitchen, even though it is manual and can be tiring for the hands. We will discuss some of the key differences between mortar and pestle vs blender and see which is better for Indian kitchens?
|How it works?
|A mortar pestle is completely manual, where you need to turn the pestle against the mortar
|A blender is electric, comes with speed settings and stainless steel blades
|Price starts from 200 rupees
|Price starts from 700 rupees
|A mortar pestle is best made from granite, stainless steel or marble
|A blender usually has a plastic body with stainless steel blades
|A mortar pestle is an ideal tool if you want a finer quality of the dry ingredients
|A blender is a perfect kitchen tool for large batches of crushing
|A mortar pestle can only be used for dry ingredients
|A blender can be used for both wet and dry ingredients
|A mortar pestle gives you more control with crushing the ingredients
|A blender provides you with less control while crushing
|A mortar pestle is manual and hence it takes more time to do the job
|A blender is completely electric, which saves a lot of time
|A mortar pestle is easy to clean
|A blender is a bit difficult to clean
|Better release of oils & aroma from the ingredients
|Lesser release of oils & aroma from the ingredients
|Ideal for finer yields, affordable, traditional, easy to clean, extremely durable, etc.
|Ideal for large batches, comes with speed settings, can crush wet and dry foods, etc.
|Manual, regular use can be tiring
|Expensive, less durable
|Best in India
|EZAHK Stone Mortar and Pestle Set
|Philips Hand Blender
1. How it Works?
There is one major difference in the way that a mortar pestle and a blender works, a blender is electric and a mortar pestle is manual. At the start of a button, the motor of a blender will turn the stainless steel blades and creates a circular motion. A blender comes with various speed settings so you can grind as per your requirement. Mortar pestle on the other hand is completely manual. A mortar is a bowl made from stone, marble or wood. You put dry ingredients in the mortar and use the pestle to crush the ingredients.
Mortar and pestles are very economically priced and you can get one for your kitchen anywhere from 200 to 700 rupees. These ancient kitchen tools are so famous, that you can get one in a nearby ration shop too. Blenders are a bit expensive as compared to mortar and pestle, and you can get one for around 1,000 rupees in India. The price of a blender mainly depends on the wattage, material and the speed settings.
Blenders are made from ABS plastic material, however the blades are made from stainless steel. You can expect a blender to last for at least 3 years from the date of first use. At the same time, mortar and pestles are made from stone, granite, marble, stainless steel or even ceramic. Due to the tough constructions, mortar pestles are extremely durable and can easily last for generations.
How you get things out of the blender VS a mortar pestle is the main question which defines which of these kitchen appliances should you buy? The choices between these 2 tools mainly depends on what you are going to crush or grind. A lot of chefs use mortar pestle to grind chillies, make powder, etc, since a mortar pestle helps to grind the flavours more than a blender. A mortar pestle is perfect if you do not have a time limitation, whereas, blenders are ideal for large batches.
With the help of a mortar and pestle, you can crush nuts, pound garlic into a paste, smash ginger or chillies to infuse flavour, grind whole spices into powders, make pesto sauce, make purees, paste, hummus, etc. On the other hand, you can use a blender for blending fruits and vegetables, making smoothies, shakes and purees, mix liquids and soft foods together, etc.
Who gives you more control power, mortar pestle or a blender? A mortar pestle anyday gives you more control on what you are crushing or grinding. By having the pestle in your hand and a visibility of the food ingredients in the mortar, you can achieve a finer, coarse mixture than a blender.
If you have a time restriction or a limited amount of time, choose a blender anyday. Blenders are fast, modern and they come with more advanced features. In simple words, you get what you pay for. Mortar pestles are manual, and they take more time to crush or grind. If you have large batches of ingredients to crush, you are going to need a blender.
Cleaning of mortar and pestle is relatively simple, all you need to do is simply wash them after the heavy grinding is done. You can clean a mortar pestle set with some warm water, soft sponge and a mild dishwashing liquid. Blender, on the other hand is an electric kitchen appliance, so it needs some attention while you are going to clean it. You will need to detach the parts of a blender for an effective cleaning.
A mortar and pestle is a traditional Indian kitchen tool, which gives more power in your hands and provides better quality crushed ingredients. A mortar and pestle is better in terms of the quality since it specializes in crushing, instead of cutting like the blades of a blender. When you crush using a mortar pestle, you are able to release all the essential oils, full-bodied flavours from the food ingredients. Moreover, a mortar pestle will only work at the motion of your hand, which means it will not heat up the food ingredients like a blender will. The colours and the flavours will be more rich when you use a mortar pestle instead of a blender.
Pros and Cons of Mortar Pestle
Benefits of Mortar Pestle
1). Using the pestle to crush ingredients releases the natural moisture and flavours of each ingredient.
2). A mortar and pestle gives more control and power on crushing the ingredients, and allows for a multi-dimensional taste from the crushed ingredients.
3). A mortar pestle is lightweight as compared to a blender and costs you less money.
4). A mortar and pestle is an ideal combination if you are looking for a fine grind, and also if you prefer a more coarse uneven grind of the food ingredients.
5). Since mortar and pestle is all about the hand control, it allows a better release of oils and aroma from the food ingredients.
6). With a limited kitchen counter space, a mortar and pestle is really handy as it does not require a lot of storage space and can be kept anywhere on the kitchen counter.
7). Thinking of getting a kitchen tool which can last for generations? Mortar pestle sets and cast iron are your best choices, as both of these kitchen tools are extremely durable and tough.
Disadvantages of Mortar Pestle
1). Now a days, time has more value than anything else. So, if you have a busy job or you don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen, a mortar and pestle may not be the right tool for you since it is very time consuming and can get tiring too.
2). A mortar and pestle again may not be right choice, especially if you have bone or muscular problems, since it requires a lot of manual work.
3). If you are not careful with the cleaning of mortar, residue can lead to an alteration which will effect the taste of food.
Pros and Cons of Blenders
Benefits of Blenders
1). Imagine having to crush a large batch of food ingredients with a mortar and pestle set, it will take a lot of time and energy, and this is where, you need a blender to do the job.
2). With a blender which will cost you only 700 rupees, you can take care of all your chopping, blending or mixing tasks at the touch of a button.
3). More powerful and advanced blenders can blend chop, churn cream, crush, frappe, grind, knead, mix, powder and even whip for you in the kitchen.
4). Most of the hand blenders come with attachments, which means you can even chop veggies, beat eggs or cream.
5). A blender is quite simple to use and requires minimal effort with the push of a button.
6). A blender does not require a lot of space in the kitchen as you can easily store a blender in one of the cabinets or a drawer.
7). Compared to a food processor, a blender is much more compact and is easy to clean too.
Disadvantages of Blenders
1). One of the major drawbacks of using a blender is the noise it produces.
2). Compared to a mortar and pestle set, you may not have the same level of control while blending the food ingredients.
3). There is always a risk of food spills while you use a blender, so you have to be careful.
4). Since blenders are electric kitchen tools, they do need a bit of maintenance and care.
Conclusion: Mortar Pestle vs Blender – Which is Better?
Both the kitchen tools mortar pestle and blenders have their pros and cons, and there is no perfect tool for everything you do in the kitchen. If you have time on your side and prefer quality over quantity, go with a mortar and pestle, else, you can choose blender for automated grinding, crushing, etc. A lot of people prefer to buy both these kitchen tools, and use the right tool for the right task. For grinding up a few almonds or grinding black pepper coarser, you will need a mortar and pestle. At the same time, to make a sauce or a puree from a liquid based mixture, use a blender.
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