Zassenhaus Large Cast-Iron Mortar and Pestle $39.95

Cast iron is a nearly indestructible material that's ideal for grinding foods.

Its coarse surface creates more friction to release aromatic compounds from spices and herbs and achieve a finer texture. And smart design details make this set especially effective: The pestle that comes with the mortar has a thinner handle that's easier to grip, with a knob near the handle that keeps it from slipping out of your hand. There is a heavier knob at the other end with a wider surface area, which directs force more effectively onto spices so you don't need to exert as much energy.

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The generous capacity or this mortar and pestle set is especially useful for grinding spices in larger batches or making pestos and salsas.

Kitchen Notes

If grinding wet, acidic ingredients, be sure to thoroughly clean your mortar an pestle when done. As with any cast iron equipment, acids can react with the metal if allowed to linger. To clean your mortar and pestle, we recommend using a damp cloth and avoiding dish soap, as with any cast-iron cookware.

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