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Best Molcajete Bowl

Here are our picks for the best molcajete bowls you can find online.

If the name isn’t familiar, imagining a thousands-year-old Mexican mortar and pestle will put you on the right track. Pronounced mohl-kah-heh–te, this small grinding pot was traditionally made from a single block of volcanic rock. The ultra-rough inner surface and a tejolote – or pestle – efficiently ground and blended everything from hard spices to hot peppers, and even guacamole-bound avocadoes. And while today’s take on this enduring “food processor” still includes the rough interior and requires a fair bit of arm-work, it comes in several of different fabrications that allow for greater versatility and ease of care.

Top 6 Molcajete Bowls

Editor’s Choice: Culinary Couture 2-cup Solid Granite Molcajete Bowl with Silicone Mat and Scraper

If you’ve been keen to add a variety of authentic new flavors to your favorite recipes, then you need to be grinding your own spices. And with this solid granite molcajete bowl and its handy accessories, you’ll be ready to cook the moment it’s unpacked. The deep-toned, 2-cup granite bowl with matching pestle features a polished exterior and deeply textured interior. The grinding surfaces of both tools are non-porous which eliminates the potential transfer of smell or taste and makes clean-up a breeze. Best of all, this sleek-looking molcajete set comes with a silicone scraper to scoop up every last bit of your delicious salsas and dips. A silicone mat protects countertops, and a small wooden spoon is a perfect size for stirring and tasting.

Who Should Buy This Molcajete Bowl?

This is the perfect set for the cook that wants a great-looking molcajete bowl suitable for prepping a wide range of foods and spices. The non-porous interior allows for experimentation without fear of taste or smell transfer.

Pros:

  • Attractive granite construction
  • Non-porous interior
  • Includes silicone mat and scraper
  • 1-year warranty

Cons:

  • Heavier weight

Specs:

Bowl material: Granite

Weight: 8 pounds

Capacity: 2 cups

Maintenance: Hand-wash

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Runner Up: Vasconia 4-cup Solid Granite Molcajete Bowl with Matching Pestle

When your need for a molcajete bowl is less about grinding spices and more about processing foods for salsas, guacamoles, dips, and more, this 4-cup bowl is the ideal choice. Made from non-porous granite, the heavily textured interior is ideal for breaking down fruits and vegetables into consistencies that are just right for your favorite recipes. In fact, after prepping foods in this attractive little bowl, simply set it out on your table or countertop for friends and family to self-serve. The chunky, easy-to-grip pestle is perfectly sized for firm control when mashing, grinding or pulverizing softer produce and spices. And because the interior will not absorb tastes and odors, you can move seamlessly from one sauce to the next without fear of cross-contamination.

Who Should Buy This Molcajete Bowl?

For those who want to bring authentic-tasting flavors to all their favorite recipes, this 4-cup, large-capacity molcajete bowl is just the ticket. It’s sized for volume production of great tasting dips that will keep the pickiest of crowds happy.

Pros:

  • Authentic looking, footed design
  • Generous, 4-cup capacity
  • Shorter, easy-grip pestle
  • Non-porous interior

Cons:

  • Shorter pestle can make production messy

Specs:

Bowl material: Granite

Weight: 7 pounds

Capacity: 4 cups

Maintenance: Hand-wash

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Best for Large Gatherings: Lindo 4-cup Volcanic Stone Molcajete Bowl and Pestle with Extra-Wide Mouth

If your home is the neighborhood’s go-to for parties and sporting events, then you need a molcajete bowl that’s sized for volume production but doesn’t let you down when it comes to delivering authentic flavors. And this ultra-large, natural volcanic rock bowl and pestle is just the ticket. Hand-carved in Mexico, it features a generous 9-inch-wide mouth that makes it easy to add in larger chunks of fruit and vegetables while preparing your favorite dips and sauces. The unfinished, natural interior of this molcajete is extra-coarse for quick, efficient grinding and together with the tapered pestle, it makes quick work out of breaking down everything from softer avocado pieces to red-hot chili peppers, and even hard spices such as peppercorns, allspice, or cloves.

Who Should Buy This Molcajete Bowl?

This 4-cup bowl is perfect for the entertainer who loves the convenience of prepping delicious sauces and dips, then using the same bowl to serve them in. In fact, the authentic, rough texture of this classic molcajete makes it a true conversation piece at any party.

Pros:

  • Natural volcanic rock
  • Extra-wide, 9-inch mouth
  • Chunky-tipped pestle
  • Made in Mexico

Cons:

  • Heavier weight

Specs:

Bowl material: Volcanic rock

Weight: 10.23 pounds

Capacity: 4 cups

Maintenance: Hand-wash

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Best Traditional: RSVP 2-cup Volcanic Rock Molcajete Bowl with Tapered Pestle

For the purist who appreciates authenticity in their kitchen equipment, you know that materials matter. And in keeping with tradition, this Mexican-made molcajete bowl and pestle are crafted from real volcanic rock, for a natural grinding surface that continues to renew itself over time. The porous interior provides the extra-rough surface needed to effectively break down everything from fruits and vegetables, to spices and chili peppers. And because the raw finish of this bowl means that it tends to absorb oils and seasonings with use, you enjoy a wonderful carry-over of flavorful essences from one dish to the next. A tapered pestle made of the same volcanic rock features a wider grinding tip for greater control and a more efficient crushing and blending process

Who Should Buy This Molcajete Bowl?

This natural volcanic stone bowl and pestle are the perfect choice for the home cook or professional chef who truly appreciates the flavorful benefits that a porous finish can lend to a wide range of foods. As well as the level of care required to maintain it.

Pros:

  • Traditional volcanic rock bowl
  • Natural non-porous interior
  • Tapered, volcanic rock pestle
  • Made in Mexico

Cons:

  • Requires diligent pre-seasoning / clean-up

Specs:

Bowl material: Volcanic rock

Weight: 8.2 pounds

Capacity: 2 cups

Maintenance: Hand-wash

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Best for Grinding: SIUMUN 1.5-cup Solid Granite Molcajete Bowl with Matching Pestle and Non-Slip Silicone Mat

For the home-chef that wants a molcajete bowl they can use for grinding spices without having to worry about a transfer of flavors when they switch over to crushing and blending fruits or vegetables, this dual-sided bowl is the perfect solution. Made from solid black granite, this grinding bowl’s raw interior has a 1.5 cup capacity and is ideal for quick and efficient processing of everything from garlic and ginger to chili peppers and avocadoes. Flip it over, and you have a concave surface with the same rough finish that can be dedicated to grinding up to ½ cup of hard spices. You never have to deal with pungent scents or flavors being transferred between dishes. A granite pestle features a wider cap for easier pressing while a silicone mat prevents slippage and counter damage.

Who Should Buy This Molcajete Bowl?

When you don’t want to risk transferring the strong smell and flavors of powerful spices into your milder sauces and dips, this dual-sided bowl is a great choice. Made from solid granite with a rough interior that’s perfect for grinding, it’s one of the most versatile kitchen tools you’ll ever find.

Pros:

  • Dual-sided eliminates flavor transfer
  • Solid granite construction
  • Easy-grip granite pestle
  • Includes non-slip silicone mat

Cons:

  • Smaller cup not ideal for serving

Specs:

Bowl material: Granite

Weight: 5.85 pounds

Capacity: 1.5 cups / .5 cups

Maintenance: Hand-wash

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Best Easy-To-Grip: Pepe Nero 2-cup Granite, Molcajete Bowl with Pestle, Garlic Peeler, and Avocado Slicer

If you’ve decided that your signature culinary style is going to be authentic Mexican cuisine, then you need a molcajete bowl that sets you up for success – and this is it. Made from solid granite with a unique square shape for easier gripping, this bowl’s rough. unpolished interior is the perfect texture for breaking down everything from avocado, garlic, and chili peppers to peppercorns and allspice. Best of all, clean-up is a breeze with granite – just wash with warm water and let dry. The sturdy matching pestle tapers out at the tip for greater crushing pressure and a more efficient production process. A handy garlic peeler and avocado slicer make prepping those favorite guacamole or salsa sides, muy rápido.

Who Should Buy This Molcajete Bowl?

This molcajete cooking set is n ideal choice for the budding chef who wants to explore the authentic side of Mexican cuisine. The handy accessories make prepping your favorite ingredients a quick, easy process.

Pros:

  • Durable granite construction
  • Non-porous interior
  • Includes garlic peeler, avocado slicer, and spatula
  • Unique, square shape

Cons:

  • Not designed for volume production

Specs:

Bowl material: Granite

Weight: 5 pounds

Capacity: 2 cups

Maintenance: Hand-wash

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What Are the Benefits to a Using a Molcajete Bowl?

Be prepared to kick the flavors of your favorite dishes up to restaurant-worthy when you start using a molcajete bowl. With this simple mortar and pestle, you can break down any of your hard spices such as peppercorns, cardamom, allspice, or cloves, to reveal their true, full flavors – then toss those store-bought spices that lose their potent punch after sitting for months on grocer shelves. Crush foods such as garlic, avocado, and ginger to your preferred consistency, or use it to turn small seeds such as flax or cumin, into fine, flavorful powders. This simple hand grinder has endured for a reason: it’s fast, easy to use, and produces better results than any modern food processor ever could.

What to Look for When Buying a Molcajete Bowl

Construction

These bowls were originally carved from a single block of volcanic rock. Today, this type of fabrication can still be found along with other materials that allow for greater versatility and easier maintenance. To start, you’ll want an appropriately rough surface that can make quick work out of processing both softer foods and spices. If you opt for basalt (or volcanic rock) it will need greater maintenance to keep foods free from the tiny grains of grit that can appear as this material naturally breaks down and sheds some of its surface. If you still like the idea of a real stone, granite options are a great alternative that continue to offer the coarse unfinished interior needed for grinding, but without the same care requirements.

Ease of Use

Both the beauty and the challenge of working with the molcajete bowl is the rough interior that requires seasoning before use followed by appropriate cleaning, after each use. For those made from true natural stone – particularly volcanic rock – plan to rinse with water, scrub with a brush, then grind down a handful of raw rice or rock salt into a fine powder. What you’re watching for is any grit from the unfished surface. When the grind produces a pure, grit-free powder, your bowl is ready for use. And when it comes to washing, don’t use soaps or commercial cleaners. These can lodge within the natural crevices and taint your next grind. Simply soak in warm water, scrub clean, then let it air dry thoroughly – often up to 12 hours.

Bottom Line

For those who love uncovering the freshest flavors possible from their spices, seasonings, fruits, and vegetables, then hand-grinding is the way to go. Unlike the modern food processor where you simply press a button and hope for the best, using a molcajete bowl and pestle allows you to break foods down to their ideal consistency – whether a coarser grind of peppercorn or a finer powder of cumin. For a fraction of the cost of an electric processor, you regain total control of the taste and textures of your favorite dishes.

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