Are bamboo mortar and pestles any good?

Before we take a look at the bamboo version of a mortar and pestle for your kitchen, let’s resolve the question that everyone asks first…

Is it mortar and pestle or pestle and mortar?

Did you know that it’s correct to say either mortar and pestle OR pestle and mortar and the way around you say it will be connected to where you live? So everyone local to you will likely say it the same way.

So everyone is correct, whichever way around you say it.

Advantages of a bamboo mortar and pestle

A bamboo mortar and pestle can indeed have several advantages over those made from other materials. Here are ten ways bamboo mortar and pestles can be superior, along with comparisons to other common materials:


Bamboo mortar and pestles are versatile and suitable for grinding a wide range of ingredients. They can be used for crushing spices, grinding herbs, pounding garlic, and even mashing fruits and vegetables.

In comparison, stone mortar and pestles are excellent for grinding dry ingredients, but they might not be ideal for wet ingredients as they can absorb flavours and odours.


Bamboo mortar and pestles are significantly lighter compared to stone or granite alternatives. This characteristic makes them easier to handle and manoeuvre during grinding. For individuals with limited strength or dexterity, a lightweight bamboo mortar and pestle can be a more practical option.


Bamboo is a renewable and sustainable resource, making it an environmentally friendly choice. Bamboo grows rapidly and requires minimal water and pesticide usage. By choosing a bamboo mortar and pestle, you contribute to the reduction of environmental impact.


Although bamboo is lightweight, it is surprisingly durable. Bamboo possesses natural strength and can withstand regular use without easily cracking or breaking. In contrast, ceramic mortar and pestles are prone to chipping, and metal ones may corrode over time.

Resistant to Staining:

Bamboo’s dense and non-porous surface makes it resistant to staining. This property is particularly beneficial when grinding ingredients that tend to leave stains, such as turmeric or certain spices. In comparison, porous materials like marble or unglazed ceramic might absorb pigments, resulting in permanent discolouration.

Heat Resistance:

Bamboo can withstand higher temperatures than some other materials. This feature is advantageous when grinding hot ingredients or using the mortar and pestle for cooking purposes.

While stone mortar and pestles may retain heat for longer periods, bamboo allows for a quicker cool-down, making it more convenient for subsequent use.

Natural Texture:

The natural texture of bamboo provides a good grip, making it easier to hold and control while grinding. This quality is especially useful when crushing hard ingredients or when a firmer grip is required. In comparison, polished metal or stone mortar and pestles might become slippery during use.

Absence of Odors:

Bamboo possesses a natural resistance to absorbing odors. Even after grinding pungent ingredients like garlic or onions, a bamboo mortar and pestle can be easily cleaned and won’t retain strong odors.

In contrast, some materials like unglazed ceramic or stone might absorb and retain odors, requiring extra effort to remove them.

Aesthetic Appeal:

Bamboo mortar and pestles offer a visually appealing and natural aesthetic. They can enhance the overall appearance of your kitchen and create a warm and inviting atmosphere. In comparison, mortar and pestles made from materials like metal or plastic may not have the same organic and visually pleasing appeal.


Bamboo mortar and pestles are generally more affordable compared to alternatives such as stone, marble, or metal. They provide an excellent balance between functionality, durability, and price, making them a cost-effective choice for everyday grinding needs.

It’s important to note that the suitability of a mortar and pestle material depends on personal preferences, specific use cases, and individual needs. However, bamboo mortar and pestles offer several advantages that make them a popular choice for many home cooks and culinary enthusiasts.

How to clean a bamboo mortar and pestle

Step 1: Remove any leftover ingredients: After using the bamboo mortar and pestle, remove any remaining ingredients or residue from the surface. Use a spoon or scraper to scoop out as much as possible.

Step 2: Rinse with warm water: Hold the bamboo mortar and pestle under warm running water. Use your hands to rub the interior and exterior surfaces gently, ensuring that any loose particles are washed away.

Step 3: Wash with mild dish soap: Apply a small amount of mild dish soap to a soft sponge or cloth. Gently scrub the interior and exterior surfaces of the bamboo mortar and pestle to remove any stubborn stains or oils. Pay extra attention to the areas where ingredients might have become lodged.

Step 4: Rinse thoroughly: Rinse the bamboo mortar and pestle under warm running water, ensuring that all soap residue is completely washed away. Make sure to rinse both the interior and exterior surfaces thoroughly.

Step 5: Air dry completely: After rinsing, place the bamboo mortar and pestle in a well-ventilated area or on a drying rack to air dry completely. Avoid using towels or cloths to dry it, as they can leave behind lint or fibers.

Step 6: Optional: Use a sanitizing solution: If desired, you can further sanitize the bamboo mortar and pestle by using a diluted sanitizing solution. Mix a food-safe sanitizing agent according to the manufacturer’s instructions and wipe the interior and exterior surfaces of the mortar and pestle. Rinse thoroughly afterwards to remove any residual sanitizing solution.

Step 7: Store in a dry place: Once the bamboo mortar and pestle are completely dry, store them in a dry area away from moisture and direct sunlight. It’s best to store them in an upright position or in a designated container to prevent dust or contaminants from settling on them.

Remember to regularly inspect the bamboo mortar and pestle for any signs of damage. If you notice any cracks, splinters, or other issues, it may be time to replace them for safety reasons.

By following these steps, you can effectively clean and maintain your bamboo mortar and pestle, ensuring its longevity and hygiene for future use.

Which is the mortar and which is the pestle?

The mortar is the bowl and the pestle is the grinding club

Are bamboo mortar and pestles safe for food use?

Yes, bamboo mortar and pestles are generally safe for food use when properly made and maintained. Inspect them occasionally for damage and buy a new one if they’re cracked.

Do you need to season a bamboo mortar and pestle?

Bamboo mortar and pestles typically do not require seasoning in the same way as other materials, such as stone or cast iron. Seasoning is a process where oil or another substance is applied to the surface of a cooking tool to enhance its non-stick properties or protect it from rust or moisture.

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