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Purchasing a Mortar and Pestle on eBay: What You Need to Know

Just about every well-stocked kitchen has a mortar and pestle (also called a spice and herb crusher) at the ready. If you find yourself on the market for one, the variety of sets available at affordable prices will allow you to find the ones that suit your needs and preferences. Here are some tips to help you find your next spice grinder on eBay:

What material do you need?

Even a quick search for a pestle mortar set for sale on eBay will reveal a huge variety of available materials. While there's no single material that is necessarily better than others, your cooking styles, lifestyle, and general aesthetic may help determine which is right for you. Here are some of the main materials used:

  • Granite - Granite sets are sturdy and long-lasting, and they have the beauty of natural stone. Plus, you may be able to find one similar in colour to your countertops.
  • Wood - Wooden pestles mortars add a rustic effect to any kitchen. They may not be quite as durable as granite or steel.
  • Glass - Whether clear or stained, glass mortar and pestle sets can often look like works of art. Plus, they're easy to clean.
  • Stainless steel - Stainless-steel pestles mortars are perhaps the most durable and easy to clean. They may be a good choice if you anticipate using them extensively.
  • Porcelain - Porcelain can be dyed in a variety of eye-catching colours and patterns. While it is fragile, it provides the ideal smooth surface for grinding.
Selecting a size

Selecting the right size is also important. As a general rule, new or used pestles mortars aren't going to be enormous. However, you may need one with more depth and grinding space if you regularly grind lightweight spices that can easily become airborne. Similarly, if you regularly grind large quantities of certain spices, it may be better to purchase a larger set.

Other features to consider

As you shop for a spice and herb crusher set, you'll see that there are several other possible features to take into account before buying. Here are some of the common ones:

  • Lids - If you need to store the herbs you grind for any length of time, purchasing a set with a lid may be a good idea.
  • Textured pestle - If you regularly grind very tough spices, this may cut down on grinding time.
  • Attached feet/bases - This may help stabilize the mortar as you grind.
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