Mortar and Pestle vs Blender

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Updated September 20, 2022

If you’re trying to make powdered, dry ingredients, you might be wondering about using a mortar and pestle vs a blender. While the best blenders often have settings for grind or pulse, some recipes require a more refined touch than blender blades. So, if you’re unsure whether you need a mortar and pestle or a regular blender, read on for a comparison.


  • A conventional blender uses an electric motor to blend a wide range of ingredients inside a blender jar.
  • A mortar and pestle are typically made of stone. You place ingredients in the mortar and grind them with the pestle.
  • A blender can grind ingredients more efficiently, but a mortar and pestle are suitable for gourmet or detailed recipes.

Blender vs Mortar and Pestle Compared

A traditional blender or a mortar and pestle are kitchen appliances that grind ingredients into powders or grounds. While blenders can do a much higher volume of ingredients, a mortar and pestle can yield a finer grind. And if you’re just looking to mix shakes, soda, and fruit drinks, consider using either a milkshake mixer instead of a blender. However, if you like to make many different soups, you should check out our guide on the top immersion blenders to make quick work of those ingredients.

Explaining Blenders

The conventional blender, also known as a traditional blender, is made up of many components. A kitchen blender usually includes an electric motor within the base. The blender’s motor rotates the sharp stainless steel blades within the glass or plastic container to mix liquid or solid food. Check out the difference between personal and traditional blenders to see if maybe a smaller tool might meet your needs.

Insider Tip

Make sure your blender has an airtight container before making coffee grounds.

Benefits of Blenders

In terms of speed, the traditional blender offers an advantage when compared to a mortar and pestle. A single blender session might yield 30 or more mortars worth of an ingredient like black pepper. In addition, a blender has an airtight container that will keep your ground coffee or cloves of garlic from becoming airborne. Lastly, you should understand how the power of the motor affects your mixing and blending quality. To learn more about this, read about our comparison of a blender with 500 watts vs 700 watts.

Drawbacks of Blenders

Most blenders cannot grind something like coffee beans into as fine a grain as a mortar and pestle. In addition, you cannot do a variety of ingredients as quickly as a mortar and pestle. Blenders that can do different types of grinds are often quite expensive.

Explaining Mortar and Pestle

A mortar and pestle are excellent for grinding things like sunflower seeds, paste, or garlic. Ingredients go in the granite mortar, and you grind dry ingredients into a fine or medium grind. The mortar and pestle have been around for centuries, and it is the original coffee grinder. The ideal setup is a stone mortar with either a stone or wooden pestle. Never use a plastic pestle. And if you need a way to mix together a lot of dry ingredients at once, you can check out a ribbon blender vs a paddle blender to see which is best for you.

Benefits of Mortar and Pestle

The mortar and pestle are great for small servings or detailed powdering of food. They do not work as quickly as a conventional blender, but granite mortar and pestle are a much better choice for gourmet food. You can also whip up a paste that a food processor cannot.

Drawbacks of Mortar and Pestle

When it comes to time, the mortar and pestle take much longer to use. In addition, something like ground coffee will take a good deal of elbow grease to make. So while a mortar and pestle are great for making fancy meals, a food processor might be a better fit for most people.

Which is Better?

For a chef or herbalist, a mortar and pestle are a fantastic choice for the kitchen. That said, if you’re looking to make a variety of meals or you need to grind a large number of ingredients, a conventional blender is the way to go.


Never use a plastic tool as a pestle because bits of plastic might grind into your food as it grinds against food or mortar.


Can you use a blender to grind coffee beans?

You can grind coffee beans in your blender’s airtight container. That said, make sure you use the pulse or grind setting on your blender base.

Will Starbucks grind your coffee beans?

Starbucks will not grind your coffee beans so they can keep their coffee flavors consistent.

How to grind coffee with a mortar and pestle?

Fill your mortar about 1/4 full with coffee beans. Then use your pestle to grind the beans into a coarse grind. Repeat until you have your desired amount of ground coffee.

STAT: Most personal (72%) and full-size (66%) blender owners report using it for five minutes or less per session. (source)

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