How to season mortar and pestle?

My daughter game me a mortar and pestle as a gift. It weighs about 15 pounds and is granite (I think). The instructions say use salt and/or white rice to season it - rinsing in water until the water comes clear - over a period of several days. When I googled, the instructions were varied and included using spices and garlic. Would appreciate any advice on this. Love this gift and want to make sure I season it correctly. :)

  • Posted by: SKK
  • June 25, 2013


Sharon March 21, 2021
Depends on what you're referring to. Frankly, I've never heard of, nor had reason to season any mortar & pestle. But, if you're talking about a rough, granite Mexican molcajete, now that's different. Grind rice in it as many times as it takes, until the ground rice has no more black/gray granite particles in it. In other words, until the rice powder is white. Rinse well afterwards. BTW, white rice works best for this, making it easy to spot the granite dust.
mensaque June 30, 2013
Granite is a igneous(volcanic)rock,and rice and salt sound right.As for cleaning,my great-grandmother had a tip:coke.(Coca-cola,not coke leaves...LOL),but that was for polished marble and granite.Not sure if it works on rough material.
dymnyno June 28, 2013
My vineyard manager made me a molcajete which is made out of volcanic rock. I used the rice method.
SKK June 27, 2013
Thanks, petitbleu. Yes it must be a molcajete. I have been using rice and kosher salt. It is taking a while to get the grit out. I will also use some whole cumin seed, because one article said to do that, just for the fun of it.
Sam1148 June 27, 2013
Is it a green one...granite with some bits of mill dust in the bowl?

I've had a few...never used the rice trick...but just salt and oil and rinsing not even thinking it was 'seasoning' just get getting out some milling dust.

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petitbleu June 26, 2013
I think you probably have a molcajete--we have one, too. It is recommended that you season it, because they are rough and some of the grit can come off in your food. We used rice--pound a small handful of rice in it, grinding it into all the surfaces inside the bowl. Some grit will come off. Keep doing this until the powdered rice is pure white--no grey bits of stone. Rinse it out and you're good to go.
Reiney June 26, 2013
I've never heard of seasoning a granite mortar & pestle! (This is not to say it shouldn't/couldn't be done...) I got a large granite one 10+ years ago and have ground up a variety of herbs, spices, garlic, pastes, etc in it. It's stayed in great shape for me.
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