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The Common Kitchen Item To Use For Grinding If You Don't Have A Mortar And Pestle

Mortar and pestle with herbs
Mortar and pestle with herbs - New Africa/Shutterstock

If you're an avid baker, cook, or, cocktail maker, chances are you may have come across a recipe or two that calls for a mortar and pestle. These kitchen tools are used to crush and grind ingredients, whether that's to make a tasty bowl of homemade guac, for grinding spices for a sizzling steak, or even to whip up some peanut butter. The mortar, or the bowl, is where you place your ingredients. Then, you use the pestle, or the club-shaped tool, to grind and crush them.

The trouble is, as handy as these implements are, not everyone has one sitting around in their kitchen. If that's the case, however, don't panic. You can use a coffee mug to help you grind up ingredients in a pinch. All you have to do is use the underside of it to smash the ingredients and get them ground or crushed to the right consistency for your recipe.

Read more: The Best Kitchen Gadgets You Can Buy

How To Use A Coffee Mug In Place Of A Mortar And Pestle

White mug and flowers
White mug and flowers - alexmisu/Shutterstock

If you're going to use a coffee mug to grind ingredients, it's important to note that this works best with soft ingredients. So, if you're trying to crush herbs, garlic, or other similar foods, this is best. On the other hand, if it's peppercorns you're trying to grind, the coffee mug method probably isn't the way to go.

Another thing to be aware of is that you won't want to just place the ingredients straight under your mug and start squashing. You'll first want to cut the ingredients into smaller slices. This can make it easier to crush them and release their aromas.

Finally, it pays to know that the weight of the mug matters. A heavier mug is going to make it easier to smash and grind your ingredients, whereas a lighter cup may require a lot more elbow grease on your part. Go for a heavier mug, such as one made out of stone or porcelain, as opposed to something light like plastic. Plus, you may want to use a larger mug that has more surface area on the bottom for crushing ingredients.

What About Hard Ingredients?

Person using a coffee grinder
Person using a coffee grinder - Stefan Tomic/Getty Images

Remember, a coffee mug works just fine if you're working with soft ingredients, like chilis or herbs. However, if it's harder spices that you've got to crush, this might not be the best pick. In that case, there's another coffee tool you can use instead — a coffee grinder.

Coffee grinders work similarly to spice grinders, making them perfect for things like cumin and coriander seeds. Better yet, coffee grinders are often adjustable, so you can set the fineness of the spices depending on what your recipe calls for.

It's important to note if you use this trick that you can't place soft spices in it. These can get caught in the works, making a mess rather than yielding well-ground ingredients. Another thing to be aware of is that you'll need to clean the grinder before and after using it so that you don't wind up with coffee-flavored spices or spice-flavored coffee. With those tricks in mind, whether it's hard or soft ingredients you need to crush, your brewing gear provides you with the perfect mortar and pestle replacements in a pinch!

Read the original article on Daily Meal.