Can You Burn Things In A Mortar And Pestle?

Although it isn’t ideal, you can burn things in your mortar if you need to, sometimes in the kitchen, you may need to mimic a smoker or a grill if you live.

It is possible to use your mortar and pestle as a hack and get the job done. 

The taste of the things you grind in the future may be affected by the damage done to your mortar and pestle, as it is irreversible.

Why Do I Need To Use a Mortar to Burn Things?


Most people use their granite mortar and pestle to burn things, because as it is stone, it is fire resistant, unlike other kinds of mortar and pestle, like wood.

Controlled Environment

If you want to avoid a full-blown fire, you should burn whatever you need in a controlled system, and your mortar and pestle can do that for you.

It’s ideal to contain a fire or hot substances without spilling into the surrounding environment, because of the deep and hollow silhouette.

Nuance Flavours

If you need to give your spices a depth of flavor by roasting them without an oven, you can put them in your mortar and torch them for a short time.

The flames remain controlled and you get amazing smelling spices with elevated taste.

Mortar And Pestle

Things You Can Burn

Wood chips

You don’t own a smoker or have access to one, so you have to get that smoky taste from your meat or vegetables.

If you want to get a smoky taste in your meat, you can either use a smoker or get some wood chips that give off a nice fragrant smoky smell.

Simply place the wood chips in your mortar, not too much to not crowd the mortar, then ignite the chips with a flame and put out the flame, it will keep burning and create smoke, which is then used to Marinate the meat by placing Keep an eye on it so that the chips don’t get out of control.


If you want to make a mini grill in your kitchen, you can burn some coal in your mortar and pestle, but it has the potential to be very dangerous if you aren’t used to working over open flames.

When you get some kindling, you can use it to ignite the coal in the mortar and pestle.

When working with hot objects in order not to burn down your kitchen, always remember to use a metallic tray-like net across the face of the mortar.

I would suggest you do it in an open area.

Roasting spices

Dry spices and herbs that are elevated in taste when roasted over an open flame are cumin, coriander, and dry curry leaves.

By using a butane torch or a lighter, you can gently char the spices while they are in the mortar, only do as much as you need, because after roasting, the shelf life of the spice reduces significantly.

If you want to avoid burning it when you finish roasting it, be careful not to go for too long to grind it.

Pros and Cons


  • If you want to make some barbecue with your mortar and pestle, you can get similar results that a grill may give you in your kitchen, even if you don’t own a grill.
  • If you need to roast any herbs or spices, instead of using a frying pan or an oven, you can simply put the spices in your mortar and torch them to make sure they roast to the consistency you need.
  • If you want to get that smokey taste in your meals, you can make it work with your mortar by burning the wood chips in the tool, as long as you have some wood chips that have a great aroma.


  • When you put coal or wood in your mortar to set fire to it, the soot that comes from it will stain the mortar, so it can be difficult to wash it off. In my opinion, that is a major “L” to take for some smoky meat.
  • When dealing with flames, it can get out of hand if you don’t keep an eye on it and we tend to multitask while in the kitchen. It is not worth the risk to burn things in the mortar, as a potential fire hazard.


Is It Safe to Use a Mortar and Pestle?

It’s as long as you cure the mortar and pestle when you purchase it, which is a tedious process where you sand the insides of the mortar with the pestle using a dry ingredient like rice until you get all the specifications.

Do not keep your mortar and pestle at the countertop edges because it might fall onto your legs and hurt you.

What Can I Use Mortar and Pestle For?

They can be used for grinding spices and making food. As long as it can be done in small batches, you can use your mortar and pestle to get the job done.

It’s important to wash after each use in order not to get cross-contamination between the tastes of the spices.

What Material Is Good for Mortar and Pestle?

If you prefer non-biodegradable materials, I would say it’s the best for making mortar and pestle.

Plastic and other materials that have the potential to off-gas should be avoided, for example. Which is what makes your choices, wood or granite.

How to Grind Spices in a Mortar and Pestle?

It’s easy to put the spices in the mortar, but a little at a time to make sure it doesn’t spill when you start pounding.

Use the pestle to stomp the spices in a vertical motion until you get the consistency and smoothness you need.

Mortar And Pestle

Are Mortar and Pestle Dishwasher Safe?

I would not agree with that. They are not, that’s what they’re saying. The granite is used to make them.

If you put them in your dishwasher, they will either break or hurt you, because they are super heavy.

It is a good idea to wash your granite mortar and pestle with a sponge and just water, no soap, and the soap smell tends to linger in the mortar for some reason.

How to Clean a Mortar and Pestle?

All you need is a sponge, a super abrasive one to scrub, and a streaming water source, and you are good to go.


Don’t let the mortar out of your sight, keep a fire extinguisher on hand, and follow every safety measure you can think of when burning it in your mortar and pestle.

If burning wood chips to smoke some meat would endanger your safety, then it is not worth it, as I am a lover of everything smokey.

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