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Seasoning a molcajete


MichBill
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I recently recieved a molcajete (mortar carved out of lava) and have received conflicting instructions from various sources on the internet on how to season it prior to use. Can anyone let me know how you did it and how it worked for you? Thanks.

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When I bought mine, in a Mexican grocery, I asked specifically about seasoning. All the ladies there said nope, just use it. So I did, but I have to say that it does acquire a more closed finish with use, and maybe you could achieve that with seasoning. It's very porous, and so at first bits of nuts and seeds were getting ground into there, liquids were seeping in, and I was sure that everything would taste of garlic. But after a couple of years of infrequent use, it has a pretty tight surface, and flavors don't linger.

Edited by Abra (log)
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What instructions have you received? I've heard that you should grind in salt and/or rice.

I have seen recommendations to -

Grind dry rice in several batches until there is no more grey seen in the ground rice

Grind coarse salt in serial batches until the ground salt is no longer grey

Grind rice in several batches and then grind various mixtures of garlic, coarse salt, cumin and black pepper

Grind the mortar with the pestal until no more grit is found

Just use it as it is

And various permutations about whether or not to wash between grindings

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  • 2 weeks later...

At the cookware store where I used to work, we originally sold the "unseasoned" molcajetes, which were very rough inside. If you ran your fingers inside, you'd end up with fine grit from the stone on your hands. These came with the instructions to grind a couple of batches of rice, as you said above. However, the later version we started to carry seemed to arrive "preseasoned" -- they were much smoother inside, with little grit or even powder inside. Those required no treatment before use.

That might help, if you're still wondering (and you haven't yet used your molcajete).

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At the cookware store where I used to work, we originally sold the "unseasoned" molcajetes, which were very rough inside. If you ran your fingers inside, you'd end up with fine grit from the stone on your hands. These came with the instructions to grind a couple of batches of rice, as you said above. However, the later version we started to carry seemed to arrive "preseasoned" -- they were much smoother inside, with little grit or even powder inside. Those required no treatment before use.

That might help, if you're still wondering (and you haven't yet used your molcajete).

Thanks.

I did try the rice method extensively and even after that there was still an occasional grit problem. It seems to have lessened significantly with some more use and can be eliminated entirely if you use a wooden pestal or spoon instad of the stone one.

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