HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Home & Family » Cooking & Baking (Group) » Got me a molcajete + tejo...

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 04:41 PM

Got me a molcajete + tejolote for xmas!

Made of volcanic rock, basically a mortar/pestle. Even just seasoning it, tastes great to grind stuff down. It would seem to me that I should be able to cook with it too (after all, it's volcanic rock). Anyone really work with one of these?

9 replies, 2474 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Got me a molcajete + tejolote for xmas! (Original post)
Tab Dec 2012 OP
freshwest Dec 2012 #1
Tab Dec 2012 #3
Warpy Dec 2012 #2
Tab Dec 2012 #4
freshwest Dec 2012 #5
freshwest Dec 2012 #6
pinto Dec 2012 #7
Retrograde Dec 2012 #8
yellerpup Dec 2012 #9

Response to Tab (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:01 PM

1. Yes, some years ago. I only used it for grinding, nothing else, though.

Did it have instructions saying it could be used for cooking in the oven maybe?

It's not really that big.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to freshwest (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:03 PM

3. No instructions

it's a heavy bastard, tho.

I was thinking small things could be roasted in it (tomatoes, chilis, etc.) Being volcanic rock, the heat shouldn't be an issue.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Tab (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:02 PM

2. I don't know why you would

It would take forever to heat and would be terribly inefficient on a stove top. Possibly one could heat it in the oven (or a fire) and get it hot enough to cook food but then the bowl is rather small to feed one, let alone a group.

I had one for a while and found it most useful for grinding spices and nuts together for Mexican sauces and moles. Its advantages over my Cuisinart grinder were the larger bowl and the way the fragrance of the spices and nuts would be released and arise in a wonderful cloud as I ground them together.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Warpy (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:06 PM

4. It would have to be in the oven

perhaps broiler

The fact that it stands on three legs pretty much precludes it from anything stovetop; it'd be impossible to heat as you note. I was thinking under a broiler. I guess I had the image of tomatoes nestled in it under a broiler, in some sort of radiant heat ectasy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Tab (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:09 PM

5. I'm thinking that without a cooking sheet below, it wouldn't work in the oven, either.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Tab (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:27 PM

6. Found you a suggestion for cooking with it:

Last edited Sat Dec 29, 2012, 06:07 PM - Edit history (2)

How to Heat a Molcajete

While it resembles a mortar and pestle used to grind spices, the molcajete has a construction of rough volcanic rock instead of marble. Most often, the molcajete grinds spices, but some cooks take advantage of the volcanic rock's ability to retain heat for extended periods of time. They heat the molcajete and use it as a serving dish to keep food on the table hot. Before using the molcajete for the first time, season it and use only warm water without soap for all future cleanings.

Things You'll Need

Raw rice
3 or 4 peeled garlic cloves
1 tsp. salt
Oven mitts


Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse the molcajete with water and dry.

Place cup of raw rice into the molcajete. Mash it into a fine powder and discard it.

Repeat with another cup of raw rice two to three more times or until the rice still looks white after grinding it rather than gray.

Put three or four cloves of garlic into the molcajete with 1 tsp. salt. Grind these together into a paste, rubbing over the entire interior surface and discard.

Rinse and dry the molcajete with water only.

Place the seasoned molcajete into the 400 degree F oven and cook it for 45 minutes.

Remove the molcajete from the oven with oven mitts. Fill with hot food to keep warm for at least 30 minutes.

Tips & Warnings

Always handle a heated molcajete with oven mitts as it retains heat long after being removed from the oven.

Never wash a seasoned molcajete with soap.



Preparing Your Molcajete

To prepare your molcajete after purchasing it, grind some rice in the molcajete to remove any loose parts and to smooth out the inside of the bowl a bit. You will know that your molcajete is ready when rice ground within remains white instead of turning gray.

Season your molcajete. Molcajetes retain some flavor from foods previously prepared in them, similar to cast iron skillets, and will benefit from some use before you prepare your first dish. Grind a mixture of a few garlic cloves as well as basic spices such as salt and pepper.

Discard your seasoning mixture, wash the molcajete and tejolote with warm water, and air dry. Your molcajete is now ready to use.

Using Your Molcajete

Use your molcajete to produce excellent hand-ground salsas and guacamoles. The texture of a molcajete-ground salsa or guacamole is notably different from one prepared in a food processor.

The molcajete can also be heated and used to keep dishes warm. It retains heat for long periods of time

Grind items in the molcajete by pressing down onto the food with the tejolote and then twisting. This emits the maximum amount of oils and essences from the food.

Wash your molcajete with warm water. Do not use soap, as it will remain within the porous basalt. Allow your molcajete to air dry before using it again.


Here are some links to recipes, although they don't seem too encouraging about cooking. Still, one or more of links may give you some ideas.



Good luck with your Christmas gift. Most people I knew used it for making guacamole, salsa or mole. And personally, I washed mine in the dishwasher, which was probably not the best idea, but anyway.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Tab (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:24 PM

8. People do cook in them

There's a Mexican restaurant near me that does some dishes in molcajetes: the stone keeps it hot for a long time. Googling comes up with a few recipes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Tab (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 12:28 PM

9. I've always wanted one.

They have them at Chef Central, but I've never bitten the bullet and pulled out the cash. Congratulations!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread