What Is the Best Way to Clean a Molcajete for the First Time?

Molcajetes, which are carved from porous lava rock, must be thoroughly cleaned and cured before being used for the first time. This is the most effective method.

Molcajetes are distinct among Cookware in that they are also a gorgeous design object carved from solidified lava rock. The coarse surface of the volcanic rock releases oils and flavors more effectively, resulting in superior guac, seasoning blends, and mole, as well as aiding in the grinding and pounding process.

However, before you begin using it, there are a few actions you must do to clean, cure, and season your fresh new Molcajete.

The Origins of Molcajete

Molcajetes are pre-Hispanic carved volcanic basalt mortar and pestles. Ours was created in partnership with Duplo Design, a design business founded by sisters Marcela and Tania Medina in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Duplo collaborated with a craftsmen family just outside of Guadalajara to design our Molcajete, which is made of volcanic stone that was hand-harvested. It is descended from an ancestral Mesoamerican lineage, yet it is guided by Duplo’s modern design aesthetics to improve utility for both home and professional cooks.

How Does a Molcajete Get Cure?

Before using your Molcajete for the first time, it must be cleaned and cured, which is comparable to seasoning Carbon Steel. This eliminates any stone dust or grit off the surface of the material, preventing it from being incorporated into the food you’re making and preventing food from becoming caught in the huge pores of the volcanic stone.

1 brush, 7 ounces uncooked white rice (about 1 cup), and 1.7 ounces kosher salt (approximately 13 cup).

Step 1: Clean Your Molcajete

Allow your Molcajete (mortar) to dry after washing it with a sharp kitchen brush and water to remove any remaining stone dust.

Step 2: Grind half of the rice

Fill the mortar with half of the rice. Begin grinding the rice in the bowl of the Molcajete with the tejolote (pestle) in circular motions until it is totally pulverized. Because of the leftover stone dust, the rice powder will take on a gray hue.

Step 3: Grind the Salt

Using a dry brush, remove the rice powder from the Molcajete and add the salt. Begin grinding in circular motions again for about 5 minutes, taking care to cover the entire concave area.

Step 4: Crush the remaining rice

Clean your Molcajete with the brush and water, and then repeat the steps in Step 2 with the leftover rice.

Step 5: Rinse the Molcajete thoroughly.

When the rice powder is no longer gray, wash your Molcajete again with water, scrubbing the porous surface completely with the brush, and allowing to dry.

How Should a Molcajete Be Cleaned and Maintained?

While the curing process may appear complicated, the good news is that it only needs to be done once. After that, your molcajete requires very little cleaning and routine maintenance.

How to Clean Your Molcajete

First and foremost, do not use soap. The fragrance and flavor of the granite surface will be trapped and imparted to whatever you prepare.

Water, especially from the spray nozzle on your kitchen sink, is the best and easiest way to clean a Molcajete. This will aid in the removal of any trapped bits. Scrub messes with a stiff kitchen brush for extremely tough messes. Blot with a towel, then drain upside down and allow to air dry. Do not put your molcajete in the dishwasher to clean it.

How to Care for Your Molcajete

It is really simple to store Molcajetes properly. Just make sure they’re thoroughly dry before storing them, and you’ll be OK. Whereas most Molcajetes have three basalt legs that lift the bowl, ours has a cork base to protect your counters and shelves from scratches. Because of the design, these look as good as they function on your counter.

Read more: How Long Does Tres Leches Cake Need to Soak?

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