molcajete full of guacamole
The Wrong Way To Use A Mortar And Pestle For Guacamole

A molcajete is a traditional, Mexican version of a mortar and pestle that’s a natural choice for making guacamole. However, there’s a right way and a wrong way to use this tool.

This three-footed bowl is used with a wide, round pestle called a tejolote. They’re traditionally made of volcanic rock and trace back to indigenous peoples in Central America.

It requires more elbow grease than using a blender, but it creates a consistency that’s creamy yet chunky, and crushing the herbs and aromatics releases more essential oils.

Rather than adding in all of your ingredients and indiscriminately mashing them up, start with your chopped onions, cilantro, jalapeños or serranos, and citrus juice.

Grind all of these ingredients into a fine paste, add your cubed avocados and salt, then gently mix and mash with the pestle. You don’t want the avocado to be totally smooth.

Gently stir in diced tomatoes at the very end. If you add them any earlier, they'll bruise and release tons of water, making your dip thin with a weaker flavor.