This is one kitchen gadget we’re glad we have. Flavor Shaker has been around for few years now and it was invented by Jamie Oliver to substitute the mortar and pestle. We’ve had it for a couple of months and we’ve been using it quite often since then. In the same manner as the age-old device, this kitchen gadget crushes, grinds and bruises the herbs and spices you put in it, releasing their aromas. And being a shaker, it best of all of course, mixes really well.
On the whole, the Flavour Shaker is a mortar and pestle, but with quite a different shape. The “mortar” is the two-part shaker, made from durable, see-through plastic and the “pestle” is a heavy ceramic ball. You place your ingredients in, chuck the ball in, place the top on, and shake well. And it’s as easy as that.
With this abilities, the Flavor Shaker gives you the opportunity in just a few seconds to create meat rubs for aromatics roasts and grills; marinades and sauces, or salad dressings, to name a few.
I know, this all might sound like an infomercial and I hate the fact but I’d like to assure you no one paid us or offered a deal in return for our endorsement.
However, we really like it and think it is a very good idea – works pretty well, does everything Jamie Oliver promises it does, and it’s fun to work with, too.
So does it really replace the mortar and pestle? The short answer is no, it doesn’t. At least for us. Among the pros are that it’s easier to use than a mortar and pestle, as just in a few seconds you can create and add flavour to all kinds of everyday dishes. Probably even a bigger advantage is that is easier to clean by hand or in a dish washer (top shelf).
However, compared with the mortar and pestle, there a few aspects in which the Flavour Shaker gives way to it. First, its capacity is limited and if you need to crush and mix larger quantities, it is going to be either difficult or impossible.
Second, it can’t crush everything the mortar and pestle does with easiness. For example, put four or five garlic cloves in the Flavour Shaker and you have a little result in a form of cloves just bruised, or you need to add sea salt crystals and shake for ages in order to crush into fine particles.
We will keep using the mortar and pestle but will also use our Flavour Shaker, especially for when we just want to quickly add some flavour to a dish, or make a small quantity of a salad dressing. I think it’s what it does best.