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Zesters vs. Graters - Do You Need Both?

Posted by on Apr. 22, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 30 Replies


When I first started my adventures in cooking, I didn't know the different between a zester and a grater. Yes, I'll admit that. I thought I could get a long just fine with only one good grater. Boy was I wrong. All graters are not created equal. You must think about their function as well as their form - including the size of the grating holes, which directly affects your foods outcome.

If you're in the kitchen as much as I am, you'll find that having a variety of grating options is not only useful, but also necessary. My favorite grater of choice is the box grater, which offers a variety of options in all different sizes on each of it's four sides. There are larger grate holes that are great for shredding softer cheeses like cheddar and jack. Then there are smaller grate holes that are better suited for hard cheese like Parmesan and Romano. It may also have a slicing surface.

In addition to this, I also have a zester. The holes on a zester are smaller so that when you zest citrus fruits, you are sure to get uniformed pieces of skin and not the white pith beneath it, which can be bitter and unpleasant. If you are really into baking, you might also consider a micro plane zester, which is also great for grating spices like fresh nutmeg, ginger, or cinnamon.

Moms, what types of graters or zesters do you have in your kitchen?

Photo courtesy of MCPix, via iStock Photography

by on Apr. 22, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Apr. 22, 2013 at 5:37 AM

I have an all-in-one box grater that has 4 different sides:  one for slicing, one for grating/shredding, one for a coarse zest, and a side for fine zest.

batjmom
by Sarah on Apr. 22, 2013 at 7:47 AM

 I actually use my micro-plane more than a grater

SarahSuzyQ
by Bronze Member on Apr. 22, 2013 at 8:31 AM

I just have a box grater, and that's good enough for me. The tiny holes that are intended for parmesan work fine for zesting a lemon or lime, especially since I don't do it that often... And ours does indeed have a slicer, so it's perfect for all uses.

TerriC
by Bronze Member on Apr. 22, 2013 at 10:09 AM

I have both.  I love my zester, makes it so much easier to zest the citrus into recipes.

lillucky8
by Bronze Member on Apr. 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM
Ive never used a zester or zest for that matter. Maybe i need to lol
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WillsMOM72
by on Apr. 22, 2013 at 10:42 AM
I never use either.
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dandylynes
by Sonnie on Apr. 22, 2013 at 11:59 AM

I have a zester, but I am finding I prefer the small grater instead.

emilyrosenj
by Margaret on Apr. 22, 2013 at 12:42 PM

My box grater has a zesting side, so I just have the one. I also use my mandolin sometimes for grating cheese.

meam4444
by Bronze Member on Apr. 22, 2013 at 3:11 PM

I have a small zester.  And, I have a grater with two sides to it.  I have never actually used the zester.

arthistmom
by Member on Apr. 22, 2013 at 3:19 PM

I had a zester but I like the citrus zest much finer (mixes into things better) than what actually comes out, so I use my microplane grater as zester. It's probably my favorite kitchen gadget. I also have a grater with large and medium holes but I don't use it often.

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