Do you zest fresh limes or lemons in your cooking? What about finely shredding your own herbs, cheeses, nuts, and spices? Did you even know that you could shred just about anything you might add to your food?
I can see it now; you’re thinking that sounds like far too much work that is going to add extra steps and time to your cooking. Don’t shrug it off and close this down just yet. Hear us out!
Introducing the microplane – a long grater with small fine grating teeth. It is easy to hold and control and gives you so many more options when working in the kitchen. The microplane can zest your citrus, grate your fresh herbs and shred your cheese finely.
There are so many uses for a microplane in your kitchen. So now I’m sure you’re asking, “What can I accomplish with a microplane? How can I spice up our meals by acquiring one?” A microplane is relatively inexpensive and so easy to use.
You can save money and make healthier meals by trying out a microplane for your seasonings, your citrus, and your cheese, amongst other things. We know you’re curious now so we will get on with it.
We’ve put together a guide that will walk you through uses of a microplane, benefits of using a microplane, proper care and storage, as well as sharing with you the 7 best microplane zesters.
Keep reading to learn all the need to know details for the best microplane zesters!
Ultimate Guide to Microplane Zesters
Finding a good microplane is about so much more than just zesting, grating, or shredding. It’s about being able to smoothly function through these parts of your cooking process with comfort and ease.
Sure, you could run to your nearby kitchen goods store and grab the first cheap microplane you find, but you may be sacrificing quality when you could save yourself some money by choosing a good option to begin with.
There are some specific qualities you should look for before you choose your microplane zester, so that seems like a good place to start with this guide.
What To Look for in a Microplane Zester
If you’re thinking you can just keep using your old hand grater for these tasks, keep reading here. You certainly can use other kitchen tools that you have on hand, but if you want ease and comfort, you should definitely consider a microplane zester.
Let’s talk a little more about what qualities you might want to consider in your microplane.
- Handle – You want a handle that is a good length and that will be comfortable to hold or balance as you zest or grate. Look for the length, width, and overall grip of your microplane and determine what type of handle you would like best.
- Sharpness – You want a microplane zester that will come sharp and maintain its sharpness for a long time. Look for quality terms such as sharp, stainless steel blade, honed, etc. You might also want to consider whether it comes with a protective cover.
- Washing Methods – Will you have to spend a bunch of time slaving over the sink trying to clean each little hole or can you toss it in the dishwasher to be done? Consider whether its dishwasher safe and if it’s not or if you don’t own a dishwasher, consider how challenging it may be to clean.
- Durability – Obviously, you want a microplane that will last. You don’t want it breaking during use. If you’re going to use the money to invest in a tool, you want something durable and reliable.
- Size – Storage space may be a concern. They make microplane zesters that are both short and long so you will want to make sure you purchase one that you have the space to accommodate for storage.
These are our top 5 qualities to look for, but keep in mind that you may have specific preferences or qualities that you know you want. The good news is, you can choose what works best for you even if the qualities you prefer are different from others.
This is why we have put together this guide – to simply inform you of all of the pertinent details and then you get to take it from there, considering your needs and wants in a microplane zester as you choose which one to invest in.
We recommend that as you read through each product review later in this article that you fully consider what you want to accomplish with your microplane zester and prioritize which qualities you want most.
Using a Microplane Zester VS Using a Grater
That box-style grater you keep in the cabinet can be a useful tool, but graters and microplane zesters really have 2 very different purposes for their use. Can you use them interchangeably? Well maybe, but the question is what kind of end result do you want?
To help discuss the differences, we put together a simple list of things that might be more optimal for a microplane zester rather than a grater.
- Fine Grating Needs: A grater can only grate so finely and let’s face it, when you’re working with zest or spices sometimes you just need something grated really really finely to be what it needs to be for your recipe.
- Safety: When you’re trying to achieve super fine grating, you’re likely to tear up your hands and knuckles on a typical grater. It takes a lot of effort and it’s easy to scrape your fingers on the sharp grates.
- Versatility: A microplane is not just used for zesting. It is, in a sense, a grater. It just grates, slices, and zests at a much finer capacity than any grater ever could.
- Handle: Microplane zesters typically have a grip handle, making them easy to hold and control while you work.
- You Get More: Here’s your top catch. When you grate, shred, or zest using a microplane, it produces finely shredded results. This means that whatever item you’re zesting or grating will last longer and you will get more flavor packed in with smaller amounts.
Don’t misunderstand, graters certainly have their good qualities, but you should consider that graters and microplane zesters have different purposes. They each have certain things that they are better at than the other.
A good key would be to consider how fine or how small you need to zest or grate whatever type of item you might be working with.
Uses of a Microplane Zester
Microplane zesters are versatile tools. When a recipe calls for finely grated cheese or zest of lime, don’t skip that step. You will miss the flavor and freshness that you get when you add these things.
So what exactly is a microplane zester good for? We’ve compiled a list of just a few of the things you can accomplish with your microplane.
These are some of the most common uses, but you might be able to think of even more options.
- Citrus Zest – the most obvious use is to zest your citrus (limes, lemons, oranges, etc.)
- Grate Cheese – If you’re grating the cheese finely, specifically a hard cheese such as Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago, a microplane is the way to get the job done the best.
- Shaving Herbs & Spices – Cooking with fresh herbs and spices adds so much more flavor than shaking something like garlic out of a bottle. Fresh garlic, ginger, and other herbs can be best shaved with a microplane. Forget mincing or grating, grab your microplane!
- Chocolate Shaving or Grating – If you need chocolate garnish or fine chocolate for a recipe, use a microplane to shave it finely for a delicate look.
- Fresh is Best – a microplane shreds fresh things like coconut and nuts much more easily than a grater or a knife. It shreds these things finely and sets you up with the perfect addition to your recipe.
Are you impressed yet on just what a microplane zester might be able to do for you? We’ve just barely gotten started. Now that you’ve read the basic in’s and out’s of having a microplane zester, it’s time to get down to business.
Let’s talk about the 7 best microplane zesters and break them out with specific features and details as well as pros and cons to help you make an educated decision.
Reviews of the 7 Best Microplane Zesters
Below you will find detailed reviews and information to help you select the best microplane zester for YOU.
We understand it can take far too much time and energy to sift through hundreds (if not more) of reviews and try to make a decision. We’ve done the work for you and put together a guide to help you get started making a selection.
1. Microplane Classic Zester/Grater
The Microplane brand is where the magic started to begin with, in case you weren’t quite sure of that from the brand name. If you want to stick with the experts that are known for the rendition of this product, this one is for you!
- Ultra-sharp blade made in the USA
- Surgical grade stainless steel
- Dishwasher Safe
This zester and grating tool directly from the Microplane brand was designed to fulfill your zesting needs. With this, you can easily zest citrus, grate cheese, shred ingredients, and shave chocolate.
The blade has teeth that were specifically designed to do the job without cutting too deep, giving you a precise cut of whatever you might be working with. The handle is a sturdy plastic handle that is comfortable to grip during use.
- Versatile ability to shred, shave, grate, and zest
- Ultimate sharpness to get the job done easily
- Choice of various handle colors available
- You can apply less pressure, which means less bruising of food or soreness in your hands
- Not all come with a protective sheath
- Grated items tend to stick in the blade, requiring you to stop and clear as you work
2. OXO Good Grips Etched Zester and Grater
The OXO brand is often trendy and reliable and their products are always highly rated. They are a great go-to source for affordable kitchen tool needs. They met their own high standards with their etched zester and grater.
- Non-slip handle
- Plastic cover included
- Dishwasher safe on the top rack
This zester and grater is a high quality product that won’t break your budget. Zest your fruits, grate your herbs and cheese, or shred your coconut with minimal effort while holding on to this comfortable tool.
The OXO microplane zester is designed with a sharp, stainless steel blade and a handheld non-slip grip so that you can move effortlessly through your work. No need to worry about your fingers or about slipping. The non-slip foot gives you control of the task.
- If you prefer a versatile tool, there is a box grater/zester combo tool also available. The zester is part of the box and is also removable.
- Affordable product with the quality expected of this brand
- Etched, stainless steel blades that are very sharp
- Generous grating surface area to work with
- Angled handle so you can lay your tool over a bowl while you zest or grate
- Sides are not covered or enclosed, making it more likely you can catch on the blades
- Plastic handle may break easily when pressure applied
3. Deiss PRO Citrus Zester and Grater
The Deiss PRO might very well be one of our overall top pick for a microplane zester. This zester offers everything you might need in a spectacular low-cost bundle. It is efficient, sharp, and easy to clean.
- Rust-resistant stainless steel blade
- Non-slip grip handle
- Grater length 12 ½ inches
This microplane zester was designed to be durable and sturdy while also being comfortable and easy to use! The stainless steel of this is rust-resistant and is made very sharp with 18/10 stainless steel properties.
You will be zesting, grating, shredding, and slicing in no time and you will feel comfortable while you complete any of these tasks with perfect ease. The metal teeth of the blade are designed to not clog up, so cleanup is easy and you don’t have to stop to clear the teeth while working.
- Clog-proof design saving time and frustration
- 15” total length, but flat design should make for easy storage
- Versatile tool that allows you to zest, grate, or other microplane duties
- Easy to use, with very little effort or pressure required
- Tends to get hung up while zesting lemons or limes, despite working well for everything else
- Zester blade appears to fall away from the frame easily
4. Zyliss Zester – Rasp Grater With Cover
Let’s get fancy with this rasp grater from Zyliss! This one has a bit higher price tag, but it has a very unique design and is made with high-quality materials that are built to last.
- Ergonomic handle
- Protective cover with measurements
- Dishwasher Safe
The Zyliss microplane zester is unique in that its protective cover is designed to also act as a measuring spoon. The cover clips into place over the blade, but rounds out away from the blade. You can shred, zest, or grate with the cover on – measuring as you go.
The base has a non-slip design with a comfortable, ergonomic handle making it easy to grasp and comfortably hold while you work. With the measuring cup cover, there is little cleanup necessary.
- 5-year guarantee from Zyliss
- Works smoothly on lemons, limes, ginger, and garlic, amongst other things
- Superior quality
- Long-lasting and durable
- Functional tool that you will be pleased with the ultimate outcome
- This zester could stand to be sharper
- Can be awkward to hold while monitoring grating compartment
5. KitchenIQ 50196 Better Zester
The Kitchen IQ is a modern-looking zester with quality materials and a great design. This zester is green, making it fun and noticeable. It is also available in black if you prefer the basic color schemes for your utensils.
- Non-stick coating over blade
- Zest/grater storage container
- Ergonomic handle
This microplane zester also includes the compartment for the shred of whatever you might be grating. Unlike the Zyliss, the compartment is a thin section on the back of the tool. As you zest, your pieces are collected.
This zester also includes a squeegee tool that makes removing your zest from the blades and compartment a breeze. The microplane zester was specifically designed to allow you to zest or grate with ease while cutting back on the overall mess that comes with zesting.
- V-etched teeth to make uniform cuts with minimal effort
- Non-stick coating allows you to zest or grate your food without any sticking to the blade
- Slight curve to frame for a more ergonomic grip during use
- Soft-touch handle and non-slip end
- Dishwasher safe design
- Green paint tends to start peeling off
- Usable on cheese, and herbs but works best on citrus fruits for zesting
6. BelleGuppy Lemon Zester & Cheese Grater
The BelleGuppy microplane zester is our top overall pick. It has a great price tag and a high-quality design that is bound to last you for many years.
- Comes in a gift box
- High-quality stainless steel blade
- BPA-Free Non-Slip Ergonomic Handle
You will not be disappointed with this smooth working microplane zester. It is designed to grate or zest smoothly and easily. This zester is quite inexpensive but has superior quality to many of the more expensive options on the market.
The zester has a hole for easy hanging storage, a snap-fit cover for the blade, and a cleaning brush for easily sweeping contents out of the blades to make cleaning a breeze. The rubber foot is sturdy and placed at just the right angle to make use comfortable.
- A superior tool at an inferior cost
- Hard steel frame that will hold up to pressure
- Ergonomic handle with a comfort grip
- Premium stainless steel blades that are very sharp
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Narrow shaft makes grating cheese more challenging
- Protective cover can be hard to take on and off
7. Integrity Chef PRO Zester & Grater
Want a glamorous, quality microplane zester? Look no further. This one is for you. The Integrity Chef PRO is quite snazzy and even comes in a sweet box that would be great for gifting.
- Professional grade quality build
- High-quality stainless steel
- Razor-sharp blade
This microplane zester was designed to make you look and feel like royalty. It has a great design, including an ergonomic handle that was incorporated with the intention of relieving stress and pressure on your hands while using.
This zester was made to be luxurious, but it also has a very reasonable price tag. The design is modern and nice and the blade goes through a professional testing process after build. You won’t be disappointed with this royal treatment.
- Looks great, feels great, and works great
- Integrity Chef donates to third world countries for clean drinking water with every purchase
- 100% customer satisfaction guarantee
- Quality product at an affordable price
- Fruits tend to snag when zesting
- Many found that the microplane came with no handle
We hope this guide has provided you with quality information for selecting your microplane zester. We invite you to check out some common questions below for further information.
Can’t I Just Use My Grater?
The grater and the microplane are not the same. While they work very similarly, the microplane shred and grates much more finely than the average grater. We recommend keeping both in your assortment of kitchen tools.
Is It Better to Use a Microplane Zester With a Storage Compartment?
This choice is entirely up to your preferences. You may find that it is more convenient for you to have a compartment that catches your zest or shreds, while some find it more cumbersome. When you zest or grate over a bowl you can often lay the tool down and work more quickly as well.