Everyone knows how to use their box grater, right? Maybe not. I was grating some parmesan cheese for a pasta salad a few days ago and came to the realization that I only really use 1 side of my 4-sided grater. I looked at the other 3 sides and thought maybe I’d do a little research and test out a few things to see how it works.
Here’s what I came up with:
Side 1: Sharp, Large Holes – This is probably the most commonly used side of the grater. It’s typically used for creating large shreds of semi-soft to hard cheeses, vegetables (potatoes & carrots), and I’ve even used it to shred cabbage for coleslaw. If I ever need large quantities of shredded veg or cheeses, however, my wonderful food processor does the trick in no time. I can’t justify cleaning my processor for smaller amounts and always resort to my hand grater.
Side 2: Sharp, Small Holes – This side looks like a smaller version of side 1. It creates shorter, thinner shreds when you might need finer pieces. I rarely use this side, but I think it would be great for grating chocolate to garnish a dish with.
Side 3: Fine, Protruding Holes – This is the side that always seems to “bite” me and sends me to the Band-Aid box. You can actually use this side to zest citrus fruits such as limes or lemons. It can be used for grating fresh nutmeg as well. I have never tried this one, but if you prefer your parmesan cheese in a form other than shreds, this side will replicate the powdered version you find on the shelf in your grocery store. To be perfectly honest, I use my microplane and food processor for all of these tasks and imagine I’d acquire a serious injury if I used this side to do any of these tedious tasks.
Side 4: Wide, Sharp Slots – This side is the slicing side. It’s primary used to slice potatoes or cheeses. I’ve used it to slice a block of cheddar before. I suggest using a sharp knife or a cheese slicer instead.
I recommend spending the $5-$20 for a box grater in the end. It’s a necessity if you do any grating, especially if you don’t own a food processor. I also recommend hand-washing your grater (use upward strokes on the outside and downward strokes on the inside to avoid any injuries) even if it says it’s dishwasher safe, rinsing it with super hot water, and letting it air dry.
Is there a kitchen gadget you’d like to know more about? Send me your questions, and stay tuned for the next Kitchen Gadget Friday post!
Photo courtesy of www.cheftools.com