How to use Grater | Helpful Grater Instructions & Directions

How to use a Grater

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Using a grater involves the following steps: pick the right Grater, grab the grater with a steady grip, place the Grater on a slight angle, and begin grating by moving the food item up and down along the grating surface.

A Grater is a small kitchen utensil used to shred food into fine pieces. To learn more about how to work a Grater, refer to our detailed Grater use guide below.

1. Choose The Correct Grater

Before you start grating food, make sure you’re using the right Grater for the job. To determine this, you’ll need to know a little about the most popular types of graters, all of which are listed below.

  • Box Grater: The original and most popular variation, Box Graters get their name from their box-like shape and flat bottom (which allows it to easily rest on a flat surface like a countertop). Each side of the Grater employs different slicing surfaces making it suitable for many different foods.

For example, while one side may be ideal for grating cheese, another may be designed for shredding vegetables like Carrots or Potatoes.

  • Handheld Grater: Often called a Microplane, handheld graters employ a handle and a single grating surface. Handheld graters are most commonly used for shredding hard cheeses, nutmeg, raw garlic, and root vegetables.
  • Rasp Grater: Rasp graters are a slimmer and longer version of the handheld graters and are also commonly used for shredding hard cheeses, garlic, and nutmeg, and root vegetables.
  • Electric Graters: Electric grinders are similar to handheld food processors and work by grating, shredding, and grinding and food you put into it. This option works great for most types of food except soft cheeses, like cheddar or gouda.
  • Zester: Something of a specialty Grater, Zesters are most commonly used for removing zest from citrus fruits like Oranges or limes. Zesters are also often used to prepare garlic and other root vegetables.
  • Nutmeg Grater: Made in a cylindrical or half-cylindrical shape, Nutmeg Graters are outfits with small rasp holes over which Nutmeg seeds are rubbed. This action produces Nutmeg powder which can be used to spice a drink or food dish.

2. Get Food Ready

Now that you’ve chosen the appropriate Grater, make sure you’ve properly prepared whatever food item you wish to Grate. If you plan on Grating root vegetables, we highly recommend giving them a good rinse first as trying to rinse vegetables after they’ve been grated can be difficult.

If you’re using a box grater, you should give some thought to what grating side you will want to use. For example, teardrop-shaped holes are ideal for finely shredding vegetables or cheese for pizza.

Medium-sized holes will perform a similar function but the food pieces will be finer and much smaller. Medium-sized holes are ideal for preparing potatoes for hash browns.

Finally, spikey, protruding holes are great for making vegetable/fruit purees, descaling fish, and zesting lemons.

3. Properly Grip The Grater And Start Grating

At this point, the only thing left to do is grab the Grater with a firm grip and start grating. To do so, move the food up and down the grating surface, applying greater pressure on the down strokes and lighter pressure on the up strokes.

If you’re using a Box Grater, place the bottom of the grinder into a bowl or other container. Doing this will make it easier to collect the shredded food material. 

4. Clean Grater

Once you’ve finished grating, give the Grater a quick rinse to remove any leftover food residue. Doing this will make the utensil much easier to clean and will stop food from hardening inside the rivets and holes.

What Should I Know Before Using A Grater?

What is a Grater? Graters are small kitchen utensils used for shredding and slicing food items – most notably cheese, root vegetables, nuts, chocolate, and spices.

Box Graters, the most common type of Grater, come with a variety of grating surfaces, meaning they can shred food in a variety of shapes and sizes.

What Are The Stages of Using A Grater

Using a Grater can be broken down into the following stages:

  1. Choosing the right Grater
  2. Running the food material up and down the Grating service
  3. Collecting the grated food material in a bowl or container
  4. Cleaning the Grater directly after use

Does The Grater Type Affect The Usage Stages

No, the Grater type does not affect the usage stages. That said, some of the best graters – like box graters – come with a variety of grating surfaces, making them more versatile than simple handheld or Rasp graters.

learn how to use a grater

Is Using A Metal Grater Better Than A Plastic Grater For Grating Carrots

Yes, using a metal grater is better than using a plastic grater for grating carrots. While some plastic graters are no doubt up for the task, metal graters are much stronger and less prone to breaking.

Moreover, metal graters tend to keep their edge longer, meaning you can get more use out of them compared to their plastic counterparts.

When it comes to the question of metal graters vs plastic graters for shredding carrots, metal Graters are the clear winner.

Is Using A Grater For Cheese Better Than Using A Zester?

Yes, using a Grater for cheese is better than using a Zester. Zesters are designed to remove Zest from Citrus fruits like Lemons and Lime by scrapping the unwaxed rind.

To accomplish this, Zesters use very small grating holes which aren’t suitable for grating cheese. Instead, we recommend using a Box or handheld grater for cheese.

Is Using A Grater For Nuts Better Than Using A Blender?

Yes, using a Grater for nuts is better than using a Blender. Although the Grater requires more effort on the part of the operator, they typically produce a nicer finished product.

Moreover, Blenders require water to operate, which can be an issue if you’re looking to dry-shed nuts or other hard food material.

Of all types of Graters, the Nutmeg grater is the best option for dry-shredding nuts.

How To Use A Grater For Other Uses Besides Grating Food

Although Graters are limited in what they can be used for, there are a few creative uses you should be aware of.

To learn more about the different uses of graters, refer to the sections below.

How To Use A Grater As An Ice Holder

To use a Grater as an Ice Holder, follow these steps:

  1. Remove ice from the freezer
  2. Place a container at the bottom of a box grater
  3. Grate the ice over medium sized holes
  4. Keep Grater over top of the shredded ice

How To Use A Grater As A Planter

To use a grater as a planter, follow these steps:

  1. Place a planting bag inside the Grater and fill it with soil
  2. Once filled, plant the flower or bulbs you wish to grow
  3. Find an ideal spot in the garden where it will receive the appropriate amount of sunlight

If you plan on using a grater as a planter, know that only Box Graters are suitable for the job as no other type will be able to hold soil.

How To Use A Grater As A Utensil Holder

To use a Grater as a Utensil holder, follow these steps:

  1. Find a sturdy block of wood to use as a base
  2. Attach a pipe to a flange
  3. Attach flange to the block of wood
  4. Glue or solder four box graters together in a circular fashion
  5. Cut four pieces of wood to fit into the bottom (handle side) of box grater
  6. Glue or solder joined grater to top of pipe
  7. Fit wooden blocks into the bottom of graters
  8. Fill with utensils


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