By MincedReviewer request (thank you Cathy Dykes), today’s blog is on Cheese Graters! Cheese graters are sometimes last on the list of kitchen ‘must haves’ but they do serve a function. Fresh grated cheese is wonderful. Anyone can buy grated Cheddar, Mozzarella, Colby, etc… but if you want to have fun with cheese (shredded smoked Gouda, anyone?), you need a cheese grater. There are three main criteria when buying a grater. Sharp, rust-resistant metal and a non slip function (we need grated cheese here folks, not fingers. Ick.)
- Handheld– The biggest bonus with a handheld grater is that you can throw it in a drawer. It is flat so it’s easy to store. They are portable so that you can grate right over your pan or your plate. The downside is that you are limited by the single blade and sometimes when you are pressing hard on the cheese, stability may come into question. In my experience testing handheld graters, I prefer all things Microplane. In my humble (not-so) opinion, they are the leaders in blade sharpness.
- Mandolin- Mandolin slicers are a sloped slicer that has a stationary bottom and a movable top that allows you to adjust the thickness of the slice. The movable piece typically has a hand guard to prevent any mishaps (eek). Many mandolins also allow you to swap out blades so that you can make different types of cuts (i.e. julienne slices or crinkle cuts). These are great for creating even slices. I would recommend buying this if you make cucumber salads, cole slaw, onion rings, french fries, etc. often. A good mandolin can run anywhere from $19.99-$100. Click here to check out the OXO handheld mandolin slicer at Target. ($19.99)
- Box Grater – Bulky? Yes. Versatile? Also yes. With box graters, you have the luxury of having four different blade types at your fingertips (not literally, please). Box Graters come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, materials, quality levels, colors. The sky is the limit. In the case of box graters, usually you get what you pay for. You can find inexpensive metal ones but they tend to rust incredibly fast. Always look for stainless steel blades. My favorite box grater is from OXO (click on OXO for more info). I love it because it has a storage container on the bottom, that catches the shred and also measures it. Great for recipes and healthy eating. It’s so easy to get blinded by the cheese and lose track of how much you’re shredding (at least in my experience). This gives you some clear visibility into the amount your shredding.
- Rotary – These are the ones that you typically see in restaurants. They are used to finely grate cheese (i.e. ‘would you like fresh grated Parmesan on your pasta?’) While I haven’t used it personally (it’s on my ‘to try’ list), word on the street is that Pampered Chef has an excellent rotary grater for $20. Click here for more info.
Happy Grating everyone!