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Microplane Questions

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I'm a novice :) but I do know how great a Microplane is. I'm not asking for people to convince me that I need one-I've already decided, but I do have questions about which of their lines (and sizes) are good and for what.

How do you choose? I need to get more then just one small zester. I'm starting a "collection" for the kitchen. I definitely need one for hard cheeses first. How about the box version or are the interchangeable ones better? What's the scoop on the professional series? Are they even better?


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  1. The handled versions are OK but I still use my original, 12" or so model that isn't far on the evolutionary scale from the woodworking original. These are cheaper and tougher than the newer versions with less "tool" DNA.

    1. I have 3. They all have handles. I've got a long zester, a shorter one for hard cheeses and a little curved one for grating whole nutmeg and cinnamon

      1. I probably have 3 also including one of those 12" ones. It's the best for zesting citrus and for hard cheeses. Have one with farily large "slots" and it's nice to put larger cheese pieces on dishes.

        1. What are you all using to grate your hard cheeses? ;)

          1. although I like how relatively inexpensive and lightweight the 12" ones are - I am not that enthused about how the edges are rolled over. It makes it more difficult to access the bits of zest that stick to the bottom of the microplane. The models with a handle and clear frames are easy to access the bottoms of - just use a brush or your finger to brush off the "cling-ons"

            1. Check out the Oxo microplane knock-off. It differs from the microplane in that it grates in both directions, while the microplane grates in only one, so the Oxo is twice as fast. Leave it to Oxo to do everything better!

              I've always owned only one of these at a time and I use it for cheese, citrus rind, garlic and ginger.

              1 Reply
              1. re: pitterpatter

                I think I actually prefer the one-way design, because I'm afraid of cutting myself while cleaning the grater!

                I have three - the small one with an attached cup for grating nutmeg (best nutmeg grater EVER), one about 2.5 inches by 6 on a 6-inch handle that I got for hard cheeses, and the original-style long rasp, which is my most recent buy and a favorite. It does both zesting and hard cheese very well, and I love it. It's narrow, which can be a little tricky with a block of cheese, but it's long so it grates more in one stroke. I see gordon wing's point about the rolled edge making it harder to brush things off the back side, but that doesn't particularly bother me. Different peeves for different people.

                The middle one I mentioned above has really fallen out of use since I got the long rasp. If there was a model with bigger holes for shredding softer cheeses, I'd like to add that to my collection, and maybe something with a wide slot for doing shaved slices of a harder cheese.

              2. I also have one of the original 12" microplanes. The New York Times did an article on essential kitchenware a couple of years ago and listed this as one of the essentials. They said the original was still the best of the various designs. I don't know if anything has changed since then.