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Microplane v. Zester

NYChristopher Feb 20, 2007 11:18 PM

I have a stand-up grater, a mandoline, a decent set of knives and a zester that looks like this

I'm a total amateur, I don't grate herbs or nuts (I usually mince and leave it at that) so can someone tell me, do I really need a microplane and why is it better than my zester?


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  1. JK Grence the Cosmic Jester RE: NYChristopher Feb 21, 2007 12:49 AM

    Those zesters are good for pulling off long strips of zest. I utterly LOVE my Microplane. It completely takes the zest off citrus in fine, fluffy clouds of zest, and does so much faster than with a regular zester.

    1. k
      Kagey RE: NYChristopher Feb 21, 2007 02:57 AM

      I wouldn't want to use that zester on a piece of garlic.

      Actually, I do have a zester, but I find that my microplane is replacing it. It's especially good for ginger.

      1. Kagemusha RE: NYChristopher Feb 21, 2007 04:18 AM

        "Joke" zesters like these keep Chinese 18 yr-olds employed but don't do much for us. Get a MicroPlane. Great for garlic, ginger, zesting, Parm and other hard cheeses.The first sound you'll hear after getting a MP is your old zester hitting the trash can.

        1. JasmineG RE: NYChristopher Feb 21, 2007 10:25 AM

          That zester is useless. You'll know why you need a Microplane as soon as you use it.

          1. b
            Buckethead RE: NYChristopher Feb 21, 2007 01:40 PM

            About the only thing I can think of that a zester does better than a microplane is what JK said, they can pull off long strands of zest, good for decoration. But you can use a knife for that. A microplane is superior in every other way. Just be careful you don't microplane your fingertips off.

            1. j
              jcanncuk RE: NYChristopher Feb 22, 2007 09:11 AM

              Besides the above uses, the Microplane is great for hard cheese (parma etc). I ahve both, but very rarely use my zester anymore.

              1. b
                bbc RE: NYChristopher Feb 28, 2007 06:45 PM

                Just try it, and you will not go back. Grating is not that difficult, but microplane makes it almost sickly fun & sooooo easy. Also, not so expensive! But I understand the hesitation - for hard cheeses especially though - WHOA.

                1. a
                  annimal RE: NYChristopher Mar 6, 2007 07:33 AM

                  luckily now you can get a little cheese holder attachment for the wide microplanes. Please, please buy a Microplane. I waited a while on buying mine, but now I zest/grate everything I can because it's so FUN.

                  god, we're total sickos. and yes, be careful not to zest your fingers while using the microplane.

                  1. troutpoint RE: NYChristopher Mar 6, 2007 07:36 AM

                    Gotta agree. Microplane all the way. In fact, now I have 2-one small rasp -one medium, I LOVE them both.

                    1. ccbweb RE: NYChristopher Mar 6, 2007 09:16 AM

                      I'd go so far as to say that I'd pretty much give up everything you mentioned in your equipment list aside from a good knife and my microplane. Between the two, there is very very little I can't get prepped.

                      1. xnyorkr RE: NYChristopher Mar 6, 2007 12:24 PM

                        Microplanes are great, and make your food look "professional." But a few things - search chowhound for a thread on how to use it, b/c I found out I was using it upside down. Also, you still need to watch your knuckles on the hand holding the food!

                        1. l
                          LJS RE: NYChristopher Mar 6, 2007 12:29 PM

                          I can't believe we got throught this much discussion of microplanes without the word "marguerita" coming up! Simply can't make one without the other!

                          1. brekkie_fan RE: NYChristopher Mar 11, 2007 08:13 PM

                            microplane all the way. it's true what they all say. worth the money.

                            1. h
                              HillJ RE: NYChristopher Mar 12, 2007 07:39 AM

                              a zester dulls and is nearly impossible to sharpen well.
                              a microplane remains sharp (so watch out) for years.

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