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Which Microplane grater/zester would you buy?

visciole Dec 6, 2009 11:04 AM

I finally tried a friend's Microplane and naturally now have to have one. She had the "classic" long one. Do the teeth wrapping around the side of this present problems for anyone when cleaning? Is this long one better than the hand-held ones with larger grating areas?

I originally wanted it for zesting and for occasional on-the-plate cheese grating, but since it was so good, I'm also now thinking maybe I should get a bigger one to replace my box grater.... I can't decide.

Advice?

  1. meatn3 Dec 11, 2009 09:55 PM

    I was recently at a Sams Club and they had a boxed set by Microplane which included the new style box grater (raised feet and plastic protecting sleeve for storage), a zester/grater and a spice grater. It was approx $30 IIRC.

    I purchased several for gifts. I (unfortunately) already have all of the components in one form or another. It is a great deal for a really nice set!

    I can't find this set on line in order to provide a link.

    5 Replies
    1. re: meatn3
      visciole Dec 12, 2009 10:29 AM

      Thanks -- this is exactly what I ended up getting, but I haven't received it yet. I hope it's the same as the separately sold pieces.

      1. re: visciole
        meatn3 Dec 12, 2009 07:35 PM

        The box grater looks the same, although I didn't open the boxes prior to gift wrapping. I absolutely love my box grater - it is the only style that I have been 100% satisfied with. My zester, etc. differ in style since I went with another manufacturer do to their smaller size. My kitchen has some storage issues. The ones in this set look like the separately sold items. Either way, the set costs less than what the box grater was a year ago at Williams Sonoma when I first saw it.

        1. re: meatn3
          w
          walker Dec 12, 2009 11:13 PM

          There is not a Sam's in San Francisco and I have not seen this at Costco. Wish I could find it at that price, I just paid $35 plus tax at Wm-Sonoma.

          1. re: walker
            Chemicalkinetics Dec 13, 2009 12:57 AM

            Walker,

            $30 vs $35 is not that different.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
              meatn3 Dec 13, 2009 07:11 AM

              $30 was what I paid for the set of 3. $35 is what just the box grater was at WS when I purchased it separately.

    2. m
      Mothership Dec 8, 2009 10:51 AM

      Have you looked at the newer microplane box grater? It has 4 sides like the older style stand-up graters- one side has the medium size grater, one has the fine size, one has a slicer and i'm not sure what was on the other side (glanced at it quickly dashing through a large department store). The "fine" side of the grater flips or slides up in order to clean the back of all sides. I think it was around the $30.-ish range. It may have been mentioned previously in this post. (I'm taking a 5-minute break at work and didn't have a chance to read all posts - sigh...) I have most sizes of microplaners and use them all - I can't imagine my kitchen without them.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mothership
        w
        walker Dec 10, 2009 11:46 PM

        I, too, rec. the microplane box grater. I have the rasp one but recently got the box grater -- I can shred parmesan easier, quicker. It's $35 everywhere (I tried to find a cheaper price -- am giving one as a Christmas present) so just paid that amt at Wm-Sonoma. One of the 4 sides slides out for easy clean up.

      2. coney with everything Dec 8, 2009 09:19 AM

        I have the original, purchased at least 5 years ago. I have not noticed an issue with cleaning the wraparound bit.

        But I just throw it in the dishwasher anyway.

        3 Replies
        1. re: coney with everything
          visciole Dec 8, 2009 10:31 AM

          We don't have a dishwasher, so it's my fingers that are gonna get cut when washing... which is why I asked about that. But I guess I *could* just be careful....

          1. re: visciole
            Stephanie Wong Dec 13, 2009 07:59 AM

            I have the original long version with wraparound teeth and no functional mechanized dishwasher (just hubby & me). After using, I just running it thru hot tap water to rinse off anything that might stick and dry on it; later I use my OXO soap-dispensing brush to wash -- my unprotected fingers stay on the rasp handle and brush handle and have remained uninjured for what seems like the decades that product's been out (how long has it actually been anyway?)

          2. re: coney with everything
            t
            taos Dec 8, 2009 04:00 PM

            Mine is less than a year old. I'm not sure how close to the "original" it is.

            Like visciole, I don't have a dishwasher, so that's not an option.

          3. t
            taos Dec 7, 2009 09:46 AM

            I have this one:

            http://us.microplane.com/microplanecl...

            The teeth wrapping around the side does make it hard to clean. I think it's an unnecessary design feature and a hold-over from woodworking origins of the tool.

            Otherwise I love the grater/zester. I use it almost every day for either parmesan cheese or lemon zest.

            It would not replace a box grater for softer cheeses, potatoes, etc.

            1. visciole Dec 7, 2009 07:23 AM

              Thanks for your replies. I did like the maneuverability of the long one, and I did think it worked perfectly for zesting a lemon.

              But I also like bigger cheese chunks for pasta, and regularly use my box grater for cheese, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, and the like. And it isn't very good, so a new one would be grate -- er, great!

              So here's the money dilemma: the box grater costs 35 bucks and then I feel I'm not getting the "ideal" zester, so I would also want one of those... I can also get a set of 3 interchangeable broad paddle ones for only 20 bucks. But are those big enough for potatoes and so forth?

              Maybe I just need both, but $50 worth of graters is a lot. However, now that I've tried it, I "need" it! Just like truffles.... *sigh*!

              12 Replies
              1. re: visciole
                Chemicalkinetics Dec 7, 2009 07:52 AM

                Truffles chocolate or truffles-truffles? Anyway, I completely understand where you are coming from. I used to use a box grater for zesting my key limes (key lime pie) and the microplane grater is definifely one step above it. It is much easier to work with and the resulting zest is better. Do I use it enough? Probably not, but it really comes in handy when I do use it.

                I didn't know there is an "interchangeable" one until you mentioned it. It looks good.

                I do have one small advice for you -- not that you asked for. You should also consider the full stainless steel microplane with the non-slip rubber feet: Microplane Professional line (http://www.amazon.com/Microplane-Professional-Patented-Design-Grater/dp/B00009WE3Z/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1260204194&sr=1-1). The Professional one is only 2-3 dollar more and it is functionally better. It is sturdier, easier-to-clean and it is easier-to-work with (due to the nonslip feet). Typically, I hate upgrade/elite/deluxe products because they are usually just for show, but this one is functionally better.

                You can read from an Amazon.com review.

                http://www.amazon.com/review/R12XSNCV...

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  visciole Dec 7, 2009 08:04 AM

                  I do love chocolate, but I meant truffle-truffles! Oh yeah baby, the real expensive ones! If I were rich I'd be shaving truffles on everything.... as is I'm mostly just salivating while reading about them.

                  Thanks for the further advice about the Pro Line vs. the regular. Clearly this is all going to require profound cogitation, necessitating a long break from work. :)

                2. re: visciole
                  j
                  janniecooks Dec 7, 2009 09:11 AM

                  Perhaps there are new models of microplanes I'm not aware of, but the ones I'm familiar with aren't the right tool to grate potatoes, zucchini, carrots, and the like. Unless you want them "micro" grated. You really need the larger holes on a box grater, or a single-purpose grater with holes the size of the box grater's largest holes, for those vegetables. Or, you could always use a food processor.

                  1. re: janniecooks
                    visciole Dec 7, 2009 09:22 AM

                    Yes, the one I tried at my friend's house was a fine zester-type, which I know wouldn't do for potatoes. But Microplane also makes a box grater with four different surfaces, including the potato-sized one, and I figured it might be equally good. Since I haven't tried it, though, I don't know.

                    I don't have a food processor.... I'm not sure why but I don't like them!

                    1. re: janniecooks
                      Chemicalkinetics Dec 7, 2009 02:51 PM

                      Janniecooks

                      Microplane does now make grater with larger holes, like these:

                      http://www.amazon.com/Microplane-34005-Black-Box-Grater/dp/B000ALJO6A
                      http://www.amazon.com/Microplane-3400...

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                        j
                        janniecooks Dec 8, 2009 02:35 AM

                        Thanks! It's been a couple of years, maybe more, since I looked at graters, and now that I'm in need of a new box grater - current one is getting dull - I'll definitely check these out.

                        1. re: janniecooks
                          Paulustrious Dec 9, 2009 07:32 AM

                          And slightly cheaper (but 'blemished') version of the box grater. If I was starting again that would be the first one I would buy....

                          http://us.microplane.com/microplane39....

                          I have fine, medium and coarse Microplanes. The coarse is good for potatoes (Rosti) , the fine for pureed garlic, ginger, fine parmesan, 'invisible' zest. The medium does what the fine does but the pieces are visible in the dish.

                          Some people have theirs for years, but I guess I use mine so often that it only has a life of 2-3 years. I tried to sharpen a skinny one and failed utterly. The only two bits of advice I would give is keep your fingers away (ie sacrifice the nub) and wash the grater immediately after use.

                          1. re: Paulustrious
                            visciole Dec 9, 2009 09:03 AM

                            Thanks, I was also looking at that 'Blemished" box grater. I immediately blemish everything I buy anything, so why not let them do it for me and save a few bucks?

                            So you would say the box grater would be better than buying different sizes of the hand-held ones? I think I'm leaning in that direction since I use a box grater very frequently, and maybe I can pick up the zester as well.

                            And "sacrifice the nub" is excellent advice! I can't tell you how many times I've cut myself due to my unwillingness to follow it.

                            1. re: visciole
                              visciole Dec 9, 2009 09:04 AM

                              anything = anyway

                              1. re: visciole
                                Paulustrious Dec 9, 2009 09:37 AM

                                "Anything anyway" sounds a like a remarkably good way to enjoy life.

                                1. re: Paulustrious
                                  visciole Dec 9, 2009 09:49 AM

                                  How about "everything anyway"?

                    2. re: visciole
                      h
                      herring Dec 7, 2009 11:27 AM

                      This is what I have and I love it -- I find it much more versatile than the long skinny ones:
                      http://us.microplane.com/microplanehomeseriesfinegrater.aspx

                      And Cook's Illustrated reccommends OXO for their top box grater:
                      http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/produ...

                      So you can get both for just $33!

                    3. Chemicalkinetics Dec 7, 2009 06:56 AM

                      I have the boarder one. Not by the same company, but essentially the same and not cheaper.

                      http://www.amazon.com/Microplane-Prof...

                      I think the boarder one is better because it is more vesatile. However, it is entirely up to you. The narrow/long one is slightly cheaper and maybe slightly safer because the cutting area is smaller. Imagine holding and grating a small lime and you will understand what I mean.

                      I have not tried the coarse microplane, so I cannot give you advices on using it to replace a box grater.

                      1. c
                        cutipie721 Dec 7, 2009 06:03 AM

                        I have the large, medium, and zest paddle graters. I never thought of buying the long skinny ones because I thought the use would be quite limited (like rainey said, it's not good for a broad hunk of cheese).

                        I don't own a box grater, I thought it would be pretty much the same as resting the grater on a bowl?

                        1. j
                          janniecooks Dec 7, 2009 03:30 AM

                          I have the original long one plus two handled, broader microplanes contained within a black plastic frame, one coarse and one fine/medium (which is the same as the long skinny one). I use all three and like them very much, but they aren't a replacement for a box grater. The shreds are quite fine and airy. But if you want thicker shreds, like cheese for a gratin or any other number of uses, or need grated vegetables, then you'll still want the box grater.

                          1. r
                            rainey Dec 6, 2009 01:07 PM

                            I have several. The original long rasp is good for most things but a broad hunk of cheese. Still, I love that little container that holds a whole nutmeg and a short stick of cinnamon and has a grater that grates into a container that sprinkles or pours. Yes, it's gimmicky but it's also cute and serviceable.

                            1. k
                              knet Dec 6, 2009 12:47 PM

                              I have the original, also used for zesting and cheese grating. I also have the medium ribbon grater which is nice to have when you want the 'ribbons' and the spice grater. It all depends on what you want to do with it. Certainly the original long one is a great place to start and will take care of most of your grating needs.
                              No problem cleaning just dry well as you would do with any steel object.

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