HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Carrot grating technique

thelazycook Jul 18, 2012 12:14 PM

I use a conventional four-sided hand grater for carrots. The grated threads come out shorter than I would like--not even half an inch. Is the problem in how I am using the grater, or am I using the wrong tool? What would work better? If I could grate them fine but have them be about an inch long, that would be perfect. Any ideas? Thank you.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. w
    wyogal RE: thelazycook Jul 18, 2012 12:29 PM

    Grate the sides of the carrots, not the ends. I use a box grater, too. Cut carrots to the lenght you want the shreds. Then just hold them parallel to the grater.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wyogal
      grangie angie RE: wyogal Jul 18, 2012 12:34 PM

      Yes.....agree w/ wyogal,that's how I do it too for longer shreds.

    2. p
      pine time RE: thelazycook Jul 18, 2012 12:30 PM

      I much prefer the shreds from my food processor than the box grater, plus it's sooooo fast!

      3 Replies
      1. re: pine time
        CanadaGirl RE: pine time Jul 18, 2012 12:43 PM

        Me too. I don't lose a nail that way either ;)

        1. re: pine time
          Caitlin McGrath RE: pine time Jul 18, 2012 02:10 PM

          I also use my food processor, and I actually find that if I don't want long shreds, I need to cut the carrot into short pieces before putting it into the feed tube. Cut it into 3-inch lengths and drop them in the tube, and your shreds will be long.

          1. re: pine time
            valerie RE: pine time Jul 18, 2012 07:24 PM

            Another vote for the food processor.

          2. j
            janniecooks RE: thelazycook Jul 18, 2012 12:33 PM

            I think a box grater will always give you shorter or mixed length shreds due to the multiple holes stacked one on top of another and the spacing of the holes. I don't think the shreds could be any longer than the space between one hole and the next hole. If you want a fixed length shred, cut the carrot into the lengths you want and use a mandolin.

            4 Replies
            1. re: janniecooks
              wyogal RE: janniecooks Jul 18, 2012 12:36 PM

              Not true. One can get longer shreds than the spacing of the holes. The next hole slices a layer under the cut from the hole above it.

              1. re: wyogal
                janniecooks RE: wyogal Jul 18, 2012 12:43 PM

                You know, I was turning this over in my head trying to figure out whether that's true or not. Consider that when the second hole or row of holes grabs the carrot after the first row of holes, there is no more carrot for the first hole to continue to grab, right? Is it possible for the carrot that enters into the first hole to continue to come from the carrot being rubbed against the grater? I'm think not, I think the carrot gets cut off as soon as the second hole grabs it, but am certainly open to correction if explained.

                1. re: janniecooks
                  wyogal RE: janniecooks Jul 18, 2012 12:45 PM

                  Try it. It grabs the area underneath, where the layer being cut by the top hole has exposed....
                  Just try it.
                  Look at the inside of the grater as you are grating... I just took pics and will post them soon.

                  1. re: wyogal
                    acgold7 RE: wyogal Jul 18, 2012 12:52 PM

                    Right. It's a whole new layer that's getting grabbed by the next row of holes and therefore it does not matter how close they are. For a more extreme example of this, look at a microplane grater, where the holes are right next to each other but you get shreds much longer than the space between holes.

            2. w
              wyogal RE: thelazycook Jul 18, 2012 12:52 PM

              Shots: I only had the small carrots on hand, also did it with a block of cheese.

              1. greygarious RE: thelazycook Jul 18, 2012 01:53 PM

                Hold the carrot at an angle, so that instead of the carrot-grater intersection being T-shaped, it is a V. The closer to vertical you hold the carrot, the longer the shreds will be. More fun, and without the danger of cutting yourself, is a turning slicer, which makes spaghetti-like strands of carrot. If you slice the carrot lengthwise just to the middle - it will still be in one piece - the strands come out only a few inches long. depending on the circumference of the carrot.

                1. t
                  thelazycook RE: thelazycook Jul 18, 2012 06:09 PM

                  Thank you! I tried this, with a little success. Holding the carrot at a sharper angle does seem to make somewhat longer threads, but not much longer. The resulting pile of carrot does seem a little fluffier.

                  These pictures are a little blurry, but they give you an idea of what I am doing. This may be the best I can do. What I am hoping to get is something more like the finest julienne possible, but I might need to invest in a food processor for that.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: thelazycook
                    thelazycook RE: thelazycook Jul 18, 2012 06:11 PM

                    See, they are kind of short.

                    1. re: thelazycook
                      wyogal RE: thelazycook Jul 18, 2012 07:19 PM

                      did you see my pictures? Hold the carrot sideways, not at an angle. If you want 3 inch ribbons, then cut the carrots to 3 inch lengths... etc. It will grate ribbons as long as the carrot.

                      1. re: wyogal
                        Sooeygun RE: wyogal Jul 19, 2012 06:22 AM

                        also, it looks like the OP is using the finer hole side of the grater. I find it harder to get longer pieces when you want a finely grated carrot. When I want nice evenly long and fine carrots, I use the mandolin. But I agree, wyogal, hold the carrot longways against the grater. Also, use even, steady pressure and lift the carrot off the grater to go back to the top (when I am doing short bits, like for carrot cake, I rub the carrot down and back up quickly without ever taking the carrot off the surface of the grater).

                        1. re: Sooeygun
                          LindaWhit RE: Sooeygun Jul 19, 2012 07:14 AM

                          That's definitely part of the problem. The short side with the fine holes is *always* going to shred into tiny bits. Use the large holes on the larger side, and grate from the side of the carrot (cutting the carrot into 3-4" lengths, as wyogal suggested), and you should get the longer shreds.

                          1. re: LindaWhit
                            wyogal RE: LindaWhit Jul 19, 2012 09:51 AM

                            No, it works with the small holes, too. Like earlier, I only have the small carrots, but easily grated the whole length into shreds as long as the carrot.

                            1. re: wyogal
                              thelazycook RE: wyogal Jul 19, 2012 03:31 PM

                              It looks like you are using smaller pieces of carrot. I will try this. I see what you mean by holding the carrot "sideways"; you really are pressing the long surface of the carrot completely against the grater. I feel like this must make the carrot harder to grip. But I will do another experiment this evening. Thank you.

                              1. re: thelazycook
                                wyogal RE: thelazycook Jul 19, 2012 03:37 PM

                                If you use the small carrots, yes (as I mentioned earlier, it's what I had in the fridge), but cut bigger diameter carrots into the lengths you want and it's no big deal. Yes, you don't get to the very last bit, it leaves a piece, but I just eat those. :) It's pretty simple, really.

                  2. cayjohan RE: thelazycook Jul 18, 2012 07:00 PM

                    I use this Kiwi brand peeler when I want long strands of carrot: http://swantrading.com.au/index.php?m...

                    It's a y-peeler with a 'crinkle' edge. Drag it down the length of the carrots ---> long shreds. I use it for cucumbers and daikon as well. It's a nice tool, and very inexpensive (<5$). The degree of fineness depends upon the depth of the cut with this tool. In any case, a useful thing if you need a different grate on a carrot.

                    Saves the knuckles, too.

                    Show Hidden Posts