Grater 101: Types Of Graters And What To Use Them For

When most people think of graters, their minds go to the metal ones that they used to grate up some cheese. However, there are so many different types of graters available, and they can all be used for different types of food, and different cooking techniques.

Grater 101: Types Of Graters And What To Use Them For

Below, we have listed many different types of graters, as well as what you should use them for in your own kitchen.

So, let’s get into it.

Types Of Food Graters (And How To Use Them)

Graters are a type of cooking equipment with jagged edges and a punctured face. The openings on typical graters will be many and vary in terms of dimension and form.

In order to  tear food into more manageable pieces or slices, the form of a grater is flattened with one surface that is rougher compared to the other side.

There are numerous different graters available, each designed to handle a particular job. In contrast to the conventional grater shape, every grater variety will have a different design.

Several grater varieties come with multipurpose gadgets that pack several uses into a single kitchen appliance.

The graters that we have described here are capable of performing a variety of tasks. Some of these are probably things you have used yourself at some point, while others you might want to consider investing in.

Hand Grater

A handheld food grater typically includes one big chamber for catching the bits that it slices off, along with a handle and flat metal surface. It will come with a grip that the user can grasp while grating their preferred meal on the metal substrate.

Cheese and raw vegetables all grate well with a hand grater. Also, it’s useful for making meals that need to be a little grated in order to be broken into more manageable pieces, yet are mushy on the interior.

Box Grater

The box grater features four sides, each one featuring a unique pattern of perforations for different usages. For all varieties of graters, a box grater is an acceptable substitute.

For things like cheese and raw vegetables, a box grater works well. Due to its serrated blades, which are solely intended to cut softer materials, this style of grater doesn’t always perform well with tougher foods like tubers.


The culinary tool, called a zester, is used to remove the zest from citrus fruit. This tool is constructed of a metalhead with perforations connected to a handle with a smooth surface and ridges on it.

The zester works well for zesting nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices, as well as garlic. Furthermore, it features a grip that makes it simple to provide force during grating.

Microplane Grater

Microplane rasp graters are similar to zesters in construction, but they include thin slits rather than studs for sharper finishes.

The Microplane rasp grater has an easy-grip handle and is great for rough materials. It contains tiny holes that make grating ginger, garlic cloves, and other ingredients simple for the operator.

Plastic Grater

As you undoubtedly figured, plastic graters are graters made of plastic. They can be efficient, however they are ineffective for chopping up tougher foods like cheese or chocolate. They perform well while grating soft fruits and veggies.

These graters can balance steadily on the work surface while being in use and are dishwasher-safe. They also have a non-slip foundation.

Potato Ricer

Grater 101: Types Of Graters And What To Use Them For

By placing entire potatoes inside the hopper of the appliance and slowly pressing down on the plunger until each piece is squeezed out through small perforations, potato ricers may grate potatoes into light shreds in a brief amount of time.

They may be employed to reduce lumps and render soups and mashed potatoes smoother. It extrudes cooked veggies into thin, uniform strings via a surface that has been pierced with tiny holes.

Grater Plates

Cheese and veggies can be grated for dishes, like curries and stews, using grater plates. They include easy to remove, tiny, sharpened blades that make cleaning them simple.

Grater plates are perfect for softer foods like cheese and vegetables. This kind of grater’s serrated blades only cut soft foods, so it might be challenging to grind food with firm innards, like potatoes.

Electric Grater

Given that they are considerably more pricey compared to the various other forms of graters in this list, electric graters are not particularly prevalent. You can use a hand blender or processor to grind your food for similar results if you happen to own them.

Due to the intense pressure the equipment can withstand, most foods can be integrated by an electric grater with ease.

Wooden Grater

As you must wash wooden graters by hand each time you use them, they require more maintenance than other varieties of graters.

Unlike other kinds of culinary equipment, wooden graters lack an easy-grip handle. They work well for adding depth to foods like oatmeal, or for roughly shredding raw vegetables.

Kitchen Tool Grater

An adjustable collection of blades with different kinds of incisions for specific applications are included in a kitchen tool grater.

This large tool can be left on the countertop to give you more room in your storage, but since they cannot be immersed in liquid, you will be required to wash them manually after you have used them.

The Lifespan Of A Grater

As with any kind of tool, the caliber of the materials used to construct various graters affects how long they will last.

Depending on how often you use it, a plastic grater may serve you for two to four years. On the other hand, metal graters will last a lot longer since they are constructed of sturdy components that can be polished using tiny metal tools.

The biggest issue with metal graters is that they will, sooner or later, begin to rust. Once this occurs, you will want to buy a new one. Also, the handles on handheld graters may snap with time, although they may be replaced using some strong glue.

Which Is The Safest Grater To Use?

All graters are both safe and unsafe to use, depending on how much attention you are paying while using them. One slip of the hand, and you could potentially scrape off your entire fingertip if you are not carefully watching what you are doing.

So, which grater is the safest to use? 

Well, all graters come with a risk, but the ones that come with handles make the process safer since you are holding onto a smooth surface area.

In contract, you may be more likely to injure yourself while using a box grater, since it is difficult to hold them without placing both hands on a sharp area.

However, box graters can be pretty safe to use in the sense that they can remain upright on a countertop, so you don’t really need to hold it at all, especially if it comes with an anti-slip surface.

All in all, the only thing that can guarantee your safety while using a grater is you paying 100% attention while using them. Be sure to carefully watch your fingers as you grate in order to avoid injuring yourself in the process.

Final Thoughts

While it is possible to grate cheese with a zester, or zest a lemon with a box grater, doing so can just make your life so much more difficult. By choosing the correct grater for the food that you are working with, you can make your cooking life so much easier.

We hope you found this article helpful.

Happy grating!

Kaitlyn James
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