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Best Cheese Graters

Updated November 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 26 Models Considered
  • 6 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 152 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best cheese graters

    Last Updated November 2018

    Cheese is one of those ingredients that seems to instantly make any recipe better. But whether you’re preparing a plate of nachos, mixing up a casserole, or making a simple grilled cheese sandwich, grating the cheese first is key to helping it melt and blend evenly with the rest of your ingredients – which is why a cheese grater is such an essential kitchen tool. There are lots of cheese graters on the market; which one is right for you? To enhance your recipes and making food prep easier, you’ll want to select the right type, material, size, and other features that best suit your needs.

    At BestReviews, we can help you sort through your cheese grater options. We conduct expert and field research in order to pass along accurate product information to our readers. And because we don’t work with manufacturers, you can be sure that our recommendations are never biased.

    Ready to grate some cheese? Please see our top recommendations, and if you need some general advice on what to look for in a cheese grater, keep reading this shopping guide.

    You may find it useful to keep two cheese graters in your kitchen: a large box grater for grating large amounts of cheese and a lightweight, compact rotary or microplane grater for use at the table.

    Types of cheese graters

    Box/tower cheese graters

    A box grater, also known as a tower grater, is a very common type of cheese grater. It has multiple sides, usually three to six, each of which has unique blades that vary the coarseness of the cheese. There is a handle at the top that allows you to hold the box steady as you work.

    To use a box grater, simply slide the cheese against the blades on the outside of the grater. The grated cheese will fall to your countertop or cutting board.

    Some graters feature a detachable cup at the bottom to catch the cheese, so you can avoid a mess.

    If you’re having trouble getting cheese residue off a grater, run a potato or apple over it to help remove any stray pieces.

    Microplane/washboard cheese graters

    A microplane or washboard cheese grater is compact with a flat, double-sided grating surface. There may be a single blade or two different blades for varying coarseness. You slide the cheese against the grater to move it along the blade.

    This type of grater works well for grating directly over food, though you can also use it over a bowl.

    Rotary cheese graters

    A rotary grater is the type you often see in restaurants. It features a small container where you add the cheese and a handle for turning the container. As the handle turns, it presses the cheese against a blade in the form of a perforated drum that grates it.

    This type of grater works well for grating cheese directly over food, and it’s compact enough to leave on the table during a meal.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    If you’re worried about accidentally cutting your hands while grating, consider a rotary cheese grater.

    Cheese grater uses

    You can use a cheese grater to grate both soft and hard cheeses. There are several other ways that a grater may come in handy in your kitchen, too.

    • Zesting Citrus Fruit: If you don’t have a zester, a cheese grater can work well for removing the skin from lemons and limes.

    • Shaving Chocolate: When you want to top your favorite dessert with shaved or curled chocolate, a cheese grater is an ideal tool to use.

    • Grinding Nutmeg, Ginger, and Horseradish: When you’re adding fresh spices to your favorite meals, a cheese grater can work very quickly.

    • Shredding Vegetables: If you want to shred carrots for salad, potatoes and onions for potato pancakes, zucchini for bread, or other veggies for your favorite recipes, it’s often a lot easier to use a cheese grater than it is to drag your food processor out of the cabinet.

    • Mincing Garlic: If you don’t have a garlic press handy, run a clove of garlic over a cheese grater for quick minced garlic.

    • Grating Butter: If you don’t have time to wait for the butter to come to room temperature when you’re making your favorite baked goods, grating it before you add it to the other ingredients makes it easier to blend in.

    EXPERT TIP

    Use the smaller holes on your cheese grater to zest citrus fruits and grate hard cheeses like Parmesan. The larger holes on a cheese grater work best for softer cheeses like cheddar and mozzarella. You can also use that area of the blade to grate harder vegetables like potatoes and onions.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Cheese grater features

    Material

    Most cheese graters feature stainless-steel blades or cutting surfaces. Stainless steel is widely used because it’s extremely durable and maintains its sharpness well.

    Some graters are composed entirely of stainless steel, including the handle. These tools are typically the most durable. Some models are made of plastic or wood and only feature stainless steel blades. Wooden graters can be fairly durable, but they’re often difficult to clean. Plastic graters are usually the least durable, though they’re typically easier to wash.

    Size

    Cheese graters are available in a variety of sizes. While larger graters typically allow you to grate your cheese more quickly, they’re more difficult to store. Small, handheld styles can be stored in a drawer and are usually compact enough to leave out on the table during a meal if you need freshly grated cheese. Keep in mind that it will take longer to grate an entire block of cheese with a smaller grater.

    Don’t use a sponge to wash your cheese grater, as particles from the sponge could break off on its grooves.

    Handles

    A cheese grater should have a ergonomically designed handle so it fits comfortably in your hand when you’re grating cheese. Look for a model with a rubberized handle and contoured grip so you have maximum control over the tool as you work. Alternatively, some tower graters have a rubber ball handle. Many users find this easier to hold than a traditional handle.

    Safety features

    In addition to a non-skid bottom, you may also want a cheese grater that offers a grating guard or stopper. The guard/stopper is typically made of rubber and prevents your fingers from coming into contact with the blades.

    Ease of cleaning

    Cleaning a cheese grater can be a difficult job, so you want to choose a model that’s as easy to clean as possible. A dishwasher-safe grater is ideal if you don’t want to worry about scrubbing cheese out of every tiny blade.

    If your cheese grater doesn’t have a grating guard, wrap a kitchen towel around the end of the food that you’re grating to help protect your fingers.

    Blades

    In order for a cheese grater to be effective, it must have high-quality blades. If you choose a model with a stainless-steel cutting surface, it will likely stay sharp for a long time.

    Blade versatility is also an important consideration. Many box or tower graters feature multiple sides with blades of different sizes, so you can grate hard cheeses finely and softer cheeses more coarsely. Graters that don’t have multiple sides may include interchangeable blades, so you can switch them based on how fine or coarse you want your cheese to be.

    Stability

    If you choose a box cheese grater, look for a model with enough stability to keep it from slipping as you work. Some box graters have non-skid rubber pads on the bottom of the base for this reason. And some microplane graters are designed to fasten over a bowl so you can grate directly into it without worrying about slippage.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Does your cheese grater have a cutting surface with a single slit? You can use it to create large curls of firmer foods like Parmesan cheese or chocolate.

    Cheese grater prices

    Cheese grater prices vary depending on the type and size of grater as well as the materials used. In most cases, you’ll pay between $8 and $60.

    • Box/Tower Cheese Graters

    A small box or tower cheese grater usually costs $8 to $16. A medium box or tower cheese grater usually costs $16 to $28. A large box or tower cheese grater usually costs $28 to $50.

    • Microplane Cheese Graters

    A small microplane cheese grater usually costs $10 to $15. A large microplane cheese grater usually costs $15 to $30.

    • Rotary Cheese Graters

    A plastic rotary cheese grater usually costs $8 to $25. A rotary cheese grater made of stainless steel usually costs $25 to $60.

    EXPERT TIP

    You can make your own bread crumbs with a few slices of stale bread and a cheese grater. Toast the bread first, and then run it over the smaller perforations on your grater.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Tips

    • For the best results, use a simple up-and-down motion as you hold the cheese or other food at a slight angle against the grater blades.

    • If you’ll be grating a soft cheese like fontina or mozzarella, consider freezing the cheese first. This can help keep it from clumping together as you grate.

    • If you have a trouble removing cheese particles from the grater blades, try using a clean toothbrush or other nylon brush to clean the perforations on the cutting surface.

    • If you wash your cheese grater in the dishwasher, place it on the bottom rack. Stand box or tower graters upright so water and soap can reach the interior portion.

    Clean your cheese grater immediately after use. You’ll have a much easier time if you don’t give the cheese debris time to dry and stick to the blades.

    FAQ

    Q. What type of cheese grater is best for a small kitchen?

    A. If you don’t have much storage space in your kitchen, a microplane or washboard cheese grater is usually your best option. These graters are flat and easy to stash in a drawer or place on a shelf. In a small kitchen, avoid a box or tower cheese grater, which tends to be fairly bulky and difficult to store.

    Q. What type of cheese grater works best on the table?

    A. If you want to grate fresh cheese over pasta and other foods at the table just before you eat, a rotary cheese grater is an ideal option. In fact, it’s usually the type of grater used in restaurants when waitstaff come around and grate cheese over your meal. A microplane cheese grater can also work well at the table because it’s small and compact.

    Q. What’s the best way to hand wash a cheese grater?

    A. When hand washing a cheese grater, use warm water with a bit of dish detergent mixed in. Start by washing the inside of the grater, which will remove most of the residue that’s left behind after grating. Next, run your sponge or brush over the exterior cutting surface in the opposite direction that you would grate.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Lauren
      Lauren
      Writer
    • Linsay
      Linsay
      Editor
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor

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