An easy-to-use Microplane satisfies multiple kitchen functions, from zesting citrus to grating chocolate.
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If a Microplane grater is good enough for a culinary school chef then it is good enough for a home kitchen. Such was my thinking when I added one to our collection of kitchen gadgets, more than a decade ago. Initially purchased to make zesting lemons nearly effortless, I've since found multiple ways to use this handy tool.

First, a little history. In 1990, brothers Richard and Jeff Grace created a precision cutting/woodworking tool at their Russellville, Arkansas manufacturing company. It only entered a kitchen after a frustrated baker grabbed one from her husband's workshop to grate an orange. The fluffy zest that resulted from this act of fate soon sealed Microplanes in as a staple kitchen tool. Today, many home cooks swear by their Microplane.

Covered with hundreds of tiny razor-like edges on the stainless steel surface, Microplanes are perfect for creating extra fluffy citrus zest along with a range of other uses. Learn some of my favorite ways to utilize a Microplane below:

Adding Orange Zest To Cranberry Sauce
Credit: DebbiSmirnoff / Getty Images

Cheese

Say goodbye to the dreaded shelf-stable bottle of Parmesan "cheese." Instead with a Microplane you can make easy work of shredding fresh wedges of Parmesan over everything from a mound of pasta to a rich breakfast frittata.

Whole Spices

The hard, brown seed of nutmeg can be grated directly into dishes with a Microplane. Use it for savory dishes like curries, or spice up a sweet treat like custards or cakes. You can even prepare cinnamon sticks this way, adding a powdering of spice over your morning oatmeal or in a batch of cookies. Most large whole spices can be quickly and easily prepared using a Microplane.

Chocolate and Coconut

Taking a block of chocolate to your Microplane can result in a beautiful dusting of chocolate curls on your next dessert. Or it can even be used with fresh coconut, perfect for adding to sweets or tropical baked goods.

Butter

If you've forgotten to soften your butter before baking, the Microplane can help. Shred cold butter and spread it out on a plate or baking sheet on the countertop. Wait about 10-15 minutes and the butter will have warmed up enough to bake. Much quicker than keeping it in a block.

Where to Buy a Microplane

Get your own Microplane to pump up the flavor in your kitchen. They're long lasting and budget-friendly too. Here are some options for ordering online:

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