Time to hit the kitchen and add a healthy dose of cheese to your dish but you do not know how to cut your cheese best so that it evenly spreads throughout your food?
Cheese graters offer us a rapid and convenient method of slicing cheese into small and even pieces. Different recipes require different thicknesses of cheese and other ingredients, requiring you to have a variety of graters at hand in the kitchen.
One way we've managed to get around this is with the help of an extremely convenient grater commonly referred to as a box grater. This grater offers altering degrees of thickness per side.
For those of you who are not extremely familiar with this kitchen tool, we'll take a look at the different sides of a box cutter, and when you may need each side, as well as how to use a box grater to save you a world of time in the kitchen!
What Are the Different Sides of a Box Grater?
When it comes to making the most out of a box grater, you need to know how to best use each side rather than the one same side all of us typically stick to.
Large Shredding Holes
These holes are typically found on one of the widest sides of the grater and are by far the most common side of a grater that gets used, especially for cheese. To make cheese easier to grate, keep it in the fridge or freeze it for a short period beforehand, as this will help it keep its shape during the grating process. This side is also great for hard produce such as apples or carrots that you might want to incorporate it into a cake you are about to bake.
Smaller Shredding Holes
This side is fantastic for grating things such as chocolate to sprinkle on desserts or crumbing tougher toasted bread. These holes are excellent for handling harder surfaces but are easily clogged when used with softer textures such as cheeses. However, Parmigiano Reggiano will work great with this side of the grater.
Rough and Raspy Holes
If you're looking to create more of a fine, dust-like texture, then this is the side to use. The design of the holes on this side works very similarly to a zester, making it great for grating lemon and lime peels or grinding down some nutmeg. Those thinner substances will dissolve in liquids significantly faster than cuts from the other holes, helping you spread the ingredient throughout your dish quickly and evenly.
Typically ranging between one and three holes, these wider and more open holes work great as a mandolin replacement. These are also great for those looking to slice produce for salads such as zucchini or cucumber; you can even slice circles of carrots evenly and perfectly.
How to Use a Box Grater?
Now that you have your box grater, we're sure you're eager to start slicing up some cheese or vegetables so that you can make your favorite dishes! The most common method you'll see people use is them letting the box grater stand up with the open end laying flat across a cutting board or plate. The thing is that there is actually a different method that adds another level of convenience.
Instead of letting the grater stand upright, lay it down flat with the side you wish to use facing upwards. This way, you should find it a lot more comfortable to grate produce for longer periods of time, but more importantly, all of the grated product will land inside of the grater. That makes it incredibly easy to transfer the grated items between containers as well as making the grater less likely to slip.
Quick Tip: When using a box grater, rub a very thin layer of oil across the cutting edge as this will make the cutting process drastically smoother; thus, enhancing the entire process.
What to Look for When Buying Your Box Grater?
When it comes to finding the right box grater for you, there are a few factors that you need to look out for in order to get the best value for money. We've compiled this list and broken it down into its most concise form below.
When grating, it's important to remember that you're using force to slice through food items and any slippages could cause a nasty cut to the user. In order to avoid this, you must choose a grater that uses rubber grips on both the handle and on the bottom. You can also get grating guards that help to keep your fingers away from the grate itself, drastically lowering the risk of injury.
The vast majority of box graters are made from stainless steel, making them highly durable and also extremely easy to clean. Stainless steel also has natural anti-corrosive properties which are extremely handy considering it's often used with moist food and frequently washed. Graters made of tin are also available, but you're better off avoiding these as they are far more likely to rust over after a long time.
If storage in your kitchen is something you lack, then you might want to consider a washboard grater over a box grater. These graters are far easier to store and can be stowed away in a variety of nooks and crannies.
Box graters are a great tool that offers a variety of grating techniques all combined into one, easy-to-handle product. So when answering the question "How to use a box grater?", there are two predominant techniques. One, which we are more accustomed to, is when we hold the grater upright, and the second, which we suggested, that offers a greater deal of safety by reducing the chance of any slippages.