How many times have you started reading through a recipe and realized you needed lemon or lime zest? You look at the recipe thinking, “Do I have a citrus zester in my arsenal of kitchen gadgets?” And if I do where is it or do I have one at al? Have no fear as I happen to have a few ideas in the world of Citrus Zesters. Read on for my recommendations on what to use and why. Anything I recommend I use in my own kitchen. I actually have three suggestions for you to contemplate.
The more you cook the more you’ll find alternatives and numerous uses for kitchen gadgets. Some will work better than others and some will be your go-to’s. It all depends on how much you need in your recipe. I’ve learned this over the years by trial and error and through education. This will make you the best home cook possible.
First of all, what are citrus zesters? Simply put it is a kitchen gadget used to produce thread-like or finely grated outer layers of citrus fruit. A traditional zester will have a handle and a stainless steel end with sharp-edged holes. Some citrus zesters can create julienne-size strips best used for drink and cocktail garnish. More on how to get wider strips of zest a little later in this post.
Secondly, my favorite of all citrus zesters is the microplane grater. I find this gadget to be indispensable in my kitchen. Besides producing citrus zest, you can grate Parmesan cheese and other hard cheeses, chocolate, and whole nutmeg. This gadget deserves to have a permanent home in any kitchen. Microplane graters allow you to grate right into whatever you’re making. Perfect for when needing small amounts, creating powder-like zest. I’m impressed every single time I use a microplane grater. It’s definitely my go-to of all citrus zesters. Click here to learn more about all microplane graters. They are one of the world’s most versatile family of kitchen gadgets in my opinion.
Thirdly, mini box graters can be used as an alternative citrus zester. When using a mini grater be careful not to get any of the white pith. Technically, be aware not to get any pith no matter what you use to get zest. The pith will cause bitter notes to your recipe which is not all appetizing. I use my mini grater for grating whole nutmeg as well.
Lastly, I mentioned producing julienne-like strips of zest for drink and cocktail garnishes. Use a regular vegetable peeler for this, again being careful not to get any white pith. You’ll need to cut these strips with a knife for smaller pieces. If your recipe calls for peel in sauces, a peeler works well because zest is used to infuse flavor and removed once cooked. Peelers make great work for recipes combined in blenders or food processors calling for larger amounts of zest. The zest will be chopped finely.
Only you can determine the needs of your kitchen as I hope I’ve helped make your purchase much easier. I do recommend microplane graters. Check out Microplane graters online or at your local retailer where kitchen gadgets are sold. Make sure whatever you purchase is dishwasher safe otherwise hand washing is recommended. So there is no reason to forego a new recipe or a family favorite because of the unknown in the world of Citrus Zesters. Don’t be scared, just dive in head first I say.