The $10 Kitchen Tool I Use Every Time I Cook

updated May 1, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

If I’m making dinner, you know I’m pulling out my Microplane. I know you clicked on this story expecting to see some sort of pan or chef’s knife. (I usually do use those things, but they’re not $10!) It’s my Microplane that I seriously couldn’t cook without.

The version I swear by is the original Classic Series Grater. (The one that started out as a woodworking tool and wound up as an indispensable kitchen gadget.) While the company now offers similar graters with all kinds of handles, including ones in lots of pretty colors, the original rasp without a handle is the one I swear by.

What I Use It For

  • It’s rare that a meal at my house doesn’t include garlic. Even when I’m making a simple salad with packaged greens dressed with oil and vinegar, I’ll quickly grate in a clove of garlic to jazz it up.
  • If a dish contains ginger my husband’s a happy camper. The Microplane makes quick work of this fibrous, hard-to-mince root. Lately, I’ve been grating fresh ginger onto cubes of raw tuna for poke bowls.
  • Not a week goes by in my house without some kind of tomato-sauced pasta on the menu. You know what that means. Grated parm! You’ve got to see the grater in action on this one. It creates clouds of Parmesan cheese in literally no time with no effort. No more excuses for buying the stuff in the green box.
  • Everything tastes better with the zing of lemon or lime zest. Try it on paella, in pound cake, or in Asian rice noodle salads and you’ll see what I mean. With the Microplane you’ll never wind up with the bitter white pith in your food. It simply stops zesting after the rind is removed.
  • You definitely don’t need a nutmeg grater if you have the Classic. Keep a whole seed in your spice cabinet and grate a little into oatmeal cookies or apple pie or on top of a cappuccino.

A Few Housekeeping Notes

  • Although the grater is technically dishwasher-safe, I find it’s super easy to wash it off under running water as soon as I’m finished with it and before any residue dries and gets lodged in the holes.
  • It comes with a plastic case that slides on, keeping it clean and preventing any accidental nicked fingers when you reach into your utensil drawer.

Do you have this Microplane? Are you as obsessed with it as I am?