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Lemon Zester

(17 Posts)
Helennonotion Sat 18-Jul-20 14:44:49

After many years of trying to zest a lemon on a standard cheese grater and self harming into the bargain, I'm wondering which is the best kind of zester to buy. The final straw came earlier today when I was grating away on the lemon and also my thumb knuckle. (Thank God there are cranberries in the flapjack so nobody will notice any blood.) When I'd removed as much of the skin as I could, (lemon skin, not knuckle skin) I lifted up the grater and there was nothing sitting on the plate underneath. Nothing! All of the zest was sitting comfortably in the metal grooves of the grater. After poking it with skewers and knives in order to remove a very small fraction of it, I decided there must be a better way! So I googled.
There are long holey stainless steel affairs or some kind of pronged instrument which I presume you scrape the lemon with. Micro planers are a thing too apparently. Some of them are quite expensive! I just want something safe, simple and relatively cheap! Any suggestions please?

SuzannahM Sat 18-Jul-20 14:51:46

I bought a microplaner some time ago for the same reasons!

It is better for me from the point of view of not skinning my fingers at the same time but I still find most of the lemon zest is on the back of the planer, not in the dish, and has to be scraped off.

When I watch people on TV it all seems to fall off in nice heaps so I don't know what the answer is grin

Helennonotion Sat 18-Jul-20 14:58:05

SuzannahM I suppose its easier to scrape off any zest on the back of a planer rather than trying to poke things inside a square grater! The chefs/cooks on TV always make everything look so easy don't they! What a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Sourcing a device to zest lemons. grin

SuzannahM Sat 18-Jul-20 15:14:41

@Helennonotion - I suppose that's what years of experience does for you grin

There's probably a mathematical equation somewhere that tells you the correct angle to hold your planer at and the correct pressure of the lemon.

Missedout Sat 18-Jul-20 15:20:16

I agree that most of the lemon zest stays on the box grater but use a stiffish pastry brush to brush the zest from the grating surfaces (both sides) into the dish. I also have a little lemon zester but the pieces of zest are quite coarse compared to the grater.

I have learnt to take my time when grating lemon zest; trying to do it in a hurry inevitably results in bits of skin and finger nail being included in the mix! shock

Helennonotion Sat 18-Jul-20 15:20:59

Hahahah indeed SuzannahM Ive just had years of experience grating my knuckles. wink

Elegran Sat 18-Jul-20 15:52:24

I use the kind with the little holes. It is a bit like this one, but mine doesn't also have the canelle blade.

JackyB Sat 18-Jul-20 16:03:14

1. I once read that you should press a sheet of greaseproof paper on to the grater, then lift it off after grating and the zest is on the paper. It works up to a point.

2. If the zest is to be included in a mixture, I peel it off with the potato peeler and drop it in the food processor with some flour, sugar or breadcrumbs, other dry ingredient or even onion or garlic (e. g. for meat patties), as the first step. If you have sharp blades, the zest reduces to a powder and can mix evenly into the rest of the recipe.

3. Best results obviously from a fresh lemon. If not quite fresh, maybe a short stint in the freezer will make it easier to grate.

4. I use the fine grater side of the box grater. Never the lethal "zester".

Squiffy Sat 18-Jul-20 16:35:31

I have a Cuisipro 747161 grater, which is brilliant. They’re not cheap, but are excellent for lemon zest, nutmeg grating etc. They come with a protective cover (no more grated fingers when rummaging in the Now-Where-Have-I-Put-It drawer!), which doubles as a catcher of the zest etc. HTH 😃

shysal Sat 18-Jul-20 17:15:55

I wouldn't be without mi microplaner. I have tried covering the surface of a box grater with cling film before use. It does work.

fevertree Sat 18-Jul-20 17:20:18

Helen your story of the knuckle made me chuckle, and reminded me of the time I sat next to the hostess at a fancy dinner party (I didn't know her) and she whispered to me I hope no one finds my false nail in the casserole shock grin

Witzend Sat 18-Jul-20 17:23:54

Please google Oxo Good Grips Zester! I found one locally for about £7.
It was a revelation before Christmas when I needed to zest oranges and lemons for mincemeat and puds. SO much easier. Best gadget I’ve bought in years.

Helennonotion Sat 18-Jul-20 17:25:44

Thank you ladies for your suggestions! Will check them all out!

Helennonotion Sat 18-Jul-20 19:43:18

fevertree I just noticed your post. Oh my!! I would have rummaged around in the casserole until I'd found it! I wonder who got it and if they noticed? grin

fevertree Sat 18-Jul-20 20:26:19


NotAGran55 Sat 18-Jul-20 22:11:24

Microplane are awesome and worth every penny .

Fennel Sun 19-Jul-20 12:30:04

I've asked about this in the past, never really found a solution so have given up zesting.
What's the point of it anyway? Doesn't the juice have enough flavour for lemon curd, lemon meringue pie etc?
You can buy pots of crystallised peel for fruit cakes etc.