What Is a Microplane: Getting to Know This Versatile Tool

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Do you like zesting fresh flavors to your dishes? How about decorating your pastries and baked goodies with chocolate shavings?

If your answer is yes, what kind of kitchen tool do you use to create the zest and chocolate shavings for your dishes?

If you’re wondering what is a Microplane grater, let us enlighten you about this versatile kitchen gadget.

What Is a Microplane?

If you are looking for one of the best kitchen tools around, you can consider having a Microplane in your kitchen arsenal.

A Microplane is a handy rasp-like grater made of high-quality stainless steel photo-etched into small razor-sharp edges with anti-dullness and rust-resistant properties.

These fine sharp blades are typically attached to ergonomically designed non-slip handles made of varying materials like plastic or rubber.

This sleek and compact kitchen tool easily fits inside your cutlery drawer, leaving your countertops free of any clutter.

This multi-functional kitchen gadget, with its small sharp blades, create delicate and fluffy results.

History of Microplane

To fully know what is a Microplane grater, we must understand how it was invented.

In 1990, brothers Jeff and Richard Grace invented a new woodworking tool in Russelville, Arkansas, USA, under their manufacturing facility, Grace Manufacturing, Inc.

The small razor-like edges on their invention, formed through photo-etching technology, produce light and delicate results.

This woodworking tool became a culinary gadget by accident in 1994. A Canadian homemaker named Lorraine Lee became frustrated with her old grater.

She needed to zest oranges for the cake she was trying to bake. Out of frustration, she decided to use her husband’s new tool from their hardware store and started sliding an orange on its blades.

Amazed by the zest bits from the orange falling from the woodworking tool, they decided to change the product’s description in their hardware catalog.

And as they say, the rest is history. That’s the start of Microplane’s grater’s popularity in the culinary world.

Types of Microplane

We know that a Microplane grater produces threadlike results, but few know that this kitchen tool is available in different types classified according to its hole sizes.

  • Fine

This Microplane type creates more powdery results. It’s the perfect choice for ingredients that require quick and even absorption without changing the mixture’s consistency.

  • Medium

The medium Microplane type produces shavings from your ingredient providing a more noticeable impression on the dish.

  • Coarse

This type is the largest among the three. It creates ribbon-like shavings mostly used as garnishing like chocolate or coconut.

what is a microplane

What Is a Microplane Used For?

Zesting citrus fruits are the most common function of a Microplane.

As its popularity increases, consumers continuously discover other Microplane uses.

The smaller blades of a Microplane grater provide a fluffier ingredient consistency far more different from a box grater’s results.

Currently, Microplane provides numerous kitchen uses from the time that it was first discovered.

Here are some celebrated functions for this indispensable kitchen tool.

Grate Butter

Butter is an essential ingredient in baking, but you need to keep it refrigerated since it melts quickly.

Bakers usually grate the cold butter when incorporating it into their dry ingredients, especially when baking pie crusts and tarts.

Alternatively, if you need a room temperature butter quickly, grating a cold frozen one speeds up the softening process.

Grate Cheese

Some dishes, like pasta and pizza, are not complete without the generous toppings of grated cheese.

With the handy Microplane, there’s no need to bring out your bulky box grater or set-up the space-consuming food processor.

Grating a block of cheese directly over your dish is more straightforward using a Microplane grater.

Grate Spices

Putting spices into your drinks adds a punch of extra flavor to them, enhancing their taste and aroma to the next level. 

Mince Garlic and Ginger

A garlic press became a trend with homemakers, but they soon realized that cleaning up is a challenge.

In recent times, grating garlic and ginger with a Microplane produce a paste-like consistency, making it easier to combine into your dishes.

Remove Charred Parts From Baked Goods

Overcooking your baked goodies creates burnt parts that are not pleasing to the eyes, leaving a bitter taste on the palate.

There’s no need to throw the food straight away. Through the help of your handy kitchen gadget, you can save the food by scraping the burnt parts away.

Shave Chocolate

Enhance your food’s appearance by adding decorations to your presentation.

Top your cakes and pastries with chocolate shavings using a Microplane grater.

The subtle taste of chocolate that melts in your mouth in every bite brings a lingering delight to the senses.

Zest Citrus Fruits

Getting the zest out of citrus fruits proves to be the most popular use of this fantastic kitchen gadget.

Microplane graters produce delicate clumps of citrus zest in no time, leaving the foul-tasting pith behind. 

What Is the Difference Between a Microplane and a Zester?

We have been interchanging a Microplane and a zester throughout the article.

Are Microplane and zester the same? How does one differ from the other?

As mentioned, a Microplane is a rasp-like grater, producing more delicate and consistent shavings than the typical box grater creates.

It has a long and narrow plane photo-etched with razor-sharp edges made from high-quality stainless steel, allowing effortless grating and other Microplane uses.

On the other hand, the traditional zester features a single row of holes designed to get the outer skin from citrus fruits.

Do I Need a Microplane?

Maybe you are asking if it is necessary to get a Microplane if you already have a grater? This handy tool is more than just a cheese grater or a lemon zester.

It is a versatile and affordable kitchen gadget capable of performing multiple food preparation tasks without any hassle.

The Versatile Kitchen Tool

So, what is a Microplate grater? It is a valuable kitchen assistant that can handle various food preparation tasks, allowing you to add extra flavor and aroma to your simple dishes.

This functional kitchen gadget gives you the convenience you need in your kitchen every time you bake or cook meals for your family.

One reminder: wear one of the best cut-resistant gloves to protect your hands from getting hurt from the razor-sharp edges of a Microplane.