4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (2024)

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methods

1Using a Microplane

2Using a Box Grater

3Using a Rotary Grater

4Grating Cheese by Improvising

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Co-authored byStephen Servis

Last Updated: February 2, 2024References

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Cheese is the ultimate garnish. Though grating cheese is a very simply task, there are so many ways to slice this savory treat. Here are a few "grate" ways to shred your own cheese.

Method 1

Method 1 of 4:

Using a Microplane

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  1. 1

    Grate cheese using a microplane cheese grater. A microplane cheese grater consists of a handle attached to a long, flat grate with small, sharp teeth.[1] Although they are usually used for zesting lemons or grating garlic, they are perfectly serviceable when it comes to grating cheese.

    • Because microplanes tend to produce smaller pieces of grated cheese, they are best used with hard cheeses such as Parmesan or Pecorino. Grating a soft cheese like mozzarella with a microplane would only give you a mushy mass instead of cleanly grated cheese.
  2. 4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (5)

    2

    Unwrap your block of cheese. If it is too large to hold comfortably with one hand, slice it into manageable pieces with a knife. Err on the side of larger rather than smaller — there's less of a chance you'll hurt yourself with a big piece of cheese.

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  3. 4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (6)

    3

    Holding the microplane over a plate or board, gently swipe the cheese against the grate using an up-and-down motion. Continue until you have the desired amount.

  4. 4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (7)

    4

    Tap the metal end of the grater lightly against the edge of the plate to release excess trimmings. Use a pastry brush, if necessary, to remove all the cheese trimmings from the microplane.

  5. 5

    Switch out your microplane size depending on what you're using cheese for. Microplane graters come in a variety of sizes ranging from fine to coarse.[2] Finely shredded cheese can be used as the top layer of a freshly made pizza. Medium shredded cheese is thicker and a nice topping for baked potatoes or salads. Coarsely grated cheese is the thickest and can be used to garnish pasta.

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Method 2

Method 2 of 4:

Using a Box Grater

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  1. 1

    Use a box grater to shred your cheese. A box grater is four sided, with each side having differently sized teeth.

    • Because box grates tend to have larger teeth, they work well with softer cheeses such as mozzarella or havarti.
    • Choose whichever grater plate suits the dish. The medium sized holes are great for garnishing tacos, but not so much for making crumb-like Parmesan to go on Spaghetti.
  2. 2

    Keep your cheese medium to large sized. This will prevent you from scraping your fingers before you have the desired amount of shredded cheese.

  3. 4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (12)

    3

    Lightly coat the outside of the grater plate you will be using with cooking spray. This will make the cheese glide easier.[3]

  4. 4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (13)

    4

    Let your box grate decide how you'll use it. For box graters without a handle, hold the cheese and grater over a large bowl. For graters with a handle, place the end of the grater on a cutting board.

  5. 4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (14)

    5

    Rub the cheese against the grater in an up-and-down motion. Once you reach the end of the cheese, rub it with your palm to avoid scraping your knuckles.[4]

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Method 3

Method 3 of 4:

Using a Rotary Grater

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  1. 4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (16)

    1

    Slice your cheese using a rotary grater. A rotary grater consists of a handle connected to a circular grating compartment. A side crank is then rotated to grate the cheese. Raise the top handle of the grater, place a small block of cheese into the compartment, and lower the handle.

  2. 4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (17)

    2

    Apply some pressure to the top of the handle with your thumb. Grip the handle normally with your other fingers.

  3. 4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (18)

    3

    Turn the handle with your other hand while aiming the grating compartment at a nearby plate or bowl. Stop whenever you feel like you have enough shredded cheese.

  4. 4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (19)

    4

    Rotary graters are safer as your hands are not required to press against the plates.They are also very efficient and are best reserved for making large quantities of shredded cheese. For example, if you need to make nacho dips or breakfast casseroles, use a rotary grater.

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Method 4

Method 4 of 4:

Grating Cheese by Improvising

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  1. 4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (21)

    1

    Shred cheese with a vegetable peeler. Though not as efficient or glamorous as using a cheese grater, a vegetable peeler will still get the job done.

    • Hold a medium sized block of cheese over a regular sized plate. Rub the peeler against the cheese in a continuous forward motion.
    • For higher quality slices, refrigerate the cheese first or opt for a hard type of cheese (such as Parmesan).[5]
  2. 4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (22)

    2

    Use a sharp kitchen knife to thinly slice cheese. Though this is more time consuming, a knife is a nice substitute for a vegetable peeler.

    • Hold a small chunk of cheese against the surface of a plate. Gently slice off thin shreds onto the plate.
    • Opt for a plain edge rather than a serrated edge. Plain edge knives are better at shaving and skinning.[6]
    • Avoid holding large blocks of cheese. Since knife work is more dangerous than other grating options, you want to have a steady and firm grip on the cheese.
  3. 4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (23)

    3

    Mince cheese with a food processor. For quick and easy shredded cheese, a food processor is the optimal choice.

    • Refrigerate your cheese until it is firm but not too hard. Chop it into smaller blocks and place it in your food processor.[7] Be cautious about overloading your processor. Some food processor blades have seized up or become unbalanced when grating cheese.[8]
    • Turn the food processor on and monitor the shape of the cheese shreds. Once you have shredded the cheese to your liking, turn off the processor and empty it onto a plate.
    • If your processor has a shredding disk, select this blade as it will provide better quality slices.
    • Avoid processing softer cheeses such as Mozzarella. This will result in smeared, not shredded, cheese.[9]
  4. 4

    Finished.

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  • Question

    Can I use a porcelain grater for cheese?

    4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (25)

    wikiHow Staff Editor
    Staff Answer

    This answer was written by one of our trained team of researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

    4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (26)

    wikiHow Staff Editor

    Staff Answer

    No, a porcelain grater is meant for such hard foods as ginger root, nutmeg, daikon radish, etc. This kind of grater is flat and doesn't have the sharp edges of a box or metallic grater that are needed for grating cheese without mushing it.

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  • Question

    How do I grate sliced cheese?

    4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (27)

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    Top Answerer

    You cannot grate sliced cheese. Try cutting it finely with a sharp knife instead of grating it.

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  • Question

    How much grated cheese is there in one cup?

    4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (28)

    Community Answer

    One cup of grated cheese is equivalent to approximately 240g or a 1/4 pound.

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      Tips

      • Use a rotary grater or a food processor for larger dishes. It will save you effort and time, especially if you are taking food to a party.

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      • If your food processor does not work, use the pulse option and pulse the cheese into short bursts.

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      • If your food processor doesn't have a shredding disk, use the pulse option.

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      Warnings

      • Microplane and box graters leave your fingers more vulnerable to scrapes. Choose these graters when making small amounts of shredded cheese.

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      Things You'll Need

      • Cheese block
      • Cheese grater
      • Plate or cutting board

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      Expert Interview

      Thanks for reading our article! If you’d like to learn more about cooking, check out our in-depth interview with Stephen Servis.

      About This Article

      4 Ways to Grate Cheese - wikiHow (32)

      Co-authored by:

      Stephen Servis

      Private Chef

      This article was co-authored by Stephen Servis. Stephen Servis is a Private Chef and the Co-Owner of Servis Events Fine Dining along with his twin brother, Nicolas. Based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Stephen and Nicolas focus on using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, building close relationships with farmers and community members, and educating people on how to cook and eat more seasonally and sustainably. Servis Events operates at the intersection of health-focused meals and luxury dining, offering both private dinner parties and event catering services. Stephen and Nicolas graduated from the Culinary Arts program at Middle Bucks Institute of Technology and received their associate degrees in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Bucks County Community College. This article has been viewed 216,799 times.

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      Co-authors: 21

      Updated: February 2, 2024

      Views:216,799

      Categories: Food Cutting Techniques

      Article SummaryX

      To grate cheese with a box grater, start by picking what size holes you want to use, and then lightly coating the outside of that grater plate with cooking spray so the cheese won’t stick. Rub the cheese against the grater in an up-and-down motion until you have the desired amount. If you don’t have a grater, you can use a sharp kitchen knife to thinly slice off strips of cheese. Alternatively, refrigerate your cheese until it’s firm, chop it into smaller blocks, and place it in a food processor until it's shredded. To learn how to use a microplane to grate your cheese, keep reading!

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        "Cheese is fabulous, that's all ya need to know."

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