Kitchen Tip: The Many Uses of a Microplane

Kitchen Tips & Tricks | 23 comments

I don’t have a lot of kitchen gadgets. Mostly just the basics and a couple more specialized pieces, but the specialized pieces I choose have multiple uses so I’m okay with having them. If I had to pick just one kitchen gadget, it would be a toss up between my Microplane and my Large Scoop. I really love both of these and don’t think I could part with either.

uses for microplane

image credit

Since I told you one of my favorite ways to use my large scoop last week (see: Kitchen Tip: Trick for Filling Muffin Tins), I thought I’d tell you about my other favorite gadget and all it’s tricks this week: the Microplane. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend adding one to your gadget drawer. It’s worth it to buy the name brand. I’ve used knock-offs before with not as satisfying results.

The Many Uses of a Microplane:

  • Grating Garlic - I hate mincing garlic. I’m capable of doing it, but it gets old doing it almost every night when I’m preparing dinner. Grating it on the microplane is super fast.
  • Grating Hard Cheeses – The Microplane is PERFECT for freshly grating hard cheeses like Parmesan, Asiago, Romano, and more.
  • Chocolate Shavings – Chocolate shavings are a great way to garnish desserts and it’s really simple to make shavings with the microplane. (Examples: see White Chocolate Pudding and Orange Chocolate Chunk Brownies)
  • Citrus Zest – Zesting citrus with a microplane is a great way to get off the satisfying flavor from the peel of the fruit without the bitter pith. I love to add zest (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit) to dishes and baked goods for extra flavor.
  • Fresh Coconut - If you want freshly shredded coconut, the microplane is your tool also!
  • Fresh Ginger – Instead of chopping or mincing ginger, I peel the skin off and grate it into a nice fine pulp with my microplane.

The method is the same for all of these uses. Just rub whatever it is you want to grate along the top of the microplane, just as if you were grating cheese. So simple – hardly any work at all!

Do you have any other favorite uses for a Microplane?

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Kendra @ My First Kitchen - October 26, 2010 @ 7:50 am

    I love my Microplane, too, and for all the reasons you said. It’s also awesome for grating fresh nutmeg. And Amazon is the cheapest price. Restaurant supply stores are less expensive than regular stores, but yet again, Amazon comes in on top. Have fun in Napa this week! And I’m making your chocolate pumpkin cupcakes this week. Can’t wait.


  • 2
    Anne - October 26, 2010 @ 8:29 am

    Ok, so i purchased a Microplane in the summer because I desperately needed a zesting tool!! But now you have opened my eyes to a variety of ways to use this gadget!! Thank you so much!! Love your blog!!


  • 3
    Seanna Lea - October 26, 2010 @ 10:07 am

    I mostly use mine for ginger, zesting and nutmeg (thanks to Kendra for reminding me of nutmeg). I have a box grater that has a fine side that I use for all of the other uses.


  • 4
    Lindsey - October 26, 2010 @ 11:03 am

    I love my Microplane! I was lucky enough to find a great deal on the zester, spice grater, and cheese (box) grater set at Sam’s Club for $20 last Christmas-time. I haven’t looked back since. I use it for just about everything that needs to be turned into itty bitty pieces.


  • 5
    Tessa - October 26, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

    I adore my microplane!! It is SO much better than other zesters and graters out there. I love it for grating spices as well like Kendra.


  • 6
    marla {family fresh cooking} - October 26, 2010 @ 1:19 pm

    Katie, I too love my microplane. Not only is it handy – but it looks cool too. Skinny with and edge…..Thanks for sharing these helpful tips with us :) xo


  • 7
    robin - October 26, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

    garlic!!! Love that one! I agree.. it gets REAL old!


  • 8
    Miranda - October 26, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

    I love my microplane so much but I never thought of it for garlic! I’m so excited to try it!


  • 9
    LimeCake - October 26, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

    oh, microplane. how i love thee. mine is a box stand one with two sides – coarse and fine. can’t live without it!


  • 10
    Jennifer - October 26, 2010 @ 9:07 pm

    I have a quick question for those of you who have bought a Microplane: I have used many other zesters before but what really made me tick was how difficult they were to clean up afterwards! Citrus rinds caught in the back of the zester became clean-up nightmares on several occasions. So I’ve got to ask, is the Microplane as easy to clean as it is to use? Thanks for your help!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — October 26th, 2010 @ 9:08 PM

      I give mine a quick rinse, then toss it on the top rack of the dishwasher. I’ve only had problems with citrus if I don’t rinse it right after, so I’ve just gotten in the habit of rinsing it before putting it in the sink/dishwasher.

  • 11
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum - October 26, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

    Why have I never thought to use it for garlic before?? Brilliant!


  • 12
    pickyin @ life is great - October 27, 2010 @ 12:20 am

    I’ve used mine in all the ways you mentioned plus nutmeg. To clean just scrub in the same direction of the teeth, most stuck rinds and even ginger stringy bits will come off.


  • 13
    Andrea @ Simple Organized Living - October 27, 2010 @ 8:15 am

    Oh, I love my microplane grater…and I too use it for everything on your list!
    I’ve never had a problem with it coming clean…and I always just toss it int the dishwasher on the top rack.
    I love multi-functional kitchen gadgets!


  • 14
    anja - October 27, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

    I use mine also for nutmeg. and sometimes the nails but this was not on purpose.


  • 15
    Tickled Red - October 28, 2010 @ 7:12 am

    I couldn’t live without mine. I use it for all of the above :)


  • 16
    naomi - October 28, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    My Microplane is one of my top ten tools in the kitchen. I love mine! Great review of it.


  • 17
    ButterYum - October 29, 2010 @ 3:39 am

    It’s one of my favorite tools too. I’ve had mine for nearly 20 years. I got it before they were commonly available (and most people didn’t have the internet). I had to order it from a cooking school in NY – waited weeks for it to arrive, but have been using it non-stop ever since. I should probably get a new one; surely mine isn’t as sharp as it used to be after all these years, but honestly, it works perfectly.



  • 18
    lynne - October 30, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

    I end up trimming my fingernails….well, not on purpose! =)


  • 19
    Jason - October 30, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

    Try using it to grate carrots for a carrot cake!


  • 20
    Laurel - October 30, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

    I LOVE my microplane products (I have the fine zester/grater, and the 4-sided box grater). Both have required replacement due to faulty plastic housing of the blades or actual dulling of the teeth after too many uses, but I’ll keep buying them, there’s nothing better on the market as far as I know.


  • 21
    Michelle in NZ - October 31, 2010 @ 12:46 am

    Along with the many uses already listed I use mine to grate soap as I make my own laundry powder.


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