141 of 141 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2005
This is the first of two Microplane graters that I purchased, but this choice received a lower 4* ranking. While this grater is from the standard line, the other is from the professional line. With many kitchen items the term 'professional' is just a hollow designation, but in this case it definitely matters!
All Microplane graters use the same basic technology for cutting -- technology which was originally developed for the woodworking industry but that has been adapted for exceptional service in the kitchen as well. Many others in this group have extolled the Microplane virtues, so I'll concentrate on helping you choose the best one . . . the professional!
Now, what makes the professional so much better? Well, the standard line has 3 major/minor flaws: 1) the easy-grip rubber handle tends to capture water when washed, 2) the plastic molded frame holding the grating surface cracks when washed in the dishwasher, & 3) the head is so incredibly sharp that it must be kept covered, yet there is no easy way to do this except for the original tagboard cover.
The professional version fixes all of these issues. The frame and hollow handle (no water capture points) are stainless steel which eliminates issues #1 & #2 and it also comes with a nice snap-on plastic cover to protect the sharp head surface which takes care of issue #3. I can find _no_ faults with this version.
End result: For an extra $5, BUY THE PROFESSIONAL MICROPLANE!!
103 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2002
Get ready for some serious gushing. You really need this.
It's hard to describe how much better the microplane is than any other cheap, old-fashioned, knuckle-scraping box grater, or even most of the competing "modern" graters. The cheese goes where you want it to, you don't break a sweat, and there's nothing awkward or strenuous about the action. You have the handle in one hand, and the cheese (or what have you) in the other, and you just rub smoothly back and forth. No effort required. This is really one of those kitchen gadgets that makes you wonder where it's been all your life --- I never even stopped to think about how much of a chore grating was until I got one of these. I got one for my mother, grandmother, sister, and mother-in-law, and they're all equally amazed. (Well, maybe not quite as effusive about it as I am, but they really like them)
After two years of owning my microplane, I use it as much as ever. I can't tell you how delightful it is to have effortless grated cheese every time I serve pasta. The construction is solid, and it doesn't dull. One of these days, I'm going to get around to buying the rest of the microplane line -- the zester (which I think is their original product and looks just like a rasp), the spice grater, and the different grades of this style. But for now this does the trick in every situation. I love this thing like I've never loved a kitchen gadget.
64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2000
I primarily use this for grating parmesan cheese, and it's astonishing how much better it is than a conventional cheese grater. The shreds will be a little shorter than you're used to, but it produces wonderful light bits in perhaps 20% of the time it would take with a conventional grater. It's also easy to clean (sharp surfaces face only one direction on each side, so scrub against the grain), and I find myself, despite the warning in the main review, much less likely to scrape my knuckles than with a conventional grater because it takes such a light touch. If you rest the bottom of the grater in a small bowl, and hold it at a slight angle, you'll get a nice stable surface for particularly easy grating. It's not as good for citrus zest, though - zest tends to clog in the holes - for that I prefer the citrus zester and I've heard the spice grater is even better.
The NY Times had a great little article about 2 years ago when it was first discovered that these carpentry planers were wonderful kitchen gadgets -I think a woman in Alberta borrowed some tools from her husband's hardware store and it took off from there. This is not just a fad - these really are far superior to what came before.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
This Microplane grater has a coarser set of cutting blades, making it ideal for grating somewhat softer cheeses that tend to gum up the finer graters. The grating surface is wider than the all-metal curved version with the black handle that Microplane first introduced, so the grating goes faster as well.
DOWN SIDE: The handle assembly collects water between the black handle and the clear plastic frame if the grater is immersed or cleaned under running water. This would happen if you put this in the dishwasher, too. Fortunately, the black handle is removable. Unless you disassemble this when cleaning it, you may want to check for water in the handle assembly before starting to grate cheese at the table.
WARNING: Like all of the Microplane graters, this one is very sharp. Pay attention while you are using it. Store it out of reach of small hands. If you must store it in a drawer, I recommend keeping it in the protective cardboard sleeve in which it is packed.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2001
Microplane also makes a fabulous zester (all cooks know that the words fabulous and zester are contradictory but not so in this case!). Same overall shape as this item but narrower, with smaller holes. The company calls it a grater-zester. Many people who reviewed that item use it for grating cheese as well.
But for me, THIS is the cheese grater. It has any type of cheese begging for mercy in mere seconds, as the grater-zester does with the dreaded citrus, nutmeg, ginger, etc. True, the company says its zester will grate hard cheese -- and THIS grater can also make zest (although larger and coarser than the grater-zester creates).
Both items are well-made, sturdy, easy to hold & balance, and *VERY* sharp. My personal opinion and experience: try both.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2002
The only way to know the thrill you will feel - the awsome "wow" that will utter forth from your lips as you grate cheese or orange zest or any other food item you've only read about grating in the past - is to just say yes. Buy this grater.
Ever make an omlette or scrambled eggs and try to cut up or grate the cheese small enough so that it will melt in the limited cooking time there is to complete the dish ? - struggle no more! -
I have never seen food appear in this form as produced by this grater.
If you've never seen freshly grated parmesian cheese fall like snow on fresh hot spaghetti (much different and better than the grated stuff that comes in the can, and even better than you can get at a great Italian restaurant, where the waiter/waitress grates it over your pasta) - that melts into the spaghetti the second it hits the sauce, and forever changes the way your spaghetti tastes, then get one of these graters - (and a hard chunk of parmigiano reggiano cheese) - you won't be disappointed.
They don't teach people about these instruments in our culture, or what they can do or how they can help you in the kitchen. So here we are, reviewers from near and far, telling you now - just buy one, and very quickly you will see what a miracle piece of cookware - a secret ingredient - this particular microplane grater is.
And wait! There's more. It's incredibly easy to clean as well!
Definitely recommended. Enjoy!
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2000
I just used this product to grate fresh parmesian cheese on a salad. It is light weight and easy to use. It makes light, fluffy cheese that doesn't clump. Also, I think it will make my parmesian last longer because you use less cheese with this grater!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2001
I'll never own a Bentley or a Lamborghini, but I am secure in the knowledge that in this Microplane grater, I have the very best product of its kind that can be had! I struggled for years with box graters and dime store zesters, and I can't remember how many times I have declined to pursue an interesting-sounding recipe simply because it called for citrus zest, and it was just too much effort to make it with the tools I had. Or the times I have resorted to buying packaged shredded cheeses at the supermarket, and paying a higher price for an inferior product, again because it was too much trouble to grate it myself.
As they say, Them Days is Gone Forever!
I have the large grater, and also the small grater/zester, and I just can't get over how marvelous they are, and how much easier they make the cook's job. I used to literally wear myself out producing a couple tablespoons of grated lemon rind, for example, but with the Microplane grater/zester, just a whisper of effort has that lemon denuded in no time.
And the large grater is absolutely appropriate for shredding some really good Parmigiano Reggiano, or maybe that Pecorino Romano, or mounds of buffalo mozzarella for a home made pizza. I'm no cheese snob, but somehow it just didn't seem right to butcher a fine cheese on a flimsy and dangerous tin box grater. And since it's now so quick and easy to grate my own, there'll be no more of that "cheese dust" in the green can! A decent Reggiano is actually less expensive, I suspect, because a little of it goes so much further. And the flavor is infinitely better.
The Microplane graters are very reasonably priced, given their obvious quality and the ease with which they allow me to accomplish what once was for me an arduous task.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2003
I first bought the finer shred microplane with the plastic handle. I thought that was amazing but this is the King of ALL Zesters and cheese graters. Although the description is for course shredding, it actually grates hard cheeses and zests lemons/limes perfectly. I was really impressed by this particular grater b/c it is more ergonomic than the thinner one. It is wider so you can grate more at a time. This is wonderful for a big block of parmesean/romano cheese. This is the best cheese grater that I have used. The other ones that I have tried are Cooks Best which looks similar but never grated or zested properly. It just accummulated alot of junk. It was impossible to clean so it just rusted. Then there are those big clunky tripod cheese graters that take up room and are difficult to clean and dangerous for your knuckles. Like I said, this is the one to get if you want freshly grated cheese with your pasta at dinner. Btw, I have used it for garlic and ginger. It is also awesome for mincing. I hand wash mine out of love. Just get it and try it! It is the ONLY grater/zester that you will need.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2003
This grater is definitely the best I've owned.
Like everyone else, I spent years using both the clunky tripod style grater and older single plane graters. As other reviewers have noted, the tripod model frequently leads to injury and is difficult to clean. The older single plane graters are okay, but you end up having to move what you're grating and not the grater. As a result, I would sometimes "break" hard cheeses in half by applying too much strength.
In contrast, the Microplane grater is easy to use, extremely easy to clean, and produces great results. With very little strength, you can grate by moving the grater - and not what you're grating. This produces less mess and eliminates the chance that things like cheese will break in half.
Finally, the results are very nice. Grating parmesean produces very light, elegant shavings of cheese, making your dishes look great.