Any citrus zest, including a small amount of lemon zest, may transform dishes incredibly. If you’re cooking anything and it’s missing something—but you don’t know what—a little aromatic lemon zest can save it from being sent to the fridge and forgotten about forever.
Good news, too! Making lemon zest can be done without having a fully equipped kitchen. Also the same goes for getting lemon zest off grater. In this article, I’m more concerned with teaching you how to get lemon zest off grater.
What is Lemon Zest?
While at it, I must explain what distinguishes lemon peel from lemon zest.
Well, lemon has a peel on it. Albedo, or the innermost layer of skin, is what most people mean when they say “pith.” The white, meaty pith is often left untouched because of its unpleasant taste. Zest is created from the lemon’s outermost layer, containing all the fruit’s flavorful oils without any bitter pith.
A flavedo is a name for the external layer of skin. The authentic citrus flavor is locked up in oils just below the surface. As a result, the pith-to-skin ratio varies across different citrus fruits. For instance, limes typically have little to no protective pith, while grapefruit usually have a thick peel. When you begin zesting various fruits, this differentiation is crucial.
How to Zest a Lemon With a Peeler
Many cooks find that a standard or y-style vegetable peeler removes the lemon’s outer peel. So, how can you zest a lemon with a peeler?
With one hand, hold the lemon and the peeler. Then, working your way around the lemon, use the peeler to cut into the skin and carefully remove the peel in strips, or a spiral if you’re feeling fancy.
Make sure to cut only a little; the goal is to get the shallowest slice possible. Once the lemon has been completely peeled, chop or mince the long pieces into smaller, thinner pieces.
How to Zest a Lemon With a Cheese Grater
If you need to zest a lemon but don’t have a special zesting tool, you can do so with a cheese grater!
First, use your grater to find the finest grating surface. It should resemble a slew of bumps that can be grated in any direction. Next, cover that side of the grater with baking paper large enough to wrap around the grater and hold it in place with your other hand.
Grate the lemon over the paper at an angle, frequently turning to zest only the yellow skin and not the bitter white pith. The grater’s metal points should poke through the paper, but it should be strong enough to stay in one piece so there is no paper in your zest.
Remove the baking paper after you’ve zested the lemon all over. The zest should have accumulated on the paper’s surface, making it easy to scrape off and use as needed!
What Are Some Zesting Tips?
These zesting tips suit almost any citrus fruit, including limes, oranges, and grapefruits.
Before zesting, thoroughly wash your fruit. Then, make a fancy finishing salt by combining extra zest and sea salt. You can also combine it with butter and other herbs to make compound butter, which is excellent for seasoning steaks, grilled meats, and seafood.
You can store zest in the freezer for up to three months. Freeze it in a single layer on a baking sheet first, then transfer it to a zip lock bag, label it, and freeze it.
Can You Freeze Lemon Zest?
If you have a ton of lemon zest or plan on baking a lot for about a month or more and want to prepare everything in advance, you might be wondering if you can freeze your lemon zest, then thaw it when you want to use it.
Yes, you can. You can store lemon zest in the refrigerator for up to a week in a sealed plastic bag and frozen for up to six months in a tightly sealed freezer bag.
Ensure to Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, a Silpat. or waxed paper. Label the date and contents of freezer bags and as much lemon zest as you want. Add some lemon juice to the zest. When the zest is frozen, it sticks together better.
Measure the lemon zest with a teaspoon and place by teaspoonfuls on a Silpat, parchment, or waxed paper. (When I toss the zest in recipes, I like to measure it out by the teaspoonful; it’s already measured out for me.)
Freeze for 30 to 45 minutes or until completely frozen and not flaking apart when touched. Fill a freezer bag halfway with frozen lemon zest discs.
How to Get Lemon Zest Off Grater
Now that I’m sure you’re familiar with the basics, let’s discuss the main topic of the day; how to get lemon zest off grater.
Soak your dirty grater for a few minutes in hot water before washing it. Because of the Microplane grater’s long, narrow shape, a high-sided bowl or pot is ideal, but you could also soak it horizontally in a clogged-up sink or even a casserole dish.
After five to ten minutes, you’ll notice all of the crusty residue floats off the zester. It is because the soaking period reconstitutes the dried-on food, returning it to its freshly grated state so you can give it that rinse you didn’t get around to before.
With a swipe of a soapy sponge, any remaining food stuck to the grater will easily come off. So there you have it: a cleaning solution that is also free, simple, and extremely versatile.
Best Graters For Lemons
1. Microplane Classic Zester Grater
Microplane manufactures ultra-0sharp grating blades in the United States using photo-etched technology. Handle made of BPA-free plastic. The blade is designed with a specific tooth set that removes the flavorful rind while leaving the bitter white pith behind. The zest gives vinaigrettes, stir-fries, salads, and baked goods flavor!
It is constructed of surgical-grade stainless steel. This material resists rust and retains its sharpness over time. Because genuine stainless steel is magnetic, you can hang this item on a magnetic knife strip. The tool is simple to clean; rinse after use. To clean out hard-to-reach particles, use a kitchen brush on the underside of the blade. You can also put the zester/grater in the dishwasher.
- Dishwasher friendly
- Simple to clean
- Simple to use
2. KitchenCraft Colourworks 4 Piece Grater Set
This swatch of four stackable graters from the Colourworks collection comes strung on a sturdy but removable loop. It can be hung among other utensils for convenience if your drawers are crowded. They each unthread when the toggle is undone. The set includes a fine, medium, coarse, and slice grater, all of which are sharp and have a rubber foot to protect your chopping board. If you’re grating over a bowl, a small indent on the underside of each grater serves as a convenient rest.
The zester could have been finer, but it didn’t remove any bitter pith beneath the lemon’s zest: the medium and coarse graters nicely grated cheese, carrots, and courgettes. The slicer produces slithers of varying shapes where you have to turn the vegetable due to its width, but we didn’t mind. It certainly saves time compared to slicing with a knife.
- With a Five-year warranty
- The silicone hanging makes it simple to store.
- Bold design
3. Victorinox Coarse Grater
If you want thick strands of cheese that look like the ‘pre-grated’ cheese you can buy in stores, the Victorinox is a great alternative to the traditional mandolin. A proper cheese nest is possible.
Its razor-sharp blades made quick work of tough vegetables like carrots; thankfully, it comes with a reusable blade cover to keep fingers safe when delving into kitchen drawers. Victorinox, a Swiss brand, has fully embraced its national red shade for this collection edition, and it works beautifully, but a silver edition is also available. Two indents secure the grater’s positioning on the edge of a bowl.
- And lightweight
- It stands out in a cluttered drawer.
- Plastic handles are difficult to grasp.
4. Microplane EcoGrate Series Fine Grater
This eco-friendly citrus zester makes citrus zesting a breeze. The frame is made of biodegradable organic Moso bamboo mixed with resin and starch. The blade design has fine teeth for removing citrus zest while leaving the bitter white pith behind; the resulting zest is fine enough to add to vinaigrettes and custards.
It performed admirably when grating parmesan cheese and zesting lemons in tests. Because we had more surface space for grating, the wide body made it slightly more efficient. In addition, Microplane’s Photo-Etched technology can make the blades extra sharp. The EcoGrate grater is dishwasher safe, and you can clean it under running water for a quick rinse.
- Excellent value.
- Citrus and cheese are finely zested.
- Dishwasher friendly.
- There is no cover included.
Knowing how to get the lemon zest off the grater after zesting is essential whether baking a cake or cooking dinner. One of the best ways to liven up a dish that needs something extra is to add a little lemon zest. In addition, cleaning your grater will make things easier when you plan to zest your lemon next.
I’m a mom of three, a chef, a writer, and food blogger. I live in the suburbs of New Jersey where I love to cook and bake all day long. Cooking is a form of art and a way to preserve the beauty of nature. I create an edible canvas with fresh, seasonal ingredients.