9 Smart Ways to Use a Microplane

If you thought a microplane was just for zesting lemons, think again.

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Microplane Butter
Taste of Home

Soften Butter

Forgot to take a stick of butter out of the fridge to soften? Swipe cold butter over a Microplane grater to get small shavings that are much easier to spread than trying to slice a chunk off the stick.

Pro tip: When making pie crust from scratch, try incorporating cold shredded butter into the flour. You can mix it together faster without overworking it. The colder the butter, the flakier the crust! Learn our best-kept pie crust secrets.

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Microplane garlic
Taste of Home

Mince Garlic

Banish the time-consuming task of mincing garlic by sliding cloves along a Microplane. You’ll end up with a nice paste that blends cleanly into soups, flavors roasted vegetables or mixes easily into Garlic Shrimp & Orzo Salad. When you’re finished, follow these tips for how to get the garlic smell off your hands.

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Microplane chocolate
Taste of Home

Grate Chocolate

Anything that makes it easier to consume chocolate is tops in my book. And nothing’s better than a Microplane to get a fine dusting of rich chocolate on the top of cakes, trifles or cupcakes. Try grating a little onto this easy Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding Torte for a luscious dessert.

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Microplane nutmeg
Taste of Home

Grate Whole Spices

The taste of fine, freshly grated cinnamon, nutmeg and other whole spices elevates a dish to perfection. A Microplane takes the place of a mortar and pestle—and takes a lot less time and elbow grease, too. Freshly grate cinnamon to put these 50 delicious cinnamon recipes over the top.

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Microplane Parmesan Cheese
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Grate Hard Cheese

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese is a must on top of recipes like Garlic-Cheese Flat Bread. A Microplane is perfect for finely shredding hard cheeses like Parmesan, Asiago and Romano to top vegetables and your favorite Italian dishes. Here are three reasons why should always grate your own cheese.

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Microplane Jalapeno peppers
Taste of Home

Shred Chiles & Peppers

If you like a little heat, but biting into a chunk of jalapeno pepper isn’t your thing, shredding it finely with a Microplane gives you zip without zapping your tastebuds. Mix your freshly grated jalapeno into this tasty Black Bean Tart.

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Microplane Potatoes
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Rice Potatoes

Instant hash browns, anybody? When you don’t have a bag of frozen hash browns in the freezer, use a Microplane to finely shred potatoes for this Sausage and Hashbrown Breakfast Pizza.

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Microplane Burnt Muffins
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Fix Charred Food

Burned the edges of your muffins? Salvage charred food by lightly shaving off the blackened portion with a Microplane.

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Microplane fresh ginger
Taste of Home

Grate Fresh Ginger

This could be my favorite use of a Microplane. I store my washed fresh ginger root wrapped in plastic in the freezer to make it last longer. (Here are 19 more surprising foods you can freeze.) When I want to add the zippy tang of ginger to a dish, I grab it out of the freezer, grate off as much as needed with a Microplane, then wrap it up and pop it back in. It’s perfect for recipes like Sparkling Ginger Lemonade.

Dana Meredith
Dana is an editor and writer who shares her passion for travel, food and the beauty of American landscapes. When she's not wielding her red pen, she can be found tending her flower gardens, remodeling her house, creating one-of-a-kind jewelry or dancing to "Uptown Funk."