Cheese is the perfect accompaniment. While grating it is a fairly easy task, there are many ways to cut this treat. Here are some "grating" tactics for cutting your own cheese.
Method 1 of 4: Using a Flat Grater
Step 1. Grate the cheese using a flat grater
The flat grater, or double-sided grater, consists of a handle attached to a long, flat grate with small sharp teeth. Although they are commonly used for grating lemons or garlic, flat graters are perfectly useful when grating cheese.
The flat grater tends to produce smaller pieces of grated cheese, which works best with hard cheeses such as Parmesan or Pecorino. Grating a soft cheese, such as mozzarella, with one of these will only produce a flaky mass rather than a well-defined grated cheese
Step 2. Take the cheese block out of its packaging
If it's too big to hold with one hand, cut it into smaller pieces with a knife. Hold on to the long side - there's less chance of getting hurt by a large piece of cheese.
Step 3. Holding the flat grater on a plate or board, gently tap the cheese against the grate in an up-and-down motion
Continue until you get the desired amount.
Step 4. Tap the metal end of the grid lightly against the edge of the dish to loosen the excess
Use a pasta brush, if necessary, to remove any remaining cheese from the grater.
Step 5. Change the size of your grater depending on what you are going to use the cheese for
Flat graters come in a variety of sizes, from fine to coarser. The finely shredded cheese can be used as the top layer of a pizza. In medium slices, it goes well with roasted potatoes or salads. In thick slices, it can be used to accompany pasta.
Method 2 of 4: Using a Box Grater
Step 1. Use a box grater to grate your cheese
The box grater, or four-sided grater, has four sides, each of which has different tooth sizes.
- Because box graters tend to have larger teeth, they work best with softer cheeses like mozzarella or havarti.
- Choose which of the sides of the grater is best suited to the food. The medium-sized holes are great for going with tacos, but less so for making the crispy parmesan that goes with spaghetti.
Step 2. Keep your cheese medium to large in size
This prevents you from grating your fingers before you have the desired amount of grated cheese.
Step 3. If desired, lightly coat the outside of the chosen face of the grater with spray oil
This will make the cheese slide more easily.
Step 4. How you use the grater will depend on what it looks like
For graters without a handle, hold cheese and grater over a large bowl. For those with a handle, place the end of the grater on a kitchen board.
Step 5. Rub the cheese against the grater moving up and down
When you reach the end of the cheese, rub using your palm to avoid scraping your fingers.
Method 3 of 4: Using a Grinder
Step 1. Grate the cheese using a round grater or grinder
A grinder consists of a handle connected to a round compartment. A side crank is turned to grate the cheese. Lift the top handle, place a piece of cheese in the compartment, and lower the handle.
Step 2. Press a little with your finger on the handle
Hold the handle normally with the other fingers.
Step 3. Rotate the crank by hand while looking at the grill compartment over a plate or bowl
Stop when you feel you have reached the required amount of cheese.
Step 4. Grinders are safer as your hands don't have to push against the grater
They are also very efficient and the best option for making large amounts of grated cheese. For example, if you need to make casseroles or nachos, use a grinder.
Method 4 of 4: Grating Cheese by Improvisation
Step 1. Grate the cheese with a vegetable peeler
While not as efficient or glamorous as a cheese grater, a vegetable peeler will do the job.
- Hold a medium block of cheese over an ordinary plate. Rub the peeler against the cheese in a continuous forward motion.
- For better slices, chill the cheese beforehand or choose a hard cheese such as Parmesan.
Step 2. Use a sharp kitchen knife to cut small pieces
Although it takes longer, using a knife is a good alternative to a peeler.
- Hold a small piece of cheese against the surface of a plate. Gently cut the small slices inside.
- Opt for a straight edge knife rather than a serrated edge. Smooth edge knives are best for scraping or peeling.
- Avoid holding large blocks of cheese. Since the knife is more dangerous than other types of graters, you must be firm when holding the cheese.
Step 3. Chop the cheese with a food processor
To get grated cheese quickly and easily, a food processor is a great choice.
- Cool the cheese until it is firm but not too hard. Cut it into smaller pieces and place in the processor. Be careful not to overload the processor. Some of the blades in these appliances can get stuck or bent when grating cheese.
- Turn on the processor and observe the shape of the cheese slices. Once you get the desired amount, turn off the processor and empty it into a dish.
- If your processor has a disk blade, use it to get higher quality slices.
- Avoid processing softer cheeses like mozzarella. This will result in deformed cheese, not grated.