How Should You Grate a Lemon Peel?


Quick Answer

To grate or zest a lemon, rub a clean lemon against a microplane grater. Remove the zest, measure it, and add it to the recipe. Grate the lemon right before making your recipe, as the flavor is strongest directly after grating.

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Full Answer

  1. Pick a lemon with a thick skin

    Thicker skins, especially ones that are bumpy, make it easier to remove just the zest, leaving the white behind. Unwaxed lemons are best for zesting.

  2. Clean the lemon thoroughly

    Wash the lemon in warm water, and then dry it. If you have waxed lemons, scrub the wax off using warm water.

  3. Select a microplane grater

    Select a microplane grater with very fine holes. Lemon zest should be grated finely to release the most flavor.

  4. Slide the grater across the lemon

    Holding the lemon still, move the grater down the curve of the lemon. Avoid the white pith by turning the lemon as you grate. The pith is bitter, so you don't want it in your zest.

  5. Scrape the zest from the back of the grater

    Scrape the zest off the grater with a knife or spoon. Because the zest contains lemon oil, it tends to stick to the grater.

  6. Add the zest to a recipe

    Measure your zest, and then stir it into your recipe.

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