Think about the box grater sitting somewhere in your kitchen. Are you maximizing its uses? Chances are you only use that one side to do that one thing: shred cheese. Some seem to forget that this handy metal contraption has four sides, most of which are sadly ignored—truly a disservice to the box grater and yourself.
Read on to discover how to make the most out of that bulky metal tool and learn how the classic box grater can make your life and meal prep surprisingly easier.
Side one: thinly slice
Side one of the box grater usually looks like three tight-lipped smiles in a row and is often the side that is the most overlooked. It’ll be your new best friend when it comes to veggie prep.
Use it to slice raw vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and squash, before roasting them in the oven. This side will be your secret weapon to a perfectly presented ratatouille, satisfyingly crispy homemade potato chips, or paper-thin garnishes to top your avocado toast.
Side two: finely grate
Side two could be described as the side that looks like it’s covered in round little stars. This side is perfect for grating a light dusting of nutmeg and cinnamon, or for zesting citrus fruits. Use this side with care, though, as it’s quite easy to nick your fingers if you aren’t pressing lighting on whatever you’re grating.
Side three: shred
This side has smaller holes than the most popular, well-loved side of the box grater, and is perfect for shredding firm cheeses into fine strips. These smaller holes are also great for breaking down garlic and ginger for a soup, stew, or stir-fry, or, if you’re baking a carrot cake or other baked goods that call for veggies (like chocolate-zucchini muffins), this side will get you perfectly thin veggie shreds.
Side four: the side you know
This side is the one you already know and love. You use it to shred cheese for your nachos, potatoes for your latkes, or tomatoes for your homemade tomato sauce. This side is also ideal for when you forget to soften your butter before diving into a baking project. Instead of kicking yourself for not taking the butter out of the fridge beforehand, simply grab your box grater and shred that hard butter so that it can be easily thrown into whatever you’re making.