Sure, you can always buy a bag of shredded cheese at the store, but it’s probably much lower quality than whatever choice fromage you have in the fridge. So why not shred your own at home? A good paddle grater will make this a breeze—and the best will turn potatoes, carrots, squash and other veggies into fine shreds, too.
Paddle graters date back to the 1540s, when a man named François Boullier made one out of pewter in an effort to more easily shred hard cheese. Now, there are many different iterations of the paddle grater. Depending on the spacing of the blades, for instance, shreds can be either fine or thick, but all will best a food processor. That’s because grating by hand typically makes shreds that are more tapered at the ends, and that melt more evenly when cooked.
Of course, every kitchen is different, and will need a very specific paddle grater to suit its needs. Here are four of the tops to choose from.
1. Microplane Professional Grater
This grater’s extra sharp blades will make shredding both hard and soft cheeses easy. The stainless-steel utensil has 35 blades in total, so you’ll get plenty of shreds per pass. It’s also practical in terms of storage, as a loop on the handle makes it easy to hang the grater from a hook in your kitchen. So it won’t take up any drawer space, plus, this way it’s always within reach.
Pros: Sharp blades make shredding easy.
Cons: Extra-coarse grate’s thicker shreds may not be for everyone.
2. Browne Extra Coarse Grater
This paddle grater by is a straightforward kitchen tool that gets the job done. It’s an extra coarse grater, so the output will be thicker, but the sharp, stainless-steel blades make shredding a simple task. Plus, the grater’s Santoprene feet mean that you won’t have to worry about it slipping while it stands up.
Pros: An easy-to-use grater that won’t slip around while you’re shredding.
Cons: Doesn’t have as many cutting blades as other graters.
3. Reiss Stainless-Steel Grater
If you’re looking for a paddle grater that’s capable of making finer shreds, look no further than this one from Reiss. The stainless-steel grater can shred pretty much anything: cheese, vegetables, chocolate, potatoes, you name it. Plus, it’s completely dishwasher safe, so it’s easy to clean.
Pros: Can shred many different foods.
Cons: Its finer grate may not suit everyone’s needs.
4. Rösle Stainless-Steel Grater
All of Roslë’s kitchen utensils are designed in Germany and are as good looking as they are efficient. Its paddle grater is no different. Made of stainless steel and with a satin finish handle, it’s a sturdy grater with a comfortable grip. Its blades are a medium size, so you’ll get a shred that’s somewhere in between the fine and thick varieties.
Pros: An exquisitely designed paddle grater that’s effective in the kitchen.
Cons: Price reflects the higher quality.