A little bit can go a long way. That’s true for not only life, but cooking too. Adding just a touch of acidity to a meal or drink can really heighten and elevate the taste and texture of your favorite dishes and cocktails—but nailing that perfect amount of zest can be difficult if you don’t have, well, a zester.
You’ve probably seen a zester most commonly used as a grater for cheese, but they’re just as useful when it comes to shaving the perfect amount of fruit peel and adding a little more flavor to whatever you’re making. A zester contains small, etched blades that all you to get all that juicy flavor from the rind without causing a huge mess.
A handy tool to keep in your kitchen, zesters prove that just a dash of flavor can make a big impact. Here are four of our favorites on Amazon right now.
1. Victorinox Wood Handle Zester
Swiss brand Victorinox is well-known—and well-regarded—for their knives and multi-tools, which makes them well-suited to crafting a quality zester, too. Compact, sturdy and comfortable to use in your hand, the brand’s zester allows precision control. Built from stainless steel, the head will last for years and years if you take care of it properly, while staying sharp enough to accomplish any zesting task.
Pros: Quality craftsmanship that will last and last.
Cons: A bit of an investment for a zesting tool.
2. KitchenAid Stainless Steel Zester
With its micro-serrations that allow for grating in two different directions, this combination zester and grater from KitchenAid adds a welcomed bit of versatility to your standard zester. The stainless-steel grate is attached to a textured plastic grip that provides a good, sturdy balance in the palm of your hand. The dedicated grater attachment actually traps and holds food for added ease while providing space so your fingers don’t get injured.
Pros: Versatile, two-for-one option.
Cons: You may not want or need the longer grater portion.
3. Restaurantware Hand Zester
Want to look like a pro when zesting? Look no further than Restaurantware’s professional-level zester. With its cushioned, comfortable grip you’ll be able to keep a firm hold while you prep that perfect shaving. The extended grate allows you to easily hold the zester in one hand and your fruit in another while providing evenly shavings on top of whatever you’re prepping. Plus, the stainless steel ensures it will last a long, long while.
Pros: The comfortable handle makes this solid zester extra easy to use.
Cons: Not everyone will need a professional grade zester like this one.
4. Microplane Classic Series Zester
There’s a good chance you’ve probably seen a Microplane zester without even realizing what it was, as the brand is nearly ubiquitous in home kitchens around the country. With a variety of colored-handles, there’s certainly an option that will fit your personality. However, a zester is not useful if it doesn’t actually work—but no worries here. Microplane’s zester has a photo-etched plane that provides razor-sharp grating ability, which means you don’t have to put as much force into shaving that fruit. Plus, it’s cushioned handle just feels great to use.
Pros: Fantastic value and easy to use.
Cons: Might want a tool a little less sharp.