Box graters are one of the simplest, yet most effective, tools in the kitchen. This humble item has the ability to be all of your slicing and dicing utensils in one, although admittedly it is less easy to clean than the standard knife. There are many reasons to grab yourself a grater- for example, if you’re the kind of person who likes to hide their veg and need a way to break down your vegetables in your food, a hand grater is exactly what you need. Or, if you simply prefer shredded ingredients over chopped, a grater should be your first call.
Perhaps you just like the convenience of having a one-size-fits-all utensil in the kitchen, or maybe you’re looking to get a little creative with your dishes and want to play with different textures and tastes. Whatever the reason, grabbing yourself a box grater can make your culinary dreams a reality. Not sure which one to buy? Read on, and discover our favorites graters on the market, along with our buying guide.
The Best Box Grater
Topping our list at number one is the stainless-steel grater from Spring Chef. Created with super-sharp teeth, you’ll breeze through your meal prep with this large hand grater. The extra-large handle helps you to keep a better grip, while the curvature will ensure your palm doesn’t become sore on those days when you’ve got plenty of mouths to feed.
The large surface area helps to cut down prep time and the overall curvature of the grater helps to keep your equipment firmly in place during use. If you’ve got something particularly tough to get through, however, you’ll appreciate the rubber base, which stops your grater from jumping around as you go. Consistently rated at 5 stars, we agree that this is the best grater on the market, thanks to its great price, handy features and ability to do a great job, with very little effort on your part.
- BrandSpring Chef
- Weight10.9 ounces
The large plastic handle on this boxed grater, along with the rubber base, make this option from Cuisinart a great choice for those who can struggle with their grip. The expanding design of the handle has been created to ensure a sturdy base, which is ideal if you’re dealing with tough ingredients, or simply find yourself shifting from side-to-side with other graters.
Being dishwasher-safe, this is a fantastic option for those who know they’ll be using their grater frequently, and need to get it back in business, as quickly as possible. Customers have noticed how easy this is to clean and praise how well-made this grater truly is.
- Weight8 ounces
Our only option with 6-sides, all designed with a distinct purpose in mind, this is the best boxed grater for those looking to get a little more professional with their cooking. The high-quality stainless steel is surprisingly easy to clean and the range of options available on this hexagonal grater allows for the availability of choice in texture and taste of ingredients.
If you’re looking to kick up your cooking a couple of notches, this is the ideal grater for you. Designed for those who spend a lot of their time in the kitchen, this is a comfortable, versatile, and heavy-duty kitchen grater that works well for all occasions.
- Weight8.6 ounces
OXO is one of the biggest names in the culinary world and this OXO Good Grips cheese grater certainly lives up to its reputation. This is a great option for those who like to use their graters on a domestic basis, as the grip is comfortable to use, the design allows for a sturdy holding point and the sharp teeth allow for easy grating.
This grater even comes with a handy storage box, which will catch your ingredients as you go, saving on clean-up time and allowing you to put any excess away for later. It also comes in a convenient size- being able to slip easily into the standard kitchen drawer.
Comes with storage box
- Weight15.2 ounces
The Prep Solutions Grate and Measure takes the hassle and mess out of getting just the right quantity of cheese you need for your dish. With a durable clear inner container that has easy to read measure marks on the side, you simply grate your cheese across the metal grate – making the most of its two-way grating surface – and collect all the cheese you need. You can also opt to grate vertically or horizontally, and the removable measuring container has an ample two cup capacity. With a choice of fine and medium grating surfaces, you can use this well-made grater for vegetables and chocolate as well and when you are done, the whole grater can be popped into the dishwasher for convenient cleaning.
Two-way grating with horizontal or vertical set-up
Clear container with easy to read measurements
Both grater and container are dishwasher-safe
- BrandProgressive International
- Weight12.2 ounces
A great addition to any kitchen who wants to convenience of a grater but aren’t too fussed about having all the bells and whistles of some other options on our list. This is an affordable, easy to use option that may not wow you in the kitchen but is a tidy little work horse that definitely gets the job done
- Weight7.5 ounces
Stylishly designed, our Premium Pick is a smart and ultra-sharp grater that you’d be happy to leave out on show. Inserted into its matt black plastic body, you get three graters plus a slicer to create a functional and attractive kitchen tool. Each of the grater surfaces are made from surgical grade stainless steel and provide ultra-coarse, fine/zester and ribbon grating at your fingertips. The fourth side is given over to a sharp slicer for precision ribbon grating. The whole grater is easy to clean, especially the usually fiddly fine grater, which in the Microplane Multi-purpose box grater, can be popped out for deeper cleaning. Add in an easy grip handle, metal frame and non-slip rubber feet for stability and you have a hardworking grater that is worth the investment for its almost effortless shredding, slicing and grating abilities.
Ultra-sharp grating surfaces
Three graters plus precision slicer
Made from surgical-grade stainless steel
- Weight5.9 ounces
As one of Cook’s Illustrated recommended pieces of equipment, the Cuisipro grater covers pretty much anything you can imagine, when it comes to food preparation. The Surface Glide technology incorporates gentle grooves to help with smooth motions during the grating or slicing process and the combination of the non-slip handle and rubber base ensure that your grip will be going nowhere.
This is one of the more expensive options on our list but, if you’re looking to get serious about your cooking, this is an amazingly efficient yet easy-to-use piece of kitchen equipment that has been based on the science behind effective grating.
- Weight11.7 ounces
Despite the name of the manufacturer this is, in fact, a step up from the more basic pieces of kitchen equipment. Don’t let the low price fool you- this is a fantastic grater for those who just like to use their grater on a casual basis. While it may not stand up against some of the more expensive or feature-intensive products on our list, there’s still many good points that do this box grater proud.
Take the rubber base and ergonomic design, for example. If you want to get a good meal going and know you’re going to be using your grater a lot, you can rest assured that you won’t get any pains in your palms or tending, thanks to the comfortable design of this grater. It’s also made from commercial-grade steel, so it’s much less likely to rust than other, cheaper versions.
- BrandK Basix
- Weight11.2 ounces
Despite being last on our list, this grater and built-in storage tub should not be underestimated. It is a decent choice for those who know they won’t be using it too much. KitchenAid is rightly proud of its item too and has even gone as far as to provide replacement service and limited lifetime warranty.
This doesn’t come with any of the amazing features you might notice on some of the other top choices- it’s a little more difficult to handle and the storage box makes it a little awkward to work with. But, for a relatively cheap price and such high-quality materials, you won’t be disappointed with your purchase.
Built-in storage box
- Weight1.06 pounds
Best Box Graters Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Look for in a Kitchen Grater
As with all things in life, not all kitchen graters are created equal. In order to get the best grater for your money, you’ll want to consider some of the biggest differences between each one and decide which type best fits in with your home and cooking style. And, while they will no doubt all have their own additional quirks and features, the main variants come down to the following:
- Surface area
The larger the surface area, the less time you’ll spend doing your back-and-forth motion over the front of your grater. It might not seem like a big deal, but it can make your job much easier, requires less effort overall, and essentially cuts down the time you spend grating.
Naturally, any item in the kitchen that deals with cutting into food, in one way or another, will need to be sharp. The best kitchen graters will be sharp enough that you shouldn’t have to put in any real effort into pushing your ingredients into the grater itself, which can eventually cause your grater to become even duller.
There are few things more frustrating that a piece of equipment that moves around under you, as you use it. Getting a grater that is sturdy enough to hold itself well, as you put pressure against it can mean you’re less likely to make a mess while preparing your meals. It will also save your hands from any slips, cuts, and nips from your new equipment.
It’s unusual for a box grater to come with any less than four different grades- but, if you’re looking for a professional-grade hand grater, you may want to look for one with more sides than this. Each surface should offer a different grating style, such as shredding or slicing. The more there are, the less likely you’ll need to change between equipment in the kitchen.
A big factor in your happiness with a kitchen grater will likely be how easy they are to clean. If you’re able to get a dishwasher-safe grater for your kitchen, then it’s advisable to do so. Otherwise, we have a few tricks up our sleeve which can help you with tougher graters.
While they aren’t the most important aspect, it’s definitely nice to have some handy features on your vegetable grater. The first of which is the comfort of the handle. You’ll notice that some items in our top picks come with ergonomic or rubber handles, which make them much easier to work with, as they improve overall grip as well as sturdiness, without any extra effort on your part.
Another feature you might want in your hand grater is having the ability to store your new item easily. Kitchen graters have a tendency to take up a lot of room- especially if you don’t use them too often, or if you simply have a smaller kitchen- and can get in the way of other items you might make more use of. If this describes you, then you might want to look into getting a foldable grater, which can make it so much easier to store.
You can also opt for a hand grater that comes with built-in storage for your ingredients- meaning that, once you’ve grated, shredded, or zested to your heart's content, you won’t have to fuss around cleaning up your mess.
- Personal preference
Eventually, the best hand grater for you will come down to your lifestyle and personal preference. If you prefer to use a micro-plane, then you should absolutely go for it. If, however, you like to have a little versatility in your cooking and want to try out as many different methods as possible, you should go for a more professional, multiple-sided box grater that will cater for those choices.
Mixing and matching the above options is the best way to ensure you get a grater that you are more likely to use, over time. There’s no wrong answer here, and you should go with what you feel the most comfortable with.
Why You Should Buy a Box Grater
- Makes short work of time-consuming tasks
Hand slicing and cutting up ingredients to meet your preferred taste and match recipes takes a lot of time, having something in your drawer that you can whip out at a moment’s notice and play around with can cut your meal prep time down, considerably.
- Fewer nicks and cuts
The design of graters works to ensure that you spend more time breaking down fruit, vegetables and cheeses, and less time catching yourself with your knife. A sturdy grater will help you save your hands, while easily slicing through those tough veggies.
- Save money
Getting food that has already been prepared is an unnecessary expense. Buying pre-grated cheese or sliced carrots costs more money, simply for the convenience of getting it cut. Save yourself some money by getting this fairly cheap bit of kit, which will do the same thing and cost you less money, overall.
How to Use a Grater
There are a few minor differences in the way you use each surface of your box grater, but they all come under the same umbrella of motion, so we’ll stick with that. In order to effectively grate (finely or coarsely), slice and zest simply hold your grater, upright or at an angle (depending on which feels better to you), and keep your grip on the top handle nice and firm to avoid too much movement.
Then, gently press your ingredient against your chosen wall and move it up and down, so that the teeth of the grater catch the fruit, vegetable, spice or cheese of your choice. If you aren’t getting the result you want, alter the pressure you use with your moving hand, while still ensuring too much pressure isn’t placed on the teeth- as this can dull your grater.
Box Graters FAQ:
Q: What is a box grater?
A: A good box grater is much more than a standard cheese grater. Kitchen graters can be used on just about any fruit, vegetable or cheese and have multiple different slicing and grating surfaces that allow for just about any semi-soft ingredient to be utilized in multiple recipes.
Whether it’s the classically designed four-walled boxed graters, the one-handed versatile grater or a professional-style six-walled grater, there’s an adaptability that is often overlooked in the humble food grater. As an example, the traditional four-walled grater will usually come with a side for shredding items, to create grated ingredients. Another side will be to finely grate, which you may need to use if you’re serving something that requires a delicate topping, such as parmesan cheese or nutmeg. The third side will help with slicing and can save you considerable time when cutting up vegetables for your main. Finally, there’s the option of shredding, which is ideal for items such as garlic.
The different textures and tastes that you can create from these options is almost endless when you consider how many recipes require chopped, diced and blended ingredients so you should, hopefully, be able to see why the humble grater is a great addition to any kitchen.
Q: How do I clean my boxed grater?
A: We all know how annoying it can be to clean your grater- as amazing as they are for food prep, you may not want to see your sponge shredded into little pieces. Of course, prevention is better than a cure, so before you start to use your hand grater, start by adding a little bit of oil to the surface. Rubbing in a little nut, vegetable or olive oil over the serrated edge shouldn’t have too much of an effect on the taste of your food but can make it a lot easier when it comes to clean-up.
Once you’re done with your food prep, rinse your grater under warm water. If you’ve used our oil trick, you should notice how easily all that leftover food comes away from the sharp edges. That said, it’s possible that there will be some stubborn areas (especially if you haven’t used oil over the surface, first). In this case, you should get yourself a basting brush and give these tougher areas a good scrub- don’t worry if you don’t have one of these, however, as a standard toothbrush will also do a great job.
If you still have some tough spots after doing this, then let your grater soak in some warm, soapy water for a while and try again after a few hours.
Finally, allow your grater to drain naturally on your dish draining board. Trying to use a hand towel at this point can often lead to fabric getting stuck on the raised areas, leaving your grater dirty and towels ruined.
Q: How to prevent your stainless-steel grater from rusting
A: A good grater is unlikely to start rusting unless it has been left in a damp place or not allowed to dry thoroughly before putting it away. So, in order to avoid signs of rust, you should first start by finding an appropriate place to store your hand grater which is, like most things, best kept in a cool, dark space. You should also ensure that your grater is dishwasher-safe, as some steel-plated coatings can wear off through using these, leaving you with a grater that is more prone to rusting.
If you’ve already started to notice spots of rust appearing on your grater, use the following directions to get your item back up to a healthy, usable ability:
- Begin by scrubbing away any dirt and debris with a scrubbing brush, or some steel wool
- Rinse your grater, to wash away the loose dirt that has come away
- Squeeze yourself some fresh lemon juice and place your grater within an appropriate tub, to allow your grater to soak in the juice for a few minutes. If you don’t have any lemons to hand, white vinegar will also work wonderfully, especially when combined with baking soda.
- Rinse your grater again, which should now be free of rust stains
- Wash your grater with a mild soap in warm water
- Allow to air dry
Don’t forget, if you’re having problems with damp in your home, you can always keep your clean, dry cutlery and small stainless-steel goods in an airtight container, which will help to protect them from moisture and improve their longevity.
Q: Can I sharpen my food grater?
A: Absolutely, but this can be a little awkward and time-consuming. If you’re looking to sharpen your food grater, your best bet is to use a very fine sanding paper and to gently go over the front side of the surface of your grater. Be sure to wash this thoroughly, afterwards, as fine pieces of metal is not something you would want in your food.
You can also take a tip from the book of sharpening your blender blades and crush up egg shells until they are in a fine dust. Once you’ve done this, you should be able to move your grater across the dusted egg shells or use some steel wool that is covered in your new cleaning product. Vigorously wipe over the front of your grater and the shells will work to sharpen your grater.
A good way to avoid your grater becoming dull, however, is to follow a few, simple rules. The first is to try not to put too much pressure on your grater, as you prepare your ingredients Too much pressure will slowly push your raised areas toward the main surface area, which gives a dulling effect, despite the actual grater still being just as sharp as ever.
You should also use an appropriate cover, if one came with your item, when not in use. This will protect the “blades” from dulling through contact with other utensils. Finally, try not to use a dishwasher to clean your grater, as this usually causes your new equipment to bang around, leading to damaged areas on the surface of your hand grater.
Our Top Pick
Given our list of priorities- being ease-of-use, sturdiness, effectiveness and price- Spring Chef easily came at the top of our wish list in every area, which is why we have named the stainless-steel box grater from Spring Chef our top pick.
Designed to remain steadfast and work with you on your meal prep, this is one of the best products to use thanks to its design features, such as the rubber base and ergonomic handle. This is a great grater for big families, or simply those who like to host, as the large surface area and sharp teeth make short work of even the toughest vegetables.