The 10 Best Zesters
This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in May of 2018. You may think that the only useful parts of lemons, limes, and oranges are on the inside, but the outsides offer a simple way to add flavor to everything from marinades to desserts. These zesters make it easy to finely grate citrus peels, garlic, whole spices, hard cheese, and even chocolate, and we've also included a few models for bartenders that help create garnishes for cocktails. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 19, 2020:
Like a high-quality box grater, a sturdy and reliable zester is a must-have component in the kitchen of any avid cook. They’re great for obtaining zest from lemons, limes, and oranges and some, like the newly added KitchenAid Gourmet, also feature a built-in channel that allows for garnishing. This particular model is constructed from durable stainless steel and hard-wearing plastic, as well as a head strongly bonded to the handle, so it’ll serve you well for many years. If you prefer to hang your kitchen tools, you’ll appreciate the hole in the handle. It’s a good value for the price, and is sold in neutral gray or black, as well as eye-catching aqua.
For designs very different from that of the KitchenAid, look to the Deiss Pro and the Microplane Classic, both of which feature long blades full of holes and comfortable handles. The handle of the Deiss model is a bright orange, making it easy to spot in a drawer or when you can’t remember where you set it down in the kitchen. The Microplane is made of photo-etched stainless steel teeth designed to hold their sharpness for years. For a wider model from this well-known name in handheld graters, consider the newly added Microplane Professional which, in addition to zesting lemons and limes, is also great for grating garlic and cheeses. Like the narrower version, this one also sports the ultra-sharp, photo-etched teeth.
Bartenders will appreciate the 1Easylife Stainless Steel, which sports an attractive satin finish and is great for carving up gorgeous garnishes for drinks like martinis, margaritas, and cosmos. Note, however, that some left-handed users report difficulties in using it. The Norpro Stripper is also good for making drinks, as the tip can be used for zesting and the incorporated channel knife can be used for peeling off thicker strips of fruit skins. This one is conveniently safe for the dishwasher.
Leaving the list today is the Avacraft Bar Tool, which requires you to exert a good deal of pressure during use, as well as the Lemcase 2 Piece Set, which has been discontinued. For safety’s sake, exercise caution when using these sharp tools and consider wearing a cut-resistant glove. Keep these tools out of the reach of children at all times.
Williams Sonoma Citrus Zester This tool makes quick work of cutting tiny pith-free strips of citrus peel, to release flavorful oil for salad dressings and pastries. It’s made of durable stainless steel with a black composite handle, and is comfortable in the hand. It’s manufactured in France and measures five inches long, and is designed to be washed by hand. williams-sonoma.com
Martha Stewart Microplane Zester After this fine grater collects zest, it’s easy to simply tap it into a bowl or a pot with less waste. It can be used with citrus rinds, spices, hard cheeses, garlic, and chocolate. Sharp stainless steel teeth allow you to grate in both directions, and its firm handle affords a high level of control. It includes a protective cover as well as a hole on the end for hanging storage. macys.com