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When I only need a small amount of grated cheese, instead of getting out my grater which is a pain to clean, I use my zester.
By Doreen McWherter
When using your zester, place it wrong side up, as the picture shows. All the zest will remain in the zester, enabling you to neatly place all the zest in your recipe. Saves a lot of cleanup time.
Source: Williams Sonoma cooking class
If you use a microplane grater upside down, it contains the zest or cheese, making it easier to judge the amount . This cuts down on the mess too.
By Ron from Cortez, CO
Lemon, lime or orange zest is useful in many recipes but the kitchen tool can be difficult to clean when done. This is a page about cleaning a zester.