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best parmesan graters

The Best Parmesan Graters in 2022

Author: Joanna Davis

Home & Kitchen Expert

Fresh parmesan on pasta is a culinary highlight – for this purpose, a parmesan grater is ideal. In our list of the best parmesan graters, our team has listed reviews on material, dishwasher suitability and other features after researching countless tests on the Internet.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Parmesan Graters

What is parmesan cheese?

Parmesan cheese is commercially available in several varieties, including fresh cheese wheel or dried sprinkle cheese. The latter is quite an acceptable alternative, but it certainly does not replace freshly grated Parmesan, which develops its special aroma on a well-seasoned sauce.

In fact, among gourmets there is a whole world of Parmesan cuisine, including cookbooks dedicated only to this very special type of cheese. In addition to the maturing process of Parmesan, the milk used, the different seasons of storage and other conditions also affect the taste, which is strictly tested.

Parmesan cheese is the Italian version of a flavored cheese and is made from cow’s milk. After milking, the milk is poured into copper vats where it naturally becomes creamy. This layer of cream is skimmed off and mixed with fresh milk. The mass is heated and finally filled that the cheese can coagulate and form fractures from which the whey can drain.

Granules then form on the bottom of the vats, which are lifted out in cloths after heating so that the last excess whey can drip off. This is then used, for example, to make Parma ham.

The granules of Parmesan cheese are heated and then stored in round molds for a few days, forming the round cheese wheel. This is then immersed in brine and takes on its characteristic flavor. Storage takes place in cellars and requires a minimum period of 12 months. The actual ripening process then takes even longer and can take up to three years before the cheese can be sold.

Parmesan cheese belongs to the delicacies and is also somewhat more expensive in price than other hard cheeses. This is due not only to the strict quality and manufacturing guidelines, but also to the particular region, the special milk used, and the type of cattle from which the milk is used. (For more on this, see our Parmesan grating test under the heading “Further reading and sources on the subject of “Parmesan”).

The cattle must be fed only with grass or with untreated fodder. The dairy farmer thus works hand in hand with the cheese maker and the reputation of both depends on each other. This distinguishes Parmesan, for example, from Grana Padano, which has a similar taste.

Unlike other hard cheeses, Parmesan is not allowed to form holes in the cheese dough during the ripening process. Experts check the cheese wheels very conscientiously, e.g. by tapping, smell test and drilling samples. Only the well-matured cheese wheels that exhibit all the quality characteristics may be sold as “Parmigiono Reggiano”.

All others continue to be sold as unnamed grated cheese. For this, the Parmesan cheese also receives its very special seal, which in turn is reflected in the price, but also in the taste.

What is a parmesan grater?

A grater is, in general terms, a kitchen utensil for grinding various foods. The grating surface can usually be replaced or has different sizes.

Both coarse and fine grating surfaces allow a variety of grated variations, including from truffles, nutmeg, vegetables, fruits, herbs or cheese.

For the latter, there are the special Parmesan graters with different characteristics, which ddementsprechend differ in application and shape. Especially worthwhile is the grater when using fresh ingredients, so that on the various dishes also fresh cheese.

In a pesto or pasta dish, this fresh seasoning component is important. The seasoning of delicious sauces is enriched by fresh Parmesan, whereas the sprinkle cheese from the bag would be a real faux pas. Connoisseurs do not make a big effort around such things for nothing, so that the enjoyment of the food increases even more.

The Parmesan grater is very sharp and is then particularly suitable for cheese. It differs from other graters in the size of the hole, which is specially designed for cheese and can also be adjusted individually by different degrees of friction. The consistency of the cheese is thus best preserved, which is why top and professional chefs in particular rave about the Parmesan grater and refine their dishes this way.

Since the graters are offered in a large variety of different manufacturers, they are affordable for all households, whereby the Parmesan can be used not only for pasta dishes, but is an enrichment for a number of different dishes and then freshly grated sprinkled over the food.

Decided must be for the purchase alone, whether directly by hand grater, with crank or from the electric mill should be grated.

Traditionally, of course, grated by hand. Especially the spicy and very intense flavor of Parmesan makes particularly thin graters necessary to develop the full flavor, which is only possible with a Parmesan grater.

How does a parmesan grater work?

A piece of the Parmesan cheese is quickly moved back and forth on a grater so that fine grates are created. This is held at a slight angle so that the cheese falls through optimally. This can be done by hand with a simple parmesan grater, by parmesan grinder, in which case a crank facilitates the process and the cheese can also be ground, or with an electric parmesan grater, which handles the entire process.

In this case, it contains a drum that has small and sharp-edged prongs. The desired amount of Parmesan cheese is placed on these and slowly crushed by the electrically driven rotation of a crank, thus grating it. The cheese is clamped between a gripper arm provided for this purpose and a grating drum and falls through the existing meshes during grating.

In the case of graters with a crank, which have a cylinder or square shape, the cheese is placed in a collapsible handle, clamped and held while the crank is then operated. By turning the crank, the cheese is slowly grated. The handling is simple and safe, a storage of the Parmesan by the accompanying container usually longer possible. The graters are interchangeable and different in degree.

What should I pay attention to when cleaning the Parmesan grater?

Once the Parmesan grater has been used, it should also be cleaned quickly and not wait too long with it, otherwise the cheese residues settle, harden, then are very stubborn and can hardly be removed. The grater can be rinsed both with warm water, in the rinse water or, in the case of the variants made of wood, with clear water. The grating surface is then also clean again with a dishwashing brush.

Afterwards, the Parmesan grater is simply set up to dry. If the fine openings of the grater are clogged and the cheese residues are difficult to remove, there is an old household remedy. To do this, grate sugar cubes over the grating surface. The sugar crystals are sharp and hard-edged and allow complete removal of the deposits from cheese and other grated material. The sugar is hard, but again soft enough not to damage or dull the grater.

If it is an electric parmesan grater, the entire container is removed and the individual components of the grater are cleaned separately. Of course, this is best done with warm water.

How do I store Parmesan cheese properly?

Fresh Parmesan is usually bought at the cheese counter or in a specialty cheese store, where it is usually wrapped in parchment or cheese paper. This paper can be used further, otherwise it is important to cover at least the rind and the individual cutting and grating surfaces.

The cheese can then be stored in the lowest compartment of the refrigerator, where it is coldest. This shows that Parmesan cheese likes the cold. Of course, once it is grated, it can be frozen. For freezing, the Parmesan should be divided into pieces or grated, accordingly, not frozen as a whole piece.

What is not suitable for storing Parmesan cheese is cling film. This causes the cheese to sweat in it and mold can form. If you no longer have suitable cheese paper available, you can also use butter paper or a thin dish towel. Parmesan generally keeps better than other types of cheese, but must be able to breathe properly.

For a particularly long hold, the cheese in the butter paper can also be wrapped again with aluminum foil and then put in a storage box. In this way, the cheese can be stored in the refrigerator for several months.

Another option is to store the cheese with salt. The layer of salt is sprinkled on the bottom of the box or can, and the cheese is placed on top of it, so that the salt removes moisture from it or absorbs it. This also prevents the formation of mold.

Types of Parmesan Graters

Parmesan grater as a hand grater

Hand grater is the classic form of grating cheese. It differs only in size and shape, is square, oval or with handle and provided with an associated grating surface. It is always operated directly by hand, usually held at an angle, so that an optimal degree of grating is achieved and the cheese falls through the grating blades.

The hand grater is particularly easy to clean and easy to store. Some also have a hole or hook and can thus be hung on the wall on a ledge. Other foods can also be grated this way, though not all. Lemon peels are possible, chocolate usually is not. Attention should be paid to these things, so that the hand grater is not damaged or clogged.

Parmesan grater with storage container

This model is slightly larger graters, which are usually square or round, consist of an upper grating surface and an associated container in which the cheese is collected, preventing crumbs on the table. Some models also have a lid, so that the cheese can then be stored in the refrigerator in the grater itself.

The housing for the cheese can be stainless steel, glass or plastic. The latter also has its advantage, as the container is then usually transparent and the process of grating in its grated amount can be viewed and better estimated. The blades of the grating surface are usually made of stainless steel. Certain graters are advertised with blades that are based on a photo-etching process and are therefore particularly sharp.

Wooden parmesan grater

This cheese grater is one of the slightly more expensive, but also high-quality models. It is made of wood, mostly olive, bamboo or spruce, has a practical layer or cheese tray in which the grated cheese is collected and can also be stored later.

The advantage of the wood is that the cheese does not absorb foreign substances and perfectly preserves its own flavor, even when stored for a long time. Also, the wood makes it possible to store the cheese in a particularly dry place. The wooden grater usually has a stainless steel grating surface, can be used both for various types of hard cheese and nutmeg.

Parmesan grater with crank or roller

Parmesan grater with crank facilitates grating, although it is still done by hand. Most often, these graters have a cylindrical shape. In this case, the cheese is placed in the device, slightly squeezed and grated by crank. The graters have a plastic container with a crank, into which the Parmesan is poured and can be grated directly onto the dishes without being touched by the fingers, making it much easier to dose and portion.

Some models have a filling opening, others have a lid or are completely open. The movement of the crank causes the cheese to be rolled and crushed. The process, although mechanical, is very simple, so its use is suitable even for children.

This parmesan grater eliminates the need for pre-grating parmesan, which is always possible only in an approximate estimated amount. It can be used directly when the cheese is desired. Disassembly of the grater for cleaning is very simple for most devices, as long as it can be disassembled into its individual parts.

Electric parmesan grater

These models are slightly larger and operate by battery, electricity or battery. Especially for frequent grating or grating particularly large quantities of Parmesan, these graters are ideal. On the other hand, they are somewhat more difficult to clean, usually, since they consist of one device, not dishwasher safe.

The process takes place electrically. The cheese is poured in, the Parmesan grater is closed and grated by pressing a button. There are also very elaborate devices that are heavier in weight and larger in shape. Here then plays a role for the purchase, how fast the electric grater grinds the cheese. Many of these graters are also suitable for other foods, including bread, nuts or chocolate.

How are Parmesan Graters tested?

For our parmesan grater test, we tested the products according to certain criteria and used them to select the devices and distinguish them in their suitability. The handling of the individual Parmesan graters was just as important as the convenient filling or clamping of the cheese into the containers.

We also paid attention to how it could be grated, the consistency of the Parmesan, and how the grater could be cleaned afterwards.

Quality, Design & Handling

In addition to a beautiful design, which some cheese graters had, it was important to us for the parmesan grater test that the use was also simple and uncomplicated. Some cheese graters had a nice design, but were difficult to use and did not produce the desired amount of grated cheese.

The operation with a crank then showed how easy or difficult the grating proceeded. The Parmesan graters should definitely meet the demands of professional chefs. An additional handle on the grater made the grating process much easier.

Cheese Consistency

When using the individual graters we tested, it was important to us that the cheese came out of the grater flaky and in good grating quality, and accordingly did not stick or was completely processed in its quantity. In some devices, some of the cheese still stuck in the container, while only a certain amount ended up on the plate.

This was especially true of Parmesan graters, which worked electrically or with a crank. Hand graters had largely proven themselves, since here these intermediate conditions were omitted and the cheese was grated directly onto the food. However, with the hand grater the pre-rasping was necessary or the cheese always had to be touched, which was omitted with the other models and was a plus point for the hygienic aspect.

Different graters also offered different cheese flakes. An airy consistency was important for our test, even when different hard cheeses were used, including varieties whose hardness level was below that of Parmesan cheese. The grater had to be suitable for several types of cheese for our test.

Material & Storage

We also tested the possibility of storing the cheese in the grater itself, which we did in the refrigerator. The grater should be light in weight even when empty and easy to store in the cupboard. For hand graters, a hook or hole was necessary so that the grater could be hung up to save space.

The models we tested had to be waterproof and rustproof for this purpose, and the grating surface had to remain sharp without dulling directly with more frequent use. This was given by certain material, including high-quality Cromargan and stainless steel, which was rustproof. This meant that the cheese graters were also suitable for the dishwasher, which was not a prerequisite for the test, but which we nevertheless rated positively.

Stainless material always spoke for durability and use suitable for higher demands. The blades also had to be of high quality and remain sharp. An existing lid on the various graters with a collection container was a plus point, as this kept the cheese particularly fresh and stored it well.


All individual parts had to be easy to take apart and clean individually in the models we tested. The blades, grating surfaces and, if possible, the container should be rustproof and durable.

What should I look for when buying a parmesan grater?

For the decision to buy your own parmesan grater, you must first make a selection of criteria to meet the requirements for a successful meal. Advice and tips on this can often be found in cooking shows, where the top chefs act, or on the Internet on special recipe sites. Parmesan is a delicacy and enriches the dishes.

Those who frequently cook pasta dishes can opt for the hand grater, crank grater or electric grater, whichever is not only easier but also more convenient. Some foodies prefer just the traditional hand grater, as it brings a certain elegance, comparable to the pepper shaker in the steakhouse.

Those who basically prepare everything themselves, including the pasta and sauce, do not want an electric cheese grater or even the Parmesan from the bag. For a larger household, on the other hand, the simpler handling is worth it, and those who value special hygiene are very well advised to use mills, crank graters and the electric grater.

Only the material and workmanship must be taken into account. It is not for nothing that manufacturers specify their Parmesan graters in detail, as there is a difference in whether, for example, the grating surface is made of simple sheet metal, stainless steel or specially manufactured blades.

Although hard cheese is very good to grate in consistency, it makes a difference whether it can be grated precisely or smeared across the surface. In this regard, the Parmesan grater should also be suitable for other types of hard cheese, preferably as a stainless steel version.

The collection container should also meet the requirements, is usually made of stainless steel, plastic and in the more elaborate graters made of glass or wood. Since Parmesan itself is somewhat more expensive in price than other types of cheese, it must also be able to be stored well, which the suitable container then makes conveniently possible without the cheese drawing air when it is already grated or must be frozen.

The size of the graters differs. Smaller models are easy to store, but also easy to handle. On the other hand, with a narrower grating surface, the grating process also becomes more elaborate and longer. Larger devices usually also have more additional parts and supports, are also heavier in weight. These are particularly worthwhile for frequent use. The advantage remains the simple operation.

Parmesan Grater Accessories

In addition to a Parmesan grater, a Parmesan knife is also well suited to refine dishes with the popular cheese. Of course, Parmesan is not only suitable as a grating cheese for pasta dishes, but is also added in wafer-thin sheets to boiled or steamed vegetables, including fennel or asparagus. In pieces, Parmesan can be served with wine or spread with honey or balsamic vinegar.

To cut Parmesan properly, a Parmesan knife is important, because among connoisseurs of cheese, cutting with a simple knife is, of course, a bad habit. If you want to enjoy, you should also enjoy properly. The Parmesan is then scored and broken, because only in this way the granular structure is preserved without the cheese falling apart.

The Parmesan knife has the special shape of a cheese knife and is not used for cutting, but for breaking out and splitting the pieces of cheese. It has a knob, which is usually rounded, and a triangular blade.

Parmesan Grater Alternatives

Another way to decorate cheese is to use a cheese slicer. This was invented in Norway, patented there by a former master carpenter in 1925 and eventually became a mass product, as Scandinavian countries in particular have a high consumption of cheese.

The cheese is sliced into very thin slices by the cheese slicer, which uses a piece of steel with a stepless and adjustable blade, the surface of which can be adjusted by a screw so that the sliced cheese falls through in different thicknesses. Other variants can be easily bent so that the thickness of the sliced cheese can be changed.

A special version of the cheese slicer is a device called a “girolle”. This originates from Switzerland and is made specifically for slicing a particular cheese called “Tête de Moine”. Through the “Girolle” the cheese is scraped into rosettes and thus develops all its flavor.

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Last product update on 2022-06-30 | Source: Amazon Affiliate