We know it is hard to resist the packages of grated cheese that line the dairy section of the grocery store. Buying your cheese already grated removes one step and seems like the best option for getting your homemade pizza on the table.
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But in reality, you should always grate your own cheese, and we will explain why. And we will share the best cheese graters to use to make your homemade pizza just perfect.
Why Grate Your Own Cheese
There are three important reasons to grate your own cheese.
It Melts Better
Grating your own cheese is the best option when you want it to melt evenly, like when you are making pizza, quesadillas, or cheeseburgers. The reason is that pre-grated cheese has chemicals to keep it from sticking together and clumping.
If you grate some cheese and stick it in a bag, it will clump together because of the moisture, and nobody will buy pre-grated cheese that is all stuck together.
So marketers started adding chemicals and preservatives to keep it from sticking together, which is counterintuitive because once you get it home, chances are you are using the cheese to make something with melted cheese.
There was even some controversy where several companies were sued for putting sawdust and cellulose filler into their grated cheese. So steer clear of packaged grated cheese. Obviously.
You Save Money
We like to save money, and we bet you do too. Buying block cheeses saves you money. It’s as simple as that. You get more cheese for less money.
Of course, you need to invest in a good cheese grater, but that s a one-time purchase; then you start saving money by buying blocks of cheese. If you don’t have a cheese grater we share the best cheese graters we have come across later in the article.
Then the only question is how much cheese to put on your homemade pizza, and for that answer the sky is really the limit.
It Tastes Better
Without added preservatives and chemicals that are in pre-packaged grated cheese, your cheese will taste better and melt better. You will get that perfect ooey-gooey cheesy taste with a creaminess that you just can’t get from a pre-grated bag of cheese.
Parmigiano Reggiano is the Perfect Cheese
Since we are talking about the cheese, we want to take this opportunity to talk about why you should always use Parmigiano Reggiano cheese instead of the plastic powder “parmesan” in a green bottle that often passes as parmesan cheese.
Parmesano Reggiano comes from the Parma or Reggio Emilia regions in Italy. It is made in big wheels and aged for anywhere between 24-36 months. It is salty, creamy, and nutty all at the same time. It is true parmesan cheese.
It comes with an authenticity certificate that proves that it is 100% true Parmigiano Reggiano made in the region and followed all of the Italian guidelines.
If you are serious about pizza and consider yourself a pizzaiolo, you must use this cheese. Yes, it is a bit more expensive, but it has much more flavor, so you will actually use less of it.
The powdered parmesan in a green bottle is not true parmesan, and that is why most people dump so much on their plates because it doesn’t have any taste.
If you are still on the fence about Parmigiano Reggiano, do a taste test. Trust us; you will become a parmesan-o aficionado.
The 7 Best Cheese Graters to Buy Online
You can’t go wrong by sticking to the basics. This stainless steel box grater has four sides for different grating sizes: coarse grating, medium grating, fine grating/zester, and even a slicer. It’s basic and very functional. It only takes up a little space, and you can’t beat the price.
We personally use a steel box grater for all of our mozzarella and parmesan shredding needs.
This set has everything you need to grate cheese. It comes with a four-sided box grater, a Parmesan grater, a zester, and a Y peeler. Not only can you grate cheese but you can zest lemon, grate chocolate, and slice cheese.
We love this one because of all the little cheese grating accessories that it comes with. Save money by buying as a set.
This cheese grater is a simple rotary grater that works great. It doesn’t take up much space, and it’s a bit easier to use than a box grater for on-table cheese grating.
Another inexpensive rotary grater with a stainless steel blade. It boasts an ergonomic handle, and it is perfect for hard cheeses.
And for freshly grated cheese to top your pizza after serving, this is the single best rotary cheese grater for parmesan that we’ve ever used.
Furthermore, in our personal experience, OXO brand products last forever!
This rotary grater has five different blades, including a waffle slice, thin slice, fine shredder, coarse shredder, and Julienne shredder. It’s easy to use and dishwasher safe. This is an excellent all-in-one-slicer at a good price.
Just look at all the fancy things you can shred and grate with all the accessories. But be careful, the mandoline slicer accessory has very sharp stainless steel blades. Take advantage of the gloves they provide, but don’t rely on them only.
UGJ, as we say! (Use Good Judgment.)
Do your hands and arms get tired when you are using a standard cheese grater? Then an electric cheese grater is exactly what you need. This one has five interchangeable stainless steel cones for different food.
Including shaved ice cone, chopped cone, flake cone, wafer cone, and thick slices cone. It is more expensive than the others, but if you cook a lot and make homemade pizza, then it’s one of the best cheese graters on the market.
Ok, so we jumped to a higher price point, but this machine is worth it. It’s a cheese grater, vegetable spiralizer, slicer, and salad shooter. You get all of that in one machine. Really, an all-in-one food grater!
It’s dishwater safe and easy to hold in place. And the best part is it is electric, so you can save your energy for other things, like making homemade pizza dough. We really love this grater option!
How to Clean Your Cheese Grater?
If you’re someone who enjoys making homemade pizza regularly, you know the importance of having a clean cheese grater. A dirty grater can affect the taste of your cheese and even introduce harmful bacteria into your food. Here are some tips for cleaning your cheese grater effectively:
- Clean it immediately after use: The longer you wait to clean your cheese grater, the harder it will be to get all the cheese residue off. Clean your grater as soon as possible after using it, ideally before the cheese has a chance to dry and harden.
- Use a brush: A soft-bristled brush can help you remove any remaining cheese particles from the grater’s surface. Hold the grater under running water and use the brush to scrub the surface in the opposite direction of the grating blades.
- Soak in warm water: If there is still cheese residue stuck on the grater, soak it in warm water with a little bit of dish soap. This will help to loosen any remaining cheese and make it easier to scrub off.
- Use a sponge or cloth: After soaking, use a sponge or cloth to wipe the grater clean. Be sure to get into all the crevices and corners, and don’t forget to clean the handle.
- Rinse and dry thoroughly: Once you’ve cleaned the grater, rinse it under warm running water and dry it thoroughly with a clean towel. Make sure to dry it completely, as any remaining moisture could lead to rust or bacteria growth.
- Store properly: Store your cheese grater in a dry, clean place to prevent rust and bacteria growth. It’s best to keep it in a drawer or cupboard rather than leaving it out on the counter.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your cheese grater is always clean and ready to use for your homemade pizza. Not only will this improve the taste and quality of your pizza, but it will also help to keep you and your family healthy and safe.
In our family, we run our box grater under hot water after every use.
What does your clan like to do with your cheese graters? What’s your favorite cheese grater?