Whether you're garnishing dishes for decoration or taste, having one of the best zesters on-hand can make all the difference. The right one for your needs will depend on the type of tasks you have in mind. The main thing to decide is whether to go with a microplane or a traditional zester.
A microplane is a bigger tool that easily creates a large amount of fine, fluffy zest. If you're looking to add a lot of flavor to a dish, a microplane is probably best, and some can also be used to grate hard cheeses, like parmesan. A traditional zester, on the other hand, is much more compact and will give you a small supply of curly zest. If you're looking to add a decorative flair to dishes or even baked pastries, a traditional zester would be best. Some traditional zesters also have a built-in channel knife, so you can create long twists of lemon or orange for cocktails.
Whichever type you opt for, you'll want to make sure it's constructed with tough, rust-resistant stainless steel and a comfortable, nonslip handle. You may also want to choose one that's dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. All of my picks below check off these boxes.
To help you in you search, I've put together a list of the best zesters on Amazon below. Read on to find the right kitchen tool to add to your collection.
1. The Best Microplane
What's great about it: Made with stainless steel and a soft, grippy handle, this Deiss PRO Citrus Zester is durable and easy to use. It allows you to quickly and effortlessly zest citrus fruits, including lemons, limes, and grapefruits. This tool can also be used for grating hard cheeses. On top of all that, it's dishwasher-safe and comes with a plastic cover for safe-keeping. Just be sure to handle it with care; reviewers say the blades are extremely sharp.
What fans say: "This is absolutely the best product I have found for zesting!! I have had many of those smaller hand held models offered by grocery stores and big box stores...but they are difficult to wield and use. This is super simple to use and shaves a lemon/lime with only one pass per section! This is a must have for any kitchen! One of those tools that you don't truly 'know' you need until you need it! Also easy to clean! Just watch the fingers ;)"
2. The Best Budget Microplane
What's great about it: If you're looking for a more affordable option, this ALLWIN-HOUSEWARE W stainless steel zester will get the job done for half the price of my previous pick. Though this one has a more simple design, it's also made with long-lasting stainless steel, and its handle is designed to fit comfortably in your hand while offering excellent grip. Suitable for zesting citrus fruits or grating hard cheeses, it comes with a protective cover to keep the blades sharp. It's also dishwasher-safe and easy to clean.
What fans say: "[Sturdy] product. Solid handle, easy to grip. Requires very little pressure to zest. Blade is made of strong material that doesn’t bend when using. Great product for the price."
3. The Best Traditional Zester
What's great about it: If you prefer a traditional zester, this OXO Good Grips lemon zester is a great option. It's ideal for those who like to make dishes with curlier and longer strands of zest. The stainless steel head has a built-in channel knife, so it can also be used to create long twists of zest to garnish drinks. The handle's ergonomic design fits comfortably in the palm of your hand and won't slip. Like my other picks, this zester is also dishwasher-safe. Though it doesn't come with a cover, it doesn't have exposed blades like a microplane, so you don't really need one.
What fans say: "Love this handy tool. Gets lemon and orange zest off so easily. Easy to grip. Easy to clean."
4. The Best Bundle
What's great about it: If you cook a lot and could benefit from having a backup zester handy, this Restlandee zester set is a great find. With two microplane-style zesters in a set, each one is made of quality stainless steel and features an extra-wide head with sharp blades that can handle all sorts of foods, including citrus fruits, cheeses, and even coconut. The soft plastic handle gives you a secure grip, too. These tools are dishwasher-safe and come with protective covers.
What fans say: "Two identical stainless steel zesters. Got so [excited] to get them because I cook a lot. Good quality, look really sturdy. Perfect for lemons, ginger, garlic etc."
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