18 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know You Could Grate

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Anyone who enjoys cooking probably has, or at least knows of, a cheese grater. It was invented more than 400 years ago to shred cheese—but it’s handy for prepping more than just that. Check it out:

1. Grate a tiny amount of charcoal and mix it with kosher salt for a smoky accent.

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Use 1 tablespoon of grated charcoal for every cup of salt. Use hardwood charcoal—not the chemically treated kind.

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2. Shred frozen butter for meat, vegetables, and pastries.

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Don’t have a pastry cutter? Grated butter incorporates quickly into pastry and biscuit doughs, melting perfectly to create flaky layers.

3. Grate eggs for salad toppings or creamy egg salad.

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A chef’s trick is to peel boiled eggs and freeze them before grating them.

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4. Grate tomatoes for a quick and fresh sauce.

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This technique eliminates the arduous process of peeling and dicing the tomatoes. Try freezing tomatoes first before grating.

5. Rub fresh coconut meat along a cheese grater for baking and desserts.

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The size of the flakes will depend on which grater side you use. The largest side is typically used for decoration while the smaller sizes are for baking.

6. Grate stale bread or toast for fresh breadcrumbs.

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Store in an airtight container or bag in the refrigerator.

7. Use a grater’s small holes to turn whole spices into fine powders.

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Get the freshest, more aromatic ground cinnamon ever when you grate cinnamon sticks.

8. Grate a potato over the large holes for perfect hash browns, soups, or potato pancakes.

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Make sure to squeeze the excess water from grated potatoes.

9. Finely grate chocolate for baking, drinks, or garnishes.

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Plus, grated chocolate melts faster.

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