This Is What Each Side Of Your Box Grater Actually Does

Do you ever look at your box grater, that cowbell-shaped kitchen utensil, and think to yourself: Huh, that's funny; my cheese grater has three other sides to it? Turns out, cubed graters exist for a reason, as there is only so much a flat, rectangular grater can do. You know how much a three-dimensional box grater can do? That's right, at least three times as much. Wait, four times. You know what? This is not about math, this is about cheese. Let's get into it.

According to Kitchn, a box grater is not just an awkwardly-shaped kitchen tool, impossible to fit in a cutlery drawer — it's a utility player in the world of making food into smaller food. The side of a box grater that everyone knows is the one with the largest holes (the grating board). Used for cutting thick strands, you've probably held a block of cheddar up to this side to make  cooking a quesadilla quicker and easier. But have you ever thought of using it for turning tomatoes into sauce, or a block of frozen butter into manageable pieces? Boom, we're already changing lives.

The shredder, the slicer, and the smaller side of grating

The next size down in grating holes is the shredder. Not unlike the bad guy from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the shredder will cut anything in its path to ribbons — smaller, more delicate ribbons than the big grater. This side is also great (sorry) for cheese, but Epicurious has an even more exciting suggestion: Why not shred some potatoes and make hash browns?

The last two sides of a box grater are probably the least used, but only because you might already have other tools in your kitchen that perform the same function. Thus the beauty of the box grater: If you have that, you don't need a zester or a mandoline. The slicing side will cut hard cheeses and vegetables into chunks, while those teeny, tiny, sharp holes do the same job as a microplane, according to Kitchn. The outlet explains that the latter is perfect for grating spices, or zesting a lemon, and will make fluffy snow flurries out of your parmesan cheese. Epicurious swears by finely grated zucchini to moisten your chocolate cake, and who are we to argue? When you've got a box grater, anything is possible.