how to zest a lemon

How to Zest a Lemon Without Zester?

Before you know how to zest a lemon, you need to know what lemon zest is. Be it a lemon or an orange, the cortex of these kinds of fruits is very useful as it works hard to enhance the aroma of a dish. So today, we will help you know how to zest a lemon using different techniques.

As you know that you can get packaged zest from the market anytime whenever you want it to use on your recipes. But the most important thing is if you decide to grate some lemon zest with your own hands; there is absolutely nothing in the world that can match the taste. So this article is a must-read for you to know how to zest a lemon.

When you bake something, and you want to give it a special taste, try using orange, lemon or lime zest to make the recipe more tasteful. Lemon zest is slightly bitter, but it has a strong scent that makes recipes better. This bitter part is mainly seen in the main slice of lemon.

Now, what is zest? The vivid yellow portion you see in its exterior is lemon zest when using lemon. It is the exterior portion that you can see from the outside.

Try grating the zest at first and then press the lemon to fetch juice whenever you want to make lemon juice.

It would help if you remembered that you have to clean the lemons properly before zesting them. Take a clean sponge and hot water with soap. Then cleanse the lemons and soak them dry.

The next step you need to take is to dispel the exterior portion of the lemons. But you have to be more careful here because if you accidentally hit the medulla, it can bring a kind of taste that your tastebuds will dislike.

How to zest a lemon without a zester?

Here is a tip for you, and this is about what to do when you grate the cortex of a lemon. Take a plastic envelope to shroud that particular portion of the grater you are using for grating. Now start grating the lemon on the plastic envelope. Make sure not to grate the medulla portion as it will change the taste.

When you do that, you will see that a large amount of zest is in the plastic envelope and not entering into the dents of the grater. Once you are done, remove the plastic envelope and pour the zest into a dish.

You can always store the lemon zest for later usage if you want. Put the leftover lemon zest into the freezer and store it as long as you want. Whenever you wish to use it in a recipe, you need to defrost properly and to do so, keep it at room temperature for a minute or two.

Before you store them in a freezer, here’s something you need to know. A skinless lemon is vulnerable as it becomes dry because of this particular oil which generally goes away when you dispel the skin. Thus, we recommend covering the lemon zest with a wrapper before putting it into the freezer.

how to zest a lemon

How to zest a lemon without zester?

Now comes the real question: how to zest a lemon with a zester?

Well, that should cause no problem for you because if you know the right way to use a zester, you will be able to do that. So here’s how you can make this work.

Use your right hand to tackle the lemon and your left hand to catch the zester. Begin at the very top of the lemon, put some pressure on the round blades and turn them around the lemon. In this way, you will get all of the remaining lemon zest.

If you think that lemon zest is only used in a recipe to enhance its taste, there is more to it! Lemon zest is better for your health than you think.

It is full of antioxidants that are good for our health, and at some level, it may help prevent cancer. Also, it is good for your heart and strengthens the immunity system.

Lemons are important in our daily food routine, and they have more necessary usage than you think. The real magic happens in the rind where the essential oil is present, and because of this, just a small amount of lemon zest can transform the taste of a simple recipe.

Methods for lemon zesting

Now comes the question: can you zest a lemon without zester?

The answer is yes, and there are several different ways to do it. So in this article, we will now inform you how to zest a lemon without zester. Here are the other techniques we will discuss one by one. By the end of it, you will know that without having a zester is not a problem.

How to zest a lemon with a peeler?

Those who are very eager to use lemon zest in a recipe but don’t have a zester can always try using a vegetable peeler to do it with perfection. While dispelling the skin, some medulla parts may get mixed. Get a spoon to clean it off, and everything is going to be fine.

When you are getting rid of the medulla, chiffonade the peel or mince it into small pieces. If you do it, then the original aroma will come out vigorously. The more you mince it, the more it comes to contact with air, and thus the peel becomes easier to disintegrate.

how to zest a lemon

How to zest a lemon with a knife?

You can also use a knife to make lemon zest, and any knife would do the job. But you might want to try what we call a serrated knife that is somewhat sawlike and will disturb the lemon skin in a good way.

Rubbing is the most important step while zesting because only this step discharges the oil.

Now let’s talk about the scenario when you don’t have a serrated knife and what you will do then.

In that case, we recommend you try using a chef’s knife, which will do the job. But it would help if you remembered that you have to make sure that the peel doesn’t turn into dust.

Another important thing is that you need to make sure that your chopping board is not dampy, and if it is, the board will absorb all the aroma. But if the situation is just the same, there is nothing to worry about and start things from scratch again. You can clean the oil off the chopping board and don’t use it on the vessel.

How to zest a lemon with a cheese grater?

We say do not ever throw away the vivid yellow skin of a lemon and use it in a recipe to get a special taste. There are many easy ways to make lemon zest, but as we mentioned earlier, here’s how to zest a lemon with a cheese grater for some of the other options.

Making lemon zest is nothing but easy if you are using a zester. Generally, there are two types of zesters available in the market. The first one is exactly like what we know as a traditional cheese grater, and the other one is somewhat similar to a prong with many dents in the tail. It would help to move the zester over the lemon skin to make a zest slightly identical to what you do with a cheese grater.

So, how you would you make lemon zest using a cheese grater depends on exactly what kind of cheese grater you are using.

Box grater

You need to squeeze the lemon against the cheese grater while gliding through the sharp area. But what you have to do properly is to position it right.

Usually, a box grater, contains four different sides that can be used for zesting. You have to select the sharpest side to generate the long narrow bands of the zest. After you are done, you can set the grater down and make sure the sharpest side faces upwards.

One important thing to do is to make sure while you are grating you need to move the grater straightforwardly, and when you do that, all the zest you just grated will remain in the grater. Later, you can easily put the zest in another vessel to store it for future usage.

Hand grater

Making a lemon zest with a hand grater is perhaps the easiest way. All you need to do is put the grater’s downward portion on a wooden board and create a 45-degree angle with the handle of the grater. Steadily hold the grater with your hand so that it doesn’t slip away from your grasp.

By the time you are sure that you are holding it quite alright, you can get the rest of the job done. Grind the lemon as long as there is some zest, and when you can notice the medulla, you will know that the work is done.

how to zest a lemon

How to zest a lemon without a Microplane?

If you have a Microplane in your possession, consider the work half done because of the tool. You can ease the hassle of lemon zest very simply. The method is also easy as all you need to do is glide the lemon across the sharp area to peel off all the small bands.

All the zest gathers in the Microplane. So, you can count the exact amount you need for your dish.

So what happens when you try to make a lemon zest while using a Microplane? You already know that there are oils inside the lemon. When grating it with a Microplane, all the oils vanish into thin air. This also explains the source of the aroma produced during the grating.

When using a Microplane for making lemon zest, you aren’t chopping the skin; you are slitting it. As you can understand, the cutting does not happen properly, and as a result, the zest becomes lumpy. Because of this lumpiness, there may not be enough amount of zest for your recipe.

Thus, it is best to avoid a Microplane and use the methods mentioned above for completing this process successfully. Depending on the recipe requirements, you will know which tool works best for you. Go ahead with that tool and work your way through a lemon!

Final thoughts

Well, now it’s time to wrap things up. You have learned so many ways about how to zest a lemon with or without using a zester. So now that you know how to zest a lemon, it is time to apply it to a recipe according to your choice.

In this article, we showed you different techniques on how to zest a lemon and also told you several ways. But it is upto you to decide which one is best for you. So don’t wait up anymore and make your choice before time runs out.