Prep Time  10minutes
Total Time  10mins

How to Zest a Lemon

Citrus zest is one of the most under used and under appreciated food items in the home cook’s repertoire.  The zest contains a tremendous amount of essential oils and is very aromatic. A surprisingly small amount can really add a good amount of flavor to a dish.  You also get the benefit of adding the flavor of citrus without the acid that in the juice itself.  In this cooking video, I show you how to zest a lemon.  The process is really simple, and I’ve show you how to do it with a zester, a graterl, and a knife.  Hope you find it useful.

How to Zest a Lemon with a Zester (or micropane)

  • If you have a mirco plane – which is really a cheese greater with very fine holes, the job is very simple.
  • Wash and dry the lemon, and remove the sticker
  • Hold the lemon in one hand, and run the zester over the skin applying gentle pressure
  • You’re looking scrap over the very outside, yellow colored skin; getting as little of the white part (pith) as possible
  • Continue to rotate the lemon until you have the amount of zest you’d like

How to Zest a Lemon with a Grater

  • If all you have is a normal cheese grater, use the side with the finest holes
  • Each hole will take a bigger “bite” out of the lemon than the microplane, above, and we want to avoid getting the pith; so
  • Using very light pressure run the lemon up and down on the grater, rotating it quickly so you don’t dig deeply into the skin
  • Continue to grate it until you have the amount of zest you need

How to Zest a Lemon with a Knife

  • No microplane? No grater? Fine, let’s use a knife
  • The first step is to remove the outside layer of skin; again not cutting into or taking the pith
  • Hold the lemon in one hand and using the knife, slice off just the very very outside layer of skin with a sharp knife
  • Do that several times until you have several strips of lemon skin
  • Use a chef’s knife to finely chop up the strips into fine pieces

Hope you find these demo’s useful, and that use some lemon zest in one of your next recipes.  Enjoy!!

Comments (3 )

September 27th, 2013 - 1:21am
Yes these are really good ways to <a href="">zest a lemon</a> and its like a breeze with microplane.
March 18th, 2014 - 3:18am
what do you do with the lemon if the recipe does not call for the juice as well?
January 2nd, 2021 - 3:18am
To get there, Hugh came a long way. He slowly chewed back and asked a question he had cherished.

Leave a comment

Top Categories

Our most popular recipes in our most popular foods.


Our best pasta recipes & techniques will have you cooking like an Italian Grandma.


The best chicken recipe, is the well-cooked chicken recipe. Learn our secrets now...


Tired of dull, dry pork? So are we! Learn how to make the best chops on the block.


Fear not! The grill, the pan, the oven, we've got you covered with the recipes and techniques to get the perfect steak...