Lemon peel adds flavor and zest to many recipes for chicken, fish or vegetables, as well as for desserts. Lemon peel has a stronger, more pungent taste than lemon juice, but preparing the peel for cooking can be a time-consuming and frustrating task unless you use the right tools.

Things You'll Need

Place a paper towel on a clean work surface to catch any lemon peel that falls off the grater. Put a bowl on top of the paper towel. Once you’re finished grating, you can pick up the paper towel and pour any dropped peel into the bowl with the rest of the grated lemon peel.

Cover the side of a cheese grater that will be rubbing against the lemon (the zest side) with plastic wrap. If your grater has large and small holes, use the small ones and cover those. The plastic wrap will keep the lemon peel from sticking in the grating holes, which causes you to lose a portion of the peel you’ve grated.

Hold or lay the grater over the bowl to catch the grated peel as it falls from the grater. Grate the lemon peel by rubbing the lemon against the zest side, in the direction opposite of the holes.


  • One medium-sized lemon yields about one tablespoon of grated lemon peel.