Last updated: 16/10/2022

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The zester brings the necessary freshness to every household. The small kitchen gadget is also known colloquially as a zest peeler or lemon scraper. The zest peeler removes the peel from vegetables or fruits very thinly.

This leaves the bitter substances on the fruit. If you want to serve drinks that are also pleasing to the eye, the zester is the kitchen utensil you need. You will amaze your friends with it. Are you ready to add freshness to your life?

If so, then you’ve come to the right place with our great zest ripper test 2023. We have compared classic zest rippers and zest rippers with multifunction. In the article, you will find the advantages and disadvantages of the products. This should help you to find the best zest ripper for you.




Summary

  • With the zester, you can remove the first layer of a citrus fruit wafer-thin, allowing the flavours to develop perfectly. This avoids bitter flavours. The scraped off layer is then called a zest.
  • A basic distinction is made between a simple zest ripper and a zester with an integrated chiseling knife.
  • If you want a zester that will last for several years, it is advisable to buy a zest ripper made of stainless steel.

The Best Zester: Our Picks

Buying and Evaluation Criteria for Zesters

Just bought, it is already indispensable. The zest ripper is a practical kitchen utensil. If you pay attention to a few criteria before buying, the zest ripper will quickly become an indispensable helper for you.

The criteria with which you can compare the zest rippers include:

In the following, we will go into more detail on the comparison criteria so that you know what is important.

Material

Stainless steel and plastic are the most common materials used for zest rippers.

Stainless steel is a durable product, while plastic is inexpensive.

Of course, the price varies depending on the material. Stainless steel zest peelers are in the higher price segment than those made of plastic. However, the material has a significant influence on the lifetime of a zest peeler.

If you want to own a product for a long time, it is worth looking at the material when buying it. Plastic will not last as many years as products made of stainless steel. If the zester is also to serve as a decorative object in the kitchen, then a stainless steel model is particularly suitable.

Grip

For a zester to produce wafer-thin slices, the blade must be very sharp. Of course, this increases the risk of injury. It is advisable to pay attention to the material of the handle. Non-slip plastic handles are recommended.

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A handle that fits well in your hand helps you to achieve the perfect result with little effort. (Image source: Betül Tiker / pixabay)

An ergonomic handle ensures that your hands do not get tired when peeling zest.

Some zest peelers have a hanging loop at the end of the handle. This allows you to store the lemon peeler hanging up.

Dishwasher safe

The sharp blades make it difficult to clean the zest peeler. It is advisable to buy a zester that is dishwasher safe. If you make sure that your zester is dishwasher safe, you will save yourself a lot of cleaning work.

Dishwasher safe makes cleaning easy

This not only has the advantage of easy cleaning, but also reduces the risk of injury from the sharp blade. You can save yourself unpleasant, burning cuts if you take this criterion into account.

Whether a zester is dishwasher safe or not depends on the material, of course. If easy cleaning is important to you, you should pay attention to this when buying.

Stainless steel

To ensure the longevity of your product, the material of your new zester should be rust-free. Stainless steel is very suitable for avoiding rust.

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To prevent your zest ripper from rusting due to fruit juice or cleaning, it is advisable to look for a rust-free material when buying. (Image source: Brooke Lark / unsplash)

If you want a zester that will last you for many years, keep this criterion in mind.

Suitable for right- or left-handed use

How good your results are with your zester also depends on whether you are right- or left-handed. If you buy a zest peeler for left-handers, but are right-handed, you will find it difficult to work with the zest peeler. The results will also suffer.

Guide: Frequently asked Questions about Zesters answered in Detail

If you want to buy a zest ripper, you probably have some questions that need to be answered before you buy. In our zest ripper guide, we have selected the most relevant and frequently asked questions from our customers and answered them clearly. Our guide should help you find the perfect zest ripper for you on the market.

What do I use a zester for?

You use a zester if you want to spice up your dishes or drinks not only aromatically but also visually. The wafer-thin zests turn your cocktail into an absolute taste sensation.

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The delicious taste of citrus fruits makes your drink especially tasty. The zests also make for the perfect look. (Image source: igorr/ 123rf)

Of course, you can use the zests not only for drinks. They can also be used to turn your food into an eye-catcher that guarantees you compliments. There are numerous recipes for which you need zests. They are not only used to decorate your dishes, but also to create a unique taste experience.

What types of zesters are there?

If you want to buy a zester, there are two types of products you can choose from:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Simple zest ripper The classic zest ripper is in the low-price segment. Can only be used to make zests.
Zest ripper with integrated chiseling knife Can be used for making zests, but also for larger pieces of peel. The price is somewhat higher for this type of product.

More information can be found in the next sections.

Simple zester

Simple zester

If you want to use the zest ripper for the aromatic note in drinks or dishes, then you will be happy with the classic zest ripper.

If you are a passionate cocktail mixer, then the zest scraper will help you achieve the perfect end result. The lemon scraper also ensures the right aroma in your dishes.

Advantages
  • In the low-price segment
  • easy to use
Disadvantages
  • Can only produce zest

At first glance, the simple zester looks like a fork. If you look more closely, you can see the sharp-edged holes at the end of the blades. These ensure that the zest comes off the peel.

By pressing the sharp blade lightly, the zests are removed. The aroma is released, but the bitter substances remain on the fruit.

Zester with integrated chiseling knife

Zester with integrated chiseling knife

If the zest ripper has a built-in chiseling knife, you can also use it to cut larger pieces of peel. You can not only score with flavours, but also let off steam decoratively.

A zest ripper with a chasing knife offers you many application possibilities.

Advantages
  • Multiple uses
  • For decorative purposes
Disadvantages
  • Higher price segment

If you are a person who attaches great importance to decoration, then a zest ripper with integrated chasing knife is the right thing for you. You can let off steam artistically and cut patterns into fruit and vegetable peelings.

You can also use the chisel knife for fish and meat dishes. The diamond-shaped scoring of the skin ensures more even cooking.

Who is a zester suitable for?

The zest ripper is part of a bar’s fixed inventory. Zests can be found in many cocktails. They provide the aroma and the visual finishing touch.

Are you looking for that little bit extra for the perfect taste experience in your drinks? Are you also missing the visual finishing touch? Then a zester is the perfect companion for you to enchant everyone with your cocktails, lemonades and co.

In the kitchen, too, the zest ripper can ensure that more fruity aroma is added to your dishes. This also makes them healthier.

How much does a zester cost?

The price range between the different zest rippers is large. The cost varies depending on the quality and brand. Prices currently vary from around 3 euros to 45 euros.

Type price range
Classic zest ripper approx. 3-16€
Zest ripper with chasing knife approx. 8-45€

In our product recommendations, you will find classic zest rippers and zest rippers with multifunction. All of them have a good price-performance ratio.

What is an alternative to the zest ripper?

Is there a substitute product that you can use to get the same result as a zest ripper? Let’s put it this way – an alternative can certainly be found in the kitchen, but it cannot achieve the same results as a zest peeler.

Type Description
Knife A sharp knife is a possible, albeit not too safe, alternative to a zest peeler. It is important to have a steady hand so as not to injure yourself. Caution: the bitter substances are taken along, as too much peel is cut away by the knife.
Peeler A possible substitute for the zest ripper is the peeler. Peelers are very sharp and some can even be adjusted in their peeling depth. The blade is very flexible. This means it can adapt well to the contours of the object you want to peel. However, a peeler cannot produce the fine curls of a zester.
Grater If you only want the taste of the lemon or orange peel and the decorative factor is not important to you, you can also use a grater as an alternative to the zester. Important: do not apply too much pressure while grating so that the bitter substances remain on the fruit.

One of these alternatives is sure to be found in your household. However, the zest ripper is not easily replaceable. To make zests, you need more than just a steady hand. If you use one of the alternatives mentioned above, you will never achieve the same result. Only the zest ripper manages to remove only a very thin layer of the peel and not to take any bitter substances with it.

How do I use the zester correctly?

It is important to use the zester correctly, as you only want to taste the flavours and not the bitterness. But with a little practice, you will soon produce perfect zests.

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It is important that you only use untreated fruit and vegetables for the zests. It is important to wash them before using the zester. (Image source: Bambi Corro / unsplash)

It is essential that you only use untreated organic fruits for zesting. After all, you don’t want to ingest any toxins. Then you can get started.

  1. Wash the fruit: First wash the fruit well and dry it again.
  2. Assume the position: Hold the fruit with one hand so that it does not slip away. In the other hand you have the zester. If you are right-handed, take the zester in your right hand – if you are left-handed, take the zester in your left hand.
  3. Pull and twist: This can be a matter of practice. It is important to hold the zester at an angle when applying it to the fruit. Press lightly and pull the peeler over the skin while slowly turning the fruit.
  4. Cleaning: The zester should be rinsed under cold water immediately after use. This removes the coarse residue immediately and keeps the blade sharp for a long time. You can then put the zest peeler in the dishwasher, if it is suitable for this purpose.

If you follow these points carefully, nothing can go wrong.

What exactly is a zest?

A zest is a thin strip of fruit or vegetable peel. The thin strips of zest release the aroma, which can be used to add that certain something to various dishes and drinks.

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The zest ripper peels off wafer-thin slices of the peel so that the bitter substances remain on the fruit. This leaves the fruit intact and you can still squeeze it. (Image source: Deva Williamson / Unsplash)

Zests are made with a zest ripper. The name zester is derived from the French word zesteur.

Image source: Pohranychnyi / 123rf

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