Tempted to get a rotary drum manual shredder

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Texmex

Senior Cook
Joined
Jul 12, 2023
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249
Location
Texas
But I'm going to resist the temptation. It just looks like so much fun to put the cheese through one while you're turning the handle, and I know everyone says that bagged shredded cheese isn't as good as fresh shredded cheese off the block because of additives, but in reality I have never had any complaint about using bagged shredded cheese and I usually freeze mine first too.

And I'm lazy so while cranking the cheese out looks like fun, what's not fun is then having to measure it instead of just knowing how much you're using out of a two cup package, and the other thing that's not fun is then having to store any leftover in a baggie. I'm presuming since everyone says those additives have to be put in to keep it separated, that storing leftovers of shredded cheese off the block wouldn't really work out.

So as usual, I guess it's something I don't need or want. I did compare prices on the cheese itself as far as buying and block or buying shredded in a bag and at least at Kroger it's the same difference so there's no cost savings there at least for where I shop.
 
I think it's only useful to have a rotary cheese shredder if you are only going to use what you shred today. We have one we use for hard Italian cheese at the table. And I have an electric meat grinder that has slicing and shredding wheels. We use that if we want a lot of shredded cheese.

That said, I do buy shredded cheese. It's organic and there are no additives. The way they get it not to stick to itself too much is by shredding it in a slightly different shape. It's shaped like short pieces of spaghetti. It's not something I know how to do at home. But, the convenience is great. It's just sort of expensive, so I try to grate the cheese myself, when I have the energy. This link is the stuff I get. There's a picture of the grated cheese.

 
That does look like good cheese. They have two different grates in the bags that are just the common store or Kraft brand or sargento. They have the regular grate that has kind of a square cut but then they do have one similar to that that they just call finely shredded and when they have that I buy it. If you leave any of it sitting around too long it can clump up whether it has the additives or not. I just don't know if my regular grocery store has organic but I'm thinking that Kroger has their own line of organic cheese so I'm going to look into that and thanks for suggesting it. Like I said I haven't noticed anything bad about it as is.

I buy block Colby cheese and then I buy block cheddar gruyere because I mainly just eat those with my fingers although I will occasionally cook with cheddar gruyere for an omelet or something.

Sometimes it's hard to find just plain Monterey Jack cheese shredded because even a lot of the employees don't understand there's a difference between colby jack and Monterey Jack or colby jack and Colby. I find that amazing. But when I'm making nachos I actually prefer to cut pieces off a block for the nachos so I have a nice dick piece that I can neatly lay on top.

But what stopped me from getting one of those shredders too is like you said it's really only good for immediate use and I keep a big stock of frozen cheese so I always have some on hand. So it just comes down to convenience.

If I had a lot of Parmesan to shred it might be worth it. But I'm just cooking for one so I just do that with one of those long zester graters, or use it out of the bag.

Cheese is so much fun.
 
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As far as the anti-clumping additives, the only thing I have read about that that is bad is that it makes it hard or impossible to get a smooth cheese sauce.
 
I had 2 of those rotary graters. The first one was a small, hand held one that is typically used at restaurants when they are serving your dinner and ask if you want any parmesan cheese on top. That one worked pretty well, but a pain in the butt too clean. The other was a bigger, all metal grater with replaceable wheels of different grate sizes and I think one was even a slicer to cut/ make potato chips. It worked ok, but not great. As the cheese size got smaller, the grater became less efficient. I only used It a few times then gave it away. Maybe there are better ones out now, but the one I had was just ok.
 
As far as the anti-clumping additives, the only thing I have read about that that is bad is that it makes it hard or impossible to get a smooth cheese sauce.
I use shredded bag cheese to make fondue and it is smooth. Shredded arthritis friendly cheese is my friend. I do microplane hard Italian cheese, though.
 
I use shredded bag cheese to make fondue and it is smooth. Shredded arthritis friendly cheese is my friend. I do microplane hard Italian cheese, though.
I use my Microplane for smaller amounts of shredded, hard Italian cheese. Sometimes I bring the Microplane to the table, sometimes I bring the handheld rotary shredder. Depends on my mood. When I lived near my favourite ever Italian grocery, Le Latina, I bought shredded hard cheeses. They would put the ends of cheeses through a machine. Sometimes it was one kind of cheese. Sometimes it was a mix.
I've never had that experience. Sauces are always smooth.
So, you folks don't find that the corn starch or whatever on the store bought, grated cheese makes the sauce yucky? It's just something they say?
 
I buy pre-grated mozz for pizza, and pre-grated 4-blend for breakfast bacon-egg-cheese burritos. it's strictly a compromise for convenience . . .

everything is grated from block form. with just two, ye' olde' box grater is quick enough - for larger qty I got a NOS KA grater attachment.

I must say, freshly grated is always tastier -
 
One thing I was tempted by on those rotary drum graters, is thin slicing potatoes. I have a special 2 mm blade for my food processor that does a great job of it, but what I start thinking when I'm looking at those little graters is instead of having to clean out the whole bunch of pieces from the food processor, it would just be rinse off the pusher and clean out the drum. But then not sure how hard it is to clean out the drum. I don't have a dishwasher that I do have a sprayer and I suppose I could always use one of those glass washer sponges on a handle maybe.

But now that I think about it is there something else you have to wash out besides the drum?
 
We have a hand-held rotary grater that we use to garnish dishes with some cheese. As far as cleaning, we disassemble, rinse and toss it in the dishwasher. It works out fine with the grater and all coming out very clean, and we have not had any problems with doing so.
 
I use my Microplane for smaller amounts of shredded, hard Italian cheese. Sometimes I bring the Microplane to the table, sometimes I bring the handheld rotary shredder. Depends on my mood. When I lived near my favourite ever Italian grocery, Le Latina, I bought shredded hard cheeses. They would put the ends of cheeses through a machine. Sometimes it was one kind of cheese. Sometimes it was a mix.

So, you folks don't find that the corn starch or whatever on the store bought, grated cheese makes the sauce yucky? It's just something they say?
I've never known it to cause a problem with cheese sauces, or even just melting by itself. I've used it in the 3-Ingredient mac and cheese and this is pre-shredded mozzarella on a lasagna I made recently.
20231121_184415.jpg
 
The rotary is fine for small amounts. Also only holds a small amount as well. Guess I'm just too piggy and like more cheese than I'm willing to "rotor" - I found it very tiring and that was before arthritis came to visit.

Never had a clumping, separating problem with pre-grated either.
 
The rotary is fine for small amounts. Also only holds a small amount as well. Guess I'm just too piggy and like more cheese than I'm willing to "rotor" - I found it very tiring and that was before arthritis came to visit.

Never had a clumping, separating problem with pre-grated either.
Neither have I. But, I never tried it with pre-grated cheese with anti-clumping stuff added. I just believed the, usually reputable chefs who said that would happen.
 
Personally, I just think they think it isn't "cheffy" enough if you "cheat" and buy pre-grated. A hold-over from culinary school probably?
That being said - I do grate the cheese myself, LOL!
 
The rotary is fine for small amounts. Also only holds a small amount as well. Guess I'm just too piggy and like more cheese than I'm willing to "rotor" - I found it very tiring and that was before arthritis came to visit.

Never had a clumping, separating problem with pre-grated either.
Yeah, I'm all arthritis too. I'd probably have to put diclofenac on my hands afterwards.
 
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