This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. Please Read Our Disclosure Policy.

Adding orange zest to recipes is an easy way to take the flavor to the next level! Perfect paired with cranberries or in cookies, cakes, or other delicious dishes. I’ll show you how to get the best orange zest (3 ways!) and how to use it in recipes!

Oranges with orange zest and peeler

What is Orange Zest?

Orange zest is very fine pieces (or very long thin strips) of the orange peel. It’s popular as a garnish and as an ingredient because it’s such an easy way to add a pop of orange flavor to a dish. You’ll find orange zest in the ingredients list for a variety of recipes, from baked goods to sauces & marinades to cocktails.

How to Zest an Orange

Zesting an orange is super easy, and knowing how to zest an orange can come in handy more frequently than you’d think. The best part is, you don’t have to have a zester! You can use a microplane grater (or box grater) or even just a vegetable peeler and knife.

First things first. Wash the orange really well – since you’ll be consuming the peel, you want to be sure it’s clean.

The easiest way to zest an orange is just to hold it in your hand and use your preferred tool-of-choice (more on that below). Be sure to rotate the orange to get as much from the peel as possible.

Note: don’t cut too deeply into the orange. The white inner layer of the orange peel is really bitter. You don’t want to accidentally include it in your dishes!

Don’t throw away the rest of the orange! Now that it’s zested, you’ve got a delicious, healthy snack on your hands!

Oranges zested with a zester

3 Easy Zesting Methods

Zester – A zester is a small, handheld tool that gets the zest peeled, but not too fine. With a zester, the peel comes off in long, thin strips that are perfect for garnishes in cocktails or on top of cakes.

Microplane grater – This is personally my favorite method for getting a really fine texture. Because the zest gets so fine, it may stick to the grater, but you can remove it with a finger or just wash it with some water. If you don’t have a microplane grater, you could also use a box grater to do basically the same thing! Just rub the orange against the side of the grater with the smallest holes, until you’ve got the perfect amount of zest.

The “peel and chop” method – No grater? No problem! Use a vegetable peeler to take off wide strips of orange peel. Just be careful not to peel too deep. Chop the peel as fine as you want it. Like the zester, this method works especially well if you just want a garnish for a drink or dish. Don’t have a vegetable peeler? You could use a sharp paring knife instead – just be careful not to cut too deep!

Delicious Ways to Use Orange Zest

Oranges, orange zest, and a knife

Other How-To Posts You’ll Be Glad You Read

Leave A Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Where To Next?