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How do I protect my knuckles when grating vegetables like carrots?

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When grating harder foods like carrots or parsnips, I have a problem protecting my fingers when I get down to the last couple inches. Raw carrots are too hard to hold with a fork (at least with sufficient leverage to grate) and too irregular to hold with tongs. If I try to protect my fingers by wearing a mitt, I just transfer the problem to the mitt and then I'm digging non-food bits out of my grated carrots. I'm holding the food by wrapping my fingers around the end, and it's the first knuckle of the middle finger that's sometimes getting scraped.

Here is a rough photo of how I'm holding it, taken one-handed and so a little fuzzy but I hope it gets the idea across:

hand holding carrot at end

When actually grating the carrot is more angled so that it's perpendicular with the surface of the grater. But this picture shows the grip reasonably. (The palm is not in range of the grater when actually grating.)

This grip, and problem, is only for the last couple inches; when the item being grated is longer I can wrap my fingers around its girth for more effective grating.

At some point, of course, you just have to either punt or switch to a knife. With coarser grating that's not usually a problem, but with the fine side of the grater (just barely visible in the photo), I was ending up with larger pieces that I couldn't grate.

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Usually I keep the last piece which I can't grate to decorate my food. (For example cutting the rest of a carrot in small squares and laying it on top of the dish.) Zerotime‭ about 1 month ago

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One thing you can try is to tense up your hand so that the whole hand is as flat as possible. (For some people, tensing up the hand leads to a slight overstretch facing upwards where the fingers overextend over the usual angle, this is also fine.) Take the item you want to grate and place it on the flat hand. Put the grater on top of it, apply slight pressure and move it slowly. That way it's possible to grate even more but you won't be able to grate all of it comfortably.

Another solution is to buy a rotary grater. It looks like that:

gif of rotary grater in action

This kitchen tool comes with a plastic or metal top which is shaped to fit perfectly onto the grater. You can use it to push everything down without risking your finger tips. (In the GIF you can see it momentarily when the potatoes are grated.)

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I'd never heard of a rotary grater. Thanks! Monica Cellio‭ about 1 month ago

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