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Best tool for grating fresh coconut

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I just finished grating 3 fresh coconuts, for the first time. I tried using a zester but it didn't work for me, so I used the melon baller. What a royal pain!

There has to be a better, easier way to do this. I've seen a couple of tools that may make the job easier:

* A hand coconut grater (like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Coconut-Grater-Shredder-Table-Top/dp/B00546VFJ0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1329883428&sr=8-2)

* A bench coconut grater (like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Cocgrater-TL7151-Coconut-Grater-Wood/dp/B005MEGJWW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1329883428&sr=8-3)

I would love to hear your opinions on these and other tools that make this easier.

Thanks!

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I have one of these

it is awkward for me to use as is so I turn it upside down, clamp it to a wood counter and grate the coconut into a bowl placed in a pulled-out drawer that's under the counter.

It works quite well. However, since there is an excellent Filipino market in town, I buy grated fresh coconut or even the frozen stuff there. It's as good as the stuff I grate fresh for most recipes.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I'd just go with one of the coarse Microplane (or similar) graters, unless there is something about grating fresh coconut that makes this out of the question. Just do not get any grater with a plastic frame, since it will break in no time.

Coconuts are concave so flat graters don't work.


PS: I am a guy.

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Alton Brown suggests peeling the skin with a vegetable peeler and then just using the food processor. It worked well for me, but I'm not sure I'd want to peel a coconut like that frequently. It can take some...dexterity around the edges.


Edited by emannths (log)

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A lot of Indians use this:

http://anjalikitchenware.net/CO00.html

Edited to add an EG link

I have that one and Ive sustained hand injuries cause the suction cup "unsucked" and slipped and cut my hand, get one that is very well made.

You get versions that can be clipped on to a table top. But yes, it's as dangerous as using a knife and you have to be careful that your hand does not slip to avoid injury.

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Probably does come down to how much coconut you're going to be grating but, having lived in the Philippines where everybody grates a lot of coconut, I can tell you that the bench thing was by far the most popular. Most of the benches with that grater sticking out were homemade. The benches looked much like one would expect a small wooden homemade bench to look, but the grater was the most interesting thing. They were crudely made; it looked like they were taking railroad spikes or something, and then going to the local smithy and having one end flattened and serrated. I brought one back with me from the PI and, because it took up a lot of storage space, I drilled a hole in the bench and hung it on the kitchen wall. Made for quite interesting and unusual decor.

Eventually, I moved into a condo with a smaller kitchen and not enough wall space for the bench grater. So I took that interesting spike grater off, threw the bench away, but kept that grater, which I still have.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I've been pretty happy using a sturdy butter curler for the job. You crack open the nut and scrape out the meat until you reach the brown skin. You can make it a little easier by alternatingly scoring the coconut and scraping, but I generally just rely on the scraping. OTOH, I'm not generally doing three coconuts at one sitting.

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Eventually, I moved into a condo with a smaller kitchen and not enough wall space for the bench grater. So I took that interesting spike grater off, threw the bench away, but kept that grater, which I still have.

Can you take a photo of it?


PS: I am a guy.

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Eventually, I moved into a condo with a smaller kitchen and not enough wall space for the bench grater. So I took that interesting spike grater off, threw the bench away, but kept that grater, which I still have.

Can you take a photo of it?

Boy, you'd sure think so, wouldn't you. But the sad fact is that I haven't ever posted a single photo here because I don't really know how. :huh:

I'll dig the thing out, though, and get one of my kids to show me how to take the photo and post it.

Might take a while, though.

It is interesting...very crude, but functional. I remember driving through the countryside in the Philippines and often seeing people sitting in their front yards, astraddle those little benches, grating coconuts as the snowy white meat rained down into the bowl.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I think it depends on what you are grating coconut for and how often you anticipate doing it- as has been noted earlier. Also as noted above, for milk I find the food processor or blender perfectly adequate. If for a rustic curry I often do not even bother with getting the skin off. That would be based on a fairly fresh coconut. If the brown skin is super tough and tasting bitter then of course it has to go. A bit of warm water, coco chunks, and you are good to go in a piece of equipment you already have.

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I'll third the bench grater.

Also, if you've got even rudimentary machete skills, getting the coconut itself down to the meat (in order to use the bench grater to its fullest potential) is very quick and easy. Provided, of course, that your machete is sharp.

Then again, you can also go for the Ecuadorian method, which is to do the two-holes thing to drain the coconut, whack the coconut in half with your very sharp machete, then hold it in one hand and use a handheld rasp (usually a flattened, serrated piece of rebar) in the other to shred it right in the shell.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Thank you everyone for the excellent replies! So many options!

For the record: I also tried a box grater and a small zester, and they're not practical for grating large amounts of coconut.

Since I already own a food processor, I am tempted to use it next to grate coconut. But I am intrigued by the bench grater and may get one if the food processor isn't quite as practical as it sounds. And for making coconut milk, I am thinking of peeling the coconut and just using the blender.

The Indian-style grater also seems effective.

Thank you again for the fantastic ideas!

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I'd like to update this thread with my latest experiments. I tried using the food processor and blender, which worked fine. But I was so intrigued by the bench grater that I had to get one. So I got a Thai "rabbit" :) and used it yesterday for the first time.

It took me a little while and a few scratches (you know, those wild rabbits...) to get the hang of it, but once I did, it worked wonderfully, with no further scratches. So thanks for the recommendation!

I have a question, though. As I was grating the coconut, little bits of the outside brown husk would fall into the plate where the grated coconut was going. This is fine to make coconut milk, but not so good if I'm going to use the grated coconut for something else. I'm wondering if others have the same problem, and if you have a good solution to avoid it. I tried to cut the "hairs" of the coconut and scrub it a bit, which helped, but didn't fix the problem entirely.

Thank you!

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I'd like to update this thread with my latest experiments. I tried using the food processor and blender, which worked fine. But I was so intrigued by the bench grater that I had to get one. So I got a Thai "rabbit" :) and used it yesterday for the first time.

It took me a little while and a few scratches (you know, those wild rabbits...) to get the hang of it, but once I did, it worked wonderfully, with no further scratches. So thanks for the recommendation!

I have a question, though. As I was grating the coconut, little bits of the outside brown husk would fall into the plate where the grated coconut was going. This is fine to make coconut milk, but not so good if I'm going to use the grated coconut for something else. I'm wondering if others have the same problem, and if you have a good solution to avoid it. I tried to cut the "hairs" of the coconut and scrub it a bit, which helped, but didn't fix the problem entirely.

Thank you!

Is this the kind of grating bench you are referring to?

That is the one I use and LOVE. So quick and easy. But I will comment that if you are doing several coconuts the bench gets a little hard and usually put a blanket on it as a cushion.

I did have that problem with the little bits of coconut husk too, so I just started dry scrubbing it with a bristol cleaning brush before cracking it open. (something like this) That reduced the prob so much so that only once in a while I have to stop and pick out the pieces that fall in...

Hope that helps!


www.eatthesun.com

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Yes, that is very similar to the grating bench I got.

Using a cleaning brush is a great idea! I will get the one you recommended to use next time.

I've used the grating bench many times since my last post and continue to love it. Because I've only used it to make coconut milk, I haven't been bothered by the little bits of husk. However, I've been having ideas of other uses for freshly grated coconut where the bits of husk would not be welcome. So this is a very timely recommendation!

Thank you!

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You are so welcome!

We've been using coconut in every which way possible, especially in baked goods! We even press the grated coconut meat for the coconut cream. WOW! Now that is rich! I use the fresh raw (undiluted) cocnut cream as a base for ice cream and in smoothies. Contrary to the commonly believed myth that so much coconut can be fattening and bad for our health because of its high saturated fat content, its a quick and easy weight loss trick! There are some books that Bruce Fife wrote about that, here and here. Ahhhh coconut, one of natures treasures! Anyhow, enjoy!

Eat the Sun!

www.eternalananda.wordpress.com


www.eatthesun.com

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My baker friend recently got one of these (actually bought two, the bladed one also) And uses them on a variable-speed 1/2 inch drill that he can fasten to a bench with this drill mount.

He wraps the drill with a plastic bag and cuts holes for the air slots.

He demonstrated it for me and grated two large "brown" coconuts and one "green" coconut in less than five minutes.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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wow! that sounds brilliant! by bladed one did you mean this? I love the idea, it's seems perfect for grating large batches of coconuts. I wonder what the difference was in the results of the two ...the bladed and pinhead ?

thanks so much for this info!

Eat the Sun!

www.eternalananda.wordpress.com


www.eatthesun.com

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wow! that sounds brilliant! by bladed one did you mean this? I love the idea, it's seems perfect for grating large batches of coconuts. I wonder what the difference was in the results of the two ...the bladed and pinhead ?

thanks so much for this info!

Eat the Sun!

www.eternalananda.wordpress.com

The bladed one produced larger flakes and the pinhead much finer grated.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I'd really love it if I could get the coconut grater attachment for my Ultra Pride+. It's not available in the versions sold outside the US.

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