Even the most inexperienced cook has tried their hand at peeling vegetables and fruits now and then.
Personally, I’ve found it to be one of the few tasks you can take on to be truly helpful in meal preparation.
Even if your range of culinary experience is generally limited to fried eggs, cereal, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
No matter how often or infrequently you roll up your sleeves and get creative in the kitchen, a potato peeler is a must-have tool that allows you to unlock the hidden potential of some of your favorite veggies and fruits.
Born to Peel
Although a regular old knife can technically do whatever a peeler does, the difference between the two when it comes to preparing your favorite fruits and vegetables for frying, baking, or raw consumption is that even the most basic peeler really is made to do what it does.
The steel blade of a hand-held peeler is slotted, with one side of the slot sharp enough to cut into the skin from potatoes to other vegetables and fruit.
And the other side is dull or rounded to prevent the sharp side from plunging deeper into the rest of the vegetable or fruit.
The handle is generally made from plastic, steel, or wood.
Perfecting the Peel
Peelers have been around for centuries, but over the years a few different designs have emerged as the most useful and widely produced and utilized.
A straight peeler has the slot cut into a blade that is parallel to the handle, so that it looks like a knife.
A swivel peeler allows for easy use in any direction, with a two-edged blade resting on a pivot.
And a Y peeler, with a blade set perpendicular to the handle, facilitates a smooth, slicing away of the skin.
There are also various mechanical peelers, such as the crank-powered mechanical apple peeler (which was designed for apples but can be used for potatoes, cucumbers, and other fruits and vegetables).
And a mechanical peeler specifically for potatoes called the Magnascrubber, which removes the skin by tumbling the potatoes around inside a space lined with rubber studs.
In mass production settings, steam jets are also used to soften the skin of potatoes so that it can be easily rubbed off.
Of all the vegetables that you may want or need to peel, potatoes are arguably the most important one.
As the world’s fourth largest food crop, after maize and grains such as rice and wheat, potatoes are common in the cuisine of different cultures all around the world.
Whether you’re making some standard mashed potatoes, dum aloo curry, or gnocchi, you’re going to need the right appliance to properly and efficiently peel your potatoes and have them ready to go.
Even better, those potato skins stripped away by your peeler actually make a delicious snack themselves. Talk about enjoying every last bite!
Maybe you’re looking to make mashed potatoes for a hundred people at Thanksgiving dinner and need to get them all peeled lickety-split.
Or you’re just slicing a few pieces for a personal serving of French fries.
Whatever your purpose, there are a multitude of options for potato peelers on the market that will best suit your needs.
Norpro 50 Stainless Steel Potato Peeler
If you’re looking for something sleek, simple, and efficient, the Norpro 50 Stainless Steel Potato Peeler is for you.
With industrial grade stainless steel and a swivel that makes it easy to peel away from the rounded surface.
The Norpro 50 Stainless Steel Potato Peeler really gets the job done quickly without a whole lot of fanfare.
Starfrit Electric Potato Peeler
Not looking to get your hands dirty? The Starfrit Electric Potato Peeler does all of the work for you!
A robotic arm adjusts to the shape, size, and texture of the potato or other vegetable that you plop in the middle, and at the push of a button peels it all away before your eyes.
If you’re a lazy cook, like me or incredibly busy, the Starfrit Electric Potato Peeler is a great option.
UberChef Premium Ultra Sharp Stainless Steel Julienne Peeler & Vegetable Peeler
If you want a peeler that you can use on multiple veggies with maximum effectiveness, the Premium Ultra Sharp Stainless Steel Peeler by UberChef is a great choice.
With a sharp blade and stainless steel, the UberChef will have you cooking up a storm – and cleaning up quickly, with its dishwasher-safe feature.
OXO Good Grips Y Peeler
The OXO Good Grips Y Peeler is another good, low-cost, simple and efficient option if you want to be able to peel at the speed of lightning without a whole of fuss.
Designed for comfort while peeling, with a sharp blade that ensures easy skin removal.
The OXO Good Grips Y Peeler is a low-maintenance and high-quality potato peeler that will help make your cooking process smooth sailing.
Once you have the potato peeler that works best for you, you’ll be ready to peel, slice, dice, and cook away!
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