In some homes they live together, organized into the same drawer as friends, laughing about all the vegetables they’ve peeled. There’s Jerry, the oldest peeler, who doesn’t see much action anymore, but he gets along well with the newer model version of himself—Mike. Mike’s new, sharp, and gets lots of use. He’s joined by Jim, a sleek ceramic model peeler whenever there are loads of veggies to process from the farmers market. They live as buddies of varying ages, and they get along because they’ve all done time at the same job.
Other homes may keep them separate. The oldest peelers live in some hard to reach cobwebbed kitchen cabinet, counting down the days until eventual donation while only the newest and still razor-sharp peeler lives in the glorious top drawer for every day use.
How did you come into owning your vegetable peeler? Was it a hand-me-down, or did you research the internet for the best device based on reviews and cost?
Deciding on the right peeler
If that’s your game, then start your search with the greatest gadget and gizmo grandmaster of them all: Alton Brown. In this Good Eats video, he highlights some great options, explaining their pluses and minuses in wonderfully geeky detail. You might also check out this totally sweet peeler list I found, lovingly written up on goodeatsfanpage.com.
With enough use, the edge of any peeler will eventually dull and become a real pain in the butt to use. The blade will slip around, making it hard for the edge to get a good grip, wasting your time and patience. However, there are two ways around this predicament: you can learn to sharpen your metal peeler, or look into purchasing one with a ceramic blade. Ceramic stays sharper a lot longer than metal, and if it does get dull you can always send it back to the manufacturer to be factory-sharpened.
Additionally, you might consider purchasing a julienne peeler. These neat gadgets contain a row of sharp teeth which are turned perpendicular to the blade, splitting the food as you peel to save time in the kitchen. I used to own this OXO model, but the flimsy teeth bent after a few uses, just as others have mentioned on amazon.com. By the positive reviews, this Swiss model seems to have sturdier construction and is worth further investigation.
A case for owning multiples
How many do you have in your home? An uncluttered kitchen should contain as few unused gadgets as possible. If you own more than one peeler and never use the rest then they are just taking up valuable room in a drawer and should be headed for the donation bin.
Or is there life still in those old peelers? Using the sharpening trick mentioned above, you could hone your aged tools into a more youthful shape, returning them to the top drawer for use. With newly sharpened peelers at your disposal, you really should put them to work.
Find a recipe which uses something like potatoes, eggplant, or zucchini, then buy loads of these vegetables now that they are in-season. Seasonal veggies are abundant & best of all cheap! Gather some friends and family to lend a hand peeling your purchase. When everything is peeled, cook the recipe and share the finished product with everyone as a way of saying thank you for the help. You get bonding and a good meal from a little team effort. How great is that?
Here are some recipes that will give your peeler some mileage while simultaneously using up the season’s bounty.
- Sweet Potato and Parmesan Chips
- How To Make Potato Chips In The Microwave
- Easy and Elegant Duchess Potatoes
- Good Eats Episode: Deep Purple, One Minute Eggplant
And if your peeler isn’t smoking from all the use after that, you can always use it to shave off some cold butter.