Whether cooking is your forte or not, and even if you do not enjoy it, it is something just about every one of us needs to do, unless you are lucky enough to have someone cook for you. I am not that lucky. One of the worst parts of cooking a meal is planning and prepping. It can be time-consuming and tedious.
One good thing is we have many tools available to us to speed up the food prep process. Food peelers are one of those tools. Check out this list of the different types of peelers for food prep so you can find the perfect one for your next menu.
What is a Peeler for Food Prep?
A food peeler is one of the staples that you must have in your kitchen. It is a kitchen gadget that you just cannot live without. A food peeler is a relatively simple tool, but it makes preparing your fruits and vegetables a snap. There are two main types of peelers; a Y-shaped peeler and a straight peeler.
A straight peeler had a blade that is vertical and is in alignment with the handle. A Y peeler has an edge that is perpendicular. A peeler blade can be ceramic, stainless steel, or carbon steel. A stainless steel blade is less likely to rust, durable, and safe to clean in the dishwasher.
A carbon steel blade stays sharper longer but may rust. A ceramic blade resists rust, sharpness, and light. They tend to be fragile and often chip.
A vegetable peeler has different materials for the handle, including wood, steel, and plastic. Some even have rubber grips making them more ergonomic and easier to hold. It is important that your vegetable peeler is comfortable, easy to clean, and offers many uses.
Types of Peelers for Food Prep
There are many vegetable peeler options available to you. It is helpful to understand the uses of each one to select the one perfect for your tasks.
The swivel peeler is the simplest type of vegetable peeler. It often has a plastic handle. The swivel peeler is typically the peeler that comes to mind immediately when you think of a vegetable peeler.
This peeler is often referred to as a Jonas peeler and is a handheld peeler. They have a two-sided or double, blade that is narrow and sharp.
This swivel blade comes up from the handle, and it swivels from side to side. When you apply pressure to the handle, the blade moves along the skin of the food. They have free movement so they can conform to the curve of the vegetable, making it easy to use.
This peeler is ideal for vegetables and fruit with hard skin. The tip of this peeler has an eye remover at the tip of it. This part of the tool makes it simple to remove the potato eye. In some swivel peelers, the blade can be replaced so that it will last a long time.
This peeler is ideal for longer vegetables like carrots and parsnips. It can work well for small vegetables, as long as they are firm, like small potatoes. The swivel peeler is not the best peeler for delicate items, like tomatoes.
Source: Robert Dyas
The Lancashire peeler is a straight peeler that looks a lot like the swivel peeler. The main difference is the blade on this peeler does not move. It stays in one position. The Lancashire peeler is an ideal peeler for those that do not like the free movement of the swivel peeler.
This manual peeler was named for the area of the United Kingdom known for potatoes. The original version of this peeler came with a string wrapped around the handle, even though most do not have the string today.
The Lancashire peeler is ideal for skinning potatoes and zucchini. It can also grate cheese, like cheddar and parmesan. It can also be used to shave chocolate. This can be used for citrus peelers and ginger peelers.
It is versatile to be used for all-size vegetables and fruit. The Lancashire peeler is really intended to be used by a right hand. It cannot be used by a left hand easily. It may not be the most comfortable peelers to use.
The Y Peeler gets its name due to the shape of the frame of the peeler. This peeler is in the shape of a Y and can be used by both left and right-handed users. This peeler has a handle that is wide, making it easy to hold securely in your hand. You do not have to worry about it slipping.
The grip remains comfortable. These peelers come with an eye remover that makes it easy to remove the eyes of potatoes. The Y peeler can help you peel a cucumber, carrot, eggplant, and potato.
The Y peeler allows you to easily peel your food in one fluid motion from top to bottom. It helps you avoid sloppy peels or nicks in your food. The Y peeler takes some time to get used to. It is difficult to use the first time. You have to set the blades in place.
A Swiss peeler is often considered one of the best Y peeler options. This type of Y peeler can quickly peel vegetables and fruit, even those with the firmest skin. The Kuhn Rikon peeler has a carbon steel blade that is incredibly sharp and stays that way longer, no matter what you peel.
The Julienne Peeler is perfect for those that want vegetables for salad, stew, soup, and coleslaw. It creates shreds of vegetables that are fine, especially carrots and zucchini. This helps you create vegetable pasta. A Julienne Peeler is helpful to get zest from the lime, lemon, and other citrus.
This peeler has a serrated blade that can create thin and long strips of vegetables. The blades of this peeler have spikes on them which are spaced apart, which is what allows the peeler to create long, thin strips.
This is not the best peeler if you just want to peel the skin of vegetables. This is ideal for creating long thin strips.
The Speed Peeler allows you to peel quickly. These peelers are held in your hands with a long handle that has a curved piece of metal loosely attached to the peeler. The blade on the peeler moves easily, and it can match the shape of the vegetable you are peeling.
This is similar to the way a razor moves across a face. There are two types of speed peelers. One looks like a standard peeler and looks similar to a vegetable knife with a blade that sticks out of the handle. The other looks more like a fork with two prongs that have a blade between the prongs.
The blades of a speed peeler are sharp and can peel the skin just as quickly as it can a vegetable. This peeler allows you to shave or grate cheese. You must be careful with this peeler, as it has a sharp blade. This peeler is ideal for peeling vegetables quickly in a short period of time.
A mechanical peeler is perfect for that have a difficult time holding vegetables or peelers in their hands. The mechanical peeler is operated by a crank.
As you turn the crank, you are engaging the slicer of the peeler. At the same time, the vegetables and fruit turn as the skin is peeled right off. The mechanical peeler usually anchors or attaches to a surface in your kitchen.
Many of these peelers can also core and slice your fruits and vegetables. These peelers are traditionally intended to slice or peel potatoes and apples, but they can be used for vegetables like cucumbers and carrots.
These peelers tend to make less of a mess than traditional peelers. A mechanical peeler costs less than electric peelers but can help with peeling fruits and vegetables.
A mechanical peeler looks a bit industrial and the skin comes off in one long strip. Anyone from the youngest to the oldest food preparer can use this peeler. This may take up a fair amount of space in your kitchen.
A Serrated Peeler can come in a Y handle peeler or a straight swivel peeler. They are similar to a straight blade peeler, with one exception.
The difference is these peelers have serrated blades. This may seem like a minor difference in the peeler, but the serrated blade makes it much easier to peeler soft vegetables and fruit.
This type of peeler is ideal for food that has thin skin and food like peaches and tomatoes. This is not a versatile type of peeler. It is only best for soft food peeling. It will not move smoothly over firmer foods.
Finger / Hand Peeler
A finger or hand peeler is one that fits like a ring on your finger. This is often called a palm peeler. Some variations of this peeler have two rings that fit on your fingers.
The blade is contained inside a plastic covering that sits in the palm of your hand. You can use this peeler without having to hold a peeler in your hand. This is a more ergonomic and comfortable way to peel your fruits and vegetables.
This is one of the safest ways that you can peel your food. It will not cut your fingers. It often has a soft rubber surface, making it feel more comfortable in your hand. One downside with this type of peeler is that you cannot see the food which you are peeling.
Electric Rotary Peeler
An electric rotary peeler is similar to a vegetable peeler that uses by hand, except for much less work. This version of an electric vegetable peeler is the easiest option to use because it requires little effort.
This type of peeler comes assembled, and you do not have to put it together. An electric peeler is more expensive than a regular peeler and does not typically last as long as a crank version. The electrical components of the peeler may fail.
This multi-blade peeler is a 3-in-1 tool that can act as a multi-functional kitchen gadget that can peel, cut, slice, and shred. It is ideal for carrots, squash, potatoes, apples, and so much more. The blades are heavy-duty to rotate and swivel just the way you need them to based on your fruits or vegetables.
One of the blades is straight, making it ideal for removing the skin. One of the blades is a julienne blade that zests the skin to create strips or shreds perfect for garnish.
The third blade is a serrated blade that is perfect for fruits and vegetables with softer skin. This peeler gives you versatility in your kitchen. This peeler may be difficult to use if you are not using this type of tool.
This is a specialty peeler. Not only does this tool peel cheese, but it also slices it for you. You can change the width of the slice of cheese you cut. This width change translates to the thickness of the piece of cheese that you cut.
This peeler is not ideal for hard cheeses such as parmesan. You may want to switch to a different type of peeler for a harder cheese. Otherwise, you may break your cheese peeler.
The garlic peeler is another specialty peeler. Garlic is difficult to peel, and this is the best tool for the job. This peeler is different from a garlic press.
A garlic press will mash the garlic for you. If you would like to dice garlic, you have to peel it first. This tool removes the peel from the garlic for you separates the skin, so you can easily remove it.
One of the most common vegetables you will peel is a potato. You can use just about any type of peeler mentioned above. Most of the time when you peel potatoes, you have a fair amount of them to peel, so you want a peeler that is comfortable to hold in your hand.
You want a peeler that can be used in either your left or right hand. When one hand gets tired, you want to be able to switch hands.
The best apple peeler not only helps you peel apples, but also help you peel potatoes, pears, and cucumbers. The ideal apple peeler removes the skin for the apple and helps you to the core and slice the apples.
There are apple peeler options that are automatic and manual. You want an apple peeler that is well-built and durable with parts that will last a lifetime. You want an apple peeler that is easy to use and can be used on multiple vegetables and fruit.
What Vegetable Peeler Do Chefs Use?
Most professional and everyday chefs prefer the Kuhn Rikon Swiss peeler. It is durable, sharp, consistent, and sharp. It provides all the qualities that a chef needs.
Can You Sharpen a Vegetable Peeler?
Most vegetable peelers cannot be sharpened. You can, however, replace the blade on some vegetable peelers. If you are interested in keeping your blade as sharp as possible, look for the vegetable peeler that allows you to replace the blade.
What Can You Use Instead of a Potato Peeler?
If you do not have a potato peeler, there is a way you can peel them. You should boil a pot of water, wash the potatoes, and put them in boiling water.
When you are ready to remove the potatoes, be sure to use tongs as they will be hot. Put the potatoes in an ice bath. You can use your thumbs to remove the skin from the potatoes. The skin will slide off easily.