Kitchen Tool School: the Humble Y-Shaped Peeler

I don’t know there was less glamor in the kitchen than peeling potatoes. Peeling potatoes is a boring, monotonous job, and the humble Y-scissor (as opposed to the more advanced swivel scissors) can seem like a boring tool by association. However, there is nothing further from the truth, as this simple peeler can do much more than peel potatoes.

Choose a peeler set

I love cheap, functional kitchen tools and the Y-peeler has one of the best value for money. However, not all peelers are created equal, and choosing a dull and ineffective instance can drag on the task at hand.

You will notice that here I am focusing on the Y vegetable peeler, which is different from the straight bladed hinge knives you might be used to seeing. Y peelers are called Y peelers because of their shape, which I’m sure you guessed it is shaped like a Y. I find the handle of the Y peeler is slightly lighter than my straight swivel knife and because has a double blade, it can be easily cleaned from any angle and in any direction. (This can also be useful if you are left-handed.)

When choosing a peeler, the most important thing is the blade. Carbon steel will stay sharper than stainless steel, and the C-blade means it handles curves skillfully. (The quality I look for in peelers and men! Amyrite ladies?) You also need a pretty light peeler so that your hand doesn’t get tired after you’ve cooked a slice of apples for the pie.

All of these qualities can be found in the original Kuhn Rikon Swiss peeler – a favorite of both Cook’s Illustrated and Serious Eats – which can be bought in a pack of three for under $ thirteen on Amazon.

I personally use an unnamed brand carbon steel knife that I bought from a nearby grocery store and this thing has helped me well for a few months and I overuse it quite often . Even if it didn’t last that long, it was only five small dollars and I would not hesitate to give up another five for a new one.

Don’t be limited to potato skins

Yes, the main function of a peeler is cleaning, but let’s not neglect other, very interesting and sexual functions. (I say sexy because cheese and chocolate are involved, my dears.) Let’s explore all the wonderful things scissors can do together by virtually holding hands over these weaves. We’ll talk about cleaning very quickly, but then we’ll move on to cheese and chocolate, I promise.

  • Peel boring vegetables quickly : I’ve peeled a lot of potatoes and apples in my life with both straight rotary knives and a Y-scissor, and the Y-peeler makes it much easier. With a nice C-shaped blade, it deftly maneuvers around the edges of curved foods, quickly tackling whatever fruits and vegetables it encounters. It also removes the skin in incredibly thin pieces, leaving as much food as possible behind.
  • Removing the strings from celery: I know of a Skillet commenter who wouldn’t be silent about the benefits of peeling celery, so I decided to give it a try. Pulling a knife along the outside of the thing really removes those annoying lines, making for a less annoying celery eating experience.
  • Make food ribbons: you know what can be more fun than eating carrots? There are carrot ribbons. In fact, I think almost every vegetable is better in ribbon shape. Not only do they look pretty, they cook faster and make great raw salads. (If in doubt, make a shaved asparagus salad.)
  • Spice up the cocktails (and other things, I suppose): I don’t mess with kitchen utensils unless they have a drunken attachment and the input from the y-peelers is very important. It might sound like a “silly side dish,” but citrus zest is an essential ingredient in many cocktails like Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, and my best martini. The key to a good twist is taking as little pith as possible with me, a task I can’t accomplish with a paring knife.
  • Cook the perfect cheese shards: I like a cloud of fluffy shredded raw cheese as much as the next person to eat pasta, but sometimes I crave salty, shaved nuts. Shaved cheese stands out in the dish – be it pasta, salad, or grilled vegetables – rather than melting in the background, as chunks sometimes do. The Y-peeler allows you to shave off tasty nuggets of any hard cheese – a feature that almost surpasses all others.
  • Collect piles of chocolate chips : Chocolate chips are so important guys. They are not only ideal for tempering (melt faster and more evenly), but they are also more delicious than just a bite of a bar. The Y-peeler makes perfect piles of small chocolate chips to sprinkle on ice cream or eat straight from a cutting board.
  • Softened butter: Hey, are you a forgetful scattered brain that forgets to put butter so that it has time to warm up to room temperature? Me too , but if so, you can cut cold butter into ribbons , which will significantly reduce the time it takes for it to become soft and pliable.

See? I told you that everything will be more interesting than potatoes. Although, let’s be honest, potatoes are actually quite addicting.

Clean it up, take care of it, cherish it

Remember when I said that the carbon steel blade was the key to cleaning success? Well, these things are a little more prone to rust than stainless, which really isn’t that big of a deal, you just need to make sure to wash and dry them after every use.

Simply rinse it with warm soapy water, wipe with a bristle brush if necessary, rinse and dry. Boom. Ready. In fact, I prefer things that need to be washed and dried immediately after each use, as their need for immediate attention prevents dishes from accumulating in the sink.

So yes, the y-peeler is much more interesting than we think, but even if its only function was to make peeling potatoes a little faster, it would be a pretty good standalone feature.


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