A few months after I graduated college, I got a job as a prep cook at a French restaurant, where I learned that snails come in cans and if you spill a tray of 12-hour braised duck confit on the floor, it’s kind of a big deal. But one good thing came from this experience: I met the love of my life, aka the Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler. Before the fall of 2017, I was only familiar with straight swivel peelers. I never gave vegetable peelers a second thought. It was one of many essential kitchen tools in my culinary tool belt that I’d reach for to make skinless mashed potatoes, butternut squash soup, or apple pie. But it was never something that I would, say, bring to my grandparents’ house to use on Thanksgiving (eventually, I just bought them their own).
Until one day, Maria, the kind dishwasher who I am forever indebted to, saw me struggle to peel a 40 lb box of potatoes for our hand-cut frites. The stainless steel peeler that I was using had a swivel blade that was on its last leg and I had blisters from the uncomfortable handle. She winked at me and pulled a banana-colored peeler from the front pocket on her chef’s coat. “Mama, here,” she said to me. “Oh gracias!” I replied, not knowing what to make of her generosity. That is, until I started to peel. The fluid, sharp motion of the blade hitting the vegetables, and the large surface area that it covered, was mind-boggling. I saw the words “Kuhn Rikon” molded into the candy-colored plastic handle and I immediately ordered four.
This Y-shaped vegetable peeler made peeling potatoes an enjoyable task (shhh, don’t tell the sous chef I said this). But contrary to what I have told myself, there are other vegetable peelers on the market that are just as good and dare I say better than the colorful Swiss peeler.
The one, the only Kuhn Rikon in all it’s rainbow glory. Not convinced? Take it from the nearly 15,000 Amazon shoppers who gave this vegetable peeler a five-star rating. But I haven’t been totally honest with you yet. The thing is, this vegetable peeler is cheap and eventually, it will prove that. My blades get rusty within a few months of use and one even fell off altogether. Should any of that deter you or I from stocking up for the first or hundredth time? Absolutely not.
2. Runner Up: OXO Good Grips Pro Y-Peeler, $11.99
Every traditional Rom-Com follows a similar framework—typically, it’s a heterosexual pair. Sometimes the girl is uptight, sometimes she’s not. Sometimes the guy and the girl are best friends and sometimes they’re enemies. Ultimately they fall in love but not without a little turbulence from the cooler, hotter, smarter guy or gal who comes along.
That’s the OXO Good Grips Y–Peeler. I would never say that it’s better than the Kuhn Rikon (but it is) nor that you should buy it instead of the Kuhn Rikon (but you should). It’s just that I’ve owned one of these for longer than four Kuhn Rikon peelers and you really can’t beat the ergonomic grippy handle on this peeler.
This stainless steel vegetable peeler has multiple blades including two double-sided straight blades for your usual peeling jobs (think potatoes and carrots), a serrated one for thick skins such as lemons, butternut squash, or eggplant, and a blade to julienne vegetables for matchstick carrots or cucumbers.
4. Amazon’s Pick: OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler, $10.98
If you are a devoted user of a swivel vegetable peeler, it doesn’t get better than this tool from OXO. It’s comfortable to hold, thanks to the nonslip grip handle, and promises to resist rust for years.
You’re probably sick of hearing about how good OXO vegetable peelers are…but they are just so good! This one is extra-wide, which is ideal for extra-large vegetables like eggplant, butternut or acorn squash, or pumpkins.
Which vegetable peeler do you pick up for mighty kitchen tasks? Share your favorite tool in the comments below!
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