Want to avoid food wastage? Then add a vegetable peeler to your must-have kitchen gadget list. In our post, you will find out the different types of vegetable peelers and what produce to use them on.
Vegetable peelers are a great way of preventing food wastage as they peel away the skin of produce without too much delicious flesh.
Some of our favourite kitchen gadgets to try are mandoline/v-slicers to finely slice or julienne your veggies, salad spinners for perfectly dry salad greens and spiralizers ideal for creating different types of veggie ribbons.
Vegetable Peeler Uses
My five favourite ways to use my vegetable peeler:
- To peel fruit and vegetables - helps avoid food wastage.
- To create vegetable ribbons - great for salads or low-carb veggie "pasta".
- For shaving cheese and chocolate - peelers make the task of creating chocolate and cheese shavings so much faster and easier than with a knife.
- Destring beans and celery - get rid of tasteless veggie strings by stripping them off with your peeler.
- For drink garnishes - citrus peels make great cocktail garnishes.
Peeler Types at a Glance
Best Used On
- Jump to each peeler type by clicking on its name in the table.
Don't throw out your leftover potato peels,
they make great crispy potato skin fries.
Toss them in olive oil, sprinkle them with sea salt and your favourite spice blend (our favourite is Cajun), place them in a lined baking tray (don't overcrowd and space them well), then bake them in a hot oven at 220C/430F until they are golden and crisp. Frying them in hot oil also works
Blade & Handle Types
Peeler blades are either ‘fixed’, which don’t move or ‘swivel’, which will rotate while you use them. I like fixed blade peelers for large round-shaped produce as they are much more steady and swivel blades for longer vegetables, as I can move them continuously up and down each vegetable, which can work much faster.
Handles come in either straight or y-shaped. Straight handles usually have vertical blades that offer easy maneuverability around the ends of veggies such as potatoes and are easier to use on smaller produce. Y-handles have horizontal blades that are easier to control and work much faster on long vegetables, excellent for peeling carrots.
The Different Kinds of Peelers
Jonas or Swivel Peelers
Jonas or swivel peelers are the most popular peelers available and offer a straight handle with a vertical blade that swivels when you press down on produce and skims along their skins to remove them.
To use one - hold produce firmly in your hand and move the peeler back and forward in a straight motion. For round produce, hold the produce firmly in your hand and guide the peel around it in a spiral motion.
- Very intuitive and easy to use.
- Ideal to use on long vegetables like carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, asparagus, etc.
- Also works well on firm and small produce such as small/medium potatoes, broccoli stems, radishes, etc.
- Can be used for vegetable ribbons on long veggies, e.g. carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, etc.
- Most varieties will have a small hook at the top, which is great for removing the eyes from potatoes or pineapples and any blemishes.
- Also great for shaving cheese and chocolate.
- Difficult to use on soft produce such as tomatoes, eggplant and citrus fruits.
- Hard to use on large vegetables such as pumpkin.
If you are looking for one peeler for all the basics, then this is the one to choose as it is suitable for most of your peeling needs.
Swiss, Speed or Y-Peelers
The second most popular peeler on the market looks like the letter Y. With a horizontal swivel blade and a Y-shaped handle.
To use one - hold produce firmly in your hand, then start at the bottom, then peel the skin towards you or away from you.
I just love Y-peelers for creating gorgeous vegetable ribbons for my salads, and they are much cheaper than spiralizers! These are also great for shredding cabbage for coleslaw.
- Best for large, round produce such as large potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, beets and apples, etc.
- Also works with long veggies, such as asparagus, carrots, parsnips, etc.
- PERFECT for vegetable ribbons on long veggies, e.g. asparagus, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini.
- Makes quick work of shredding cabbage for coleslaw.
- A chef's favourite because the wide handle allows for greater control.
- Difficult to use on soft produce such as tomatoes, eggplant and citrus fruits.
- Not as intuitive as the swivel peeler and can be a bit tricky to learn how to use for newbies.
This is my personal favourite peeler as I find that I have much better control when I am peeling my fruits and veggies, as well as doing an excellent job of creating ribbons.
Called Lancashire, as that area of the United Kingdom is known for its potato farming, it is the original potato peeler.
It has a straight handle and a fixed blade, and it will usually have a pointed end for removing the eyes and blemishes from potatoes, pineapples, etc.
The original Lancashire peelers had string wrapped around the handle, but you will no longer see this in the newer versions.
To use one - it works like a swivel peeler, firmly hold produce in your hand, then move the peeler up or down in a straight motion. It will be harder to continuously move the peeler up and down the produce as the blade does not swivel.
For round produce, hold the produce firmly in your hand and guide the peel around it in a spiral motion. Because they are sturdy they are great peelers for citrus and ginger.
- Extremely versatile and gives you more control than swivel peelers.
- Great on a variety of firm fruits and vegetables (potatoes, carrots, zucchini, apples, pears, beets, pumpkin, etc.) whether they be long or round.
- Excellent for citrus and ginger.
- Great for shaving cheese and chocolate.
- Can strain your wrist if used for long periods of time.
- Not recommended for soft produce such as tomatoes and peaches.
If you are looking for one easy-to-use, versatile peeler, then the Lancashire peeler is the one for y u. It is a great all-around peeler suitable for most of your fruit and vegetable peeling needs.
Serrated peelers have a serrated blade, a tiny version of what you will find on a bread knife. The serrated edges gently cut into the flesh of produce without squishing them. This makes them perfect for softer produce such as tomatoes, eggplants, peaches, kiwis, etc.
How to use one - Place blade of serrated peeler on the skin of your produce and gently push the blade downward to catch the skin and away from you.
- The serrated blade is perfect for soft-skinned produce such as tomatoes and peaches.
- Prevents food wastage as it peels the skin without too much of the flesh.
- It is not very versatile as it is only suitable for soft produce.
- The teeth of the serrated blade catch on harder produce which makes it difficult to peel them.
Save heaps and avoid wastage by using a serrated peeler on all of your soft-skinned fruits and veggies.
Helps you create uniform julienne slices quickly and easily y. Similar to a serrated peeler but with bigger edges that are spaced wider apart to create perfectly sized julienne strips.
To use one - hold produce firmly in your hand and either move the peeler towards you or away from you.
- Makes perfectly even julienne strips to use in salads or as veggie "pasta" ribbons.
- Cannot be used for peeling fruit and vegetables.
Ideal for perfectionists as it gives you even veggie strips and it is a much cheaper option for creating vegetable ribbons and strips that are great as veggie "pasta" or to use in salads.
Mechanical Peelers or Peeler Machines
Can be either hand-cranked or electric and can be used for round or oval-shaped produce such as potatoes, beets, apples, pears, etc.
You fix any firm produce to a blade, then either turn the hand crank or flip a switch, and the peel comes off in one long spiral strip.
They usually have suction cups to attach to your worktop, so they don't slip, and many may also core and slice your produce.
To use one - This will depend on the type of model you buy; usually, you will firmly attach produce to a stand and either hand-crank or flip a switch to peel it.
- Very easy to use, great if you have difficulty holding vegetables and peelers in your hands.
- Quickly and easily peel fruits and veggies.
- Very ergonomic and ideal for people that have problems with their hands or wrists.
- Takes up a lot of space.
- Electric versions use electricity and may require replacement parts.
- More expensive than handheld peelers.
If you have a huge sack of potatoes or a bag of apples to peel, then mechanical peelers could be the perfect solution!
Personally, I prefer to save on cupboard space, but I think this is the most ergonomic peeler you will find, so it would be ideal for those with arthritis or hand injuries from repetitive strains as they do not require much effort.
A round unit that incorporates three styles of blades all in one unit - standard, serrated or julienne.
To use one - simply select the desired blade (standard, serrated or julienne) by rotating the unit's hub until it is fully exposed, hold produce firmly in your hand, and then move the blade up or down it.
- It has three different styles of blades to choose from standard, serrated and julienne.
- It is suitable for a large variety of produce.
- Cumbersome and awkward to use and is not suitable to use on large produce.
This is my second least favourite of all of the peelers, I found it quite chunky to use, and I had difficulty turning the blades; while great in theory, I still prefer to have three separate slimline peelers instead of this all-in-one unit.
Hand, Palm or Finger Peelers
This peeler can either be slipped on your finger like a ring, or it can be held in the palm of your hand. The blade is contained inside a plastic cover that sits in the palm of your hand. Some finger peelers may also have two ring slots.
This can be a more comfortable and ergonomic way of peeling produce as there is no need to hold anything in your hand.
To use one - slot the ring onto your finger and, with the peeler comfortably placed in your palm, glide up and down produce.
- Allows the peeling of produce without having to hold a handle.
- Comfortable and ergonomic.
- Can't see what you are peeling.
This is my least favourite of all of the peelers I found it quite cumbersome, and I hated not being able to see what I was peeling.
If you are looking for a more ergonomic option, then I recommend a rotary peeler instead.
How to Sharpen a Vegetable Peeler
- Take the back of a knife or the tapered handle of a fork.
- Then run it gently in the groove at the back of the dull peeler.
- This doesn't "sharpen" it precisely, but it does straighten the blade and makes peeling produce a lot easier.
- Alternatively, you can use a metal nail file. Start with the bottom blade, hold the file at the same angle as the blade and move it backwards and forwards between the blades. Flip the blade over to sharpen the top side of the peeler and repeat. You will need to do this approximately 10-12 times.
Peeler Frequently Asked Questions
You ABSOLUTELY have to; otherwise, you may transfer any dirt or bacteria from the outside of the fruit to the inside while peeling.
Well, it depends; a good all-around peeler would be a Lancashire peeler, though it can be difficult to use for long periods.
For peeling soft produce, a serrated peeler is your best option.
Try swivel peelers for long narrow produce and y-peelers for large round produce. Julienne peelers for cutting long strips to use in salads or as veggie pasta such as zoodles.
For an ergonomic fast peeler, try a mechanical peeler.
Either a swivel or Lancashire peeler for small to medium potatoes or a Y-peeler for large potatoes.
Y-peelers have a wider handle compared to most swivel peelers, which means you can hold and use the peeler with a lighter grip, and this can be more comfortable.
I love using my vegetable peelers to string green beans (swivel or Lancashire peelers are best) and to destring celery strings (Y-peelers are best here).
Use them to shave cheese or chocolate (swivel or Lancashire peelers are best).
Or to create vegetable ribbons for salads and veggie "pasta" (Y-peelers are best).
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