And before you write it off as a single-task kitchen gadget, let me say: I hear you. I did not grow up in a kitchen gadget household. My family’s Thanksgiving pie crust is much more likely to be weighted down by dried beans than pie weights. We make homemade whipped cream using just a metal bowl, a whisk, and some serious wrist strength.
But when it comes to prepping the apples to fill the aforementioned pie or making applesauce for Rosh Hashanah? That’s when we bring out the machinery.
It’s simply exponentially faster than any other method. So speedy, in fact, that even if you only need to peel apples a few times a year (like most Wirecutter staffers who own one), it’s still worth buying—but especially if you’re using it, like my family does, on days like Thanksgiving, when all burners are firing and every saved second counts.
We’ve had our family apple peeler for over 30 years. I’m not sure where it came from, and I actually can’t remember a time without it. But the one I used recently in Wirecutter’s test kitchen—left over from when senior staff writer Lesley Stockton peeled 126 pounds of apples during testing for our food dehydrator guide—is nearly identical. Though we haven’t formally tested them, many of the options available today seem similar. In fact, the technology (if you can call it that) hasn’t changed much since hand-crank peelers were invented over 150 years ago.
Senior editor Jennifer Hunter says that the apple peeler she used all the time growing up—on an organic vegetable farm in Oregon—looked exactly like our staff favorite, too. Although she’s pretty sure hers “came out of an old barn or something.”
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