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For many bakers, autumn doesn’t just mean crisp weather, sweaters, and changing leaves; it also means apple season. This fruit can become many things in the kitchen: pies, crisps, ciders, butters, and sauces. And whether you’re a home cook or running a bakery, if you’re working with apples, an apple peeler is an essential kitchen tool.
Apple peelers simplify working with any volume of apples by removing their peel, making coring, slicing, and baking easier and more effective. Many recipes call for no peel because it can be challenging to eat and hinders fruit from cooking evenly. There are many variations of apple peelers, ranging from handheld and electric to models that clamp to your countertop to those that slice as they peel. Most of these gadgets can be used to peel other items, too.
Efficient peeling comes down to your needs as a cook. Here are our picks for the best apple peelers, whether you’re peeling one apple or 1,000 (or any number in between).
Best Overall: Cucina Pro Peeler and Corer
What We Love: Durable, easy to use and clean, has multiple uses, reasonably priced
What We Don’t Love: Suction only sticks to smoother surfaces, not dishwasher-safe
The majority of Cucina Pro Peeler and Corer’s thousands of reviews give this gadget praise, making it one of the most popular peelers on the market. It’s a classic hand-crank device with bright red enamel over cast iron, giving it a retro feel. It attaches to the countertop with a suction cup, then the apple is attached to prongs on one end. As the handle is cranked, it reaches the blade, which shaves off the peel while simultaneously slicing and coring the apple in a few seconds.
Reviewers claim that this peeler is fast, durable, and easy to use, with many adding that they wish they had bought one sooner. The peeler washes up easily with dish soap and water and can be used for other items, such as potatoes.
Body Materials: Enamel-coated cast iron, stainless steel, rubber suction cup | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Weight: 1 pound | Dimensions (LxWxH): 10.2 x 5.1 x 4 inches
Best Budget: Microplane 2 in 1 Apple Peeler & Corer
What We Love: Made from stainless steel, easy to clean and store, inexpensive
What We Don’t Love: Serrated blade and peeler blade aren’t child-friendly
This cigar-sized handheld peeler has the blade hidden in its cap, so the flat side is used to peel the apple, while the bottom half is the serrated corer. The blades are long-lasting stainless steel, and the handle is an ergonomic, easy-to-grip rubber. Its petite size makes it a great stocking stuffer (and it’s the right price, too), but it also stores easily in a drawer.
Body Materials: Plastic | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Weight: 0.5 pounds | Dimensions (DxWxH): 9.5 x 1.25 x 1.25 inches
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Best Clamp: Victorio Johnny Apple Peeler
What We Love: Small and light, sturdy, built to last, inexpensive
What We Don’t Love: Can be challenging to store, some may prefer suction over clamp
This peeler has an old-school style: It clamps onto the countertop or tabletops that are anywhere from 0.5 to 1.5 inches thick. Just like one grandma (or even great-grandma) would have used, this apple peeler is sturdy, heavy, and made from cast iron coated in enamel. It has a five-year comprehensive warranty (all parts included) but it’s made to last a lifetime.
Of the thousands of reviewers who bought this item online, the majority gave it a high rating, citing its durability and ease of use. It can simply peel or be fitted with an additional blade to core, peel, and slice simultaneously. It’s also an affordable investment for someone who plans to use apples often. Plus, it can be used to peel other vegetables.
Body Material: Enamel-coated cast iron | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Weight: 2 pounds | Dimensions (LxWxH): 12 x 2.5 x 7.5 inches
Best Multifunction: KitchenAid Spiralizer Plus with Peel, Core, and Slice
What We Love: Sturdy, made of stainless steel, accessories are top-rack dishwasher-safe
What We Don’t Love: Must have a KitchenAid mixer, may be awkward to store
If you already have a KitchenAid mixer, you know how great its attachments are at adding versatility to cooking projects and simplifying mundane kitchen tasks. This particular attachment makes peeling, coring, and slicing apples and other produce a snap. The attachment includes fine and medium spiralizers, small and large core spiral slicers, and a peeler.
The KitchenAid brand is synonymous with long-lasting quality, so the peeler should last for years (and it comes with a one-year manufacturer's warranty). The KitchenAid mixer is a great investment for any kitchen where you want to spend time cooking.
Body Material: Stainless steel | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Weight: 2.2 pounds | Dimensions (LxWxH): 12.4 x 5.8 x 2.9 inches
Best Handheld: Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler, 3-Piece Set
What We Love: Affordable, compact, easy to store
What We Don’t Love: Not dishwasher-safe (carbon blade can rust)
Kuhn peelers are a favorite of home cooks and professional chefs alike for many reasons. It’s inexpensive and is small and lightweight, so it can easily be stashed in a drawer, which is perfect for smaller kitchens. Its blade is made of carbon steel so it’s super sharp and stays that way (but it can rust, so it’s not dishwasher-safe—it should be washed and dried by hand immediately after use).
While many handheld peelers require serious pressure and effort from the person peeling, you won’t feel like you’re hacking away at the apples or pushing hard to get them peeled. The blade is so sharp, it just takes a few swipes along the peel and you’re done.
“I like the Y peelers by Kuhn. They’re super easy to use, sharp, swivel well, and fit in your hand really, really well. You can peel apples incredibly quickly with this peeler because it is so simple and doesn't have extraneous bits.” — Chef Joanne Chang, Owner, Flour Bakery, Cafe and Myer, Chang
Body Materials: Plastic and rubber | Blade Material: Carbon steel | Weight: 1.7 ounces | Dimensions (LxWxH): 4 x 2.5 x 1 inches
Related: The Best Kitchenaid Mixers
The Cucina Pro Peeler and Corer is our best overall because it's simple to use, durable, and efficient, making it a popular gadget among online reviewers (view at Amazon). If you prefer something no frills, go with the tried-and-tested Kuhn Rikon Y peeler, which can be used either right- or left-handed (view at Amazon).
What To Look for in an Apple Peeler
Electric vs. Manual
Whether a person chooses a manual or an electric peeler is really up to how much work they’re willing to do and how large a project they’re tackling. Countertop hand-crank peelers can be a fun way for a family to do an activity together (kids love to turn the crank) but if space is a consideration, a handheld peeler that’s easily stashed in a drawer may be your best bet. Larger scale projects that require lots of peeling may warrant an electric peeler.
Countertop vs. Handheld
A handheld peeler is a kitchen staple used for potatoes, carrots, and just about anything else that needs peeling. It’s great for small scale projects that call for fewer than a dozen apples (like baking a couple of pies) because you have to swipe each section of peel away. However, if the project is larger, like making several batches of applesauce, a countertop hand-crank apple peeler will save time and effort in peeling. It will also core and slice the apple, saving steps in seconds flat.
There are plastic hand crank countertop peelers, but I find the cast iron or metal version to be more eco-friendly, longer lasting, and generally more appealing (maybe it’s the classic, old-fashioned vibe they have). For blades, stainless steel is excellent because it won’t rust, but carbon will stay sharp forever.
Ease of Use
An electric peeler takes almost no effort other than attaching the apple to the prongs. A hand crank is also low effort and combines tasks like coring and slicing, while a handheld requires the most effort since the peel is removed one stroke at a time.
What is the difference between an apple peeler and a spiralizer ?
It seems that the apple peeler can be used to create spiralized vegetables very well, like zucchini, however you wouldn’t necessarily put an apple through your zoodle maker. If the spiralizer has a flat setting for wide flat slices, the apples can go through that but then you’d still have to core and slice them.
Can I use an apple peeler if I’m left-handed?
People who are left-handed will have no problem using most peelers. Peelers that have a Y shape also have a swivel blade. Countertop peelers can simply be turned around to face the opposite direction. Electric peelers also work regardless of dexterity.
Do apple peelers work on potatoes?
Yes! Apple peelers are versatile and can work on potatoes and other produce. Many peeler manufacturers, from handheld to electric, will outline the various fruits and vegetables their peeler can be utilized for.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Rebecca Treon is a freelance writer specializing on food, travel, and lifestyles. Her work has appeared in BBC Travel, Huffington Post, Hemispheres, Thrillist, and many others. She is the Denver & The West Correspondent for Time Out and is writing a book called “Colorado Food Trails.”
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