If you don't have one yet, a Y-peeler will seriously improve your kitchen experience.
There are a lot of repetitive kitchen tasks that cooks consider to be meditative. For instance, stirring risotto can be a restorative activities. However, one such task that no one, and we mean NO one enjoys, is peeling lots of vegetables. It's been considered a punishment for a reason.
While it’s easy to peg that on the vegetables themselves, it’s really the tool that makes vegetable peeling such a tedious activity. Just like with your knives, finding the right peeler can be a game changer and for our money (which is less than $10), no design comes close to the Y vegetable peeler.
“After spending hours in a NYC restaurant kitchen peeling pounds and pounds of carrots, I will never use another vegetable peeler in my life,” says former Food & Wine associate food editor, Julia Heffelfinger, of her Kuhn Rikon model (although there are plenty of other good ones out there too). “The 'Y' head has a dual rotating blade that allows you to peel vegetables twice as fast (and when your chef is yelling at you to “Hurry the f*#k up,” that’s very useful).”
While you probably don’t have a demanding chef lurking over your shoulder at home, a good Y-peeler will change how you perceive the task of peeling vegetables.
First, it's safer: Y-peelers are designed to keep the blades safely away from your fingers and since the blades also rotate, you can peel at an angle that makes any finger-to-blade contact next to impossible.
However, with Vertical peelers that you push away from you, there’s always the worry of your fingers making contact with the blades. That means that you probably peel more slowly and with less confidence. Peelers should be about efficiency and for a tool that many of us use almost as often as a knife or sauté pan, performance definitely counts.
The other great thing about the Y-peeler is its versatility. The peeler’s super-sharp carbon steel blade cuts better than most other peelers and maintains its sharpness incredibly well. Not only does that aid in peeling vegetables quickly, but it also allows you to use the peeler to shave ribbons out of more difficult to handle vegetables like squash or eggplant.
We all love our sexy, high tech kitchen gadgets and our hand-me down utensils, but sometimes it’s the least exciting tool in your kitchen that makes the biggest difference.