Sticky hands, be gone.
“I am here to tell you you’ve been putting way too much effort into peeling an orange—but that’s all going to change, with the help of a spoon.”
Food & Wine Mad Genius Justin Chapple is back, and he’s here to save us from the famously messy and time-consuming task of peeling oranges. “The thing I hate about peeling an orange,” says Justin, “is that you’ve got to dig your thumb into it. You sometimes miss and go right into the fruit, or you leave a bunch of pith. But this trick is going to change your life.”
All you’ll need is an orange, a spoon and a small paring knife. Score around the center of the orange with your knife—only cut about ⅛ of an inch deep, without puncturing the citrus segments—and then insert the handle of your spoon between the peel and the fruit. Work your way around the orange until you feel the peel beginning to release. You’ll be able to remove half of the peel—in one piece!—in a matter of seconds. For minimal mess, put the peel back on and use it to guard the fruit while removing the other half.
This painless, juiceless, pulpless method will make it easy to tackle Candied Oranges, Duck à l’Orange or any of your favorite orange and blood orange recipes. And these versatile citrus fruits aren’t the only thing you can peel with a spoon—check out this hack to peel your ginger in a breeze.
Plus, if discarding a pile of orange-peel scraps has always felt like a bit of a waste to you, there’s an added bonus. Justin points out that, with this method, you’ll be left with “awesome little cups that you can fill with sorbet or fruit salad!” Or, you know, Jell-o shots.
For more kitchen hacks, check out the rest of Food & Wine’s Mad Genius Tips.