I'm pretty sure mine is from the '70s.

By Maria Yagoda
October 08, 2020
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When it comes to kitchen equipment, I tend to make big purchases, and then never consider replacing them for the rest of my days. Many smaller tools that clutter my drawers, like mandolins and peelers and can openers, are extras I stole from my parents, who'd already used them for decades.

So when Modern Comfort Food author Ina Garten recently told me that you should probably replace your zesters and vegetable peelers every year, I was scandalized. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought to replace my current peeler, even though it's basically as blunt as a butter knife.

Credit: Noam Galai / Getty Images

"Vegetable peelers get rusty, they get dull, and they're very cheap, so you can just throw them out and buy new ones," Garten said. "Every once in a while I do that."

Shocked, I turned to Food & Wine associate food editor Kelsey Youngman and senior editor Mary-Frances Heck to ask them: Do I really have to replace my dull, rust-ravaged peeler? The short answer: yes.

"Once the blade goes, you're better off with a new sharp peeler," said Youngman. "In terms of wasting as little as possible, keep your peeler clean, dry, and safely stored, and it'll last as long as possible before needing to be replaced."

Both Youngman and Heck recommend the same peelers: the three-pack of Kuhn Rickon ones ($13, Amazon).

Credit: Amazon

Buy it: Kuhn Rikon Swiss Peeler 3-Pack, $13 at amazon.com

"I like the y-shaped ones. They offer the easiest grip for my hands, so they're the most efficient for me," said Youngman. "They've got a nicely sharp carbon steel blade and are easy to maintain; you just have to keep it dry, washing after use and drying completely to prevent rust. They're small, so they're super easy to store in my super small kitchen."

Heck agreed. "I always get the three-pack of Kuhn Rikon ones so I can throw away the one that dulls (or breaks; they aren’t the most sturdy) and not miss a beat. Good to have a backup. Great stocking stuffer."

However, buying new peelers every year isn't the only way to keep your peelers sharp. You could also, well, keep your peelers sharp. Below, watch Heck demonstrate how to sharpen a peeler using a honing steel.

"It is 10,000% a line cook hack," said Heck, who uses Wüstof's 10" honing steel and suggests investing in one. "You’ll only ever need to buy one, so make it a good one."

Note taken. But first, I'm buying these cute little guys.

Credit: Amazon

Buy it: Kuhn Rikon Swiss Peeler 3-Pack, $13 at amazon.com