A simple peeler consists of a sharpened metal blade that is passed over the surface of the item, thereby removing the skin and revealing the flesh of the fruit or vegetable underneath. This blade is attached to a handle that can be made of wood, plastic, or metal in a variety of configurations. With most peelers, the piece of fruit or vegetable is held in one hand while using the peeler with the other. This is an uncomplicated task that is performed in millions of kitchens throughout the world on a daily basis. The peeler can perform a multitude of functions in a busy kitchen, from removing the skin from the humble potato to stripping the papery skin off garlic cloves, and peeling fruit prior to slicing. Whether a single-use dedicated peeler is required, or a multi-function tool is necessary for carrying out a variety of culinary jobs, there are now numerous types of peeler available. They are specially designed to cope effectively with all such regular food preparation tasks.
The simplicity of the blade and handle arrangement of the first peelers that were produced, and that became available to professional chefs and home cooks, cannot really be beaten. That having been said, modern advancements in material production, ergonomic design, and sophisticated manufacturing techniques have all combined to offer a wide range of options when it comes to choosing this unassuming but essential kitchen tool.
Types of Peeler
As with most kitchen tools there are several kinds and designs of peeler currently available in the shops. The most useful ones are listed below.
These are cheap and simple to use devices that do the job very well.
The Classic Lancashire Peeler
This is the traditional style of peeler that is most commonly used for peeling potatoes and apples and other hard fruits; with a simple arrangement of handle and a sharp blade that works like a knife, this peeler can be used by left or right-handed cooks, as the blade is straight and double-edged, allowing for peeling in either direction. Produced with wooden, plastic, or metal handles, the Lancashire peeler is a lightweight, uncomplicated kitchen aide that can be used in the preparation of any number of ingredients.
The Y Peeler
A different configuration of blade and handle gives this peeler its name of Y peeler, which describes the shape of the handle exactly. The blade is attached at either side of the two ends of the Y; this kind of peeler is also known as the speed peeler due to its ease of rapid use. This peeler is usually constructed of metal or plastic and is available in a range of colours, is easy to store, and makes light and speedy work of vegetable preparation.
The Palm Peeler
The palm peeler works in a slightly different way to other manual peelers. It is held in the palm of the hand instead of being held in the traditional way in the fingers. This makes it a good choice for anyone with mobility issues as the flat of the hand instead of the fingers exerts the necessary pressure to peel the item effectively.
The Mechanical Peeler
A range of combination peelers is available that will not only peel but will also core, slice, and cut fruit and vegetables safely and efficiently. This versatility is achieved with the use of the attachments that are supplied with the peeler. These items take up more space for storage, but if a larger quantity of food is needed to be prepared regularly, one of these machines could well be worth the extra space it requires. They come in a variety of designs but most are fixed to a work surface using the integral clamps.
A boon for any professional chef in a busy kitchen, or a home cook with very large quantities of fruit and vegetables to prepare, or for any cooks with mobility problems or a lack of grip in their hands, electric peelers can make what would be a long job into a simple and easy task.
Battery Operated Peelers
A simple peeler with the advantage of being battery powered, these motorised peelers take the hard work out of preparing fruit and vegetables prior to cooking. The vibrating blade of the battery-operated peeler requires less pressure to be applied and will remove the skin from fruit and vegetables just as effectively as does a manual version; these are great for those who have limited strength in the wrist or hand.
There are several types of electric peeler to choose from. The drum type is suitable for peeling very large quantities; this useful electrically powered gadget will remove skins quickly and efficiently. Some versions have the added function of also being a salad spinner. Also available are rotary type peelers that will remove the skins from one piece of fruit or single vegetable at a time.
There are a few peelers available that are designed to deal with a specific fruit or vegetable.
The Garlic Peeler
Peeling garlic can be both tricky and time consuming, especially if a recipe calls for a number of cloves; a garlic peeler can solve this problem. This innovatively designed product consists of a simple tube of silicone; the garlic clove is placed inside the tube which is then rolled vigorously between the palms of the hands, leaving the garlic cleanly peeled and ready to be used for cooking. Available in a range of bright colours, this easy-clean gadget will prove invaluable for any cook who finds peeling the parchment-like skin off individual cloves to be a real chore.
An integrated gadget that not only peels a pineapple, but also cores and slices it; if wanting to incorporate healthy fresh ingredients into the diet, this peeling machine will prove invaluable. These peelers come in white plastic or stainless steel, and they all operate in basically the same way performing the function very well.
Find Peelers on eBay
eBay searches are easy to make. In this instance they can be performed either by typing the word ‘peelers’ into the search box on the homepage or by following the links from the Home & Garden tab. By choosing this tab and clicking on the Kitchen link, a series of options will be presented, one of which will be Food Preparation & Tools. Once the prospective buyer has navigated to this section of listings, the pane on the left side of the screen will allow further refinement of the search, narrowing down the search to specific types of peeler, by cost or material, for example. The first thing to do when considering buying an item like a peeler on eBay is to do some research. Get to know the product, for example, the types of peeler that are available, the type that best suits the need, the price ranges this item falls into, so realistic comparisons can be drawn and the correct item can be bought at a competitive price. Deciding on the right peeler is a matter of identifying the specific requirements of the individual – will the peeler be used for multiple purposes or is a certain type of peeler required? The outcome of this decision will influence the search on eBay, as the dynamic menus can help in finding exactly the right item. Searching for peelers will result in many listings, and the category list will then narrow the search to just those products that may be of interest. At this point, browse within the specific category to find the item that offers the best price, the correct style or type, and the best delivery terms.
The wide variety of peelers that are offered on the eBay site means that there are good chances in finding the one that suits the requirements, whether it is an economy version for a novice cook or a more sophisticated multi-function tool for the more experienced chef.