How to Use a Potato Peeler the Right Way

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Learn how to use a potato peeler the right way to take advantage of the most underrated tool in your kitchen.

Some our favorite recipes—scalloped potatoes, clam chowder and potato salad—are loaded with spuds. We might even make them more frequently if peeling potatoes weren’t so tedious.

Gone are the days when you have to peel your slippery potatoes with a paring knife. Enter the potato peeler, perhaps the niftiest gadget in your kitchen. Here’s how to use a peeler, plus some tricks from TikTok that’ll help you make the most of the tool.

How to Use a Potato Peeler

Scrub up the potatoes you’ll need for your recipe, grab a peeler and let’s get started.

Directions

Step 1: Hold the potato in your non-dominant hand

Peeling a potato next to a sink on wood kitchen countertopRoy JAMES Shakespeare/Getty Images

If you’re right-handed, start with the potato in your left hand. Be sure to position your fingers so they’re grasping the edges of the potato without sticking up to avoid getting nicked by the blade as you peel. Hold the potato over a cutting board and grab the peeler with your right hand. If you’re left-handed, do the opposite.

Step 2: Peel the potato away from you

Making sure that your fingers are out of the way, run the peeler’s blade along the surface of the potato. We like to hold the potato at a slight angle downward and run the blade down toward the cutting board (away from us) for maximum safety.

Step 3: Remove the eyes

After you peel the potato, you may notice small divots (also called “eyes”) that still have peels on them. TikTok user @The_EugeFood pointed out that peelers often come equipped with a convenient scoop for banishing the eyes on potatoes. All you have to do is dig in, pry out the eyes and voila! Your favorite potato soup recipe now comes totally eye-free.

@the_eugefood Did you know about this? #potato #tiktokchef #cookingtips #kitchentips #kitchenhacks #cookinghacks #peeler #potatopeeler #foodprep #randomthings ♬ original sound – The Euge food


If your peeler doesn’t have a scoop, you can use the tip of a paring knife. Alternatively, you can continue to shave off the surface with the peeler’s blade until the eye is removed.

The Best Potato Peelers

You need just one tool for this job. Here are the potato peelers we recommend.

  • If you’re looking for an inexpensive, low-profile peeler, you can’t go wrong with Kuhn Rikon’s Original Swiss Peeler. It’s lightweight and easy to store, and it has a scoop on the side for removing potato eyes. (More on that later.)
  • For a peeler that can also julienne, we recommend the Precision Kitchenware Peeler. One side features the regular wide-strip peeler for removing potato peels or creating zucchini ribbons. The other side has tiny teeth that split the peel into tiny strips to make quick work of prepping recipes like glazed julienned carrots.
  • If you prefer the flexibility of a swivel peeler, try the OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler. Most of these peelers only have a blade on one side, so you can peel in just one direction, but many cooks find them safer and easier to use.

Tips for Using a Potato Peeler

Can you peel a potato in both directions?

While we generally suggest peeling a potato away from your body for safety, it is possible to peel a potato in both directions if you have a peeler with a double-sided blade. We can thank @Liv.Dalton on TikTok for showing us that the dual blade on your peeler can actually handle both directions for easy peeling. This trick makes quick work of taking down a pile of potato, but you’ll want to be careful to avoid nicking your fingers.

@liv.dalton #foodhacks #fyp #foryou #lifehacks ♬ original sound – Liv Dalton

How do you clean a vegetable peeler?

It’s easy for chunks of potatoes or other vegetables to get lodged in the sharp blades of the peeler, and they’re almost impossible to clean if allowed to dry! Instead, fill a small bowl with warm, soapy water. When you’re finished peeling vegetables, immediately swish the peeler in the water to remove any large bits. Then, use a kitchen sponge and carefully scrub around the blade to remove any remaining food pieces.

What’s the fastest way to peel a potato?

If you have a ton of potatoes to peel, speed will be your friend! Use this potato-peeling hack using a fork to get the job done as quickly (and safely) as possible.

Can you use a peeler on other foods?

Yes! A peeler can be useful for all kinds of foods with skin, including carrots, cucumbers, eggplant and butternut squash. The limitations don’t end at produce, either. Peel thin ribbons of zucchini for a salad, slice off strips of cheese instead of grating it, remove orange peels for use in cocktails or use the peeler to shave chocolate onto your favorite dessert.

Now that you know how to use a potato peeler, put your skills to use with these potato recipes for those who love spuds.

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Lindsay D. Mattison
After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family.