How to sharpen a potato peeler

Imagine the scene. You’ve got a whole family of mouths to feed and a big sack of potatoes. All you have to do is peel the skin.

But horror of horror, your peeler doesn’t work. It’s blunt. And no matter how hard you try, that skin isn’t coming off!

So to avoid all that, let’s learn how to sharpen your peeler and see what to do with any other spuds that may be left over.

How to sharpen your potato peeler

If the aforementioned horror has happened, and your peeler is blunt, there are two main options.

1. Flip it over

As long as you haven’t been using both sides of the peeler, then this is the option for you. First remove the blade and find the blunt side, then simply flip the blade round, place back in the peeler and use the sharper edge.

2. Sharpen the blade

For an even simpler answer to blunt peelers, get a cheap pairing knife and run it across the top blade of the peeler; in both direction on both sides. The metal on metal action will have you peeling potatoes quickly in no time.

How to peel a potato without a peeler

What if you can’t find a peeler or you have broken yours? Well then there is another way to peel potatoes without any tools at all.

First, make a small incision around the circumference of the centre of the potato, then boil it till cooked right through. Remove the spud and place in ice water. Leave for 5 to 10 seconds.

Remove the potato from the ice water and with both hands, twist the skin ever so slightly then pull it. The skin will come off with ease.

How to peel without your hands

Electric potato peeler

Spudalicious

Some people have problems with dexterity and find peeling spuds a difficult task. But thankfully, there is help at hand.

With an electric potato peeler you can peel the skin off in minutes, without having to do any work at all.

Place a small amount of water into the bowl of the automatic potato peeler and then throw in the potatoes. The blade will then remove any skin, leaving you with naked spuds prepped and raring to go.

How to power a clock with a potato

Potato with battery

Not quite how it works
Source: Matthew McElliot

If you have one potato left after peeling and cooking, then you may want to take a look at this trick. Because believe it or not, a potato can power a small clock.

You’ll need two potatoes, with a galvanized nail inserted into each one. Then put a short piece of copper wire into each potato, as far away from the nail as possible.

With an alligator clip, connect the positive terminal of the battery compartment to the copper wire in potato one. Then connect the negative terminal to the nail in potato two. To finish the circuit get a third alligator clip and connect the nail in potato one, to the copper wire in potato two.

As if by magic, you’ll have a functioning clock, powered only by a potato.

Whether you’ve peeled your potatoes, with a nice sharp blade, a little water based trick or a clever gadget, you are ready to cook. But just keep an eye on your potato clock to make sure they don’t burn!


Essential winter gadgets

These days there is a gadget for everything, but some are more useful than others. The laptop desk that attaches to your steering wheel is a certainly rather stupid idea, and the less said about the iPotty the better.

But there are plenty of gadgets that make life easier, and in the cold winter months that’s just what we want.

So to make the festive season go smoothly this year, here are our top winter gadgets. Enjoy!

Dehumidifer

peltier-dehumidifier-AquaDri.

Say no to chesty coughs this winter

In the months that end with ‘R’ the air is moist due to low temperatures. This can cause damp, which in turn can cause mould spores and dust mites, both are bad news for your health.

With a dehumidifier however that risk is diminished. It works by collecting moisture either via a fan, electric current on crystal and turning it into water. Simply dispose of the water, and job done.

Log splitter

D3803 Dual Logmaster Logsplitter 2 Cj

Fire the fast way

Chopping wood is always a hard task, but especially in the depths of winter. No one wants to stand in the cold swinging a rather dangerous axe around! That is where a log splitter comes in handy.

Simply put, log splitters make better fires. This is because wood that has been split into smaller pieces burns better. The oxygen needed to keep a fire going has more access to the wood as there is a larger surface area, and this in turn means a brighter, warmer fire.

Instead of a sharp point being swung at speed, a hydraulic or foot operated log splitter works with a splitting wedge, meaning you don’t have to strain your back and you can split more wood than you could by hand.

Halogen oven

Halogen Oven

Impromptu roast dinner anyone?

With winter bills rising, we’re all looking for ways to save money, and a halogen oven will slash bills. Based on a 1300w 12 litre halogen oven cooking a chicken in 40 minutes, you’ll only have to spend 9p on electricity!

You may be wondering how a chicken can cook in 40 minutes? Well, because of hi tech halogen bulb technology and a fan to ensure all of the bowl gets heat, a halogen oven is able to cook tasty food fast.

Potato peeler

Electric potato peeler

How do you like your spuds in the morning?

Stews, roast dinners and soups are the epitome of winter warming food – and potatoes are often an important part of the meal.

When shivering and in need of a winter warmer, like the traditional Welsh dish of cawl, peeling potatoes can be a time consuming task. And for those with joint problems, it can be painful too.

But an automatic potato peeler uses a rotating blade to quickly take the skin off your spuds. Meaning those with poor dexterity needn’t be in pain, those that get cold hands needn’t get numb fingers and those who have a huge Christmas dinner to make, can get on basting the turkey!

For hands that don’t ache, a fire that burns well and fully functioning lungs our gadgets will see you right. And if you do want to research halogen oven recipes online, avoid the steering wheel lap desk, the M1 is for driving after all.


What potato peeler is the best?

The colder months are upon us which means a change in the menu. It’s out with the salads and in with stews, roasts and shepherd’s pie. But while the thought of winter stodge might get your stomach rumbling, peeling all those potatoes can prove time consuming.

So let’s see if we can make light work of scraping the spuds. Here’s our guide to peelers – which potato peeler is the best?

Knife

peeling potato with a knife

Watch those fingers
Source: My Home Cooking

The manly man’s choice for peeling spuds, and also the simplest. But with simplicity comes a lack of sophistication.

Unless the user is incredibly skilled, expect a lot of potato loss, and wasted time. If the user isn’t skilled, then get the first aid kit ready as a dull knife or a slip could result in injury.

Fixed handle blade

peelingpotatoes

Spuds ready for the pot
Source: Canning Basics

Also known as the Lancashire peeler, this type of peeler, resembles a knife but is much safer because the sharp edge is hidden behind a guard. The French version, the ‘économe’, has two sharp edges, one that peels the skin, and one that’s angled to regulate depth.

Swiss designed swivel peelers have a fixed handle with a moveable blade. This enables the peeler blade to follow the surface of the vegetable or fruit.

Swivel and fixed blade peelers are great for carrots and parsnips, but for potatoes they can be time consuming as they don’t cover a huge area.

Y-shaped peeler

Y peeler portrait

Make haste with those spuds
Source: Journey Kitchen

Also known as a speed peeler and resembling a razor, the Y-shaped peeler variants make quick work of potato skin, and are very good for carrots and parsnips.

Most Y-shaped peelers have an ergonomic handle which is good news for stiff fingers. They also have a handy blade or loop on the edge for getting rid of unwanted potato eyes.

Speed peelers are safe and make quick work of potatoes and other veg. But if you have lots of spuds to peel, you may want to think bigger.

Electric potato peeler

Electric potato peeler

Super clean spuds

Why bother peeling by hand when a machine can do it for you? Throw the potatoes in the barrel, add a little water, and the rotating scourers will do the rest.

An electric potato peeler is great for those cooking large meals, and can often be found in professional kitchens.

The labour saving design of the automatic potato peeler, makes it the perfect choice for those with limited movement, a hungry horde to feed, or those who simply don’t have the time to peel by hand.

Mechanical peeler

mechanical peeler

Inspector Gadget’s potato peeler?
Source: Rain Coast Culture

Funky kitchen gadgets are becoming more and more popular, and the crank operated peeler is no exception.

The user turns the crank, and the fruit or vegetable, which is held in a vice, is pushed along a blade and the skin is peeled.

As they are designed primarily for apples, this type of peeler may not work so well on potatoes. But there is no doubting the funkiness of the device. Unfortunately it can only peel one spud at a time, and let’s face it, who wants to wait longer than necessary to tuck into that bowl of warming stew?

Famous potatoes that escaped the peeler

You fry them, mash them, boil them and bake them, but what about the ones that escaped the potato peeler?

Well some became celebrities. And here is our list of the most famous potato inspired characters of all time.

Mr Potato Head

Mr Potato head with box

The Godfather of Potatoes
Source: Talking Points

D.O.B: 01/05/1952

Type: King Edward Potato

Bio: Since the 1950s, this witty no-nonsense spud has been pulling more shapes than a disco dancing packet of crisps. His role in the Toy Story trilogy turned him into a Hollywood star, but this hasn’t changed him. He still loves Mrs Potato Head and is prone to throwing body parts when annoyed.

Mrs Potato Head

Mrs Potato head on black background

Mr Potato Head’s better half
Source: Puzzle-Games

D.O.B: She won’t tell anyone

Type: Sweet Potato

Bio: Whether she is keeping her husband in check or looking for her lost eye, she has the same short temper as Mr Potato Head. Not quite as old as her hubby, she is perhaps the most well known female potato in the world. And like her husband, has Toy Story to thank for her Hollywood fame.

Spud

Spud from Trainspotting

He looks like a naughty Spud
Source: Ford on Film

D.O.B: Unknown

Type: Beer Battered Chip

Bio: Spud is one of those lovable idiots. With a thick Scottish accent and a rather odd interview technique, this tattie spends his Edinburgh days wasting his life away. Often seen with pals, Renton, Begbie and Sick Boy when not being detained at her majesty’s pleasure.

Mr Chips

Mr Chips from Catchphrase

Say what you see…
Source: Digital Spy

D.O.B: 1986

Type: Unknown

Bio: The talented and instantly recognisable mime potato/robot of classic TV show, Catchphrase. He may have been the sidekick to Roy Walker (and more recently Stephen Mulhern), but Mr. Chips always steals the show with his animated antics. Remember “Say what you see, if you see it, say it!”

Bodger and Badger

Bodger and Badger close up

Kids TV cult legends
Source: Photobucket

D.O.B: 13/09/1989

Type: N/A

Bio: Not actually a spud, but they make the list for their infamous, and slightly unhealthy love of mash potato. Badger, was a notorious troublemaker, often seen hurling balls of mash at his human co-stars, much to the joy of children of the 90s who see them as cult heroes.

Can you think of famous potatoes or spud based characters we may have neglected?

From automatic potato peelers to mincers – our top 5 amazing kitchen wonders

The automatic potato peeler

With some kitchen gadgets it’s a case of, once you have ‘em, you simply can’t live without ‘em.

We’ve rounded up our all time top 5 kitchen gadgets that are a must-have for any modern kitchen.

1.) The toaster. What, after all, would we do without toasted bread? It just goes with everything – whack some jam on it, or baked beans, or Marmite, or just simply spread some butter on and enjoy.

2.) The Kettle. Hot water in seconds, brilliant. The world’s economy would grind to a halt if tea and coffee took more than minutes to make. Thank you kettles for keeping our bellies warm and our minds alert.

3.) The automatic potato peeler. Cooking is fun. Peeling potatoes isn’t. Why spend hours doing the tedious bit when you can bung all your potatoes in the automatic potato peeler, flip a switch and watch in wonder as the skins disappear? You’ll find one of these in every professional kitchen, so why not have one in yours – it’s something you’ll never regret.

4.) The mincer. It’s great- you buy your own beef, making sure you get a really good cut, put it through the meat mincer and you’ve got excellent quality mincemeat – just like that. It’s so much better than the stuff you buy in the supermarket – or even from your local butcher. Trust me, once you’ve tried it you’ll be hooked.

5.) The bread maker. If you could bottle the smell of freshly baked bread then you’d be a millionaire, but in the meantime there’s simply no substitute for the real thing. A bread maker is therefore the ideal gadget. Just stick in your ingredients, hit a switch to say exactly what type of bread you would like and… voila! Freshly baked bread on demand.

Too freaky for the potato peeler

Some things are just too weird to be sacrificed to the potato peeler, blender or oven. Just take a look at these weird veg (and see how many you can identify)…

Some sort of bizzare alien planet?
Photo by Jitze Couperus

No idea!
Photo by Cindy Funk

Weird sea creatures?
Photo by Glen

A gigantic monster centipede?
Photo by Mark

Vegetable maracas!
Photo by Ian

Loved up veg
Photo by Zep 10

Hmmm...
Photo by Roger H. Goun

Alien cucumbers
Photo by Tony Hisgett

Definately another life form
Photo by Till Westermayer

Freaky tadpole
Photo by Anne-Lise Heinrichs

Butt tomato!
Photo by Dmitry Fedoseev

Super cool dude veg
Photo by Myrrien

How many could you name?  Post your answers in the comment box and check back next week to see if you were right!