Berry

How to Hull Strawberries, 2 Ways

June 12, 2014

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: Waste not, want not -- here's how to quickly hull strawberries. 

How to Hull Strawberries on Food52

Strawberries are the prize of summer; we buy them with grand visions of sweet cakes, messy crumbles, and summertime drinks. But before the berries reach the fridge shelf, we’ve often eaten half our bounty, hastily chopping off their pesky green tops in anticipation of biting into their sweet, juicy flesh.

Though this shortcut instantly satisfies our cravings, it wastes a fair amount of valuable fruit. With a practiced hand and a few more seconds, though, you can remove the green cap and the hard white flesh underneath, leaving an intact, beautiful berry. So draw your weapons –- we’re showing you two ways to hull strawberries.

More: If you end up lopping off too much, turn your tops into strawberry water

How to Hull Strawberries on Food52

With a paring knife: With your dominant hand, grab a paring knife with your thumb flush to the front of the blade, leaving about a half inch between the tip of your thumb and the tip of the blade. Holding the berry in the opposite hand, insert the blade of the paring knife into the fruit at a 45° angle where the core and flesh meet, until your thumb barely touches the green cap. Rotate the knife and fruit in opposite directions, keeping your thumb in the same position. Once the berry has rotated full circle, the core will release, leaving an intact berry. 

How to Hull Strawberries on Food52

With a straw: This shortcut requires little practice and removes the strawberry’s core in one swift motion. (It will result in a hole through the center of the berry, so use this method when appearance isn’t crucial.) Insert an unbent straw into the bottom of the strawberry, and push straight through the fruit until the straw emerges out the other side and pops the cap off. 

Tell us -- do you have a trick for hulling strawberries?

16 Comments

Ralph A. June 21, 2018
Using the straw method, you simply need to cut the bottom part of the "Plug" (Hull and a little column of strawberry, and push that lower part back into the bottom of the berry. Looks just fine then.<br />
 
Tommy June 13, 2016
I agree on the peeler tip and the grapefruit spoon tip.
 
Marcia A. June 10, 2016
One of the best and least investments I ever made was I my 'strawberry huller'.. When making breakfast for my guests ...this tool is neat, clean, fast and still leaves pretty berries !
 
Sybille June 10, 2016
Some things can be done with our hands... My mom pinched the top part off with her fingernails, washed hands obviously. That's the way I do it.
 
cook4fun June 10, 2016
Thank you, for this article. It's been a peeve of mine for years seeing strawberry tops cut off, wasting the strawberry tops and forming sad triangles. Hulling strawberries with either the tip of a paring knife or a "strawberry shark" retains both their lovely heart shape and their integrity .
 
Ardyth E. June 10, 2016
I use a small melon baller.
 
Jennifer E. June 8, 2015
I have a strawberry huller; my mom had one and I bought one as soon as I moved out on my own way back in the '80s. You just push the two tips in a bit on either side of the green leaves, squeeze and turn a little as you pull and the whole stem comes out nice and clean. It looks like this: https://well.ca/products/stainless-steel-strawberry-huller_70403.html?gclid=Cj0KEQjw-tSrBRCk8bzDiO__gbwBEiQAk-D31Wynzjn-l882vPRbMjIrINhhOsjKEdRNO0nV50fszocaAujh8P8HAQ<br />
 
Frank L. June 10, 2016
Exactly. Good kitchen stores sell them. $3 or less. And you don't have to be a knife wizzard.
 
jet53 June 8, 2015
The instructions for the paring knife method are great, but the illustration shows a cook who is about to cut herself. You have to choke up on the blade so that your thumb acts as the (safety) guide for the knife--when the thumb touches the berry, there is only enough blade in the berry to cut out the core without coming out the other side. If you do it the way the picture illustrates, there is not guide and you run a greater risk of the blade going through the berry into your other hand.
 
Pat I. June 12, 2014
The top of the vegetable peeler that you use to take out the eyesnof the potato is just the perfect tool for this. Funny....I though everybody did it this way.
 
emarie June 12, 2014
The tip of a grapefruit spoon works for me
 
Helen B. June 12, 2014
I use a grapefruit knife....curved and serrated. Works well.
 
Judith R. June 12, 2014
I have one of these things called a tomato corer, but my Mom and I have always used them on strawberries. You basically just scoop the top right off. Faster than anything, unless the berries are tiny. As a canner and jam-maker I've cored a lot of berries. This is really fast. I've never ever used it on a tomato, and I saw them just this week in a local kitchenware store for around a buck. Looks like this -- http://www.webstaurantstore.com/core-it-red-handle-tomato-corer/628950.html
 
Kim T. June 12, 2014
I have this tool. Awesome tip! I'm going to try this next time.
 
Emil J. June 12, 2014
I usually use a small star tip from my cake decorating set. Just twist into the top of the strawberry and pull. Learned this trick from Alton Brown, I think.
 
Kim T. June 12, 2014
The straw method is my go to hulling at the moment. I can clean and prep sooo many strawberries fast. Tip: I use a straw that is thicker....for the kids juice cups. Made by Rubbermaid.