Kitchen Hacks

How to Peel an Apple in 3 Seconds

September 22, 2015

All you need is a drill and a dream.

Peeling apples is a monotonous labor of love; one that we trudge through for the piessauce, and pickles on the other end of the dark, blade-to-apple-after-freaking-apple tunnel. But after watching this video—and some trial and error—we've found that a drill moonlights beautifully as a quick and easy, albeit messy, way to peel several apples (though we were less successful with other produce). Here's how to use a drill to peel an apple in just a few seconds:

What you'll need:

  1. Any fully-charged electric drill
  2. A flat drill bit, glass bit, or any bit that has a flat end (We used a Phillips-head, but a flat-head will offer more torque and apple peeling success.)
  3. A very sharp vegetable peeler
  4. A peck—or bushel—of apples (go ahead—go crazy)
  5. Safety goggles (Not really, but we wouldn't have turned down a pair if they were available.)

How to do it:

  1. Secure the drill bit in the drill. 
  2. Keeping your fingers out of the way, skewer the apple onto the flat drill bit.
  3. Point the drill into the sink or a compost bin—the apple peels are going to fly unless you're a professional at this, in which case you probably don't need this article.
  4. Lean the vegetable peeler onto the apple at the base closest to the drill, just hard enough to make an indent in the fruit but not quite cut into it, then increase the speed of the drill so that the apple moves away from the peeler. This may be a little rough the first time, but after the first few apples, you'll get the hang of things.
  5. With the drill bit going, move the peeler down the apple until the skin is completely off.
  6. Repeat to your heart's content.

When we tried this with other vegetables, we didn't have nearly as much luck: This tip doesn't work with stone fruits because the drill bit can't go through the pit, potatoes were too heavy and made a run for it as soon as we pressed "on," and while the cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes all had great starting potential, the nightshades weren't dense enough to stay on the bit. But apples, on the other hand, worked like a dream. We've also heard this works well for lemon zest with the proper machinery.

What's your favorite way to use power tools in your kitchen? Is power peeling the pie prep of the future? Tell us in the comments below!

Top photo by James Ransom 

17 Comments

Elaine S. October 9, 2015
My husband has rigged up a salad drier to use with his electric drill. It spins incredibly fast, and every lettuce leaf is bone dry!
 
Vincent V. October 4, 2015
I wonder if you used a small spade bit, if it would be safer with less risk of apple slippage
 
patricia G. October 3, 2015
cucumbers and zucchini are members of the family Cucurbitaceae. Potatoes and tomatoes are nightshades (solanaceae family.)
 
Author Comment
Leslie S. October 3, 2015
That is correct!
 
Dot D. September 28, 2015
I love her faces as she tries different fruits and veggies! Not sure it's worth cleaning a drill adequately enough to use for this, though...I'll stick with my peeler and my spiralizer for fun in the kitchen! :)<br />
 
Erma September 25, 2015
How is the sliced, peeled apple preserved in the jar in the cover photo?
 
Carmen L. September 25, 2015
https://food52.com/blog/8428-quick-pickled-apples
 
Erma September 25, 2015
Thank you very kindly.
 
Author Comment
Leslie S. September 25, 2015
And if you're ever wondering what the recipe to a photo is, click on the photo and it'll bring you straight there!
 
RobR September 23, 2015
I keep a drill in my kitchen just to grind my coffee. See<br />https://youtu.be/rWCT9OZioCY
 
cynthia |. September 23, 2015
Omg this just made my day.
 
KB September 22, 2015
Well, it does seem easier than usual. I WILL NOT use any non-food tool for food that I actually eat. The drill is not FOOD-SAFE - if you care.
 
Nacho J. October 6, 2015
HAHAHAHA.
 
Caroline L. September 22, 2015
the face after the cucumber!!
 
Kenzi W. September 22, 2015
The potato kills me.
 
Carmen L. September 22, 2015
Love it love it love it
 
Hannah W. September 22, 2015
I laughed so hard at this article. <3 you Leslie!