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How to Peel an Apple in 3 Seconds

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All you need is a drill and a dream.

Peeling apples is a monotonous labor of love; one that we trudge through for the pies, sauce, 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.

Top photo by James Ransom.