When I started culinary school, I was issued a tool kit that included an attractive stainless metal peeler. I noticed that some of the more industry-experienced students had brought their own knives and peelers, tossing the heavy, brand new steel version aside for their own flimsy-looking plastic ones. My confusion over their actions disappeared shortly after, when I spent time cooking at a local restaurant. The Executive Chef introduced me to his top three tools, and a spark of recognition flared when he showed me the Swiss-designed Kuhn Rikon Peeler. This peeler was so much easier to use than my school-issued version! Anchored in a brightly-colored, light plastic handle, the thin, carbon steel blade glides easily along, removing paper-thin yet wide strips of peel effortlessly — even the thick skin of root vegetables. I was more thrilled when I saw the price tag; at $4, this gadget is a steal, and has become a favorite tool at home as well as here in the SAVEUR Test Kitchen.
Kuhn Rikon Swiss Peeler, $4 at Amazon.com