Asparagus peelers are designed to safely peel the woody parts of asparagus spears. It is a hand tool for peeling elongated vegetables.
- Sometimes this utensil is called a "safety peeler" or a "long vegetable peeler".
- This utensil has a long piece which extends over the peeling blade to provide leverage against the blade while peeling long slim items.
- The tool frame may be made mostly of metal or plastic but the peeler blades should always be metal.
There are a few issues with preparing asparagus, but one of the big ones is peeling. Many a cook has cut themselves using traditional vegetable peelers on asparagus spears.
Asparagus peelers solve that issue by having a design which keeps fingers away from the peeler blades and using an extension of the handle for leverage instead.
Does asparagus need to be peeled?
It is worth noting that the entire asparagus spear should not be peeled in most cases. It is only the woody ends that need peeling and that is only true if you don't snap them off or remove them.
White asparagus (Spargel) typically needs to be peeled to prepare and eat. White asparagus is grown beneath the ground 1 and has a tougher skin than the green we are familiar with in USA.
Why peel it if you can just throw it away?
Asparagus is often a "presentation" food, meaning that you want it to look good when you serve it. Asparagus spears that are long and elegant make that presentation special.
Asparagus is expensive! You are throwing away alot of money when you snap off those thicker ends (probably half the weight of the asparagus spear).
How to use a Asparagus Peeler
- Place the thick end of the spear into the peeler.
- Close peeler and pull asparagus through to the thick end.
- Spin spear and repeat.
- When spear is peeled all around remove from peeler.
What to look for when you buy:
The most important factors when buying an asparagus peeler are safety, sharpness and rust free construction.
Asparagus peelers are specialty items and as such they are not represented well by famous brands.
There are two main types of this utensil. The hand peeler (as shown on all the images on this page) and the feed through type peeler.
The feedthrough type looks like it would be great, but when we bought one and tried it we found out that it really is not a good idea.
We do not recommend the feedthrough type because it is expensive, not adjustable and takes too much off the spears.
We highly recommend the hand peeler though! It is a very safe and effective way to peel asparagus spears.
Interesting fact: An asparagus peeler was invented by the man who invented Velcro (Georges de Mestral). 2
Creating a tool to safely peel long, slim and bendable foods like asparagus led to the elongation of the handle to protect fingers from blades. The next improvement was to make it more efficent by having two blades instead of one and a better viewing angle so a user could see more clearly what they were peeling. 3
Brands / Products
This utensil is the one you see in some of our images on this page (the "how to" images). It is strong, looks great and has tested well in our trials. This asparagus peeler is our recommended pick.
Asparagus Peeler, Long Vegetable Peeler Trimmer. This was a nice inexpensive tool that worked great in our testing. This peeler was also featured in some images on this page.
This peeler is not the same type of long handle safety peeler, but is rather a new tool from Oxo which peels asparagus while the spear lays flat on a surface.