Friday, February 22, 2013

Tip: How to Hull Strawberries Without a Fancy Gadget

Disclaimer: I don't claim to be a chef, a food expert, or have extraordinary knife skills.  That means everyone will be able to find this a helpful tip!

When I first started to cook for myself after college, I loved buying and using every gadget that Bed, Bath, and Beyond had to offer.  However, when I was growing up, my mom always said "Real chefs don't use gadgets."  At first, I didn't understand what she was talking about, but then I was introduced to the wall of gadgets with an avocado slicer, the cherry pitter, and mango splitter.

Chances are if the name of the gadget contains a specific food, it's a unitasker that Alton Brown would abhor and can easily be thrown out with the proper use of a knife.  I have since made my mom proud and brought my kitchen items down to the basics.

Last week during Valentine's Day, there were tons of dishes using strawberries and one of my pet peeves surfaced everywhere.


Do you notice the little piece of stem and a lot of the tart, white part (the hull) on the prepped strawberries?  No one wants to eat that!

Check out the picture of someone slicing through the strawberry to remove the stem.

This person removed all of the stem, but a portion of delicious strawberry is removed as well!

Here's a diagram so you understand what I'm saying.

Credit: Foodie in Disguise

You can buy a strawberry huller of course, especially if you're making copious amounts of preserves or pies.

Credit: here

However, most people will only eat a few strawberries at a time.  Also, gadgets take up precious drawer space and cost money!

Here's how to hull a strawberry with a simple paring knife.

1) Insert the tip of your knife at the point where the red and white parts meet.

2) Keeping the knife steady, turn the strawberry slowly in a circle.  Voila!

Seriously, it's only two steps and worth knowing how to do.

Check out the lovely strawberries minus the tart hulls, and the green tops without any yummy strawberry goodness attached!

Bon appetit!

What is your most & least favorite kitchen gadget?


  1. Hello! I recently just started a youtube Korean food channel, EasyKoreanFood, where you can learn how to make fast and easy Korean food! It would mean the world to me if you took the time to check it out because I'm just starting out! Thanks!

    1. Your videos look and sound beautiful, and I'm sure you linked to me through my post featuring one of my favorite Korean barbecue places to eat. (

      I have two requests for your next recipe! The first would be pickled radishes. I could eat them every day!

      The second would be a bean sprout salad as pictured here ( You have another one that looks amazing, but I'm not sure that they're the same verson. Thanks!

  2. Very clever! I'm sharing this now!

  3. I actually used my strawberry huller tonight. My mom bought it for me years ago and I love it. It's not nearly as fancy as the one shown in the above photo. My absolute favourite gadget is my kitchen tongs. They were a gift from my mom after an incident with corn and 3rd degree burns and I use them for everything: reaching things on high shelves, clamping stuff together, and of course their intended purpose.

  4. Eek! I hope your corn incident is well behind you now. Tongs are definitely a necessary kitchen tool. For some reason, I have family members that think they're called thongs. Completely different item, people!

  5. Dear Diane...first of all great post! what surprises me beyond that there is actually a gadget to do this? lol...I've been using your method now for 4 years now because me little one loves to stick his finger in the strawberry to eat it..I! I guess if you have like a million berries is worth getting the fancy thing, but otherwise your method is the way to go! Thank you for sharing my little one backs you up 100% !

  6. Thanks! Yes, most people I know cut straight across and waste a lot of strawberry. Just look up strawberry huller, and you'll see it's a popular kitchen item to avoid that. Little do they know this super simple method just requires a knife! :)

  7. I think its great how people name things what they dad used to call them the Patongers :) great memories

  8. This is such a helpful post. I use your method and like Lizy I didn't realize there was a special tool for this. Thanks so much for linking up to Krafty Inspiration Thursday at Krafty Cards etc. Be sure to check back next week to see if you have been featured.


  9. Ha! That one is definitely new to me!

  10. Great tip! I'm guilty of just lopping off the tops, losing part of the delicious strawberry. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Oh good! I was starting to wonder if this tip was only useful for my own family members. :) Bon appetit!

  12. I hull mine with a straw! =) ~M.

  13. Interesting! Wouldn't it work for only little strawberries?

  14. Nope! We were hulling all sorts of sizes and the straw worked great. Give it a try and see what you think. :) ~M.

  15. There is a gadget for everything now, And my sister has all of them! :) Not me. I guess I like to "rough it". I do use a little paring knife also and try not to get too much strawberry... Thanks for the great illustration of how to hull a strawberry, though. Linda

  16. There really are walls and walls of gadgets in kitchen stores... You are welcome!


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