Summer cooking means lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and these smart kitchen tools are designed to make prepping and cooking your summer produce easier than ever.
Oftentimes, countertop space is at a premium in our kitchens; if an appliance or gadget starts collecting dust, it ends up in the donate bin to make room for more useful items. Every once in a while, though, you find that rare, solitary-purpose tool that fully earns its place in your kitchen, and moreover, your heart! With summer produce in abundance, we’ve found exactly those tools that will make the hulling, pitting, slicing, and peeling of specific fruits and vegetables a breeze. And sure, you can get scrappy with some kitchen hacks to tackle that produce—but, sometimes you just need that gadget that does one job, and does it oh-so-well!
A strawberry huller is the gateway tool in this lot. It’s cute and compact, and it looks like the fruit it de-stems. It’s small enough that you can forget about it in a kitchen drawer until the summer season—and then, suddenly, you’re knee-deep in strawberry sales at the grocery store! So you dig out that strawberry huller to de-stem these little juicy red fruits for tarts, pies, and smoothies galore. Buy Now
If you’ve baked with cherries or used them in fruit salads, you know how much of a pain removing the pits can be. You carve at them with a knife, or cut them in half and then pry the pit out, sometimes flinging it across the room (or is that just me?). With a multi-cherry pitter, you can tackle four cherries at a time, without any mess. That cherry cobbler just got a little easier! Buy Now
As late summer approaches and corn season is in full swing, you’ll find grocery stores and farmers’ markets to be overflowing with bins full of corn cobs. When grilled or prepped as elote, you enjoy corn still on the cob. But, for corn salads and salsas, those juicy, golden kernels need to be taken off. For these occasions, a corn shucker makes quick work of an ear of corn, effortlessly amassing piles of kernels by pulling the tool over the cob.Buy Now
Summertime grilling and caprese salads call for bright, ripe tomato slices. And when you’re prepping for a crowd, you don’t want to mess around with cutting unevenly, struggling to grasp the end of the tomato, and squishing the juice out with too much pressure. For these times, you want a tomato slicer to hold that produce in place and to measure out even slices. Slice quickly, serve, and get back to socializing! Buy Now
And let’s not forget about the other caprese salad, full of ripe, fresh peaches. Whether it’s salads, desserts, or just a big old plate of these fruits, peaches are the quintessential summer stone fruit. When grocery store sales leave you with bags and bags of these beauties, a peach pitter is a necessity. Slice and pit with this tool, and make all the pies you can muster before this most delicious produce season is over! (In case you don’t want slices, you can try this peach pitter that just halves and pits the fruit. Either one also works on nectarines.) Buy Now
Summer means watermelon slices as an appetizer, side, and dessert! With a watermelon slicer, you can cut a halved watermelon straight to the rind, and remove each slice with the same tool. Instead of having to carve a jagged edge along the rind, each piece comes out perfect and rindless, ready to serve at a sunny barbecue. (Actually, there are several styles of watermelon slicer, including this nifty paddlewheel gadget that promises perfect cubes for your fruit salad.) Buy Now
And what about that critical ingredient of piña coladas, the pineapple? Though peak pineapple season is mostly outside of summer, there is something about summertime street festivals and pool parties that gets us sippin’ on pineapple drinks and snackin’ on pineapple slices on the regular. With a pineapple corer and slicer, you can remove the core and cut perfect pieces at the same time. And, bonus: It leaves you with the shell to decorate or drink from as you please! Buy Now
Switching gears to those CSA boxes overflowing with produce, let’s talk about tools to handle that sometimes-overwhelming abundance of greens. Spending too much time trimming kale from its rough stems? Try a kale stripper! No, it’s not the latest trend in vegan bachelor parties; it’s a wonderful gadget that lets you thread kale through a notch, handily stripping off the leaves for salads and sautées (and it has smaller holes for stripping herbs from woody stems, like thyme and rosemary, too). Now that’s sexy! Buy Now
Garlic is so amazing, yet so hard to peel (don’t even get me started on those cloves that are actually ten individually wrapped mini cloves)! I know that I have some garlic coming my way, thanks to my CSA, and a garlic peeler like this will make all the difference. Instead of clawing the garlic skins off of each clove (though this is admittedly easier by smashing the clove a bit first) or attempting the new garlic peeling hack du jour, you just roll garlic inside the silicone tube until the skins come off, quickly and effectively. Perfect for tackling all those “forty clove” recipes! Buy Now
Finally, we have the asparagus peeler. Though summer is the end of asparagus season, you’ll find sides of grilled asparagus accompanying steaks, burgers, and fish at cookouts. Many of you may feel like you’re getting by just fine without peeling asparagus, and that’s okay. But, for those that a) might want to remove more of the rougher parts of the skin, or b) need an easy way to make asparagus curls for a salad like our Shaved Asparagus Salad, then an asparagus peeler will do the job, and do it well! Buy Now