If you have a recipe that requires scores of strawberries, prepping them can take a lot of time. Using a paring knife requires cutting into the flesh of the berry, removing the stem, often making a mess. You might even lose perfectly good strawberries in the process.
We found a technique to simultaneously hull and de-stem strawberries using an unlikely tool you already have in your kitchen. Say you’re making our Strawberry Stack Cake, a recipe which calls for 2½ pounds of fresh strawberries—this method is a real time saver. It’s three times as fast as using a paring knife, in my experience.
The secret? A straw.
(Note: Not every straw works. You've got to find the right one. But when you do, you’ll never go back to using a paring knife again.)
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How To Hull Strawberries With a Straw
- Pull the leaves upward in one direction.
- Hold the strawberry in your non-dominant hand and line up the hole of the straw with the end of the receptacle (the pointy bit).
- Apply pressure to the straw but take care not to bruise the flesh of the berry by squeezing.
- Push the straw through the berry, holding the top with your index finger.
- Once you feel the straw at the stem, gently twist while pushing through the berry.
- With a bit of practice, all the leaves will come off with the hull attached, and the entire center can be removed.
Tips For Finding the Right Straw
- This method works best with plastic and reusable metal straws.
- The straw hole should be the same size or larger than the berry stem. This will make it easier to remove all the leaves at once.
- Use smaller straws for smaller berries.