Taking stems out of strawberries is not that hard to do if you’re good with a paring knife, but not everyone has great knife skills. And if you’re not careful, you can lose a lot of berry along with the stem.
I usually hate single-purpose gadgets, but here’s one even I am forced to admit is pretty good. The Stem Gem Strawberry Stem Remover from Chef’n is about $8 and looks like a little fat red plastic hypodermic needle shaped like a strawberry.
You push down on the plunger (that green stem) like you’re giving the strawberry a shot. Out pop these four pointed metal prongs on a spring, like a claw. There’s kind of a trick to it, but once you get it, it’s simple. As you start to push the prongs into the top of the strawberry around the stem, you twist it—just turn your hand over. And at the same time, gradually release the button; this lets the claw close as you turn. And voila, the stem is gone, with the least possible amount of berry lost.
Best part: I taught three little 9-year-old girls to hull strawberries with the Stem Gem and they learned it in a couple of seconds. I’d never hand those kids a knife, but this gadget is easy, safe, fast, and cheap enough to be worth buying for a single purpose.
What fruit-related gadgets do you find particularly indispensible?