Ina Garten Constantly Replaces Vegetable Peelers (And You Should Too)

Ina Garten, host of Food Network's "Barefoot Contessa" – a name she adopted after running a successful specialty food store of the same name – is well-known for her commitment to homemade ingredients. Her recipes can be found written in her 13 cookbooks, made on-screen on her Food Network show, or published on her website.

Many of Garten's recipes are packed full of fresh vegetables, including her Winter Minestrone, Roast Chicken with Spring Vegetables, and Chicken Pot Pie Soup. Garten even grows her own vegetables in the backyard garden of her New York home. She shared a glimpse of the space on Instagram, showcasing herbs, tomatoes, fig trees, and other fresh produce she uses in her home-cooked recipes. And some of the veggies she uses surely require peeling. and when it comes to kitchen tools, the vegetable peeler is one item that Garten won't splurge on. Instead, she opts to constantly replace it — and she recommends that everyone do the same.

Replace your peeler as soon as it's dull

Ina Garten doesn't like to keep her vegetable peelers around for long and neither should you. The celebrity chef told Food & Wine that vegetable zesters and peelers should be replaced yearly. In fact, the discarding and subsequent replacement of the peelers has become something of a routine in Garten's kitchen. "Vegetable peelers get rusty, they get dull, and they're very cheap, so you can just throw them out and buy new ones," she states. Food & Wine associate food editor Kelsey Youngman agrees, stating "Once the blade goes, you're better off with a new sharp peeler."

Because they are so cheap, however, you can justify the continued purchase to ensure you have efficient kitchen tools. One of Garten's favorite vegetable peelers, which is featured on her Barefoot Contessa website, will cost you about $5 at Williams Sonoma. The Kuhn Rikon Straight Peeler features a heavy-duty plastic handle and a carbon steel blade, which allows it to stay sharper for longer, the site boasts.

You can get a bit more life out of an old peeler

Although Ina Garten prefers to just purchase a brand new vegetable peeler when she wears the old one out, there are ways to sharpen the blade if you need to prolong its life just a little longer in between replacements. Though a typical knife sharpener won't work on the peeler blades, you may be able to add some edge using a metal nail file.

Carefully move the file back and forth along the vegetable peeler blade, keeping it at the same angle to ensure an even slice. Do this on both sides of the blade to keep the cuts even, to make sure that your blade doesn't snag and tear the vegetable's skin as you remove it.

However, this can seem like a lot of work for such an inexpensive kitchen item. While it may seem a little wasteful to be constantly disposing of and replacing your vegetable peelers, the Barefoot Contessa knows her way around the kitchen, so it's safe to say we can trust her judgment on this one.