A Y-peeler is a y-shaped vegetable peeler that has horizontal blades at the top of a vaguely y-shaped handle.
Unlike most other models of peelers, this one has its blade perpendicular to its handle.
The blades swivel.
Most designs seem to have an ‘eye gouger’, used to dig blemishes out of produce, and in particular eyes out of a potato.
Using a Y-peeler
Wash produce first before peeling to reduce surface bacterial load that might be pressed into the flesh of the produce.
Drag the peeler’s blade horizontally along the vegetable in question, starting at the other end of the item, and pulling the blade towards you. Or, stand the vegetable upright, and start the peeler at the top, pulling it down. The operation will somewhat resemble using a handheld razor.
With a Y-peeler, your wrist does more of the rotation than it does with a swivel peeler.
Some people like Y-peelers for larger, more evenly-shaped produce.
“Several reviews suggest that Y peelers work better for large, round fruits and vegetables (such as potatoes and apples)…” Clisset, Christine Cyr et al. The Best Vegetable Peeler. New York Times. 7 December 2018. Accessed August 2018 at https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-vegetable-peeler/
In general, they can remove broader strips of skin compared to other types of peelers. For this reason, Y-peelers can make quick work of big, relatively smooth items such as butternut squash.
In theory, Y-peelers are by default accessible to left-handed people:
“Y-shaped peelers are ambidextrous by default, says Michelle Sohn, a category director at OXO” Webber, Roxanne. How Do Lefties Peel Vegetables? 5 February 2010. Accessed August 2020 at https://www.chowhound.com/food-news/55446/how-do-lefties-peel-vegetables/
That being said, there’s also the primary preference of straight vs Y-peelers that comes into play, and many left-handed people will say they just can’t get used to them, lefty-friendly or not.
You will see both spellings: Y-peeler, and Y peeler. You will also see them in uncapitalized versions. At the time of this writing (2020) the preference distribution seems evenly spread in Google results.
|↑1||Clisset, Christine Cyr et al. The Best Vegetable Peeler. New York Times. 7 December 2018. Accessed August 2018 at https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-vegetable-peeler/|
|↑2||Webber, Roxanne. How Do Lefties Peel Vegetables? 5 February 2010. Accessed August 2020 at https://www.chowhound.com/food-news/55446/how-do-lefties-peel-vegetables/|