The newest and easiest way to remove the hull and stem of a strawberry is very simple – use a straw! I have known about this little trick for a few years now; however, I never actually tried it … until now. After giving it a go, I can honestly say I should have done it sooner. Oh my; it is extremely fast – I hulled one pound of strawberries in under three minutes! And guess what? It’s fun to do. Learning how to hull strawberries with a straw is so easy. Let’s get started, shall we?
It goes without saying, the very first thing you want to do is wash your strawberries. If you washed them after you hulled them, then two things could happen. Dirt could get pushed through the inside of the strawberry (not a good thing) and/or the strawberries could get soggy due to water getting inside their newly drilled hole. It just makes sense; wash them prior to hulling.
Now, you might not have given this that much thought … but you need to consider the type of straw you will use. When I read about this tip on the Internet, not much was mentioned about the “type” of straw to use. I tried using a regular straw, and folks, it does not work. Most varieties are quite flexible, have thin walls, and are not that strong. So, when I used a typical household straw … it bent when I tried to insert it in the strawberry. When I tried to push the straw through, it literally bent in the middle and could not do the task at hand. It was impossible to use.
Therefore, you will need strong and sturdy straws to hull strawberries. There are two types of straws I use – one is what they call a “Smoothie” straw, and the other is a hard plastic one that usually comes with those insulated drinking cups. The Diamond Smoothie Straws are very colorful, with big openings. If you were hulling strawberries with children, I think they would love to use these! Much safer than a knife, and they will think they are doing a fun craft project instead of a kitchen chore. Genius!
The straws that come with those insulated drinking cups are typically smaller in diameter than the Smoothie straws; however, they are made of hard plastic which makes for a very durable and strong huller. These definitely won’t bend when sticking them through the strawberries! I use both types of straws, depending on the circumstances and the size of my strawberries.
The green straw below is a Smoothie straw, and the red one is a straw from one of those insulated cups. The end of the red straw (with the ridge) is the end I hold in my hand, using the other smoother end to do the actual hulling. The good news about all of this is that once you have hulled your strawberries, the straws can simply be rinsed out and used again … and again. I simply pour water in the center of the straws and the debris immediately falls out. So this is not an expensive way to hull strawberries; it’s very user-friendly, and earth-friendly.
Now that we know what type of straw to use, we can start to hull the strawberries. Below is a picture of what you don’t want to do. Don’t put the straw on the stem of the strawberry and push down to the bottom! Not only is it much harder and messier to do, but you will also be pushing the stem and debris through the entire strawberry. Not appealing, right?
The correct (and incredibly easy) method to hull a strawberry with a straw is simple. First, grab your straw of choice. Then, insert the straw into the bottom of the strawberry …
Finally, push the straw through the strawberry, eliminating the stem and hull …
And there you have it … a freshly hulled strawberry! Now, for those of us that can’t bear to waste the center part of the strawberry – rest assured – there really is not that much waste. Pictured below is the mound of stems I collected from hulling a one-pound container of strawberries. Most (but not all) of the waste is the hull or white part, which is not flavorful.
However, if you still feel there is too much waste of the strawberry goodness, there are a couple of things you could do. Use a smaller diameter-sized straw, or … if you don’t want a hole in your strawberries, there are a few good commercial Strawberry Hullers out there –
If you follow some of the tips in this post, your next encounter with a strawberry will surely be a “hull” of a good time!
A few final tips – if you are going to pipe in (or stuff) your strawberries – use the bigger straw. They make the perfect-sized holes for doing so. If you are hulling small strawberries – use a small straw with a smaller opening. Don’t want a hole in your strawberries? Use a commercial huller for the least waste and most efficient process. And finally, do you want to slice your strawberries fast, yet have beautifully uniform slices? Use an egg-slicer. You’ll be done in a flash. Enjoy!