You get neatly peeled and cored sections of pineapple, from a gadget that's easy to use, clean, and store.
The measuring gauge is essentially useless.
Offers a pretty painless way to extract the flesh of a pineapple and produce a cool shell that can hold fruit salad.
Getting its succulent flesh free of eyes and core could be the hardest thing to love about a pineapple. Different approaches work (peeling, then digging out the eyes one by one, or peeling deep up the spiral trail of eye-lines), but still: Prepping a pineapple is a bit of a pain. OXO’s Ratcheting Pineapple Slicer is a possible solution. It looks like a mini bicycle pump; you sink the cutting teeth into a pineapple that's had the top cut off, then twist the handle to drive the propellerlike cutting blades all the way down to the base. What you pull up, in theory, is a Slinky spiral of peeled fruit. And what you’re left with—again in theory—is a perfectly hollowed-out shell, which you can fill with cut fruit or sorbet.
The slicer’s composed of two pieces of white, BPA-free plastic: a ratcheting turning knob with a black, no-slip grip; and a tubular cutting shaft that ends with a pair of cutting blades and a serrated edge that bites into a pineapple’s core. The assembled slicer measures a foot high; the turning knob is 4 3/4 inches across, and the diameter of the shaft is 1 3/4 inches. The shaft has three markings (1, 2, and 3) to help you measure the height of your pineapple and thus determine how far down to drive the cutting blades without piercing the bottom of the fruit. There’s a release button for the knob—you need to remove the handle in order to slide the coil of peeled fruit off the shaft. The slicer is dishwasher safe, and because it’s in two pieces, it's relatively easy to stow away in the gadget drawer.
Obviously, this is a unitasker, but we tested it on multiple pineapples to determine a couple of things. First, is it easy to use? And second, does it produce neat slices that you could add to a fruit salad, or nice-looking rings for pineapple upside-down cake or a throwback glazed ham?
Ease of use: We tested a medium pineapple (6 inches from base to shoulder after we cut off the top as OXO instructs). It wasn’t totally obvious how to use the measuring gauge on the slicer’s shaft—the fruit came up to the 3 mark, but after we bored through to the pineapple’s base, the shaft only went as far the 1 mark. The hardest parts of the process are securing the serrated cutter onto the core, and making the initial turn of the blades. But the ratcheting action works great—we were able to cut all the way through a pineapple without repositioning our grip.
The second-hardest part is knowing how far down to cut. If you secure the pineapple with your nonturning hand, you can actually feel the cutting blades through the fruit—that turned out to be the most reliable way to know when to stop. If, like us, you misjudge, you end up with a pierced shell leaking sticky juice on the counter. (It’s best to set the pineapple on a plate before you start, just in case.)
Neatness of the slices: This mostly depends on the ripeness of the fruit. We really, really wanted the satisfaction of pulling the fruit off in one long, continuous spiral, but if you start with an even moderately ripe pineapple, forget about it—you’ll end up with intact sections of spiral half an inch thick, along with some broken pieces (if your pineapple is very ripe, you’ll end up with a lot of broken pieces). But hey, it’s not that hard to fake it, looping broken sections of pineapple back into rings you could arrange in the bottom of a cake pan, no harm done (we ended up with six rings from a medium pineapple). The key thing is, you end up with fruit that’s perfectly peeled, with no lingering eyes, and a hollow shell with a pool of juice at the bottom. All in all, pretty sweet.
Photos by Chris Rochelle