This handy little utensil does so much more than just scoop citrus.

By Hayley Sugg
February 22, 2021
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Scouring the racks of the local thrift store was a favorite pastime in college. It lead me to accidentally stumbling upon one of my now favorite kitchen tools: a grapefruit spoon.

Intrigued by its bamboo handle and fun "pokey ends," I ignorantly threw it in my basket, paid the cashier a quarter, and tossed it in my utensil drawer. And while I've eaten probably a total of two grapefruits in the last decade, this handy little tool has helped me with a plethora of other culinary tasks.

Read on to learn four great uses for a grapefruit spoon:

1. Hands Off Hot Peppers

When deseeding hot peppers, like jalapeños or habaneros, sometimes a regular spoon just doesn't cut it. But a grapefruit spoon will easily and quickly remove the pepper's pith, membrane, and seeds in one swift motion. This makes it my go-to tool when making stuffed peppers for get-togethers.

As a bonus, when you spend less time handling hot peppers, you're less likely to get some of the capsaicin (the chemical that gives the pepper its heat) in your eyes or other sensitive areas.

2. Removing Broken Egg Shell

I don't eat eggs, but I will occasionally cook them as a treat for my husband. Because of my lack of egg-cracking practice, splitting the shells often leaves behind a bit of shell or two. When that happens, it's grapefruit spoon to the rescue. Thanks to the fine teeth on the end of the spoon, it easily cuts through the egg whites to make fishing out the shell a breeze.

Credit: Amazon

Buy it: Stainless Steel Grapefruit Spoons Set of Four, $10; amazon.com

3. Scooping Out Veggies

Save time (and wrist strain) next time you make stuffed vegetables by utilizing your grapefruit spoon. The serrated edges easily scoop through the flesh of zucchinis, squashes, eggplants, and more.

If you're trying to prepare larger, hard winter squashes — like butternut or spaghetti squash varieties — the grapefruit spoon can also assist with that, gliding right through the stringy interior to remove large seeds.

Credit: Armando Meja / EyeEm / Getty Images

4. Destemming Strawberries

There's no need to buy a specific tool for destemming strawberries; you've got everything you need with your handy grapefruit spoon. Safer than a paring knife, it's a little less worrisome to use in large batches for jams and desserts where you're processing pounds and pounds of fruit.

Insert the sharp tip of the spoon into the base of the strawberry stems, working all the way around to make it easy to remove.

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This story originally appeared on allrecipes.com