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I have a very large extended family, so for years, we’d have at least 75-100 people at every holiday meal. Each small family unit was put in charge of a specific dish to bring, and for decades now, mine has been assigned the task of making all the mashed potatoes.
Mashed or other potatoes are easily one of the best sides at Thanksgiving, but peeling more than a few spuds at a time, bent over the sink, can be really, really hard on hands, wrists and backs. My mom would rope all four of us kids into helping, and we’d form an extremely reluctant and especially sour-faced little potato assembly line with our vegetable peelers and go through bags and bags of potatoes — that is, when she could get us to help at all.
The Rotato is pretty much what it sounds like: a small appliance that peels potatoes by rotating them, in this case against a small blade that’s enclosed in plastic for safety. And let me tell you, you just don’t know joy until an electric peeler saves you and your siblings from hand-peeling dozens and dozens of pounds of potatoes on a holiday morning. Now one person just plops a potato at a time on the Rotato, pushes a little button to see its peel come off in a thin, glorious ribbon, then repeats the process. We’ve gone from resisting to helping to arguing over who gets to man the Rotato, and now we’re done peeling so, so much faster.
The great thing about this little kitchen gem is that you don’t need a large family like mine to find it handy; it’s great for people who have mobility issues, arthritis, or other challenges that make peeling potatoes difficult or uncomfortable, not to mention people who just like machines doing things for them, or just really hate peeling potatoes. In the video above, a TikTok reviewer who is legally blind recommends it for others like herself. Plus, real-life chefs love it, too.
It’s just plain fun to use, and de-skins a list of other fruits and veg as well. Some reviewers note that parts of the Rotato are plastic and seem flimsy, but my family’s been using the same one since 2016 and it’s held up just fine. Each one comes with two replacement blades (more can be ordered separately), and you can power it via wall outlet or with batteries.
Promising reviews from Amazon shoppers:
“Great gadget! I’ve always hated peeling potatoes. If you’re the same BUY THIS! Of course it takes up some valuable cupboard space, but not much, and it’s so worth it. It works on anything that needs peeling. I watched a woman peel EVERYTHING imaginable with this in a YouTube video. Pretty much works on everything, but the potatoes is what sold me. There’s a little at the top & bottom it can’t reach, but I just cut it off. And sometimes the blade pops off when removing potato – easy to pop back on. LOVE THIS THING. Never peeling potatoes again by hand again.” — DesertCat
“Don’t let the lower price dissuade you. It’s every bit as good as the more expensive brand my friend had last year. I use mine at work and home. I set on the counter, or a potato in while I’m tending to other opening duties at the cafe… No more losing my grip on potatoes or my fingers swelling, going numb from peeling. (Carpal tunnel, joint pain). Even if I didn’t have hand issues, I would highly recommend this. It’s very fast. Occasionally, use a toothpick under the tiny blade to remove potato debris. This is my favorite and most used time saver in the home and work kitchen.” — Batznblkcatz
“We love this thing!!! Best gift ever. I married a potato fiend. Seriously, this guy can demolish a plate of mashed like nobody’s business. So, it’s bad enough that I have to peel 5 lbs of taters just for him on the reg, but jeebus, when we have company? Ugh. That’s why I let hubs open this present a few days before Christmas. We were hosting Christmas Eve here, and I was dying to try it out on a big 20 lb bag of tubers. (Okay, fine, maybe it was more of a gift to me.)
“We were such losers as we tried the thing out for the first time. Standing there staring at it in awe. I actually took a video and sent it to my family! Guess it doesn’t take much to impress us. Then again, it was great to see the kids fighting over something other than their damned video games for once. Those two battled it out to take turns while I sat my butt on the couch with a glass of wine. Before I knew it, they’d peeled the entire 20 lb bag! Good wholesome holiday fun. I’m sure my boys will always remember their special Potato Christmas. Heck, maybe we just started a new tradition. Okay. I’m getting punchy. Sorry.
“In conclusion, I’ll say that this is probably the greatest gadget in my kitchen at the moment. Works fantastic. Makes peeling potatoes fun! If I ever get drafted into the army, you can be sure this little gem will be coming with me. Highly recommend.: — T Torrest