Unitasker Wednesday: Rotato Potato Peeler

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Has peeling potatoes got you down?

Do you believe that getting rid of the most nutritious part of the potato is the best choice for your family?

Is your kitchen so big that you have counter-top space galore?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, then the Rotato Potato Peeler is for you! It doesn’t slice, it doesn’t dice, it doesn’t even julienne! All it does is peel, peel, peel.

Simply hook up your potato to the Rotato Potato Peeler, push the start button, and watch all that good nutrition peel away. Peeling a potato has never been as expensive or space hogging!

(Thanks to reader Allysun for directing our attention to this gem.)

40 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: Rotato Potato Peeler”

  1. posted by momofthree on

    But wait, the potato peeler also comes with a special holder just to catch the peelings..
    taking up even more space on your kitchen counter top!
    I just peel potatoes into the garbage can, or the sink, IF I even peel them.
    Hey friends, can I guess that Billy Mays will be SCREAMING about this soon, or is available only by mail order because it’s featured in the back of some cooking magazine?
    I love to watch America’s Test Kitchen on PBS and I have taken note of some of the gadgets and tools they test…since I am in need of replacing some soon….been married 24 years, and nothing lasts forever when a family of five uses some of the stuff almost daily (toaster, blender, oven thermometer, hand crank can opener–that’s one thing I just can’t see the need for an electric one, except maybe when arthritis kicks in)
    So, alas, electric potato peeler will have to just skip the visit to my house!

  2. posted by Cyrano on

    This kind of highlights my problem with the definition of a unitasker. If this gadget is a unitasker because all it does is peel, isn’t a normal peeler a unitasker as well? What about a knife? Doesn’t a knife only cut (or does chopping, slicing, dicing, etc. count as different things)?

    Ice cube trays are unitaskers, coffeemakers are unitaskers, etc. If the definition of a unitasker is that it only performs one task, how narrowly do we define it? Is a box grater a unitasker because it only grates, or not a unitasker because it grates different things?

    I find it really hard to peg down a good definition of a unitasker.

  3. posted by Charles on

    This is the first Unitasker that I think I would use. ;) I’m lazy, and I hate potato skins!

  4. posted by Kathryn on

    I think most “unitaskers” tend to be devices that accomplish a single, narrow task that can be easily accomplished with a cheaper, simpler and smaller-to-store, and/or multitasking, device. A single task, in turn, is something like “peeling a potato” or “piercing an egg.” Not necessarily “peeling” or “piercing,” which are broader task categories.

    In this case, a bulky electric-powered gadget replaces the smaller, simpler, and more multifunctional hand peeler (which can not only peel more things than this can probably peel, but it can also “de-eye” your spuds). One woman on Amazon claims that she can peel 5 lbs of potatoes in less than 10 minutes, to which I would respond that 5 lbs of potatoes can be peeled by hand in less than 5 minutes if you’re handy with a hand peeler.

    Most of the things you list (ice cube trays, box grater) fail the “smaller, simpler, and/or more multifunctional alternative” test for a true unitasker.

  5. posted by Maura on

    @ Cyrano – Pete put it succinctly in another comment thread:

    “It only does one thing, and you have absolutely no need for it.”

    I think BOTH of the above conditions need to apply to be considered a unitasker.

  6. posted by Karen on

    I have a 6 month old and this would have worked for her for about…. I dunno… 8 weeks or so. After that, she would have wiggled too much and hit herself on the hard faucet.

    We do have the storage problem, and knew from the beginning that a giant plastic tub would be a stupid idea.

    We had a folding mesh wedge stand thingy for the kitchen sink that cost about $15. It came in handy for letting the grandmas bathe the baby, but we didn’t even really need that. Baby bathed with me in the tub until she was able to sit up at 5 months. Now she sits on a squishy foam shower pad in the main bathtub, and we hang it up on the towel rack to dry when she’s done.

  7. posted by Carla on

    If you eat a lot of potatoes and those potatoes need to be peeled…you might reconsider peeling them because the skin is where most of the nutrients are. Potato skins are delicious, too! It’s true, you can’t have super-smooth mashed potatoes without peeling, but try mashed potatoes with the skins on sometime. They’re really tasty! And now I’m hungry for mashed potatoes!

  8. posted by Christine on

    I must be really boring. I use a regular old knife to peel EVERYTHING. For me, it works the best!

  9. posted by Karen in Wichita on

    Wow. I have one of those hand-cranked peeler-corer-slicer thingummies, which I love for making apple pies (often) or dehydrated apple slices (less often). I almost never use mine for making scalloped potatoes, not so much because it pointlessly cores the potato (silly but harmless) as because it does a fairly poor job of peeling potatoes (which, unlike apples, tend to be bumpy and less tough-skinned). If I do use it for that, I tend to retract the peeler blade and *only* use it to slice the potatoes (which I either pre-peel or just scrub well).

    So basically this is the same thing as what I have, except it’s giant and bulky AND only does the part of the task that it’s worst at. That’s… awesome.

  10. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Cyrano — There is no science to what is a unitasker and what isn’t. We just aim for funny :)

    http://unclutterer.com/2008/03.....explained/

  11. posted by Jacki Hollywood Brown on

    It is about as useful as the potato peeling gloves that I got for a gift once.
    Here they are complete with video http://tinyurl.com/qamj4r

    and they DON’T work this well. They grind the potatoes, carrots, apples to bits!

  12. posted by Emma on

    Nonono, it’s no unitasker – look at all the other fruit in the picture, you can peel apples with it too! you’re not telling me a regular small peeler can do apples AND potatoes are you ;)

  13. posted by L.W. on

    Considering that potatoes are not uniform in shape and often come with lumpy little protuberances, wouldn’t this thing do a bad job of peeling, since it seems to require a perfectly oval potato to work?

  14. posted by Dorothea on

    I have actually been looking for something like this. Severe wrist instability and a love of potatoes just doesn’t mix.

  15. posted by Peter on

    a] It’s not a unitasker. It’s an automated food peeler. So it’s no more a unitasker than a handheld peeler. It can peel anything with one symetrical axis.

    b] There’s no need to buy this if you only peel a few things at a time. But if you need to peel a lot, like if you are prepping apples to make cider for example, then an automated peeler can make sense. In fact, this is a very old device. The only new thing about it is the addition of an electric motor. (google “apple peeler”)

    c] No the potato doesn’t have to be perfectly oval. The cutting part is on a spring so it sits flush with the surface of the food.

    d] This actually seems to me to take up less space than the classic rotating peeler.

    Overall, not the best example of a unitasker I’ve ever seen on this site. That said, most people won’t need such a device and it will count as unnecessary clutter.

  16. posted by Celeste on

    I’d do a butternut squash on it; they’re a peeling nemesis and it’s a nuisance to roast them and have to peel the skin off the uncut side (but I do it this way if I don’t want cubed pieces).

    I saw a zuke in the photo and thought that was so dumb; no one peels those. A cucumber would have been a better choice. I could almost see it for the pears, but a tomato? What an incredible joke. Everyone knows the best way to skin those is with a boiling water dip and cold water to finish.

    I actually like to peel potatoes and carrots by hand, so I’d never buy this. As usual, I can see it being useful for somebody with hand/wrist problems. IMO anything that lets a person still do what they want to in the home for independent living is a good gadget, FOR THEM.

  17. posted by Robin on

    I loved THIS response: “I have a 6 month old and this would have worked for her for about…. I dunno… 8 weeks or so. After that, she would have wiggled too much and hit herself on the hard faucet.”

    LMAO. Clearly commenting on a different unitasker I think but very, very funny with the incorrect context.

    To Peter, it won’t peel anything with an axis. My qunt who has severe arthritis used this (a case in which it served a very valuable purpose) and it couldn’t handle carrots, sweet potatoes, squish, etc. In fact, many of today’s potatoes were too big (tall) for it to handle. It does work well with smaller circular fruits and veggies like apples, pears, (not huge) taters, etc.

  18. posted by BlackMacX on

    The core of the issue here is that it’s (for most people) a waste of electricity and the old manual peeler (though old and seemingly clumsy) is good at improving your dexterity, grip and connection with the food you eat…

    ;)

  19. posted by Andy on

    I suspect the cost of electricity for this thing is less than the cost of food to fuel your manual peeling ways.

  20. posted by Carol on

    @Celeste – I peel my “zukes” but not my cucumbers. Everyone’s different I guess.

    It seems to me that if you wanted a contraption to peel your veggies, the Pampered Chef version of this gadget would be better since it cores and slices as well. Unless you have wrist problems then I guess this would make sense.

  21. posted by Karen on

    @Robin… LOL. That was me. I don’t know HOW I ended up putting that comment there rather than on the “puj tub” post I *thought* I was reading. Sigh. Did I mention I have a 6 month old?

  22. posted by Shannon on

    I acutally used to have one and I LOVED it. I do peel a lot of of potatoes though. It is so quick and handled a lot of different shapes. Plus if you have guinea pigs (which I did at the time) they love the skins!

    But the blades wear out and I couldn’t find replacments and then the plastic cracked. So now I just have a regular peeler and it is just fine. So I loved the unitasker but really don’t need it.

  23. posted by Olga on

    That seems like such a waste… I definitely don’t have room to store it, or the desire to clean it. Regular knife is so much easier for me to handle.

  24. posted by Michael on

    @momofthree:

    On Amazon, it is being sold be “As Seen on TV Products” which is a company that Billy Mays is “associated” with. I put that in quotes because I’m not sure but (1) I see a picture of BM on their website and (2) in last week’s “Pitchmen” BM was at the company.

  25. posted by Amber on

    I think most of the stuff like this exists solely for wedding registries. No self-respecting person buys this for themselves. I can, however, picture many engaged couples wandering around the department store aimlessly, just scanning whatever they can to fill their list up. This gives the guests with $25-$50 to spend something to buy them.

  26. posted by Bill on

    If you don’t want anyone to buy this thing, why are you allowing their ads to show in your Google Ad Units? :)

    Just saying…

  27. posted by Sherri (Serene Journey) on

    Hi Erin,

    OK I’ll confess we actually had one of these and it rocked!! We used to make dehydrated apples quite a bit (for snacks) and this saved us from many a hand cramp :) We’ve since given it away because yes it does take up quite a bit of room :)

  28. posted by jw on

    Oh wow, this totally brings back memories! I remember my mom used one of these when i was a kid, she has a disability which limited use of one of her hands, so she used this to peel potatoes and apples. I was totally fascinated by this wacky gadget and the endless curly peels so I’d say this thing also functions as entertainment for kids! :)

  29. posted by Inga on

    IMO the endless curly peels justify the wasted space. Imagine the snack foods you could make with deep fried curly peels

  30. posted by Ryan on

    I loved this bad boy, but we burnt the motor out this Christmas… well there’s always next Christmas ;)

  31. posted by Caroline on

    We bought this to peel apples for apple pie. We like it, and it works well.

    We can and preserve apples in the fall, and it saved us a TON of time, and it comes apart and stores in one of our “gadget tubs” for all those kitchen bits and bobs that accumulate, but aren’t used year ’round. Those tubs go in the basement, NOT the kitchen.

  32. posted by Carol on

    I have one of these and I think it is great. Actually it is my third one. I lost one in a divorce (my husband took it to irritate me because he knew I liked it!) and my next one broke after years of usage. So I got a third one. It is not bulky or big. I throw it under my sink when not in use. It’s footprint is small on the counter. I use it mostly for apples and potatoes. I don’t like the skins and some recipes call for peeled potatoes and apples.

  33. posted by ziggee on

    I think this is neat if you are trying to do a lot of things while making dinner and trying to supervise the kids. It’s also a great tool if you suffer from Carpel Tunnel and don’t want to aggravate it anymore.

    Zig

  34. posted by Keri on

    You know, if this thing did fruits, it could be useful to people who put up a lot of fruit, like apples and pears. Stuff like this is only applicable when you are working on an industrial scale. Otherwise, a regular fruit/potato peeler takes up a lot less space (it fits in a tiny space in a drawer!)

    Of course, imagine all the privates in boot camp who’d love to see this in the mess kitchen!

  35. posted by gypsy packer on

    Anyone who wishes to can food in quantity should investigate this product. I wore out two of its predecessors (the Dazey Stripper) and have been searching for info on the Rotato’s reliability, since I can a bushel of apples or pears at a time, and generally several bushels of each.

    Otherwise, the only way this might be practical is if you have a huge famiy and live on taters. Hand peelers work fine for the small jobs.

  36. posted by spartan on

    It’s like a pole dance for vegetables.

    Shouldn’t it be made of brass?

  37. posted by TomTom, iPhone, and the death of “unitaskers” | csmonitor.com on

    […] out there would buy an automatic potato peeler? Or a towel just for toes? Or, more seriously, a pocket calculator? Productivity blog Unclutterer […]

  38. posted by The Chatty Housewife on

    I have to admit that this is the first unitasker wednesday that I actually have and use and would never give up! I have the version from a long time ago. It is simpler and hand cranked. I love it for potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams etc.

    I can’t believe I just admitted that, usually I am like AMEN!!!

  39. posted by lvana on

    I take exception with an icecube tray being called a unitasker. I make canned pineaple cubes, green tea cubes, orange juice cubes, yogurt cubes etc. and regularly make my kid healthy fruit slushies with them.

  40. posted by Barbara on

    When you have a family over for the holidays and you have arthritis in your hands and you are the youngest of the group let me tell you this is an absolute necesssity. I love it and mine broke but I am buying another one before Christmas.

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