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I love oranges. They are very juicy and I really like its flavour.

The problem is that I don't know how to peel them efficiently and every time I struggle to peel them well. When I do it, I usually don't peel too deep and there is a lot of that white inner peel left in the orange so I have to remove it by hand, which is very time consuming. When I try to peel deeper I end up cutting the slices and making a mess and wasting part of the orange.

I tend to make an horizontal cut first and cutting in a circular motion until I "peel" the entire orange, but that doesn't seem to work for me.

Note that I don't mind to get my fingers or the table sticky, I just want to peel an orange in less time that I actually spend eating it, it is a little bit frustrating wasting that time.

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Wait! You guys "peel" your oranges? I've always just cut them into wedges and bite the flesh away from the skin. Usually the flesh will come out clean with zero mess and zero wastage. Note I'm not talking about HugoRune's answer. I cut them into wedges like how some people eat watermelon on the skin. I make the horizontal cut first like how you mention but instead of only the skin I cut all the way through (like fruit ninja). Then just cut the halves into wedges. – slebetman Jan 19 at 6:10
    
@slebetman I just have to laugh, lol – Simple Art Jan 19 at 22:04
up vote 24 down vote accepted

That question has been asked on cooking.stackexchange before, and the answer by Jolenealaska (and originally by blogger E is for Eat) quite qualifies as a life hack:

Basically, you cut off both ends of the orange, make a vertical cut along one side, and then unroll the whole orange.

enter image description here enter image description here

I have tried this myself and it works, however results may vary depending on type and freshness of the orange.

There is a nice animation of the whole process in the original blog post


Another quick way is to eat the orange while standing in the shower. Peeling is a lot quicker if you don't have to avoid a mess.

I have never tried this myself, but the process is apparently quite enjoyable for some, there is even a subreddit dedicated to eating oranges in the shower, with tons of pictures. (warning: if you click on this link, confirm you are over 18, and then open selected posts, you may, surprisingly enough, see naked people eating an orange in the shower)

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How do you eat it afterwards? Do you just push each wedge into your mouth and bit it off of the peel? Seems very messy since now each wedge has the top and bottom cut off, leaking juice everywhere. – JPhi1618 Jan 18 at 16:42
1  
@JPhi1618 I've done it. It's not messy. The cells of an orange are compartmentalized, so although a few will leak, the majority will remain intact. Works quite well. – FuriousFolder Jan 18 at 19:16
    
Hugo, could you please mark the link to the subreddit as NSFW? Because I honestly doubt there is any workplace environment where an image board of naked men and women eating oranges in a shower is allowed. – Nzall Jan 19 at 14:00
    
Well, reddit does ask whether you are over 18 before showing anything, and to see anything bigger than a thumbnail you still have to open a post, but fair enough :) – HugoRune Jan 19 at 21:52
    
This method does not work with all types of oranges, and it's a bit juicy for my likes. It is still cool looking though, for when it does work. – Pamela Jan 22 at 11:14

I really like the Tupperware Orange Peeler. It is used by dragging the hook end around the orange skin, which opens the peel up all the way to the flesh of the orange. Then it's a simple matter of getting under the skin with the flat end, then peeling the skin off with your fingers. It's a really handy tool.

enter image description here

Here's a couple available on amazon.com

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Wow, that's nice! Now do they have any similarly useful tool for avocados? :P – Mason Wheeler Jan 18 at 16:17
2  
This. Using one of these to peel an orange is not only easy and fast but there is no prep time (no need for cutting board) no cleanup (peel over the sink) and virtually no cleanup time (rinse when finished). Grab a stack of oranges and om-nom to your heart's delight. – Zhro Jan 18 at 18:38
    
I peel my orange over the waste paper basket at my work desk :) – Adam Jan 18 at 21:57

I have found I can reliably peel the entire orange

  • without splitting any of the inner slices
  • without causing drips
  • quickly

    1. I do this by starting at the tip where the stem was attached. If my thumb nail is long enough, I can dig it into the fillet between the 'nub' for the stem and the globe of the fruit. Or, I can gently use a tool.

    2. I only need to get the nub separating in one direction, then I can peel it of in a spiral. I maintain a breaking angle that does two things:

      • maintain an even-width separation of the peel
      • avoid strain that rips the slices' skin (causing a leak)

      The trick of this is really to take small tears of the rind - about ~20deg. arc (or 1/16 the diameter). This will let you re-adjust to deviation the the rind.

    3. When you approach the equator of the orange you can pull around 45deg of rind at a time, but if you get into that groove then you'll take too much when you reach the other end, and you'll tear a slice or break the rind strip. It's usually easy to 'recover' and continue peeling, but you'll probably cause a slice to leak, in order to get started.

    4. At this point the whole rind is off, and you can gently pull the slices apart individually. Pull 'pole to pole and you won't get drips. Then pull each slice off the rest by pulling along the inner straight portion of the slice. Pull evenly along that [which used to be] the axis, and be delicate of the breaking angle here, and you won't get any drips.

Your hands will get a bit 'oily' from the orange rind, but you won't ever get them wet-sticky.

Remember to 'settle' the orange rind down into one hand, so that you make a little 'basket' for the slices that you have yet to eat. This will keep everything as neat, clean and sanitary as was the orange rind and your hands when you started.

What's best is that I need no tools.

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One thing I have found to work is to just cut the orange in four 'quadrants' (use 'vertical cuts, not 'horizontal' ones). The pieces can then be peeled by hand from the corners.

Another method is to just get enough 'yellow' off from a band around the 'equator', then slice it in half and then eat it from the edges. When you have eaten enough you can turn it inside out.

Some of the oranges these days can also be peeled almost like tangerines.

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EDIT: Video link of this method (thanks to leonbloy)

This way is guaranteed to work with all but the most stubborn (really old) oranges. Moreover, your hands will not get sticky! ...And it's quick.

  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the orange--but only the peel! Do not cut off any of the actual inner flesh.
  2. Cut from the top of the orange around to the bottom, but don't cut too deep! The knife should not puncture the actual inner flesh!
  3. Repeat step 2 equally around the orange so you have 5 or 6 cuts or so (depends on size of the orange, and as you get more experienced, you can do it in as little as 3 cuts).
  4. Now, just peel the peel off using your fingers. From the top, gently wedge your fingernail (or the tip of the blade) between the peel and the inner flesh and pry off the peel. After you've removed this first peel "slice", remove the subsequent peel "slices" off in the same manner until there is no more peel (you can use these peel "slices" as small plates for your orange wedges as you eat them!).
  5. Once all the peel is off, very gently nudge the tips of your thumbs on the top of the orange and pry it open. Then, simply separate the slices with your fingers, putting the slices in your cool orange peel plates from the previous step.

This process actually takes less time than it takes to read what I've written above!

As a side note, orange peel is edible and some people enjoy eating it raw. Others make candy out of the peel. Others use the peel as zest in cooking--it's very nice in cake to remove the "egg" taste.

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A video says more than 1000 words: youtube.com/watch?v=1I7nXn4fnkU – leonbloy Jan 23 at 16:09
    
@leonbloy, thanks! I was going to take pictures, but you spared me from having to take pictures, and a video is even better! – Pamela Jan 23 at 17:25

A way to do this without any (artificial) tools and without any wastage of orange (unlike in the accepted answer) is to use your teeth: Put the orange in your mouth and sink your incisors into the skin of the orange until you feel them penetrate the skin into the interior of the orange. Then, simply pull the orange away from your teeth and your teeth will peel away the skin. Once you have a piece torn away from the orange, the rest of the skin is easy to pull off with your fingers.

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I use my fingers/nails to peel oranges (and I have peeled a lot - I consume a few of them almost every day). If the orange is soft it's easy, hard ones take some dedication and sometimes I use a pencil to make the initial puncture and go from there, but I always get the job done. If some of that white inner peel is left on the orange, I eat it - it's tasteless anyway so why bother removing it?

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I always use fingers for that too. The good thing is that the white part is naturally attached to the outer coating, so most of it comes away with it - no worries. The problem of the OP is that with knife-assited peeling, the stuff remains on the orange core. Hard oranges can be a challenge, but then it's easier to avoid them, or use something, maybe even teeth, to start, like @errantlinguist is saying. – noncom Jan 21 at 10:36

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