The Super Smart Strawberry Hulling Trick We Wish We’d Known About Sooner

There's nothing quite like a sweet little strawberry to brighten those lazy summer days, whether you're buying a package from the store or venturing out to pick 'em yourself. But once it's time to eat the juicy fruit, you have to figure out the best way to prep the berries. Hulling strawberries (removing the green tops and the tough white portion under the leaves) can be frustrating and messy.

Here to save the day once again is TikTok, giving us simple life hacks for our everyday kitchen problems (and hulling berries is no exception). We found more than a couple of ways to hull strawberries online and also spoke to a pastry pro to find out the best methods. To sort out this question once and for all, we put four top strawberry hulling methods to the test in our kitchen to find out the absolute best way to hull a strawberry. Read on for our berry good tips.

Related: How to Store Strawberries So They Last, According to a Berry Expert

Why Should You Hull Your Strawberries?

Before we get into the nitty gritty, a little background for you: the leafy green top of a strawberry, or the calyx, is actually edible. Removing it, along with a bit of the white core, is usually desirable before eating strawberries because some people find the white core to be tough and bitter (it also depends on how ripe your berries are). And for presentation or baking purposes, you probably don't want a bunch of leafy greens in with your beautiful berries, right? Hulling will remove the leafy top and a bit of that core.

But before you begin hulling, some advice from the pros. "A big tip before you even take the green top off—wash your strawberries! Use a veggie wash and rinse really, really well," says Casey Doody, a pastry chef at GT Prime in Chicago. Make sure to wash your berries before hulling as washing afterward will give you mushy, waterlogged berries.

Related: Cindy Crawford's Strawberry Pie Is the Simple Sweet I Want to Eat All Summer

4 Ways to Hull a Strawberry

Not including picking the stem off with your fingers, I found four different ways to hull strawberries: using a strawberry huller, a paring knife, a teaspoon and a straw. I tested them all out to see which one came out on top.

1. How to Hull a Strawberry With a Strawberry Huller

This easy-to-use tool is only a few dollars and can be found at kitchen supply stores (I found mine at HomeGoods). The technique is simple, no-fuss and no-waste: Simply insert the metal claws into the top of the berry, twist and pull. This method has the least amount of waste and is completely fool-proof. The only downside? You may not want another single-use kitchen tool cluttering up your kitchen drawers.

Hulling with a strawberry huller<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Hulling with a strawberry huller

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

2. How to Hull a Strawberry With a Paring Knife

This is the method Doody recommends. Yes, there's a bit more waste and you're going to have a stained cutting board, but this is how the professionals do it. "We have a strawberry pavlova on our menu right now and we use a ton of strawberries," Doody says, "but we do not do the hulling with a specialty instrument. In a professional setting, a paring knife is our go-to."

Once you get the hang of this method, it's quick and efficient and you'll get better at only removing the top and a tiny bit of the fruit. If you tuck the tip of the knife under the leaves and cut a cone-shaped bit out of the berry you'll waste less fruit than if you lop the top straight off.

Slicing tops off with a paring knife<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Slicing tops off with a paring knife

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

Related: 80 Must-Try Recipes to Enjoy This Strawberry Season

3. How to Hull a Strawberry With a Teaspoon

I was dubious about this one until I tried it myself. Insert the tip of a teaspoon into the berry, carve out the white core and stem and discard. Simple, yes, but I found if your teaspoon is a bit more rounded than pointed, you may have trouble digging into the berry, causing a mushy mess.

Using a teaspoon to hull a strawberry<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Using a teaspoon to hull a strawberry

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

4. How to Hull a Strawberry With a Straw

This method was my favorite and I'll tell you why: Not only was I safe from slicing my fingers with a knife (I'm accident-prone, ok?), but it was fun, easy and strangely satisfying (just make sure you have a straw cleaning brush on hand). One caveat: you must use a hard plastic or metal reusable straw. Paper straws or flimsy plastic ones won't work. Doody offered another tip for this method, which made it easier to get the hang of: "If you just pick off the leaf and then place the straw over the dimple on the top, you can aim it [easier]."

Hulling strawberries with a reusable plastic straw<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Hulling strawberries with a reusable plastic straw

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

Next: 40 Berry Good Strawberry Dessert Recipes You Have to Try ASAP