Designed to scoop melon flesh out in perfectly shaped balls, a melon baller is more versatile than you would think. With two sizes of scoops, one at each end of the handle, most well-made ones have stainless-steel bowls with edges that are slightly sharp. It’s perfect for getting into places where a knife, fork or spoon can’t. For instance, it takes mere seconds to scoop out the chokes (the inedible hairy section) that cover the delicious heart of the artichoke! Here are five other ways to keep this handy kitchen tool busy:
1. Pineapple-eye scooper.
Peel a fresh pineapple with a knife and you’re left with inedible eyes all over the fruit. Using a knife to cut out the eyes in rows creates waste. Instead, use the smaller bowl to scoop out the eyes.
Watch: How to peel and core a pineapple.
Seed or core apples, cucumbers, hot peppers, pears, tomatoes, watermelons or winter squash in a flash. Cut in half, then scrape out seeds or put the cup of the melon baller on the core and cut out.
3. Large strawberry-huller.
Place the cup at the edge of the stem, push into the berry and turn the scoop. Then pop the hull out.
Watch: Easy way to hull strawberries.
4. Stone-fruit pitter.
Use to pit apricots, nectarines, peaches and plums for a smoother look.
Scoop little balls of chocolate ganache to make truffles.