Tiki How-To: Zesting Limes Safely and Quickly

Tiki How-To: Zesting Limes Safely and Quickly

"I zested all these limes for you...." Karaliaprincess—DeviantArt

“I zested all these limes for you….”

Earlier this Tiki Month, I posted about how sous vide infusing can drastically reduce one of the two main obstacles to making your own falernum at home: Time. I wrote there that the remaining obstacle to free experimentation with falernum is obtaining one of the two universal ingredients: Lots of fresh lime zest. While attempting to distract the PeguWife from the overwhelming aroma of clove that was briefly emanating from her kitchen as I toasted the aromatics, I let her see her cut-proof glove, which was now covered in pressed in lime zest and juice. This proved not to be a beneficial distraction…. Leaning into the skid, I complained that my fingers were sore from maneuvering nine limes through the flaying process. “There has got to be a better tool,” she replied.

I told her that I had read of a purpose made device for just this, but that it was eighty bucks… and discontinued. Besides, it is a unitasker, and if you even write that word, you know who will show up and…

No unitaskers!

Yeah. See?

She dug into one of the cabinets and came out with her tabletop apple peeler.

I said, no…

It also peels potatoes.

Ah, yes.
Carry on.

With a little work, you can indeed peel a lime with one of these devices, but it isn’t great for obtaining zest. The blade cuts too deep and you get the white pith. Also, the inner structure of the lime is too weak for the tines, and the lime goes off the rails at least half the time. After a few moments of thought however, I struck upon an alternate method that is extremely easy, clean, and safe.

Here’s what you need:

Apple peelerA counter mounted crank apple peeler. The one I’m linking here is only twenty two bucks. There are numerous models in the ten dollar range, but they are suction cup-mounted, and made from zinc alloy instead of cast iron.

MicroplaneA basic Microplane zester/grater, or other brand of similar design. You need this long, narrow model.

LimesGood, fresh limes. The more plump and firm they are, the better. You want the kind with the smooth skin, not the rough, bumpy Persian jobs.

I made a video the show the process, or this post would be another 2,000 words. Let me know what you think of the production values, please!

…and how you like the process.


  1. Dagreb

    24 February

    Funny, I use plump round ones for juice and rough bumpy ones for zest.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  2. Doug Winship

    25 February


    The Persians often have good zest, but the bumpy surface keeps the lime from spinning smoothly when using the peeler.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  3. Insanitiki

    25 February

    I now have a 3rd use for my apple/potato peeler! Thanks, great idea! Video was clear, instructions seem to be spot on!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  4. Wes

    26 February

    Genius!!! I will be doing this from now on!!!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  5. Frederic

    26 February

    Was half expecting a multi-use of a power drill… Epic post though!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  6. Doug Winship

    26 February


    My original intent had been to try a power drill. But finding the mount proved difficult, and my experiments with the peeler tell me that the drill would have been too fast. But it would have been truly awesome. #Binford

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  7. Joe

    28 February

    I will try this for coconut grating purposes.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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