The hull is the leafy stem of the strawberry and the small part of the fruit that it is attached to. This part of the berry always needs to be removed before cooking with them, or chopping them up for a salad or other dish, and there are several ways to go about it. You can simply chop off the whole top of the berry, or you can use a small paring knife to cut out the hull. I usually use the paring knife method, but was tempted into trying out the Chef’n Stem Gem on a recent trip to the kitchen store.
The Chef’n Stem Gem is a neat little strawberry huller that looks like a berry and promises to make very short work of the strawberry hulling process. You simply push the button on top to open the stainless steel claw at the base. Press the claw into the berry, around the hull, then release the button and twist the gadget to remove. The claw doesn’t have sharp edges, just uses pressure and good design to cut through the berry. This little gadget also works well with tomatoes, easily removing the stem and “hull” of those fruits, so it’ll multitask every time you want to make gazpacho or salsa.
It works very well and is very efficient. I never had to go back to a berry to get anything it might have missed and it never gets too much “good” berry as it hulls. It might be a fraction slower than my paring knife (if I’m working very fast), but the difference is not noticeable and this is much easier to use. I’m definitely glad I gave in and picked one up because it’ll get a lot of use in my kitchen this strawberry (and tomato) season!