How we tested
Tomato corers help you hollow out the stem and the tough, tasteless core of a tomato. But do they work any better than a paring knife? We tested five models, all priced under $8, and rated each on speed, precision, and comfort compared with our winning paring knife.
Surprisingly, every model but one went through tomatoes faster than a knife; this is because they make a continuous scoop instead of several angled cuts. The lone slowpoke is actually a strawberry huller, but the manufacturer claims that it works on tomatoes, too. We found that it plucked out the stem with ease, but its metal prongs were too short to reach the bottom of the core, about halfway down a large tomato, and we had to clean up with a knife; we’ll stick with strawberries and small tomatoes with this huller.
The remaining four corers look like small spoons with serrated edges. Some had uncomfortable handles that were too thin and slick or flat and sharp; others were dull, and we had to force them through the flesh, beating up our tomatoes. The best model was deft and lightweight; it made the cleanest, easiest cuts and has a rounded-off plastic handle that was comfortable in hands large and small. A knife works well, but this inexpensive corer cut our prep time in half—handy when you’re working with large quantities of tomatoes for stuffing, canning, or making sauce.