We Tried 8 "Time-Saving" Summer Fruit Hacks & Here's What Actually Worked

What's best fresh during the summertime? (Aside from air and sunshine, of course.) Fruit! From berries to melons, mangos and more, it's all in season — ripe, and ready for the picking. And peeling. And cutting. And de-pitting. And coring. So, even though we love to eat the sweet stuff, prepping and packing it is another story — completely. Not only is fruit often a time consuming pain to slice and dice, but it can also result in a very real physical pain. Need we even mention dreadful avocado hand? We're cringing.

Because of this, any time we catch wind of a miracle fruit hack we are all ears for working it into our kitchen arsenal. But more often than not, when put to the test these hacks fall short of the "amazing ease" and "super speed" they always seem to promise. In order for a food hack (or fruit hack) to be successful, in our book, it must be time-efficient, generally mess-free, and safe. (Keeping our fingers definitely trumps extra-quick chopping.) With those guidelines in mind, we decided to put a handful of the most seasonal fruit hacks to the test, so you don't end up wasting time or slicing a hand or finger over them.

Click ahead to find out which of the following eight turned out to be time-savers, time-sucks, or all around duds.

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Coring Strawberries With A Straw 



Time-Saver Or Time-Suck?
Time-saver! I didn't have a steel straw on hand in my kitchen, but takeout chopsticks? Those I had plenty of and they totally did the trick. Washing and then coring strawberries is a huge pain in the ass that not only takes up time in the kitchen, but also has caused more than a few finger cuts from knife slippage. Not only did my makeshift chopstick method successfully de-core the fresh berries, but it was surprisingly speedy (I finished the whole carton in a matter of minutes). This is a fruit hack that I will 100% be utilizing this summer.
Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

The Easiest Way To Slice & Cube A Mango  



Time-Saver Or Time-Suck?
Time-saver. In the past, I've always taken to first peeling my mangos before getting down to the ensuing mess of slicing and attempting to carve out that menacing pit (which again, has resulted in a fair share of knife nicks). This method was not only faster, but above all was safer and less of a total mess. My only complaint? Not getting every last bit of the mango off of the skin.
Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Peeling An Avocado With A Glass Cup (& Yes, An Avocado Is A Fruit!) 



Time-Saver Or Time-Suck?
Time-saver. Although I've tested this hack in the past with a lackluster outcome, this time around my feelings changed. With a ripe avocado this method is pretty foolproof and not as a huge of a mess as I remembered. Not only did the the avocado "meat" come out quickly with little to no mess, but I was also able to avoid an "avocado hand" incident a la Meryl Streep. So overall, a win-win.
Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

The Fastest Way To Peel An Orange 



Time-Saver Or Time-Suck?
A bit of both. Was this hack fast? Yes. Was it efficient? Not entirely. Perhaps had I stuck with a smaller, thinner-peeled orange (like a clementine or tangelo) this hack would have proven more fruitful (wink, wink). But with a regular, big-old navel orange it was a bit of a miss. The cute little unraveled peel plate was essentially non-existent and the segments remained intact and stuck together. However, do I prefer this slicing and spreading method over just going at it with my fingers alone? Kind of. Because at the end of the day, who wants messy orange fingers?
Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Cube A Melon In Record Time 



Time-Saver Or Time-Suck?
A bit of both. Was it record time? I wasn't totally convinced. But was it a total waste? Not entirely. Cutting watermelon is MESSY no matter what which way you slice it, so if you can cut and store the thing safely then that's all that really counts. Cubes in this case, although easiest for storing in my fridge, were messier than I'd have liked them to be and a bit on the terrifyingly slippery side when slicing.
Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Easiest Way to Cut a Watermelon 



Time-Saver Or Time-Suck?
Time-saver! Here was a watermelon cutting method that, dare I say it, I actually enjoyed. It was much less of a slippery mess than the cubing method and I felt safer using the melon rind as a dry buffer when cutting. I also was huge fan of the grab-n-go snack quality that the slices provided with their mini rind handles. So although not the most efficient cut for storing melon in the fridge, this does deserve the title of "easiest" cutting method.
Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Make Nice Cream With Overripe Bananas 



Time-Saver Or Time-Suck?
If you value a fairly waste-free lifestyle, then this fruit hack is a definite time-saver (in terms of eliminating food waste). However, I wasn't entirely sold on the effort put forth for the finished product. My blender was not strong enough to nice-ify the frozen bananas solo, so I was cornered into adding water to get things moving, which in turn generated a thinner, more soupy-like bowl. In the future I'll stick to simply freezing my ripe 'nanners as smoothie additives or using them as a softer spread on nut butter toast.
Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Make Fruit Ice Cubes With Leftover Berry Bounty 



Time-Saver Or Time-Suck?
Neither. Again, this fruit hack is less of a time-saving method and more of a waste management trick. Consuming all of your fresh berry bounty during the summer before it spoils may not be possible. So, when in doubt or fear of wasting the sweet stuff, this ice cube hack is an ideal savior. It takes little to no time and is a tasty addition to water, wine spritzers, and our favorite, rosé. Check out some more of our favorite cube hacks here!