Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

Rhubarb convinces with its own refreshing aroma. The green or reddish stalks of rhubarb with their spreading leaves have long had a niche existence in domestic kitchen gardens. But lately, the plant has gradually regained a foothold in cakes, compotes and lemonade. Here we explain whether the stalks need to be peeled before processing and how peeling is particularly easy.

Clean the rhubarb properly

Before the actual question about peeling, we should briefly deal with the topic of cleaning. Because no matter whether the tasty sticks are peeled or not, they should be cleaned before processing. Otherwise, during the peeling process, dirt and possible pathogens could get from the peel that is actually to be removed to the fruit via the tool used.
Cleaning is very easy due to the solid and quite smooth surface. After removing the leaves, the rods are simply rubbed under running water by hand, or with a vegetable brush brushed off. Even the partially existing grooves and ribs in the cross-section of the stem can be easily reached with the bristles and freed from adhesions.

notice: Did you already know that rhubarb plants are hardly eaten by snails and other animals due to their high oxalic acid content? It is therefore not necessary to cut out feeding spots in most cases.

To peel or not to peel?

Once the rhubarb stalks are clean, the question that is discussed again and again is whether they absolutely have to be peeled. This question can be answered very easily: no, Rhubarb does not necessarily have to be peeled. The skin is basically edible and therefore does not need to be removed. but: In many cases it still makes sense to remove the skin before consumption or further processing, because

  • the skin is considered the most fibrous part of the stems
  • with age, the skin becomes thicker and firmer
  • as the freshness decreases after harvest, the skin hardens due to the loss of the moisture it contains

As a result, the skin is safe to eat, but its fibers don't look great in compote, cakes or other types of preparation. It therefore makes sense to remove the shell from older stems or stems that have already been harvested a few days ago.

tip: If you cut the stem at the bottom after cleaning, you can quickly determine how hard or tender the shell is. In this way, it is possible to decide very quickly on an individual basis whether peeling is actually necessary. However, the condition of the skin cannot be determined solely by thickness, length or appearance!

Tips and tricks for peeling rhubarb

So you've decided to peel your rhubarb. So that the work does not become unnecessarily complex, there are various ways to make it easier and faster:

1. Pull off fibers

Removing the skin is quick and easy by hand if you simply pull off the fibers from the head of the rod. It works particularly well if you lightly score the upper cut surface with a kitchen knife when you cut the leaf and thus loosen the fiber from the pulp and pull it off in its entirety. This procedure works in most cases and is considered the classic among the rhubarb peeling methods.


  • fast way of working
  • little loss of usable pulp


  • very fine or particularly thick fibers can tear off so that complete removal is not possible

2. Over scalding

By briefly scalding them with hot water, the fibers are easily detached from the flesh of the still raw sticks and the skin can be peeled off more easily and completely.

Suitable for:

  • fiber removal

Without benefit with:

  • Application of the peeler
  • Boil and strain to remove skin

3. Freezing

If the rhubarb is not to be processed immediately, but should be frozen first, it should only be freed from its shell after it has thawed. Because the freezing of the cells reduces the hold of the skin to the pulp and the fibers can be pulled off more easily in their entirety.

Suitable for:

  • Types of preparation where the rhubarb does not have to be freshly harvested
  • Processing not immediately after harvest

Unsuitable for:

  • Immediate processing after harvest

4. Peeler

If the fibers cannot be pulled off, the skin can also be removed with the help of a classic vegetable peeler. It is important to work in the longitudinal direction, starting at the upper end of the handle.


  • good for thick, leathery skin
  • safe removal of the entire skin


  • relatively high effort
  • due to thin skin, high loss of actually usable pulp

5. Remove peel after cooking

As an alternative to removing the shell when raw, the sticks can first be boiled and then their shells removed, for example when used as a compote. For this purpose, the rods should remain as long as possible. After they have been boiled until soft, they can then be strained or turned through the so-called "Fleet Lotte". The hulls, or rather their fibrous, hard components, remain in the sieve.


  • minimal loss of usable substance
  • high working speed possible


  • only possible with further processing in boiled and chopped form

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!