From Season 4: Freedom from Red Sauce
Is there an easier way to achieve finely minced parsley than rocking a chef's knife back and forth a hundred times? We tested several kinds of herb choppers and mincers to find out.
The first gadget tested was a stainless steel mill. It has a hopper in which you put the herbs and a series of small blades that chop them when you turn a hand crank. For all of the herb choppers tested, we used basil, parsley, rosemary, and garlic. The seemingly solid mill gagged on each one, and they had to be pinched and pried out of the hopper.
Next in line were herb rollers, which depend on a row of wheel-like blades that are pushed back and forth over the item to be minced by means of a handle or some sort of protective casing. Rollers are comfortable, easy to use, and fast—so fast that they crushed and bruised the parsley and basil leaves into a slimy green mush in about 30 seconds. The rosemary and garlic didn't fare too much better, being reduced to odd-shaped bits and pieces, and the garlic tended to stick to the blades.
The most newfangled entry in our lineup was a product that featured a round plastic case with a ripcord inside that, when pulled and released, turned a blade that tore up everything we gave it into large, rough, unevenly sized pieces. And more pulls of the ripcord didn't help much. A beat-up clove of garlic looked much the same after 75 pulls as it did after 25.
Unfortunately all of these gimmicky gadgets failed to get the job done. We suggest you stick with your chef's knife.
Victorinox (formerly Victorinox Forschner) 6-inch Straight Boning Knife: Flexible
The nonslip grip and narrow, straight blade let testers remove the smallest bones with precision and complete comfort. Perfectly balanced with enough flexibility to maneuver around tight joints. The low price was a bonus.
|★ ★ ★||★ ★ ★||$19.95|
Wüsthof Classic Boning Knife
Hefty in weight, this knife was a solid performer when removing poultry bones, and the handle was easy to grip, even when covered in chicken fat. Piercing silver skin was a challenge since the tip wasnt sharp enough and the long narrow blade produced slightly jagged cuts.
|★ ★||★ ★ ★||$99.95|
|Recommended with Reservations|
Mundial Boning Knife: Flexible
The sharp tip performed well when removing silver skin, but it was too flexible when maneuvering around poultry joints, leaving testers feeling a lack of control. The heavy handle was slightly unbalanced and became slippery once covered in poultry fat.
|★ ★||★ ★||$19.95|
Shun Gokujo Filet Knife
Designed to replicate a samurai blade, this expensive knife was a disappointment. It struggled to pierce the silver skin, although long cuts were smooth and even. Minimal flexibility and extreme curve got in the way when maneuvering around joints. The smooth handle was hard to grip and slippery.
MAC Boning KnifeChef Series
The large, cumbersome handle reminded testers of an outdoors knife for fishing and hunting. The blade was too wide to maneuver around joints and it struggled to pierce silver skin. Unlike other knives, this boning knife could only slice in one direction, making intricate cuts around joints difficult.
Messermeister San Moritz Elite Flexible Boning Knife
The blade was so flexible it led to erratic cuttings; testers said the knife was hard to control. The blade was not sturdy enough to maneuver around joints and the lightweight handle felt flimsy and unbalanced.