From Season 2: Fajitas and Margaritas
After several years, we have grated hundreds of pounds of hard cheese, citrus zest, chocolate, shallots, garlic, carrots, radishes, and horseradish, and our favorite rasp grater remains an excellent performer overall. Our readers agree. Seventy-five of you responded to a Web survey, and not one reported significant dulling with normal use. That said, we recently noticed that its rasp-like design was no longer unique. We put three new rasp-style graters through their paces to see how they compare.
The results? The first required massive brute strength to produce even a few wisps of grated Parmesan. The second had the opposite problem--it gripped so well that it dug into the pith of the lemon. The third felt flimsy and lacked a handle, which made it difficult to use. And our kitchen standby? It breezed through all four tasks, producing piles of cheese, chocolate, zest, and ginger with minimal effort.
That said, we do have a note from the kitchen. Both readers and test cooks pointed out that this zester breaks down hard cheese into very light, feathery shards that weigh less than cheese grated on box or rotary graters when measured by volume. For instance, our tests show that 1 ounce of Parmesan grated on the fine holes of a box grater yields 1/2 cup of grated cheese, whereas the same 1 ounce grated on a rasp yields 3/4 cup of grated cheese. When following a recipe, then, use the recommended weight of hard cheese. If the amount is given by volume grated on a box or rotary grater, increase it by half if you are using a rasp grater.
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.