From Season 5: More Italian Classics
The server at your local Italian restaurant uses a rotary grater to rain Parmesan over pasta at the table, but does this grater have a place at home? To find out, we tested eight models, grating Parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella, and even chocolate and including a variety of test cooks with different hand sizes and strengths.
Most of the handles were tiny and slippery, and even the most comfortable of the lot became painful after extended use. All but two struggled with mozzarella and cheddar; these two were more successful because of their larger grating drums, which kept the cheese from sticking.
We concluded that a rotary grater is much too slow for use in the kitchen. None of the grater hoppers could accommodate more than one or two ounces of cheese at a time, and each grater gave us hand fatigue after just a few moments of use. Get out a box or rasp grater if you need grated cheese for a recipe.
All of this said, a rotary grater is nice for the table, in part because there's no risk of raking your knuckles across the grater plate--a common occurrence with a box or rasp grater. Be careful, though, when it's time to clean up. Many rotary graters take some finesse to disassemble, as you must touch the sharp grater drum to release the handle for cleaning.
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.