From Season 5: New Flavors from the Grill
No longer content to confine their grilling to the back porch, Americans are taking to the road, starting barbecues wherever there are friends to partake. There are dozens of portable gas grills on the market, ranging from the inexpensive (about $40) to the truly outrageous ($800—for diehard tailgaters). We set our ceiling at $200 and gathered six models to test.
Our selection included two models that are truly portable—meaning that you can comfortably carry the grill by yourself for a moderate distance—and three that are not—large, awkward to carry, and designed to be deposited directly from the back of the SUV and onto the beach. We quickly learned that the smaller models, though conveniently portable, offered little else of value.
The small models suffered from the same problems. Both offered little heat output and flimsy grill grates. The steaks from these grills featured paltry, anemic grill marks and took more than three times as long to cook as they would on traditional sedentary gas grill. While both models were easy to pack up and carry, we couldn't really think of a reason why we'd want to.
The three largest models worked the best. They all featured large grilling surfaces, high heat output, and sturdy design. Even the strongest among us, however, found it difficult to carry these grills more than a few feet. But if you're looking for a grill to bring to the beach—make that drive to the beach—we recommend our reasonably priced winner, which also features a handy flat griddle (perfect for pancakes).
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.