From Season 3: Lemon Meringue Pie
A good rolling pin can qualify as a family heirloom. But if your grandmother's tried-and-true pin has not been passed down to your kitchen and you want to buy one, you have quite an array of choices. Should you buy a pin with a nonstick coating, one that is made of marble, or one with ergonomic handles? Could any one pin really make a difference in your baking? We tested eight models readily found in kitchen and hardware stores of varying design, materials, and features by rolling out three types of dough—delicate pie pastry (pâte brisée), sweet tart pastry (pâte sucré), and elastic pizza dough.
On our minds were leverage, maneuverability, effectiveness, and overall comfort and ease of use. And we were particularly interested in the versatility of these pins—whether they could perform equally well on all tasks. No one wants more than one pin in the kitchen. For all three doughs, we were looking for a fast, easy roll—one that allowed us to feel the dough and did not require application of too much pressure.
Almost immediately a favorite and a least favorite became evident. No matter the type of dough, testers universally loved the tapered pin and disliked the nonstick model, which they found too lightweight to be effective and most definitely not stick-free. After this discovery, the only question was to identify the best size.
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.