From Season 1: Great Roast Chicken
A roasting rack raises poultry and roasts out of the drippings, while giving the oven's heat easy access to the whole surface—a good start toward a well-rendered exterior. And in general, we prefer V-shaped roasting racks. Why? They hold roasts snugly in place, and we prefer their fixed shape since adjustable racks have a nasty habit of adjusting when you least expect it. Recently, more V-racks have appeared on the market. Are any of them more preferable than our old standby?
Right away, we noted that not all V-racks are actually V-shaped. One had a slight bend that barely qualifies it as a "V" and left no room for roasting vegetables underneath.
Another innovative design is shaped like a trough with a hinge at the center. Remove the dowel from the hinge and the rack comes apart, dropping the roast onto a platter or cutting board. While it worked fine, this rack was another that didn't elevate the roast enough, and its size (15 inches by 11 1/2 inches) made it a tight squeeze in all but the largest pan.
In addition to shape, handles were a decisive factor. Tall, vertical handles make removing the rack easy, even with bulky oven mitts. Horizontal handles, or no handles at all, make removal nearly impossible. In our tests, we also noticed that handle position matters. When located on the short sides of a rectangular rack they can get in the way of the roasting pan's handles. We prefer handles positioned on the long side of the rack.
Our winner is large enough to hold two small chickens and has the features we like. With its handles on the short side, our old standby is now a distant runner-up.
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.