We tested six inexpensive ice cream makers to find out which made the best dessert with the least amount of work. All used a canister that had to be pre-frozen. After 30 minutes of mixing, we noticed distinct differences in the ice cream, depending on whether the beaters or the canister revolved. Machines that had revolving beaters produced lighter, smoother, creamier French-style vanilla ice cream than models with revolving canisters because they move the ice cream more effectively and add more air.
Two days later the results had shifted. Now the lighter, airier ice cream made by revolving beaters contained ice crystals, while denser ice creams (made with revolving canisters) were smoother. It turns out that any unfrozen water in ice cream turns into ice crystals, wreaking havoc on texture, and the airier the ice cream, the more likely this is to happen.
We recommend a popular standing mixer's ice-cream attachment, which produced a very light, ultra-creamy ice cream, with only two attachment parts to store. For a stand-alone ice cream maker, our recommendation was the fastest stand-alone ice cream maker of the lineup, producing ice cream in 20 minutes that was dense, smooth, and kept well in the freezer.
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.