From Season 9: Bringing Home Italian Favorites
Heavy cooking around the holidays means constantly opening your refrigerator and freezer, which causes temperatures to fluctuate. To monitor the safety of our cold storage, we use refrigerator and freezer thermometers. But is one model really superior to another? We chilled six brands (plus a digital thermocouple, which recorded our control temperature) to find out. All six offered wide temperature ranges (the lowest from -40 degrees to the highest at 86 degrees) and gave accurate readings, proof that shelling out a lot of money is unnecessary for simply reading the temperature. Spending a little more, however, will buy you space-saving convenience and a few bells and whistles. Analog models mounted on door shelves, but one brand was a struggle to clip on. Another model lost points because it had to sit on or hang from a shelf, taking up precious space, and was easily knocked over. The best analog model suctioned securely to the wall and sported an adjustable, easy-to-read display.
A step up were digital, wall-mounting models. In addition to exact readings and ultra-clear displays, both also offered alerts—the former beeps, the latter lights up automatically—when temperatures rise into danger zones (above 40 degrees for the refrigerator; above 0 degrees for the freezer). But one standout, which puts a probe on a 75-inch wire that can easily reach a top, bottom, or side-by-side freezer, has earned a permanent spot in our cold storage for displaying simultaneous fridge and freezer readings. It’s our new favorite.
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.