From Season 11: Lazy Day Breakfast
Because our winning model from 2004 has been discontinued, we reopened our search for the most efficient performer. We tested six traditional (not Belgian) waffle irons, among them our previous Best Buy, as well as round and clover- (or heart-) shaped newcomers. Each featured adjustable temperature settings for varying degrees of doneness, nonstick surfaces, and indicator lights. The best irons produced waffles that were evenly cooked and consistently browned from the beginning to the end of a batch—and in the promised shade of light to dark. (Our worst performer made only light golden waffles even on its darkest setting.) Besides visual cues signaling when the iron is ready (or the waffle is done), we especially valued an audible alert since it frees you from the tedium of hovering over the iron. Heat-resistant handles and casings were also important.
Faced with new, stiffer competition, one of our old favorites plunged to the bottom of the rankings due to a slow cook time and waffles that weren’t nearly as evenly crisped and golden as other models’. The thick heating coils of our winner extending under most of the cooking surface, which helped to ensure uniformly golden waffles that cooked efficiently. In addition, it offers six temperature settings as well as two texture options: a “quick bake,” for a crisp exterior and moist interior, and a slower bake, for uniform texture. Besides indicating doneness with lights, it also beeps loudly to get your attention when breakfast is ready.
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.