From Season 12: Pasta, Please
We admit it: The $449.95 price tag on this deluxe appliance will be a deal-breaker for most cooks. But when the SousVide Supreme introduced water-bath cooking—a hugely popular restaurant technique—into the home kitchen, we had to give it a try. Sous-vide (literally “under vacuum”) describes the process of vacuum-sealing food in plastic, immersing it in water, and cooking it slowly at the precise temperature at which it’s meant to be served (e.g., 130 degrees for medium steaks). Unlike standard high-heat methods, the beauty of this technique is that there’s absolutely no risk of overcooking the food. Even better, you can hold it at the desired temperature for hours; keeping meat at 130 degrees or higher for a prolonged period of time kills most bacteria. Plus the long slow cooking can turn tough cuts of meat incredibly tender. (They still need a quick sear in a hot pan for a nicely browned crust.) Wondering if this machine was as good as its restaurant counterparts or just another overpriced toy, we followed the simple setup instructions and cooked fish, chicken, and steaks—all with perfect results. We had only one gripe: A vacuum sealer—another pricey investment—is necessary but not included. That said, the machine would make a great splurge gift.
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.