From Season 12: Southeast Asian Favorites
To find out, we gathered four smoker boxes ranging in price from $12.79 to $82.45, three made of stainless steel and one of cast iron. Using our favorite gas grill, we smoked a chicken in each one as well as in our tried-and-true foil packet. The result? All the boxes were easy to fill and use, and all but one fit neatly under the grill grates.
The real test came when we tasted all the chickens side by side. All but one--which bellowed smoke too quickly, yielding acrid results--produced chicken that was at least as good as the chicken smoked with a foil packet. The best-tasting bird was smoked with our winner, a small unit that will fit in almost any grill. Its thick cast iron was slow to heat, letting the chips smolder a good long while, providing clean smoke flavor without bitterness or soot. It was easy to fill, empty and clean. At just under $13, it’s a worthy, reusable investment that beats fussing with foil.
For years, whenever we wanted a smoky flavor in gas-grilled food, we wrapped soaked wood chips in aluminum foil packets and placed them over the burners. Would vented metal smoker boxes filled with soaked wood chips do a better job?Watch the Video
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.