From Season 13: Sunday Brunch
Pancake batter dispensers are the secret behind restaurants’ quick-to-the-plate, perfectly shaped disks. Seeking similarly professional results at home, we tested five batter dispensers priced from about $10 to $30, comparing each with our usual method of scooping up batter with a quarter-cup measure. Although dispensers eliminate the messy batter trail left by that method, the narrow mouths on three of the models made them nearly impossible to fill cleanly, and their small capacities forced us to refill (and spill) repeatedly. The bulky design on one model made it hard to see the batter as it hit the pan—as well as gauge how much to release. Two others trapped up to a 1/2 cup of batter in their mechanisms. We fared better with a French press look-alike with settings for different pancake sizes and a plunger that smoothly pushed out batter. But our favorite was beautifully simple. Just a squeeze of this tall plastic cylinder with a heat-resistant silicone nozzle allowed us to draw letters and shapes in addition to creating perfect pancakes.
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.