Cook's Illustrated American Test Kitchen

Discussion in 'The Good Life' started by qhsdoitall, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. qhsdoitall

    qhsdoitall Wilbur

    The new issue just came in. Here are a couple of highlights from the testing section.

    Balsamic Vinegar - Lucini Gran Reserva Reserva Balsamico $14
    Chef's Knives - Victorinox Fibrox 8in - $23 (Second time winner)
    Rasp Grater - Microplane 8.5in Grater/Zester $13
    Microwave Popper - The Back to Basics & NordicWare Poppers
    Cookie Sheet - Vollrath pan w/parchment paper - It was noted that any non-stick is discouraged. Use light colored pans.
    Box Grater - Cuisipro Accutec Box Grater - $36
    Bench Scraper - Oxo $8
    Ladle - Rosle Ladle $24

    As usual there was some good recipe articles like Chinese BBQ Pork, Parmesan Crusted Chicken, Roasted Tomato Sauce, Pan roasted asparagus dishes, garlicky schrimp with bread crumbs, ultimate lemon layer cake and several other mouth watering items. I'm hungry just writing this.
  2. msandoval858

    msandoval858 Active Member

    I have about 4 years worth of issues and 5 of their books in my kitchen. Definately one of the best resources around!
  3. qhsdoitall

    qhsdoitall Wilbur

    My mainstay cooking magazine has been Taste of Home. I started getting this last year. I have about 60 cookbooks including the entire California Culinary Academy Series. There will be a couple of books from Cook's Illustrated in my future that are on clearance and I'll be checking out the web site today. For some reason it was off my radar for many years since I had other magazines and such. Time to catch up.

  4. They're better than the ubiquitous Dexter knives, but they don't hold an edge well.

    As for non-stick, I don't know what I'd do without my Silpats.
  5. qhsdoitall

    qhsdoitall Wilbur

    I have a couple of light, dark and non-stick. I adjust according to which sheet and what I am making at the time.

    There was a Kershaw Shun 8.25in Ken Onion they really liked but it was $194. They were commenting that the Japanese steel was really coming out on top in recent years. I have a Henkels 9in Cermax Japanese steel that I love. I just have to find a nice diamond steel sharpener or ceramic to go with it.
  6. qhsdoitall

    qhsdoitall Wilbur

    The "custom" knife they showed which was not evaluated but they wanted to show off was one from a gentleman named Master Bladesmith Bob Kramer of Olympia, WA. He only does kitchen cutlery. The knife they showed was $475
  7. My cheapest Japanese knife is much better than the best German knife I ever had. No turning back for me.

    I've heard some good things about the Cermax Henckels, but I have yet to see one.
  8. Mama Bear

    Mama Bear New Member

    What is a Silpat? :o
  9. PalmettoB

    PalmettoB The Old Guard

  10. I'll just add that it's my favorite kitchen gadget, and indispensible for baking.

    Or course, now they're making everything out of silicone.
  11. fuerein

    fuerein New Member

    I took a recreational cooking cooking class last year (actually it was a series of classes, but who's counting). Anyway, one guy in the class bought one of the Ken Onion chef knives from the store just before class, he let me hold it for a bit, very nice knife.

    The top of the knife on the heel is much wider than on standard knives making it so the top of the knife doesn't dif into your hand if you are using the normal "pinch grip" most people suggest using to get most control of your knife. Also the thing is really, REALLY heavy for a knife it's size.

    Overall, it's a very nice knife but I honestly think the heft is too much IMO.
  12. qhsdoitall

    qhsdoitall Wilbur

    This is where try before you buy would be a great thing. A chef knife is one of those personal preference things.
  13. Of course, once you use it, it's a used knife.

    I do agree that it's a good idea to hold one in your hand before purchasing one. You may find, for example, that a 9 1/2" Japanese knife is more nimble and easier to handle than an 8" German knife.
  14. qhsdoitall

    qhsdoitall Wilbur

    Agreed and unfortunately, the local Bed, Bath & Beyond or cutlery place usually does not carry the really good stuff that you can look and touch. God forbid if you grabbed one of their cutting boards and tried one. :) I say if you can test drive a mercedes you should be able to test drive a chef's knife.
  15. Absolutely- there's no reason that can't let you play around with the display model. How else can you tell if the knife's for you?

    I was recently at a Chef's Central, a giant kitchenware store in NJ, and watched in amazement as a salesman was showing another rookie how to sharpen a customer's knife. Imagine- the customer paid a dollar an inch for them to practice on his knife! :mad:
  16. qhsdoitall

    qhsdoitall Wilbur

    I'd have a fit! Then again, I learned to sharpen knifes as a Boy Scout on stones. Which reminds me, I need to find a good Diamond or Ceramic Steel for touch ups.

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