Handling cakes can be tricky, whether you're stacking fragile, split layers as you frost them or moving an iced cake to a serving platter. In the past, we've pressed other kitchen gear into service, such as rimless cookie sheets, the bottoms of tart pans, or pizza peels. Now bakeware companies have created cake lifterslarge spatula-like devices designed to slip under and support cakes, preventing breakage. We put six lifters, priced from $9.99 to $29, to the test.
Moving the two un-iced layers of Strawberry Dream Cake posed no problem for any cake lifter. But as we transferred each of the thin, fragile, split layers to assemble a four-layer lemon cake, we were grateful for the extra support. Large lifters got in the way as we tried to line up the layers' edges. Smaller lifters let us see what we were doing. The greater challenge, however, was moving cakes after they were assembled and frosted. Thin cake lifters, though easy to slide under cakes, flexed and bounced under the weight. Lifters that were too large or unbalanced felt awkward and heavy, straining our wrists. Poorly designed handles provided no leverage.
One lifter fell right in the middle. It's slightly flexible, small enough to maneuver for stacking cake layers, and sturdy enough to let us hoist finished cakes with confidence. Plus, we like the comfortable offset handle. Do you need a cake lifter? Not really, but it's a nice addition to the avid baker's bag of tricks.
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.
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 wasn’t sharp enough and the long narrow blade produced slightly jagged cuts.
|Recommended with Reservations|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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