As the centerpiece of the traditional Thanksgiving meal, the turkey—and the bearing of the turkey to the table—inspires in many minds the tableau Norman Rockwell painted in Freedom from Want. What his painting neglects to show, however, is the head of the table struggling to slice that huge bird on its coaster-like china platter. Seasoned cooks know that turkey carving is best done in the kitchen—and requires a sturdy board. We tested several carving boards to determine which should be entrusted with the holiday bird.
A modest 15-pound turkey measures roughly 16 inches long, a fact that put 18-inch boards out of the running. After half an hour's rest, our birds shed roughly half a cup of liquid, which flooded the shallow channels two other boards.
The deeper, wider trenches on our winner and another model were far more effective at trapping juices. What's more, both boards featured meat-anchoring mechanisms that kept the main course from sliding around en route from countertop to tabletop. Our winner featured a deep, oval-shaped central well where the turkey rested snugly, while another top choice had convex rows of pyramid points that gently gripped the turkey. Our winner bested its rival, however, in its versatility. Second place, even with its generous surface area (22 by 15 inches) and sturdy, padded feet, was no match for our the best board, which with one flip could be used to accommodate a flank steak or tenderloin roast. And our winning board is elegant enough even for Rockwell's table.
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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