Getting smoke and air to circulate is easy on a charcoal grill: Just open the vents in the lid to draw smoke up and over the food. But most gas grills lack adjustable vents. Now, there’s the Charcoal Companion TurboQue ($23.69), a battery-operated fan that attaches to the side of any gas grill that has a rotisserie notch. When the lid is closed, the fan circulates smoke and hot air around the food, which the manufacturer claims not only speeds up cooking but also intensifies smoke flavor (when used with a wood chip box or packet). We used it to smoke salmon and grill ribs and found that cooking times shrank from 30 to 15 minutes for the salmon and from three hours to 2 1/2 for the long-smoked ribs. Most of us couldn’t detect any uptick in smoke flavor, but the shortened cooking time and more even heat distribution created by the TurboQue make it a worthwhile gadget.
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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