Mushroom Growing Kit
You can’t get any more local than food you grow yourself on spent coffee grounds. That’s the idea behind this mushroom growing kit, which claims to grow oyster mushrooms in as few as 10 days: Just cut into the cardboard box and spritz the coffee grounds, which are injected with mushroom spawn, with water twice a day. After harvest you can turn over the box and grow a second batch. We placed two kits in the test kitchen away from direct sunlight as advised. After 10 days, the mushrooms had sprouted but remained too small to bother cooking—that is, until one weekend when we left them in a room with a humidifier. By the following Tuesday, the boxes had exploded into big, beautiful mushrooms, though by this point it had been a month since we started. So is it worth it? Only if you enjoy the gardening process, since the kit won’t save you any money: Oyster mushrooms sell for about $12 per pound and our $19.95 kits each yielded two 1/2-pound batches.
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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