The nonstick cooking sprays that abound in supermarkets might make refillable oil misters seem like a gadget without a cause. But they offer savings over the long term (9 cents per ounce to refill with canola oil versus 60 cents per ounce, the cost of PAM), and being able to choose the oil has its appeal. In our search for a mister with a fine, even spray that’s easy to use, fill, and clean, we tested five brands ranging from $10.30 to $18.89, pitting them against our favorite commercial spray, PAM Professional High Heat.
We filled each mister with canola oil to the specified level (all held between 2/3 and 3/4 cup) and started out by coating 12-inch skillets and muffin tins to see how long each mister could sustain a continuous spray. We also spritzed them on brown wrapping paper to study the splatter patterns.
The misters came in two types: standard and pump. The lone standard sprayer, which works with a simple downward push on a thimble-sized nozzle, was a bust. It sputtered out blobs of oil in sporadic bursts, and took 17 squirts and 34 seconds just to coat a skillet (PAM did the job in one second; our winning mister, in two). With the other four misters, you pump the cap (and an attached plunger) up and down several times to build up pressure before spraying. All the pump misters covered pans much better than the standard spray mister, but some sprayed unevenly, occasionally spitting out large droplets of oil.
Our winner consistently delivered a fine spray and thin, uniform layers. Inexpensive, comfortable to use, and simple to clean up, it’s also entirely dishwasher safe (unlike some of its rivals). Both the winner and the second-place model can be used for infusing oils with herbs and spices. We tested them with dried basil and both performed well, cleanly expelling flavored oil. PAM had the most powerful spray overall so we’ll still stock it in our kitchen, but our winning oil mister is an excellent, cost-effective, and refillable alternative.
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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