Parchment Cooking Bags
The traditional French cooking method en papillote uses parchment paper as a packet in which to bake—and serve—fish, chicken, meat, or vegetables. The enclosed cooking environment helps concentrate flavors while keeping delicate foods like fish moist and intact. In the past, we’ve found making packets from parchment paper cumbersome and substituted aluminum foil. A new product, PaperChef Culinary Parchment Cooking Bags ($3.79 for 10 bags), promises to eliminate the fuss: Simply slide food into these basic bags made of parchment and then fold over the open end three times to seal. We prepared chicken, fish, and vegetables in the bags, comparing them with foil pouches and traditionally crimped parchment. Food cooked similarly in each wrapper, but the PaperChef bags sped up preparation, taking 1½ minutes to fill and fold (compared with 2½ minutes for folding foil and 5½ minutes for crimping parchment). At 38 cents per bag, they are not as cheap as parchment sheets (19 cents) or foil (10 cents), but they do eliminate the need for scissors and a ruler and taming unruly sheets of curling parchment.
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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