In the test kitchen we use large (16 /8 by 24 3/8 inches) commercial-grade sheets of parchment paper that we order by the case from professional kitchen supply stores. Because most home cooks are stuck with retail-grade parchment, we decided to compare a few popular brands. We tested these products using two of our recipes: Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies and Thin-Crust Pizza.
For the cookie test, we lined baking sheets with each type of parchment paper. After 12 minutes in a 375-degree oven, all brands performed well, displaying little browning and no charring at all. Release was also good with all brands; the cookies slid off their respective parchment sheets with ease. While the two brands that come in a roll tended to curl up at the edges, this problem was easily solved by placing the sheets with their curled edges down. The weight of the dough kept the parchment paper flat.
With all brands performing well with cookies, we moved on to a more stressful test with our Thin-Crust Pizza. (Pizza dough is rolled into a 14-inch circle between floured sheets of parchment and plastic wrap. The plastic is removed, the dough is topped with sauce and cheese, and excess parchment is trimmed. The pizza, still on the parchment, is then slid onto a preheated pizza stone in a 500-degree oven and baked for 12 minutes.) Once again, none of the brands burned. However, size mattered. Only one brand was wide enough to handle a 14-inch pizza. It won our overall test.
But we also identified a second winner when we considered lining cake pans. Cutting parchment to fit can be tedious and wasteful. We found a package of special parchment rounds to be a good bargain compared to a roll of supermarket parchment. One package contains 24 liners for eight- to nine-inch round cake pans and tube pans, 12 for each shape.
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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