Round Cake Pans
When we tested 11 cake pans several years ago, we proclaimed the cheapest pan the best. We noted that the pan had flared rather than straight sides, but we found that frosting covered up this minor problem. Since then, however, we’ve discovered additional problems. Some cakes, such as our German Chocolate Cake, don’t have any frosting on the sides. And splitting a flared cake can create two cakes of different diameters creating a finished cake that is less sturdy and somewhat homely. Finally, we recently discovered that our Pineapple Upside-Down Cake barely fits into the rather squat previous winner, with sides that measure just 1 1/2 inches tall. Clearly, it was time to find a better all-purpose cake pan—one with straight, 2-inch-high sides.
We baked génoise, German chocolate cake, and pineapple upside-down cake in several pans that fit this description. All pans were passable, but the nonstick pans stood out. The dark coatings on these pans promoted better browning than shiny surfaces and yielded more attractive cakes. These pans weren’t perfect—they lacked handles (a nice addition to our previous winner)—but they are better suited to a wide range of cakes.
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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