The IceOrb by Fusion Brands is called a “vertical ice tray.” Instead of lying flat, its soft silicone is bent into a circular wall, creating a small bucket 5 inches tall by 5 inches in diameter, with 21 protruding oval pockets for the ice. It’s appealing and simple: You fill the silicone bucket with about an inch of water, then push in a hard plastic liner (forcing the water up and into the mold), place its Tupperware-like lid on top, and freeze. Once frozen, you can use the IceOrb to chill a bottle of wine or keep ice cream or a dip cold while transporting or serving. (A pint of Häagen-Dazs slipped in with room to spare.) The lid is designed to go underneath to protect the table from condensation.
To free the ice, you remove the liner and squeeze out the cubes, producing about 2 cups of ice. The device becomes an ice bucket (which kept cubes cold and mostly unmelted at room temperature for more than an hour, though we could not quite fit two batches, never mind the 51 cubes advertised), or you can store the first batch of ice in the liner while making more. The ice was odor-free, with no plasticky off-tastes, and the device is top-rack dishwasher safe.
We had two minor quibbles in our first-time use: The fill line is nearly invisible; and freeing the liner to remove ice is tricky, because it is solidly frozen in place. Rough handling could crack the liner. We advise letting the orb thaw for a few minutes before removing ice. All in all, we like the IceOrb, especially for serving ice cream or other cold foods at summer parties and picnics.
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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