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July/August 2017

Watermelon Slicer and Server

Many of our kitchen drawers are filled with gadgets that are adept at performing a single task. Did we need to make room for another one?

How We Tested

The Angurello Watermelon Slicer and Server by IPAC ($15.96) promises to make quick, easy, and clean work of slicing and serving watermelon. It’s essentially a set of tongs with two connected, parallel, crescent-shaped blades at one end. To use the tool, you insert it into a halved watermelon and guide it down and across the flesh in rows, creating mostly rind-less slices of consistent width. Once you’ve cut slices in one direction, you can also make a new set of cuts at a right angle to the original ones, producing rectangular fingers of melon. To serve, you pinch the tongs around each slice or finger and lift it out. We wanted to know whether this tool does a neater, faster, more consistent job of cutting and serving watermelon than a knife, so we put it to the test.

The results were clear—and disappointing. The watermelon released just as much juice when we used this tool as when we cut it with a knife, and while the tool’s blades were sharp, it wasn’t faster or easier to use than a knife. In fact, it took slightly more time to make each new cut line up with the last, and we had to yank upward awkwardly to dislodge the tool after each slice. Those big, scythe-like blades lacked precise control when serving the fruit, sometimes mashing it in the process. And of course, if you buy a whole watermelon, you’ll still need a knife to cut it open.

Worse, because it was impossible to gauge how deeply the tool was slicing into the melon, we either took too much off the bottom (leaving on undesirable rind) or, more often, too little (wasting lots of fruit). Either way, the finished slices and cubes—though of consistent thickness, as promised—had odd, swooping, erratically cut bottom edges. Additionally, some tasters bemoaned the lack of a rind “handle.”

For perfect, presentation-worthy watermelon slices and cubes, save your money and stick with your knife. A serrated knife will get the job done in less time—and much more attractively and efficiently, too.

Methodology

We tested the Angurello Watermelon Slicer and Server by IPAC ($15.96) by using it to slice and cube watermelon halves and quarters. We timed each session and compared the results to the times logged by a serrated knife; we also compared the messes generated and the quality of the slices and cubes produced. We purchased the product online.

EASE OF USE: We assessed the product on how easily it cut watermelon slices and cubes, how smoothly it maneuvered around the watermelon, and how neatly it served the slices and cubes.

PERFORMANCE: We assessed the product on how consistently it produced uniform, attractive-looking, rind-free slices and cubes of watermelon without wasting fruit.

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The Results

Winner
Recommended

Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

$33.31*

Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

Admittedly expensive, this handsome block certainly seemed to live up to its billing as “the last knife block you ever have to buy.” The heaviest model in our testing, this block was ultrastable, and its durable bamboo exterior was a breeze to clean. Well-placed medium-strength magnets made it easy to attach all our knives, and a rotating base gave us quick access to them. One tiny quibble: The blade of our 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a little

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.