Kitchen Knife Review

The Best Pumpkin Carving Knife this Halloween

The Best Pumpkin Carving Knife this Halloween
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Guess what guys, it’s that time of year again! It’s time to bring pumpkin carving to the top of your priority list and drop all non-essential tasks to ensure that your house is sufficiently adorned with spooky pumpkins, flickering awway with candle lights and making this the best ever Halloween. Man, I love Halloween.

One problem we all face is getting our pumpkins carved just right; we battle away with all different types of kitchen knives trying to get the detailing just right, and doing our best not to carve out too much for the mouth or eyes, because otherwise pumpkin catastrophe is just around the corner when you create a half-wit pumpkin who looks more lopsided than spooky.

Pumpkin carving is very delicate art, and the problem lies in that the utensils we try and use to create our perfect halloween pumpkins are just not designed for the intricate edges and curves we need to carve out of these oversized orange balls.

Using a Pumpkin Carving Knife Kit

Don’t get me wrong, this Warren Brass and Walnut pumpkin carving kit is not the first and only tool designed for this purpose. BUT, it is the first one that does a good job at pumpkin carving and gives you half a chance of having the best jack-o-lanterns on the street.

As you can see from the picture over on the left, it is a quality bit of kit and looks like a pumpkin carving kit should; classically designed, with a great looking solid handle and a good range of knife blades that you can swap in and out in a flash.

The knife blades range from a heavy duty saw blade to help you do the guts of the heavy lifting; cutting out the top of the pumpkin and scooping out all the fleshy innards. The blades get progresively finer to help you do the more detailed work; cutting out the mouth and eyes and right down to a super fine knife blade that will let you put eyelashes on your lantern, if you so wish!

Quality wins for Pumpkin Carving

I would say that 90% of the pumpkin carving kits we have seen are really lacking in quality. Weak, flimsy carving blades that can snap, or plastic handles that make it difficult to properly direct the blade and feel like they are going to fall apart in your hand any moment.

It’s worth pointing out that the best pumpkin carving kits tend to replicate paring knives used in the kitchen; short and strong, reliable blades with chunky handles to help you get a real good grip and keep control of the carving knife.

This is really one of the best pumpking carving kits we have seen, and would highly recommend it for budding jack-o-lantern artists, or for anyone who is fed up with limp pumpkins and lopsided eyes. It looks great, is reliably built, easy to clean and safe, with a big brass divider between the handle and the knife blades.

Do you need a Chocolate Knife?

That's a knife for working with chocolate, and not a knife MADE out of chocolate.  If you thought there could possibly be no need for such a thing, think again, after checking out this piece from the LA Times

Not just any chocolate knife, but one made by Berti, the 117-year-old Tuscan artisanal knife producer known for its beautifully crafted cheese and kitchen knives for four generations. At the Berti workshop in Tuscany 20 miles north of Florence, each piece is made from start to finish by the same craftsman, an unusual holdover from another era. This is no production line, but a serious work of craftsmanship informed by the hand of one person.
That means the knives from Cotellerie Berti are more expensive than industrially produced versions. But it also means they are unique.

The beautifully designed chocolate knife looks to retail around $275, so it really is for the cook who has everything (including a large budget).

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Knife Starter Set from the Huffington Post

Some sage words from the Huffington Post blog. When asked about getting a good set of kitchen knives for a small budget, we get a sensible response:

Without a doubt there are good knives for modest money. New knife technology's taken knives no serious cook would touch years ago into the pro's class. As a starter set for her I suggest the two knives every chef begins with -- a three-and-a-half to four-inch paring or utility knife, and a seven to eight-inch chef's knife.

There are far too many instances where people go around recommending excessively priced kitchen knives and lauding them as the only ones worth their salt. Truth is, there are plenty of good knives out there for not a huge amount of money

Click here to read more.

Nigel slater loves midweek

The Guardian Nigel Slater's midweek dinner: grilled squid, chillies and rocket The Guardian Remove the head and tentacles from four medium-sized prepared squid and set aside. Slice the body sacks down one side and open them out flat. Score the surface of each piece in a crisscross fashion with a knife , cutting only about halfway through the ...

Carry on reading...

The Best Egg Fry Pan For 2011

The Best Egg Fry Pan For 2011
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I have previously been somewhat skeptical of frying pans dedicated to only one job, but I have gradually come to the realization that if you are join to have a frying pan to only do one job, then it would be to fry an egg. Of course, you then get in to dangerous territory (“treading on egg shells”) because why not have a frying pan just for frying two eggs, or maybe four at a time to feed a family?

Regardless of that, this One Egg Wonder Pan from Tefal is a great little addition to any kitchen - I suppose you could get yourself two to cover your bases. It features Tefal’s famous non-stick coating on the inside and out (ready: easy to clean, too!), and it is designed to perfectly fit one fried egg. Of course they are not overly specific about what size of fried egg fits best, but I assume it’ll do just fine with a medium to large egg.

Although we admire Tefal here at Kitchen Knife Review, we do have to admit that this product could quite possibly have been produced by any number of kitchenware manufacturers, but it was probably just that Tefal got in their first. Of course, the company does have a great track record of producing long lasting non-stick surfaces, which is one of the main criteria for a frying pan to excel at if it is going to be frying eggs!

Certainly not a must-have for any kitchen here, but if you find yourself doing one or two fried eggs in the week, it will make your life a lot easier, minimize on washing up and will take less of your time to actually look after and nurture the frying process.

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The Best Digital Food Scale In 2011

The Best Digital Food Scale In 2011
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Kitchen scales used to be a thing of beauty and good standing in a kitchen - they would wait proudly in the corner for you to put something in one side and fiddle around with countless tiny weights until you get a rough measurement of what you were looking for. Times have moved on somewhat now, and whilst I still like to keep a trusty weight-based kitchen scales around in the kitchen, I also recognise the need for more accurate measurements on smaller foodstuffs and weights.

That’s where the digital food scales come in, which are basically small, computer powered kitchen gadgets that can give you a lot more accuracy when measuring our your ingredients. One major advantage of this is, of course, that it can switch between grams, ounces, pounds and kilograms. Whilst this isn’t good for our mental arithmetic, it is great news for making sure your baking turns out as it should.

Originally branded as a weight loss and calorie counting aid for those trying to lose weight, this EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale has generated quite a name for itself across all demographics around the world.

It is accurate down to the 1 gram mark (or 0.05 ounces), which is more than enough for any cook and chef, no matter how closely they are counting calories.

One of the big wins for me, though, is that this digital food scale (and of course, many other new fangled kitchen scales) is small enough to go in a drawer or just tucked away inside a cupboard - it does not need the large footprint demanded by the old school kitchen weighing scales!

So, if you need accurate and compact kitchen scales, definitely give this EatSmart Precision Pro a closer look.

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The Best Pastry Scraper And Chopper

The Best Pastry Scraper And Chopper
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If you’ve baked anything then you have already been there. Stuck in an impossible situation of trying to get sticky pastry off of fingers on both hands whilst trying not to get it stuck to yet another kitchen utensil, and not wanting to ruin your new tea towels by just dry scrubbing it off. It is, quite possibly, the most frustrating situation for a baker to be in, and in all honestly wastes quite a lot of time as you’re trying to get yourself out of the sticky mess.

A pastry scraper makes a lot of these problems go away, and OXO are old hands at making great quality, usable and durable kitchen stuff. It is designed so it can double up as a scraper and a splitter - you will appreciate being able to split and cut dough on your chopping board without having to pollute yet another kitchen knife or spatula with dough. The scraper is where it really comes into its own, though, as you can easily scrape the inside of a bowl, or even a chopping board, clean.

As with most OXO kitchen utensils and gadgets, this “good grips” multi-purpose scraper comes with an extra come handle, which means no matter how many cookies you’re cuttin’, your hands should stay nice and comfortable. As a bonus, there are measuring marks along the pastry cutter, which help you when slicing and cutting specific sizes of dough.

Of course, given that OXO are very good at making kitchen products that are designed to be used and abused, this pastry scraper and chopper is fully dishwasher safe!

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