Published July 1, 2010. From Cook's Illustrated.
This product is supposed to simplify outdoor cooking. But does it?
The stainless steel Fire Wire Flexible Grilling Skewer (two for $9.95) is supposed to simplify outdoor cooking: a bendable, 27½-inch-long cable with a loop at one end and a stainless steel tip at the other. The extra-long cable holds twice as much food as regular foot-long skewers and can twist along curves to save grill space; unused wire hangs over the grill to function as a stay-cool turning handle. But as soon as we loaded on our chicken kebabs, the wire showed its shortcomings. First, it was so flexible, it took the use of both hands for flipping (imagine trying to turn a piece of string). Worse, the smooth, round cable tended to spin through the meat instead of flipping it. And the “stay-cool” handle? As with all skewers, raw food and cooked food must be added and removed from the same end. However, since it never touches the heat, the Fire Wire’s tip doesn’t get hot enough to kill harmful bacteria, forcing us to wash the tip of the fully loaded skewers before we could slide off the cooked food. We think our favorite sharp-edged skewers are flat-out better in every way.