Electric Knives

Published December 1, 2009. From Cook's Country.

Electric knives might seem like relics of the 1960s, but we wanted to see if these knives had any place in the modern kitchen.

Overview:

Often overlooked since their heyday in the 1960s, electric knives remain on the market and claim to be able to cut every course of a holiday meal, from appetizers right on through to dessert. During our testing, passersby from other departments in our company all had the same reaction when they saw what we were testing: “I haven’t seen one of those in years. Does anybody still use them?”

We selected four new models under $20 and tested them slicing roast beef, turkey breast, angel food cake, and apple pie. The results were clear: Contrary to manufacturer claims, electric knives are not adept at slicing meat neatly and thinly—all four models (including the winner of a past testing) shredded beef roasts. Plus, they're aggravatingly loud; we prefer to carve with our favorite slicing knife. What their powered pairs of independently moving serrated blades do best is cut through delicate baked goods without crumbling and slice through crisp turkey skin without ripping.

Often overlooked since their heyday in the 1960s, electric knives remain on the market and claim to be able to cut every course of a holiday meal, from appetizers right on through to dessert. During our testing, passersby from other departments in our company all had the same reaction when they saw what we were testing: “I haven’t seen one of those in years. Does anybody still use them?”

We selected four new models under $20 and tested them slicing roast beef, turkey breast, angel food cake, and apple pie. The results were clear: Contrary to manufacturer claims, electric knives are not adept at slicing meat neatly and thinly—all four models (including the winner of a past testing) shredded beef roasts. Plus, they're aggravatingly loud; we prefer to carve with our favorite slicing knife. What their powered pairs of independently moving serrated blades do best is cut through delicate baked goods without crumbling and slice through crisp turkey skin without ripping.

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