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Equipment Reviews

 
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 6:14 am    Post subject: Equipment Reviews Reply with quote

I've been addicted to watching America's Test Kitchen and was wondering how reliable their kitchen equipment tests are in the sense of being comprehensive in selection. Are they really selecting a good portion of the market when they review their products, or only really name brands...

Where else can I find good kitchen equipment reviews besides the mostly subjective Amazon user reviews. Is there a website dedicated to doing this? Otherwise, I may think of starting one myself Laughing Out Loud
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1606
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cook's Illustrated (the team behind America's Test Kitchen) do a pretty good job with most of their equipment tests - they have twenty to thirty testers (usually from their test kitchen chefs) try out the product and they clearly state what the objective is and which characteristics they are providing subjective and objective ratings. They usually select a decent cross section of instruments that you can reasonably find in stores on the East Coast of the U.S. (where they are based - Boston). Sometimes there will be a couple items I've never heard of and can't seem to get my hands on in store (in California) or, occasionally, mail order. Twice, I've managed to buy one of the last of a discontinued item from a manufacturer after they were given a favorable rating.

What do you think if I started a user contributed review section on cooking for engineers? Set it up with certain guidelines for reviews so they won't just be "the best knife I've ever used!"? Would you use this feature?
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Thor



Joined: 24 Jul 2006
Posts: 112
Location: Camp Hill, PA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ConsumerReports.org can be useful. They usually include good narratives on the category of gear to be reviewed. I use it as a quick way to learn the basics about the product I am looking for.

However, it's hit or miss as to whether they have reviewed the type of product for which you are hunting, especially non-appliance kitchen gizmos. And I can rarely find the models they actually reviewed, mostly because manufacturers change their product lines faster that the stuff can be reviewed. Mostly I hate to pay for the subscription.

I too enjoy the Cook's Illustrated reviews. I too have experienced minor difficulty in finding products they recommend. But still, it might just be "the best unbiased cooking equipment tester magazine I've ever read".
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