Which electric knife is best?
For many, the scene is familiar: You’re standing around a magnificent turkey on Thanksgiving or presenting an elaborate roast to a dinner party of friends and family, and the carving pressure is on. If you’re comfortable handling a razor-sharp knife, this might not be a big deal. However, if you’re looking for an easier tool that produces perfect slices with minimal effort or skill, an electric knife is the way to go.
The Cuisinart AC Electric Knife is easy to handle and works well on turkey and ham. It’s also comfortable enough for people with hand pain to use.
What to know before you buy an electric knife
Corded vs. cordless
Electric knives can be either corded or cordless. Corded knives offer more power and can be used for as long as they’re plugged in an outlet. The downside is that you always need an outlet in order to operate them.
On the other hand, cordless electric knives run on batteries and can be used anywhere. You’ll need to keep extra batteries on hand or have a charger to make sure you have enough power when you need it.
Blade length matters, especially if you’re cutting into a large fish or piece of meat. Look for blades with a length of 7 to 9 inches. This length allows for the most flexibility and versatility.
Another consideration is your intended use of the electric knife. Different blades are used to cut different proteins. The blade to cut a roast is sturdier than the one for filleting a fish.
What to look for in a quality electric knife
If you don’t want to choose your knife based on one type of protein or cutting task, look for one that comes with additional blades. These might vary in both length and cutting edge to provide more uses.
Depending on your use, electric knives can go through a lot of batteries. The best come with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that offer anywhere from one to three hours of use per battery.
Variable speeds come in handy. These allow you to slow down when carving around bone and speed up when working your way through a large piece of meat.
Accessories make it easier to use your knife. These might include:
- Carrying or storage case
- Cutting board
- Carving fork
- Instructional charts
At a minimum, your electric knife should include a storage case to protect the blade.
Electric knives are sharp and dangerous. Children should never operate them, but in the event you’re using them around younger family members, safety features can protect them from harm. Blade locks and a quick shut-off button can prevent accidents and injuries.
How much you can expect to spend on an electric knife
Electric knives are an affordable kitchen tool. Expect to spend $15- $175, depending on functionality and accessories.
Electric knife FAQ
Is there a recommended technique for using an electric knife?
A. As with any new kitchen tool, there’s a bit of a learning curve. To get the best results, do the following:
- Stabilize whatever you’re cutting with a carving fork or other utensil. You can also carve the meat or slice the bread on a kitchen towel to keep it from shifting as you cut.
- Let gravity and the knife itself do the cutting work. There’s no need to saw or press down as you cut.
- To cut around bones or joints, use a slower speed and make shallow cuts. This allows you to see exactly what you’re carving around.
- When you’re finished with your cut, release the power button and gently slide the knife out of whatever you’re cutting.
How do you care for an electric knife?
A. Electric knives should never go into the dishwasher, but the blade is removable. Take care as you remove it and wash with hot, soapy water. Dry completely, then set it aside as you wipe down the body of the electric knife (including the cord).
If the edge of your electric knife dulls, you can either sharpen it yourself following the manufacturer’s instructions, or you can take it to be professionally sharpened at your local grocery or hardware store.
If one is included, always store your electric knife in a carrying or storage case.
What’s the best electric knife to buy?
Top electric knife
What you need to know: This electric knife comes with features and accessories that make it easy to use and store.
What you’ll love: It has a wide stainless steel blade that starts up with light pressure on the switch. The results are consistent, and it’s versatile across a wide variety of cutting tasks. This set includes a cutting board, the knife itself, a form and a storage tray.
What you should consider: This knife is loud when in use, and some of the plastic parts can break.
Top electric knife for the money
What you need to know: Hamilton Beach offers this economical choice for those on a budget or who only use an electric knife occasionally.
What you’ll love: It’s easy to use and clean. The handle is comfortable and well-designed, and the knife comes with a carving fork and storage case. One of the best uses is on thick, crusty bread.
What you should consider: The power button is in an awkward position, and users with smaller hands felt the handle was too large.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Take your carving on the go with this battery-powered knife.
What you’ll love: The included two lithium-ion batteries power this knife for three to five hours total. The kit includes four different blades and a carrying case. It’s great for carving on site when fishing and hunting.
What you should consider: Users note that the blades don’t hold their edge well.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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