A week or so ago, I wrote about a set of really quite good kitchen knives, part of the new Jamie Oliver range.
I was also sent a few more bits and pieces to try.
The knives were great.
Would the rest measure up?
Garlic slice & press
I question the need for garlic presses to even exist in the first place.
A hefty smack with the back of a knife and a bit of quick chopping will do the job better than any garlic press on the planet.
That aside, this is a fairly good example of the form – it crushes garlic, as you’d expect, and deals well enough with the skins, but it also has a second compartment that produces neat slices, which I must admit is quite ingenious. Again, you could do this with a knife, and your slices would probably be thinner, but this press would definitely save plenty of time if you ever need a huge amount of garlic slices.
The press is made out of a solid piece of brushed zinc and it has a satisfying weight and solidity about it.
As with all garlic presses, it’s a bugger to wash up.
Twist & slide apple corer
Yes, it’s just an apple corer.
Yes, it has a little gimmick hidden away.
When you core an apple, you’re left with a plug of core wedged in the corer, which is sometimes tricky to dislodge. The Jamie Oliver corer solves this with a quick twist of the handle, which splits in half allowing the bottom part to slide down the barrel of the corer to nudge the plug of apple back out the way it came.
In practice, this works well, although the handle sometimes twists in the hand as you plunge the blade into the apple. Nevertheless, a neat little trick.
The metal part of the corer is so sharp that it slips into an apple like a hot knife through butter.
This is a simple plane grater, with slightly larger than average holes to produce a decent size grating and a big ergonomically designed grip.
The bend in the frame at the bottom lets you rest it on a work surface or plate whilst allowing some clearance for the cheese to collect underneath.
It’s ridiculously sharp.
I took a slice off the top of my finger with this on the first grating. The cutting edge is so sharp that I didn’t notice that half of my index finger had disappeared until I saw the blood.
It comes with a safety cover for a reason.
Another clever trick, this is a normal peeler with three interchangeable heads that snap in and out of a universal handle.
The handle feels good in the hand and the peeler blades are very sharp. There’s a straight blade for your common or garden peeling needs, a serrated blade to deal with soft fruit and a julienne blade that produces long, fine slivers of carrot, cucumber and the like that are great in salads.
The heads are held fairly firmly in the handle, but they’ve popped out of place the odd time when faced with a stubborn peeling task.
Five utensil set
A simple set of five everyday utensils, including a fish slice, soup ladle, serving spoon and the like. All are of solid stainless steel construction with rubberised inserts on the handles to aid grip.
They’re supposed to hang on a purpose built wall rack, but mine found their way into a drawer. This caused a few storage issues – many of these utensils are designed with a pronounced curve or bend in the neck – great for getting deep into pans, but hopeless when they’re in a drawer.
That minor grumble aside, these are attractive brushed stainless steel tools that have the feel of kitchen equipment that’s going to last a very long time indeed.
There’s some very good equipment here that’s well made using quality materials. Some of it can seem s little gimmicky at first glance, but there’s some solid design and thinking behind those gimmicks, and the end result is a range of good quality, practical equipment that will clearly last.
You could do much worse.
If you want to buy any of this stuff, check out the carousel below, or visit the Store, and have a look in the Kitchen Gear category..