Our Place Sets Out To Simplify Meal Prep With Its New Knives And Cutting Board

Our Place Sets Out To Simplify Meal Prep With Its New Knives And Cutting Board

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CNN —  

Our Place, the makers of that iconic, so-called kitchen magician Always Pan, recently launched three beautiful chef’s knives and a sturdy cutting board to go along with them. You can purchase each of the four products individually, or you can take advantage of the Fully Prepped Bundle, which will save you $35 total.

But before you do any of that, you probably want to know: How good are these knives? And do I really need this particular wooden cutting board?

Well, we took all four products — the Everyday Chef’s Knife, the Serrated Slicing Knife, the Precise Paring Knife and the Walnut Cutting Board — for a test drive to find out. We chopped, sliced and diced, we sliced soft bread, and we left dirtied knives to fend for themselves in the sink overnight, all of which brought us to a few conclusions. Read on to find out what we learned.

As a regular person — as in, someone who doesn’t use knives for a living — how do you actually determine whether a knife set is “good”?

One way to tell is to use the set in your everyday life; integrate it into all aspects of your prepping and cooking, and if you never once think to yourself, “Ugh, I wish this knife was better, sharper, more ergonomic, etc.,” then something’s working.

Our Place broadcasts that its three-piece set can replace a bulky 10-piece set. So, in order to test the claim, and to hold myself accountable, I put away all of my knives for a few weeks. I pulled the same move with the cutting board, replacing the many plastic slabs I keep crammed in a cupboard with this single hunky Walnut Cutting Board.

All three of the Our Place knives come with a black plastic storage sheath, a necessary accessory for when you’re storing sharp knives in a drawer. But because I have a knife block, I forwent the sheaths and instead housed the knives here. Trading 10 knives for three really cleaned up the look of my kitchen counter, though the near-empty block did look a little lonely.

The knives fit just fine into the individual slots of the knife block — not perfect, but since these products weren’t designed for one another, it wouldn’t be fair to deduct a point here. (Still, I want to highlight this in case the aesthetic of your knife block is important to you; my 10 other knives all fit snugly into the block, but for some reason the Our Place Everyday Chef’s Knife in particular put up a bit of resistance and sticks out above the block’s slot.)

All three of these knives, made from premium German stainless steel, feel really good to hold — not too heavy, not too light, but just right. Credit goes to the knives’ “full-tang blade design,” which means the steel extends all the way through the handle (with “partial-tang” blades, the steel ends before the handle does). According to Our Place, this feature gives the knives “perfect weight and balance,” and I’d have to agree.

The three knives I received had handles in the “spice” color, a pinkish, terracotta hue that really stands out from the black and brown handles of my collection. (The Always Pan also comes in spice, so if you feel joy when the items in your kitchen match, this might excite you.)

Color in the kitchen is fun, and certainly a trend that newer brands are embracing. The knives are also available with handles in a grayish black “char,” a country blue “blue salt,” and a creamy neutral “steam.” Whether you decide to buy the bundle set or each knife separately, you can choose to mix and match the handle colors.

But you can’t judge a knife by its handle color alone (if you could, however, Our Place would excel). Here’s a closer look at how the three knives performed on their own:

Our Place

The Precise Paring Knife

This knife, the smallest of the bunch, does everything you’d want a paring knife to do. It neatly slices through veggies and fruit without requiring much effort from its handler and is comfortable to grip and wield.

It’s an ideal size (a 4-inch blade and 4.31-inch handle) for coring and quartering an apple and for mincing a shallot with dexterity. While it doesn’t have “everyday” in its name, the Precise Paring Knife seems to be the most versatile of the tools, as it wonderfully serves a wide range of kitchen jobs. Consider this knife endorsed.

Our Place

The Everyday Chef’s Knife

I love cooking with buttercup and kabocha squash, but cutting them can be a real pain. These types of squash have an incredibly thick outer skin, and to halve the vegetable I often have to stand over it, pierce the skin with the sharp tip of a knife and then put my full weight on the knife to cut all the way through. A grunt is usually involved.

And so, I was surprised by how swiftly the Everyday Chef’s Knife severed the squash, only requiring about 30% of the effort I usually put into the task. I wasn’t prepared to dominate the squash so easily, and so I sliced through a bit of my thumb and forefinger. It all happened so fast, but if I had to dissect the event, I’d say I didn’t move the hand that was stabilizing the squash out of the way as quickly as I needed to — I’m used to having more time, because I’m used to working with an underperforming knife.

And so, despite the bloodshed, this is a very good knife. Just be careful!

The squash test proved to me that this knife has muscle. That said, I might not turn to the Everyday Chef’s Knife every day. With an 8-inch blade and 5.27-inch handle, it’s longer than I’m used to — it fe

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