For the month of November, we’ll be pulling together the items you’ll need to have as seamless a Thanksgiving as possible. We spoke to chef Matthew Rudofker, executive chef at Momofuku Ssäm Bar and Má Pêche, about his unglamorous — but very necessary — turkey carver.
Chefs definitely don’t look upon electric knives as highly as they do regular knives, but electric ones are really such an undervalued tool — particularly the Cuisinart CEK-40 Electric Knife. At Ssäm Bar, one of our Thanksgiving traditions is to offer diners a turducken (a chicken cooked in a duck cooked in a turkey). Initially, when we sliced it, we would use a conventional knife — but we soon realized we actually needed something that would cut through the crispy skin without tearing the meat. So Nick Wong, our chef de cuisine, went out and bought this knife, and immediately, we said, “Wow!” The truth is that it works way better than any fancy Japanese slicer, and that’s how the electric-knife tradition on Thanksgiving was born.
When it comes to actually slicing meat, even a really sharp knife will shred the meat instead of neatly carving it. This knife takes all the work out of cutting something with a crispy skin (you don’t have to be a pro). Because it’s serrated, moves fast, and is sharp, it easily pierces through the skin so you get really clean slices with the same consistent quality every time. One year we got a cheaper electric knife, and the handle on the thing got so hot. The Cuisinart is sturdier and has a thicker handle so it won’t overheat in your hand. Of course, it’s ideal for Thanksgiving turkey, but it’s also great for using on barbecue or braised meats (like bo ssäm), too.
As told to Priya Krishna