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Jun 24, 2013 01:46 PM

New CHOW Product Reviews

We're excited to announce the launch of CHOW's cookware and kitchen gadget reviews. In the weeks and months to come, we’ll publish reviews on a wide range of kitchen tools: knives, pans, blenders, bakeware, coffee makers, and more. All products are tested in the CHOW Test Kitchen, a 1,300-square-foot facility in downtown San Francisco. Each will have a star rating from CHOW’s Product Review Team, as well as detail breakouts on how each item is made, how it performs, and whether it’s a good value. You’ll see quick summaries of the Good, the Bad, and the Bottom Line for each product, and a more detailed review that describes the tests we put it through to come up with our results. Product selection is based on several factors, including what’s new and trending in the market and what the home-cooking experts on Chowhound are talking about.

Today's soft-launch includes five reviews. We’re launching a new thread for each on the Chowhound Cookware board to stimulate community discussion. And we’ll eventually embed Chowhound discussions right on the same page with our kitchenware reviews, so everything will be in one convenient place.

General comments or questions about the Product Reviews? Feel free to post those here. Also read our About Page for more information: . We hope these reviews will be an essential resource, particularly for our community of home cooks on Chowhound. If there are cookware items or small appliances you'd like to see us review, let us know.

Finally, if you’d like to discuss the products themselves, head to the discussions on the Cookware Board, which I will also link below.

Dave MP

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  1. Here are links to the first 5 product reviews, along with links to the Chowhound discussions on these products.

    Review of Wüsthof Classic 7 Pc. Knife Block #7417:
    Discussion of Wüsthof Classic 7 Pc. Knife Block #7417:

    Review of Le Creuset Rectangular Skinny Grill:
    Discussion of Le Creuset Rectangular Skinny Grill:

    Review of Shun Cutlery Classic Pro Deba 8-1/4-Inch Knife:
    Discussion of Shun Cutlery Classic Pro Deba 8-1/4-Inch Knife:

    Review of 12-Inch Chef's Stainless Steel Fry Pan from Emeril by All-Clad:
    Discussion of 12-Inch Chef's Stainless Steel Fry Pan from Emeril by All-Clad:

    Review of KitchenAid 5-Speed Custom Metallic Blender KSB580:
    Discussion of KitchenAid 5-Speed Custom Metallic Blender KSB580:

    1. Reviews look slick, and I mean that in a good way. Not sure I agree with 8 out of 10 for a Wüsthof Classic knife set, or that the length of the steel is the only negative, but will be curious to see how it plays out. Shouldn't there be a link from the review page to the discussion page as well as from the discussion to the review?

      1 Reply
      1. re: JoanN

        Thanks JoanN!

        The links are all there now, on both the reviews and the discussions. So definitely post your thoughts on the knife set in the Cookware discussion!

      2. Kaleokahu asked the following here:

        "Let's get this out there up front: Is CH or any of its employees being paid or offering discount advertising rates in exchange for writing these reviews we'll be seeing? How do the reviewers choose which products to review?"

        Thanks for asking this. We just updated the about page for product reviews (linked above) to make this more clear. Objectivity is paramount in the CHOW Test Kitchen. We purchase products at retail cost, and have no marketing or promotional arrangements with the manufacturers. Each product is put through rigorous tests based on the manufacturer’s claims and what our Team believes to be a consumer’s reasonable expectations.

        As far as choosing products, we are currently picking products to test based on a variety of factors, including new releases; market trends; buzz from our online community of home-cooking experts on Chowhound; and good old-fashioned intuition on the part of our experienced editors. As we move forward, it would be great to set up a more formalized way of taking suggestions from users on the Cookware board who have ideas of products we should review.

        Dave MP

        1. Dave--I checked out the Emeril/All Clad review. I really like that this is both text AND video. I am considerably more verbal than visual, so I don't typically view the Chow videos*. That I can READ the review makes me more likely to access it.

          *or any other videos, save for cat videos that clock in under a minute :)

          1. Dave, I have a few questions on the new product review section:

            Past the initial launch, will you be the go to person for all questions as they relate to individual CHOW Product Review questions or will the CHOW Test Kitchen testers take direct questions from the Chowhound community?

            Will testers contribute their own comments on each related Cookware thread or will there be a CHOW product review comment area as merchandise is tested?

            How often are the testers going to be reviewing products? Is there a set review schedule to tune in?

            2 Replies
            1. re: HillJ

              Hi HillJ,

              Thanks for the questions. I'll do my best to answer each of them:

              1) For questions about the products themselves, or the content within the product reviews, I generally won't be the go-to person. If there are specific questions aimed at the CHOW Reviews team that show up in the discussions, they will likely be joining in to answer them.

              2) I am not sure I totally understand this question, but maybe this will help. In the near future, we'd like to put a Chowhound discussion on the same page as each product review. So, people will be able to discuss the product right on that same page. This is the idea that davis_sq_pro outlines here, too. We still also plan to have these show up in the listing on the Cookware board, so you'd be able to access the discussion from either place. We're working on doing this, so it's still a little ways away, but it's in the works.

              3) Our schedule may change as we move forward, but right now you can expect around 2 new product reviews per week. You can regularly check the Product Review homepage, or follow along on the Cookware board, since both of these will be updated each time a new review is published.

              Dave MP

              1. re: Dave MP

                Answered & then some. One last question:

                In the Product Review "About" description it refers to the testers responding to "the buzz" on CH regarding certain products. So, I'm wondering, when the new project really takes off, where do Chowhounds post a product recommendation they would like the testers to consider for review?

                Thanks, DaveMP!