Jamie Oliver knives and utensils range

This giveaway is now closed. The winner was Robyn Clarke, Cheshire.

Today’s final giveaway is for a set of Jamie Oliver hanging utensils with rail RRP £50. Find out how to enter at the bottom of this post.

 

We are a tad late today. 11 giveaway posts in as many days has been precisely the marathon you might expect so last night, instead of plugging away on this final post I deviated to chit chatting on Skype with Greedy Gourmet into the small hours before falling into bed.

But I’m back to give you the final instalment before I wind down for the holidays… today I will be making cutting remarks (ba-boom) about items of Jamie Oliver’s kitchen kit.

Talking about knives a couple of weeks ago, a friend assumed that I would have some amazing Sabatier numbers on a metallic strip that made a satisfying noise as I swished them off the wall to break world records for thinnest cucumber slices and bone my own chickens.

Far less impressive was the truth:
1. Oxo utility knife circa 1997 with broken tip from trying to open oysters.
2. Very blunt long knife that is neither carving knife nor bread knife. Also with broken tip.
3. Bread knife from Asda, still in cardboard and plastic sleeve displaying price £2.97
4. Two rubber handled Ikea knives, one with a crinkle at the tip.
5. Oyster knife – bought after the previous incident, as yet unused.

It’s a sorry collection and reading this review you need to understand that I am comparing The Jamie Oliver Knife Block Set RRP £120 with absolute tat. Rather like my limited wine knowledge, my opinion on knives is barely more than “I chopped stuff and my hands are still there.” If you want an analysis of their “structural strength and balance” then head over to Them Apples’ excellent review here.

Anyway, that’s me hanging my head in shame for a moment, so what did I actually think?

They are excellent knives, they make me realise what utter rubbish I’ve been putting up with for so long, similar to the feeling when I replaced our 14″ portable telly with coat hanger aerial with a big flat screen and a Virgin+ box. Slicing and chopping are now pleasurable, if somewhat dangerous activities. They look beautiful, the handles are nice and chunky, they feel satisfyingly weighty in your hand and I love that they have “paring”, “utility”, “chef” etc embossed on the edge of the handle.

In theory you see this when they’re displayed in their wooden block. Personally at 5’2″ I’m a little too short to benefit from this and as the knives sit almost vertically in their block, rather than at a sloped angle, I can’t remove them easily and I’ve opted instead to keep them in sleeves in the (child proofed) drawer.

The chef’s knife glided through this pork fillet which I sliced vertically to flatten it out for stuffing with garlic and rosemary. The utility knife sank into an onion. The bread knife zipped through a crusty loaf. It’s like when I gave my father back his 1984 VW Golf and replaced it with a brand new mark 4 model. There’s no going back.

The Jamie 3 way peeler RRP £12 is the y-shape sort, I have never got on with these preferring the traditional kind. My current one is an Oxo peeler (also from 1997) and it’s looking quite scruffy so I was glad of replacement. The 3 way peeler comes with plastic guards covering each blade, initially I thought these were just for packaging but having tried to replace the blades on the handle to test them out, I think you’d be prudent to keep them on permanently. You get a traditional blade, a soft fruit blade and a julienne peeler. The traditional blade is very effective although I didn’t feel as confident holding it as my normal one and was terrified of cutting myself. My existing peeler seems to cope perfectly well with peeling soft fruit so I’m not sure of the point of that other blade and if I wanted julienne strips in any great quantity I would use the Magimix. The mechanism for storing the 3 blades together on one holder feels very cheap and clumsy to me. It’s the weakest item in the range and I am still using my 1997 Oxo peeler as a result.

The coarse grater RRP £18 also comes with a guard and like everything else is sharper and steelier than Margaret Mountford’s stare. It takes up less space than a box grater although the latter has the advantage of grating in a various sizes or slicing.

Chopping my own garlic and chilli is something I’m very lazy about and rely on those ready pulverised jars. I use the excuse that I might want to put contact lenses in soon but this is rarely the case. The Jamie Garlic Slice’n’Press has a nice weighty feel and is jolly clever in that it will do thin slices for you aswell as just crushed garlic.

However, instead of Jamie’s Garlic Slice’n’ Press I strongly recommend the Garlic Zoom RRP £8 which I received after the Waitrose Cookery School evening (shown above). This terrifying blade that looks like something out of a Playmobil James Bond villain set whizzes round at high speed in the cavity as you roll it backwards and forwards. It will chop 2-3 fat cloves of garlic in one go, when you lift the lid the blade is easily and safely picked out by holding the green cogs, it rinses out easily in hot water without you needing to get one of those tiny little brushes to poke in any crevices. It’s my favourite gadget of the year.

Finally in the range, I tried out the hanging kitchen utensils RRP £10 each. These are made of brushed stainless steel with easy grip rubber handles; ladle with pouring lip, meat turner, fish slice, slotted spoon and serving spoon. Again they’re solid and surprisingly weighty. You do best to store these on the rail from the range as they are curved at varying angles and would waste space in a drawer.

Now in my final (phew!) of the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways, I have a set of these hanging utensils to give away…

Jamie Oliver Hanging Kitchen Utensils and Rail RRP £50 Giveaway

There is one mandatory way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries.

This giveaway is open to readers with UK mailing addresses. Readers from overseas are welcome to enter provided they can give the UK mailing address of a friend to receive the gift on their behalf with any onward delivery being at their own cost.

The winner will be chosen using an online randomiser and announced in a subsequent post on this blog – the winners of several of the 12 giveaways will be will announced together across 2-3 posts according to their closing dates.

To win:

1. Mandatory. Leave a comment below telling me which kitchen gadget you find essential at Christmas

2. Second chance to win, tweet a link to this giveaway as follows: “Win Jamie Oliver kit RRP £50 @maisoncupcake” WITH A LINK TO THIS POST as it may no longer be the home page item if you enter later this week. Then leave a second comment saying you’ve done so telling me your Twitter ID.

3. For a third chance to win, visit and “Like” the Maison Cupcake Facebook page then leave a comment below saying you have done so.

You must leave a further separate comment for each bonus entry otherwise they cannot be selected in the draw.

Closing date: midnight GMT on Wednesday 22nd December 2010.
The winner will be notified by email. If the winner does not reply within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
Good luck everyone!

Still up for grabs during the Maison Cupcake 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways:

Nigella Living Collection Measuring Cups Closes Jan 16 (bloggers’ competition, international)

Interflora Christmas Hamper RRP £100 Closes Dec 19

Mum et Moi Silicone Cake Mould Closes Dec 18

Eric Lanlard Home Bake book TWO COPIES Closes Dec 19

Check out Maison Cupcake Giveaways page to see a full list of the 12 Days of Giveaways and the winners announced so far.

Sarah Trivuncic

Sarah Trivuncic is one of the UK's leading food bloggers. She is the author of Bake Me I'm Yours... Sweet Bitesize Bakes and has been the voice behind Maison Cupcake since 2009. You can also connect with her on Google+

211 comments

  1. I’m lucky enough to not be cooking this Christmas but my utensils are all dire so I really need to win this!!! Have a fabulous Christmas xxx

  2. Silicone paper so handy for getting all that christmas baking out the tin, I love it so much that my sister is getting some as part of her present this year.

  3. I am hoping the rather large scary looking turkey baster will be my essential this year I am fed up of spooning juices over a turkey as you have to remove from the oven and its so heavy.
    Love the knives description, I have knives that hardly cut butter and I sweat curse and struggle with cutting meat. Must get some dangerous ones like yours.

  4. KITCHEN GADGET – the weighing scales! and measuring jug-
    I follow recipes to the gram! my mum drives me crazy with her approximations! tea spoon of this drop of that argggh!

  5. My must have Christmas kitchen gadget is rather simply a disposable baking tray. Saves on th washing up!! What more do you want at Christmas?!

  6. My essential Christmas gadget is a colander – essential for fluffing up the parsnips and potatoes prior to roasting and saves you having a steam facial if you are using a lid. Having a dizzy moment is this how you spell colander??

    • Hi
      Sorry new at this – hope I filled in the boxes etc.. correctly. Not sure where the football comment came from either!

  7. i find my electric can opener essential , i have rheumatoid arthritis and couldnt open my tinned fruit for afters without it lol

  8. Mine is the Whisker! Dont ask why. :D
    Liked on Facebook.
    Tweeted with link.
    Shared.
    Answered.
    Commented :F All steps done
    GOOD LUCK x

  9. Essential at Christmas and rest of year too, for a good roast dinner is a good peeler (for spuds and parsnips), some decent roasting pans and a working oven!

    :)

  10. My big oven is broken so this year the essentials are my small oven and my big stainless steel stock pan in which I’ll cook a gammon to make up for the very small turkey! Merry Christmas x

  11. Liked and commented on Facebook.
    Thank you for the fab 12 days of giveaways and the wonderful foodie posts!!!

  12. Jar and bottle opener as OH is getting feeble in his old age and teenage son has not built up enough muscle yet!

  13. My most used gadget at Xmas is the corkscrew can’t cook a huge turkey dinner without a few short slurps ;-)

    I’ve tweeted the link (ForncettEnder) and liked the FB page too

  14. Utensil I find essential at XMAS – my wonderful girlfriend, although please don’t tell her a called her a utensil!!

  15. Biggish knife with a 2″ base, just right for crushing down on garlic,
    converting it to paste with help from a little olive oiil.

  16. Non stick baking liners. Great for stopping all the party food that I cook, getting stuck to the baking trays.

  17. Oven gloves! I have a very long pair that allow me to reach to the back of the oven and to carry the oversize turkey tin safely. After having suffered numerous burns on my inner forearms due to short oven gloves, I was delighted to find a long pair and I rave about them every chance I get!

  18. Hi! I can’t live without good, sharp knives at this time of year considering how much chopping I’ll be doing (from roast veggies to meats). The steak knife I’m using as a substitute is not the best :(

  19. A decent BIG knife it has a multitude of uses one of which is to stop other people distrubing you! No-one is going to come near me when I’m wealding it.

  20. Definately has to be some good quality sharp knives .My turkey still seems to look a bit hacked at though lol.Never have mastered non chunky turkey.

  21. My wife, who does all the cooking at Christmas. Wait, is that rude of me?! ;)

    Rubber gloves, since I do the washing up and there’s always a lot after Christmas dinner.

  22. My steamer – foods cooking in the steamer spoil less quickly so eases some of the tension of making sure everything is ready at the same time.

  23. MY SLOW COOKER, PLONK MEAT AND VEG IN, ADD A CAN OF STOUT, TURN ON AND GO TO WORK, COME HOE TO CHRISTMAS DINNER

  24. A good quality set of knifes, from topping the Brussels to jointing Pheasants, I need good knives.

  25. The most essential Christmas kitchen gadget is my husband! He’s amazing at cooking the Christmas lunch. I also think the bottle opener is fairly necessary so we can enjoy a little tipple.

  26. What a fab giveaway. My favourite Christmas essential is the corkscrew hehe. I’ve done all as requested. Thanks @misssarahjay xx

  27. Carving the turkey with a sharp knife is a must, but it’s with the humble bottle opener that I place my trust!

  28. Definately sharp knives for the cutting of the turkey along with this wonderful kitchen utensil rail.

  29. my electric whisk it would be hard work indeed whisking all the egg whites for meringue and cream for the cakes

  30. Metal tongs are my favourite. They are useful to retrieve hot roast potatoes. I don’t get burnt or covered in hot oil!

  31. nutcracker… love nuts at chrismas time and of course a cork screw. i could make up a very rude joke here about nuts and screwing but i better not!! haha mery christmas everyone!! :o)

  32. Don’t know if it’s strictly speaking a gadget, but my favourite is a Mix ‘N Scraper from The Pampered Chef. It’s great. I use it as a spatula, but you can also use it like a wooden spoon. Use can you it with hot food, which seems surprising as it’s plastic.

  33. I bought a Jamie Oliver potato peeler a few years ago and I wouldn’t be without it at Christmas – saves so much time peeling all those potatoes-with very little skin taken off, so no waste!

Comments are closed.