Before you buy an expensive kitchen knife, I know you must think more points than its price. Just like how to use the knife or set of knives cut like a pro or what’s the difference between the cutlery brands and so on. Especially, if you are a housewife like me, when you’re facing the cutting board, I think you will be interested in this topic and want to get some suggestion and tips on how to choose the best kitchen knives for my kitchen ranges.
What to look for when buying kitchen knives?
The first question you may want to ask me is that what to look for when we want to buy a kitchen knife. Well, obviously I’d like to have all different function and types of knives around if I was on a desert island and was able to use them all. However, let’s assume that I can’t have them all. If had to run that down to four pieces. These are the four I would go with.
- The paring knife is a small knife with a plain edge blade that is ideal for peeling and other small or intricate jobs such as de-veining a shrimp, removing the seeds from a jalapeño, ‘skinning’ mushrooms or cutting small garnishes.
- Paring knives are usually between 6 and 10 cm (2½ and 4 inches) long.
- It’s the smallest all-purpose knife, just similar your chef’s knife.
- The Utility knife is a multipurpose knife that perfect for general or utility purposes such as cutting hides and cordage, scraping hides, butchering animals, cleaning fish, and other tasks.
- Bigger than a paring knife but aren’t large enough to warrant a chef’s knife.
- The utility knife was originally a fixed blade knife with a cutting edge suitable for general work.
- The chef’s knife is the all-purpose kitchen knife. The curved blade allows you to rock the knife back and forth, and allow you to cut or dice at a quicker speed.
- A chef’s knife generally has a blade eight inches (20 centimeters) in length and 11⁄2 inches (3.8 cm) in width.
- There are two common types of blade shape in western chef’s knives, French style and German style.
- The Japanese chef’s knife is known as a gyuto, literally meaning ‘beef knife’.
- This one sometimes referred to as sharpening steel, sharpening stick, sharpening rod, butcher’s steel.
- “Honing Steel” is not a hone at all, and it’s a rod of steel, ceramic or diamond coated steel used to hone or sharpen blade edges.
- Steeling is often recommended to be performed daily before using a knife or after.
Now, you’re probably wondering why I don’t have something like a boning utility knife. Reason being is because, between the paring knife and chef knife, I can kind of make up for that difference. I’ve got some nice small tip on the paring knife, nice fine tip and fine edge for detail work, you can read here. At the same time, I’ve got the muscle of the chef’s knife with the nice longer blade. I keep the utility knife around for slicing bread, fruit, and vegetables.
So, between all of these, there’s not much I can’t do. Honestly, if we had to take the one out that was disposable, it’d be the utility knife. And if you were to say which knife would it be the most important for you kitchen, no question, it’s going to be the chef’s knife. Once you get good enough with a chef’s knife, there’s nothing you can’t do. You can cut chicken, vegetables, fruit or peel stuff with it. There’s not much you can’t do with a good chef’s knife, once you find one that’s comfortable in your hand.
Now, if I had to sum it up, here’s my minimum set-up in my kitchen: chef’s knife, paring knife and honing steel. Knife collections aren’t about how many pieces you’ve got. You should really just get the pieces you know you’re going to use. That means it’s all about finding what works for you. The minimum set-up are my personal favorite three. I’d recommend you start off with paring knife, chef’s knife, and honing steel and work up from there.
How to Choose the Best Kitchen Knives
How to Choose a Chef’s Knife
This is the most important knife decision you’re going to make. Because you have to get one like me in your kitchen. Actually, I have a traditional European style chef’s knife , which is a 9-inch and kind of weird size, served me very well for the last ten years or so.
The 9-inch chef’s knives maybe have our traditional, with a very gradual curve there, an almost straight back, very solid bolster, or very nice, long blade designed for cutting, and this is what most of the time you’re going to see. Also there are a couple of alternatives I wanted to talk about. For example, there is a kind of chef’s knife which called a Santoku knife. That knife you’ll notice, in comparison to the 9-inch chef’s knives, the blade is completely different. Where as the regular chef’s knife is curved on the bottom, and fairly straight on the top, the Santoku knife is curved on the top, and fairly straight on the bottom.
The Santoku is becoming the new standard for most chef knives. It’s obviously not the European standard. The advantage to the Santoku is that you get less rocking motion, and you get more of a blade-to-cutting board contact along the edge. But the traditional style chef’s knife is contact edge stops, as opposed to Santoku knife, where it’s contact edge doesn’t stop until the end point. And you don’t really have to rock it nearly as much. You’ll also notice that the Santoku knife has the scalloped handle, or scalloped blade rather, and what that means is that there’s little pockets that air will actually get stuck in these as you’re slicing, and kind of help to keep stuff from sticking to the blade, like cheeses, or meats for example.