Knives

 

Your New Best Friends

Good knives like beefy pan bottoms are essential. When I visit kitchens and see bad, dull knives lying about, I always question why so many cooks settle for less when it comes to knives. A cheaply made knife cannot hold an edge. It makes the cook work harder than is necessary. It is an enemy rather than a friend.

Please don’t buy one of those counter top bargain knife sets. “Never need sharpening” means you are buying crap.  A lot of so called “Famous chefs” sell sets with knives they would NEVER use when they are not trying to get your money.

The motto here is “Invest in your future!”

Take a Look!

http://www.amazon.com/Henckels-Kitchen-Housewares/b?ie=UTF8&node=291360

I am sending you to Henckels because this link shows individual pictures of knives and describes some of the production methods that make these and other high-end knives a superior product.  You will probably have sticker shock when you see the prices of these knives and others made by world class companies like Wusthof, Shun, Sabatier etc‎

Look at the pictures and prices and then take a trip to a store where you can see and touch the real thing. You don’t have to purchase $100 + knives, but you should know something about their construction and feel before you make a purchase.

Some knives are more suited to a person with a heavy hand than to a one with a more delicate touch. Knives have nothing to do with masculinity or femininity — they must feel good in your hand.

Knives must be razor sharp like the tongue of Rue Paul on a better day.

What You Need

  • An all-purpose utility knife (about 5 inches) – used for a range of foods; often a choice for the first knife as it can do many things.
  • A chef’s knife (about –9 inches) – used for chopping, dicing, mincing, and cutting.
  • A vegetable or paring knife (about 3″) – used for peeling, cutting, and trimming small items of food that you hold in the hand (such as trimming small potatoes).
  •  A serrated bread knife (about 12“) – used for bread, cake, fruit, and tomatoes.

Note: You can purchase a carving knife if you are adept at carving a roast or fowl. You can purchase a boning knife if you de-bone chicken breasts or enjoy playing butcher.

Keeping Knives Sharp

If you are investing in a good knife it will not work for you if you allow the blade to become dull. The fastest way to dull a knife is to cut or slice on a surface like granite. Invest in a cutting board or two. I prefer tempered glass over wood or any plastic fiber. It is always smart to buy a large cutting board that is almost the width of the counter top next to your sink.

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You can sweep scraps and peels etc into the sink/disposal easily from a large board. If your plan calls for transferring something you have cut or chopped to a hot pan use a smaller board on top of the larger one. Carry that board to the stove and sweep its contents into the pan. DON’T gather chopped veggies etc. with your hand and drop them in the hot pan….OUCH! splattering oil.

Storing Your Knives

You should never allow your knives to congregate in drawers with riff raff kitchen tools.  They are upper class and deserving of elegant surroundings.

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I just purchased a new home for my knives to replace the clunky sloped wooden housing I’ve had for years.  This Bodum knife holder has an ingenius washable holding system containg straw-like material that will not scratch or dull your knives.  The holder is also counter space friendly and it provides instant access to your knives.  Yes long knives will extend above the edge, so if this really violates your kichen aesthetic you can miss out on owning this superb product.  And yes, I handled this product in person before I purchased it on Amazon.com.  As they say in the UK it is “Brilliant”.

 

The Sharpening Process

Most people have what is known as a sharpening steel. These round sword-like things are generally included in a knife set. I have two which I never use because try as I may I can’t get the fine edge that good knives should hold.  AND I have had a knife slip and cut me quite badly.

For ease and safety, I purchased and electric sharpener — “Chef’s Choice — 110” which is a dream come true for me and my knives. I am certain there are many electric sharpeners available but I love this one because it is easy to use and extremely effective. To say I use it several times a week is not an exaggeration.

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FACT: A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one. Dull knives tend to slip off the surface of a vegetable when you attempt to make a cut. And whose fingers are holding that vegetable? The sharper the knife the better.

FINALLY— NEVER– NEVER—NEVER—NEVER–PUT A FINE KNIFE IN THE DISWASHER…