There are enough kitchen gadgets to fill entire stores. But ask a chef for advice and they will likely tell you their essential tool is a good knife. In the kitchen, a knife is as important as one’s fingers as they are an extension of a chef’s hand. Your ambitions may not include being a professional chef; however, having the right tools and know-how to use them is a great skill when it comes to efficiency in your kitchen.
There are wide array of knives. What ones do you really need?
- Chef (or French) knife: is an all-purpose knife with an 8-12 inch blade
- Serrated Slicer (or boning knife): is often used for cutting meat or fish, generally a longer blade. Blade can be straight or serrated.
- Utility knife: is general purpose, lighter and smaller in size
- Bread knife: a type of slicer, often serrated
- Paring knife: trimming or pealing fruit and vegetables or small items, 2-4 inch blade
Beyond this list, there are specialty knives such as cleavers and fillet knives.
Here are a couple tips for you:
- Find the knife that best suits you. Hold the handle. Do you like the material, the shape, the weight? Is the blade a comfortable length?
- Care for you knife. Knives are easily dulled if used and stored improperly. Keep it clean but don’t put it in the dishwasher.
- Despite how much you like your knife, don’t try to catch it if it falls. Get your hands and toes out of the way.
Source: The Professional Chef, the Culinary Institute of America, Chapter 5.
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