Cooking tips for the caring cook.
The importance of high quality knives can't be stressed enough! Buy the best you can and expect to spend some serious money. It is better to buy a couple of excellent knives and slowly add to your collection rather than buying an entire set of low quality knives. To greatly ease your slicing and dicing jobs - and make it safer for your fingers - invest in a top-notch knife that is seriously sharp. Visit a culinary store with a good selection of fine knives from places like Germany and Japan. A chef 's knife, paring knife, and bread knife will cover about 99 percent of your chopping needs. Good ones will last a lifetime, making them a worthwhile investment.
Three basic knives that can help you whip up a storm in the kitchen are a chef's knife, a paring knife and a serrated knife. Wide blades also known as "cook's knives", are used for a variety of tasks.
Common Types of Knives
- The chef's knife is an all-purpose knife that is ideal for chopping, dicing, mincing and slicing.
- The serrated knife works well for cutting bread and tomatoes.
- Steak Knives. The name says it all, although these are useful for other tasks.
- Chefs use paring knives for cutting or chopping of smaller foods and coring vegetables. Paring knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes
- Fillet knives usually have very flexible narrow blades for boning or skinning
- Boning knives are stiff and narrow for separating flesh from bone.
Note: To lengthen the life of your knives, wash the knives by hand, rather than in the dishwasher.
Recommended knife set: Chicago Cutlery 18-Piece Insignia Steel Knife Set with Block and In-Block Sharpener
Keeping Your Knives Sharp
For a home cook, there is nothing more frustrating and more dangerous than a dull knife. In fact, one could say a dull knife is a cook's worst enemy. Following are some basics on keeping your new knives nice and sharp.
- Sharpen your knives at least twice a year, or more often if you use them daily.
- Use a professional knife-sharpening service, or do it at home with a sharpening stone or a sharpening steel.
- Once your knives have been sharpened, make sure you take care of them properly to help them keep their edge.
- Avoid using your knives for opening cans or tearing packages open.
- Avoid tossing your knives in with other kitchen tools or silverware. Instead, store knives properly on a magnetic strip or in a knife block.