WHAT’S MORE DANGEROUS, A SHARP KNIFE OR A DULL KNIFE?
Hopefully you said dull one.. can’t you see yourself now, tying to cut potatoes with a dull knife, your fingers and knife slipping everywhere, trying to keep it steady and cut in a straight line?
Yes, most certainly a dull one. But that’s okay. So we say this assuming you have knives in your kitchen… if you don’t please, stop reading this article and go out right now and buy at least one. But wait! Before you leave and even for those who already have a full set or anything in between, read our tips to learn how to treat your knives with care.
HOW TO TREAT YOUR KNIVES
Wash and dry them after each use. This is an easy one not to do, but knives are like teeth, once you use them, you gotta clean them, otherwise you will have problems later. It’s simple, after each use, wash gently with soap and water and then dry with a cotton cloth. This will help ensure continued sharpness and blade strength. You should never put your knives in the dishwasher.
Sharpen early and often. Just as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics tells us, “things go from order to disorder,” your knife blade is no exception. It is important to remember that the term “sharpen,” is really just an umbrella term that holds two concepts underneath: hone and sharpen.
Hone: When you use a knife, you are taking the knife blade from a super straight piece of steel to a more a zig zag form. People even use the term, fold, that the knife blade folds on itself. Honing realigns the edge. A sharpening steel, that metal bar that you have seen chefs use, actually does not sharpen but “hones” knives and helps return the knife blade back to its straight alignment, making the knife appear sharper and foods easier to cut.
You should hone your knives as often as before every use and at least after every three to four uses. This helps maintain the blade and will keep your sharpening/grinding to a minimum.
Sharpen: When you sharpen, you are actually reforming the edge, meaning that you are grinding away bits and pieces to make at the edge as fine as possible which in turn will give your sharpness. This is usually done with a whetstone and by holding the blade at a certain angle (generally between 17 and 20 degrees) depending on what the hype of knife and what if used for. If you are honing your knives regularly, this should be about a once a year thing. If you are not honing your knives, you are going to need to sharpen way more often. But remember, every time you sharpen, you are literally grinding away a part of your knife.
You can also have your knives professionally sharpened. Again once a year if you use your knives a lot. Or like we said, you can do this yourself, but it is something that you need to be taught if using a whetstone. Watch some YouTube tutorials or have someone teach you who knows what they are doing. If not, certain pull through sharpeners can be a great alternative. Check with your knife brand to see what they recommend.
Store: We’ve all seen the scene that can be a knife drawer. Hopefully, if you have a knife drawer, instead of a block or magnetic strip, you have some sort of organisation going on inside. Meaning, you shouldn’t just throw the knife into the knife drawer on the left side next to the forks. It’s really terrible for the blade!
Buy knives you’ll use, this may mean that you don’t need to buy the whole set. Your knives should reflect the type of cooking you do. If you find yourself filleting whole fish nightly, you perhaps would have a great need for a filet knife. But, for the rest of us, this may not be a necessity.
Just like all things in life, there are things that you need and that you want. Our advice is to have knives you need and then add some “fun” knives after.
Look for knives where the steel blade extends all the way down the center of the handle rather than it just being a handle with a blade attached to the end. When the steel continues all the way down the handle, you are looking at a better quality knife as well as more stability and a knife that is less prone to breaking.
BRANDS WE LIKE
We have several favorite brands, brands trusted to get the job done and look beautiful at the same time, because after all, what is cooler than having kitchen filled with mini swords! It’s like medieval times all over again!
Global – Basically the coolest looking knives ever, but we are biased.
Wüsthof – German, need I saw more? They have a great website with tons of knife info!
Henckels – Founded in 1731 in Germany, these people know what they are doing.
MAC – A lesser know Japanese brand but super, super sharp and great hand feel.
Knives can me made in any country, obviously, but the most popular brands tend to come from two places: Germany and Japan.
Germany = Well Made Everything
Japan = Samurai Swords
MUST HAVE’S IN YOU KITCHEN
Santoku/Chef: This is a do anything knife. You can cut a watermelon, a steak or fresh herbs. Granted, some of these tasks might be easier with a different knife, but either way, it will get the job done.
We like to have two of these for when a friend asks if they can help out!
Bread: This knife should be serrated with help cut into soft things like bread or tomatoes without crushing the actual food.
Paring: This is a small knife that is more precise than larger knives. Use it trim or peel vegetables,
We like Williams & Sonoma’s Global Classic 3-Piece Knife Starter Set. All you have to add to it is a serrated knife and you are ready to go!
Meat Cleaver, Vegetable, Filet Knife.
This actually goes on and on. Visit your favorite cooking store or specific knife brand website to learn more.
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