What am I talking about when I say the most essential kitchen tool? You may think I'm referring to your mixer, whisk or pots and pans. These are all super important tools as well, but there is a more essential kitchen tool that ranks above them all. Your kitchen knife! If you have a good knife, you are 50% on your way to becoming a whiz in kitchen. The importance of a good knife is more emphasized in the culinary field i.e. professional kitchens than it is for home cooks. But this is a common mistake home cooks make. Many purchase what they think is the cutest knife, instead of what will be the most useful. To properly understand what makes a good knife, let's break down the anatomy of a knife.
You must understand what to look for in a knife to determine if it will properly do the job. What I've been told to look out for in a knife is to make sure it has a tang or steel that goes all the way through the handle, as shown in the picture. The tang is really what allows for a good balance when you're holding the knife. Also, look for a bolster. Knives with bolsters really do help protect you from cutting off things you shouldn't. Lastly, avoid stainless steel knives! Look for real German high carbon stain-free steel knives instead. Wüsthof's are famous for a reason. If you pay close attention to the chef's knives on TV, you'll see that little red logo. Many use Wüsthof's, because they are known for their quality. Henckels are also a popular brand. These big names are more costly, but it really was an investment that will last a lifetime. If you still don't want to spend that kind of money on a knife, you don't have to. The brand doesn't really matter, as long as it's German high carbon steel, has a full tang and a good bolster. Many also like Japanese knives, but I can't speak from experience on those.
Another thing to keep in mind for knives is that you want them as sharp as possible. A dull knife is a dangerous weapon. Don't think I'm crazy when I say, because it may sound weird, but it's really true! You're more likely to have an accident with a dull knife, than with a very sharp one. That's why you should invest in a knife sharpener and sharpen it before use. It's easy to do and really does make a big difference. Hope this post has taught you a little more about knives than what you knew.
Just keep in mind:
1.Always use a sharp knife. A sharp knife is safer than a dull one because it requires less pressure in cutting. If sharp, the knife will not slip as easily and your hand won't tire quickly.
2.Use the correct size and type of knife for the job. There are boning knives, chef knives, paring knives. Know the differences and what knife to use for what job. Hold the knife firmly in your hand and cut away from your body.
3. Make sure knives place on flat surfaces are never covered with towels, napkins, or other materials.