Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Knives: making the decision!

One of the most frequent questions I am asked as a Chef, is what brand of knives do you use?

Well, I'm not really loyal to one particular brand of knives, and I think that almost every major brand has one knife that they make really well!

And I am going to give you the secret (well, its not really a secret, but we can pretend!) Chef's insight into how we pick our knives and why!

So, lets start with saying that if you looked in my knife bag right now, you would find knives from Global, Henckle, Wusthof, and yes, even a miracle blade! lol

Now, I don't think by any means ANYONE needs to run out a buy a full set of knives! They always come with knives that a home cook would not need! (seriously how many times are you going to de-bone your own fish, or french a veal shank?)

So here are my essential knives, and why I like them!

The Santoku Knife
I have a santoku knife from Global knives. The reason I chose this particular knife is it feels good in my hand, has a good weight, and also has hallow edge. This is where it looks beveled on the blade, and the reason it has this feature is because it releases food from the blade that is cut in thin slices, or that is sticky!

The Chef's Knife

A good chef's knife is always nice to have! Pick on that has a heavier weight, it will slice through tough food such as potatoes or carrots with ease!
I have a Wusthof chef's knife that I love. It is a 12 in. size.

The Paring Knife

Great for smaller jobs, peeling, slicing garlic or ginger, carving tomato flowers...lol The paring knife does it all! I love this little guy!

I use a Henckle brand paring knife, it is 5in. and its one of the most used knives in my bag!

The Slicer
I L-O-V-E my slicer, and a little embarrassed to admit, but its a Miracle blade, like those infomercials that are on at 3AM on HSN!
But this knife ROCKS! It slices bread without squishing it, its good on tomatoes and bell peppers also! And it promises never to go dull! Now that is a feature I love!

The Steel
Ok, so this isn't really a knife, BUT, you do need one! The steel can be used on your chef's knife, paring, knife, or any other knife that is NOT beveled or serrated!

Most people think that these are "sharpeners", but that's not true!

They will make your knife feel sharper, but here is why...

when you cut with your knife your hand naturally tilts ever so slightly to one side. After time, your knife will start to split at the blade. When you run the knife over the steel, it will knock the blade back into place and your knife will seem sharper!
Here is how you use a steel:

Ok, now your set with your knowledge, go get some really awesome knives and get to chopping!

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