Three Kitchen Knives Every Home Cook Should Have
November 11, 2015
If you’re like most people, you probably have more than a few knives thrown in a kitchen drawer. Chances are, you use most interchangeably too. While it may seem that one kitchen knife is just as good as another, there are three knives in particular that every home cook should have on hand.
Chef’s Knife or Chinese Cleaver
The large blade and versatility of a Chef’s knife make it one of the best tools in any home cook’s collection. Generally, most non-professional cooks will be more comfortable with an 8 inch Chef’s knife rather than one of the longer 10 to 14 inch ones. Choose a full tang blade (one full piece of metal with the handle pieces attached to the sides), rather than a half tang blade, as the full tang is your strongest option. Your Chef’s knife will be used for slicing meat, chopping vegetables, herbs, and so on.
For some home cooks, a Chinese cleaver may be preferred over a Chef’s knife. The weight and thickness of a Chinese cleaver can create a smoother cutting experience, while at the same time providing a wide, flat surface that can be used for smashing garlic and other ingredients. Choose a cleaver that is comfortable in your hand and feels solid, but not too heavy.
The paring knife picks up where your Chinese cleaver or Chef’s knife leaves off. It has a short blade (between 2-4 inches) and is generally used for delicate jobs like peeling garlic and slicing small fruits and vegetables. Because of its small size, the paring knife really shouldn’t be used to chop hard vegetables like carrots and butternut squash. Save those tougher jobs for your Chef’s knife.
Serrated Knife (Bread Knife)
The serrated knife, commonly known as a “bread knife”, is the knife you’ll probably use the least, but it should be included in your collection as there are some jobs only this knife can take on. Use a serrated knife on foods that have texture on the outside like tomatoes (especially very ripe ones) and pineapples. And of course, bread.
Knife Storage Bonus Tip:
If your knives must be stored in a drawer, make sure to use a knife storage block to keep them from banging around. There are several varieties available on Amazon.
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