Tips for choosing and maintaining good knives
Perhaps the most important tool in any cook’s repertoire is one that’s easy to take for granted: a good, sharp knife.
Think about that drawer full of dull knives. Are they salvageable? What about the rows of knives available at the store? How many does a cook really need? How do you keep them sharp?
No worries. We consulted some good reference materials and experts, including, owner of Star Knife Sharpening, a mobile sharpening unit that travels to restaurants throughout the city to sharpen knives.
you have cheap knives or expensive knives, you want them to be sharp, Besson says. you have a knife, you’re going to use it, so you might as well keep it sharp. fixed >
A good sharp knife may seem intimidating, but it will actually help prevent accidents in the kitchen. A sharp knife is easier to control and less likely to slip out of a cook’s hand.
sharp knife is important for cutting vegetables or meat,, sous chef with Absolutely Delicious catering says in Spanish. had a dull knife. It doesn’t cut onions, but it cut my nails. zone >
Stamped vs. Forged Time was when serious cooks and chefs used forged knives and everybody else used something stamped. It’s not that simple anymore.
A forged knife comes from a solid steel bar that’s melted, molded and hammered to produce the blade, while a stamped knife is punched out of a thin sheet of metal before a handle is attached to it. In general, a forged knife will be better, but there are some good stamped knives.
The better knives will feature metal that runs the length of the grip, known as a full tang, but there are some good ones that don’t.
Avoid the need sharpening knives. They may be able to cut cheap jerseys through a shoe on television, but unless you plan on cooking leather, use one that cuts food.
Materials The most traditional material is carbon steel, and it can hold an amazingly sharp edge. Many of the best knifes from Europe and Japan use carbon steel. The only potential downside is that they gain a patina from use that perhaps only a chef or a true culinary romantic would enjoy. If not cared for properly, they can rust.
Many cheaper knives are made from stainless steel. They won’t rust, but they also won’t take or hold a good edge.
The more common upscale knives (Henckels, W Global) use their own proprietary versions of a steel that can take and hold an edge while not tarnishing.
Origins The best knives come from Germany, France and Japan, although some American manufacturers make some good ones. We could get into the angle of the edges, but things get pretty technical fast.
Western style knives generally are thicker and http://www.cheapjerseys11.com/ heavier, great for all around use. They generally don’t have super thin edges but will handle something a little tough like hacking through the backbone of a chicken. Besson compares them to a 4×4 truck.
Japanese knives, a little thinner than Western styles, use softer metals and work better for more delicate cutting. You’re not going to want to cut through a chicken with one of these. That is, unless you like sending your delicate knives for repair. If the Western knives are trucks, the Japanese knives are sports cars. High performance, but also high maintenance.
If you’re going to rely on a Japanese knife for most jobs, it’s best to also include a Western style knife for heavier jobs to keep the delicate knife out of the repair shop.
Not nearly as many as you might think. Most experienced cooks who own a multi piece knife set know that they’re likely to rely on a few favorite pieces.
For almost everything a home cook needs, and even the majority of work for a professional, here are the basics:
Chef’s knife: If you’re going to splurge on any single knife, do it for this one. There are some good chef’s knives that retail for less than $50, too. Depending on the size of a cook’s hand, arm strength and general comfort with knives, an 8 to 10 inch knife works best. Some cooks prefer the santoku knife, the Japanese style (it’s the type that uses) instead of the classic Western chef’s knife.
Paring: For small jobs, cutting fruit, removing stems from strawberries in the summer and other more delicate jobs, nothing beats a good paring knife.
Serrated bread knife: Whether you’re looking for a clean cut on bread or fresh tomatoes, no other knife does the job as easily as this knife.
Utility knife: Bigger than a paring knife but smaller than a chef’s knife, this is another kitchen multi tasking machine. It’s ideal for lighter cutting jobs.
If you have a mechanical sharpener, get rid of it. It’s going to wear down the metal and shorten the life of the knife.
The steel doesn’t actually sharpen. It will hone the edge and make it feel sharper, and a few passes with the honer are essential to maintaining the edge.
If you’re going to get a sharpening stone, learn how to use it properly; this takes practice. Using a sharpening stone is a matter of holding the knife at a proper 20 degree angle and applying consistent and precise pressure on the knife. It takes practice, and it’s something many professional chefs don’t do properly.
Many times, it’s just better to get them professionally sharpened and maintain the knife with a honer. A thicker edge will take a honer made of steel, while a thinner edge requires a ceramic honer.
A lot of TV chefs will chop herbs or vegetables and then sweep the chopped items aside with the knife, blade side down. Please Don’t. Do. It.
After chopping, sweep the chopped items aside using the thick side of the blade. It’s a quick flip of the hand, and it’s much easier on the blade.