Whether you’re a budding cook or a seasoned chef, your knives are a key ingredient in the kitchen. Having good knives can not only make your cooking preparation easier, but they can also lead to better results on the plate.
Here are a few tips that can help you navigate the beautiful world of knives:
- If you could have only one, I would recommend a high-quality chef’s knife (usually 8 inches long). It’s considered the workhorse of the kitchen: You’ll use it for chopping, slicing and dicing a variety of foods.
- A vegetable or paring knife is used for peeling, cutting and trimming small items of food that you hold in the hand, such as trimming small potatoes. This knife makes your life easier in the kitchen.
- A utility knife is often interchangeable with a chef’s knife, but it’s smaller (about 4 to 6 inches long), making it more convenient for cutting and slicing fruits and vegetables.
- A bread knife is a serrated knife used for cutting bread, cake, fruit and tomatoes. I didn’t realise how much I really needed this until I got one!
- If you entertain a lot, a carving knife can be useful. The long blades are thinner than that of a chef’s knife and can be used to carve thin and even slices of meat from things like beef and pork roasts, roasted poultry or legs of lamb.
A few other handy tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t put your knives in the dishwasher; hand wash them, but don’t leave them soaking in water.
- Consider knives as an investment. A good set of kitchen knives will add to the pleasure of food preparation and will last you for many years or even a lifetime.
- Keeping it sharp. If you are going to invest in good knives, it’s vital to keep them well sharpened. Get into the habit of sharpening them before every use, ideally using a steel.
- Get comfy. Hold each knife in your hand. If you are going to be using this tool, the grip and weight should be comfortable and sit well in your hand. Be aware that what one person finds comfortable does not necessarily mean it will be comfortable for you.
To get inspired and professional guidance on knives, visit Bon Vivant and check out all the brands, options and prices — and start chopping!
Maureen Cubbon is one of the chefs at Bon Vivant and director of Bestlife, a wellness and culinary company that provides educational-based support programmes to help people attain their wellness goals.
This article originally appeared in the November 2019 print edition of Camana Bay Times with the headline “The good knife”.