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75

There are three core essentials: Chef's knife 8" or 10" depending on your preferences Paring knife 3" or 4" depending on your preferences Bread knife As long as possible, 12"+ Feel free to go cheap here, it's serrated and thus largely unsharpenable You may want to check out Alton Brown's book, Alton Brown's Gear For Your Kitchen. He spends a ...


34

Everyone's stressing the chef's knife, but I'd be even more generic; when starting out, you can do almost every task with: A large knife (8" Chef, 7" Santoko, or Chinese Cleaver) A small knife (Paring or similar) A bread knife (serrated, 10" or longer) As you add to your collection: A boning / filet knife Kitchen sheers (for snipping herbs without a ...


24

You should use both. Knives have a very thin ragged edge (the burr) that is too small to see, which gets pushed over from use, and which makes the knife seem dull. A honing steel straightens this burr out. I use a honing steel before I cook every day. Over time, the burr wears down, or can no longer be straightened. At this point, you will need to use the ...


22

One of the most important things is a full tang. The tang is an extension of the metal of the blade into the handle. In knives with a full tang it goes all the way through the handle. This improves stability, control, and durability. Cheaper knives with partial tangs will have the handle break off over time. In a chef's knife you want a blade from 8 to 10 ...


21

The most readily evident way of determining if a knife needs to be sharpened is when you notice that you're having to apply more force than normal. When you start out with a sharp knife you will become accustomed to how it glides through food. Over time you're going to notice that you are having to apply more pressure than normal and that's when it's ...


20

Well even for knives with no wood, a dishwasher is a very hostile environment. The reason is primarily for the blades. If you have quality knives that you care for, and plan to keep for many years, then it's just not worth it. It's just too easy for a knife to be jostled around and bang into other knives or silverware and get nicked. You mention that you ...


19

Ceramic blades can only be sharpened against something that is harder than it is. I would recommend sending it back to the manufacturer for sharpening if needed. Typically it is done using a very hard abrasive wheel because of the risk of the blade breaking, you do not want to do this without proper safety equipment.


19

Ceramic knives: cut get through metal detectors at night clubs Steel knives: cut smash (garlic, ginger...) pry (potato eyes) look good scare burglars stick to metallic thingies on the wall don't scratch glass cutting boards (anyone cringing?) don't snap when thrown dropped. have zen-like qualities, sharpening them is pure meditation. have good mass, ...


18

Absolutely not. A honing steel is significantly harder than the blade of a knife and is specially textured for honing. Rubbing two knives together is more likely to dull or knick the blades than anything else. The blade of a knife should never touch anything harder than a wooden cutting board. Not glass, not granite, and certainly not steel (except for ...


18

Yes, ceramic knives are the "new thing," but that doesn't make them superior. The problem with ceramic knives is that you can never sharpen them, and, as mentioned in the comments, they may chip. Don't get a ceramic chef's knife or paring knife; the answer to your question is zero. If you really want a ceramic knife, then buy a ceramic bread knife, although ...


18

I usually notice when cutting onions and tomatoes. With a very sharp knife cutting an onion doesn't cause much tears at all. As it dulls though it does more crushing than slicing which releases more gas into the air, which makes you cry more. Ripe tomatoes help because they are so tender. If it becomes difficult to slice a tomato without crushing it, your ...


17

I agree on the Goodwill thing, but it pains me to think of putting tape on a knife blade -- someone's going to have to clean it off, and that risks someone getting injured. Instead, find a piece of cardboard that's longer than the blade of the knife, and more than twice the depth of the blade with an inch (~3 cm) or more to spare. Fold the cardboard in ...


17

Using separate cutting boards is advisable, but separate knives are unnecessary. 90% of my cutting is done with my chef's knife. I don't own two of these, nor would I use a subpar knife for the job. I almost always find it most convenient to start my preparation by cutting the veggies, fruit, etc. first and then finally cutting the meat last. Then you can ...


17

In general, ceramic knives are great for what they do, but too fragile to do everything. They can shatter if dropped on a hard surface, and can easily get get notched on bone. I use my ceramics exclusively for vegetables for that reason. If you're strapped for funds, you really only need to by one expensive knife (a steel chef's knife or santoku), and ...


17

Advantages no hand needed to hold the food, therefore safer for children or those lacking knife skills quicker for those lacking knife skills no need for gloves when cutting foods that can irritate the skin, like chillies. Disadvantages Awkward and dangerous to wash in between the blades for the double-blade version. Difficult to store safely A ...


16

Your primary defenses against cross-contamination include proper planning in the order of what you're cutting and proper cleaning between uses. In the case of your stew, simply cut the vegetables first and then cut your meat. Doing so in this order you won't need to wash the board between the vegetables and meat. If you want to expedite the cooking ...


16

First of all, consider donating it to Goodwill or another charitable organization. Even if it is barely usable by your standards, it might help someone else out. Whether giving your knife away or throwing it out, I think it is sufficient to put some duct tape over the edge and then wrap it in a couple layers of bubble wrap.


14

Both the Santoku and French knives will work for the same types of things, so a lot of it comes down to preference. Santoku knives are lighter, so this can lead to less hand strain and quicker cutting. One thing that the Santoku are very good at is very thin slicing of vegetables, for two reasons: first, as you point out, you do not use a rocking motion, but ...


14

Yes, I've heard this suggested, using wet/dry sandpaper and a mousepad. It is a very inexpensive way to match a whetstone, and you can use sandpaper with the same grit to produce an excellent edge. You duct-tape the sand-paper together so it wraps around the mouse pad, and then pull the knife along the sandpaper with the edge trailing. This is to say, you ...


14

At a microscopic level metal is malleable, and so the edge tends to bend rather than spall or break off. Still, it is probably technically true to a certain extent, and based on many many years of metal knife usage by millions or billions of people through history, completely irrelevant. Whatever effect it may have is vanishingly small.


13

I prefer the block. I've used the strip before, but if it was knocked accidentally when bustling about the kitchen, it caused a rain of sharp metal death. It was also possible to get the blade of the knife being pulled off under another and cause an extra knife to come shooting off the strip. These could probably be overcome by being less of a clutz or ...


13

Wooden blocks are ideal for knife storage because they keep the blades dry (the wood absorbs some of the humidity in the air), preventing rusting. The motion of inserting and withdrawing blades over wood will not noticeably dull them, because you're not actually cutting the wood or indeed even applying any pressure as you do so. A good tip is to use a ...


13

I bought my first mezzaluna because I have advanced arthritis and can no longer use a chef's knife properly. It's an absolute lifesaver being able to push down with the strength of both hands instead of relying on a weakened arm with a wrist that doesn't bend attached to a clawed hand that cannot grip a knife the right way. My "go-to" knife is a fairly ...


12

Besides the material itself, there are lots of other factors -- Surface : There are smooth plastic cutting boards, and there are rougher ones. I prefer the rougher ones, as smooth means things are slipping all over the place and its can be dangerous. Plastic will roughen up with use, but cuts and nicks in plastic boards means more places for germs. For ...


12

I am assuming by "fluted knife", you mean what is sometimes called a granton or hollow edge knife, where there are indentations in the blade intended to reduce sticking or adhesion to the food: Except in very specific circumstances, this feature makes very little difference, those circumstances being: Carving large roasts Cutting large and tough ...


11

Allow me to help you fast forward through my years of pain trying to get my knives sharpened. I looked all over to find a local sharpening service. I called fancy restaurants, chain restaurants, and restaurant supply stores. I found one who said they performed the service and promptly had three knives really scratched up. I tried doing the sharpening ...


11

I work in a fine dining restaurant, and the standard implement is a bench scraper AKA a dough knife AKA a bench knife. It's basically a stiff, 6" wide sheet of stiff metal with a handle, and can pressed or rocked down on the counter to cut dough into portions. It can also be used to move shaped bread or rolls, cut pastry, fold sticky doughs, and scrape off ...


11

Carbon steel is more malleable and less brittle than stainless steel. This means that it is easier to hone on a knife steel, to maintain an extremely sharp edge. Some folks feel that the benefit of that sharp edge–for example, in easily slicing tomatoes, and other very fast prep tasks–is worth the compromise of more persnickety maintenance.


10

A good-quality cleaver can be the right tool for both jobs. Make sure it's properly constructed with the metal of the blade running all the way through the handle, though, or else you risk the handle snapping and the blade going flying during a strike. For the coconut, the technique is actually to roll it along the blade to start a groove, then crack it ...



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