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77

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 ...


36

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" Japanese Santoku, or a 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 shears (for snipping ...


35

Technique Always use a cutting surface made for a knife, particularly a wooden chopping board/block. Avoid contact with hard surfaces such as metal, glass, or stone; these will quickly cause dulling or even chipping of most knives. Also avoid cutting frozen items, for the same reason. Use the dull end ("top") of the knife for scraping food off surfaces, or ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


22

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, ...


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 ...


19

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 ...


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.


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

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 ...


18

It's to prevent rust. Rust requires oxygen and water to form. The longer you leave your knives wet or damp the more likely you are to develop rust.


18

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

To me, the following are necessary: A chef's knife (8 inch) A paring knife A bread knife There are tasks for which other knives are more suitable, but these are the three I started with, and there's little you may need others for.


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

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 ...


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.


16

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 ...


15

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 ...


15

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 ...


15

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.


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

Take them to a professional. Nothing you can affordably buy in your home will work well. Personally, I don't buy quality serrated knives. I buy cheap and replace when dull. Only my normal blades are quality, and these I have sharpened yearly.


14

Another concern, if you knives have wooden handles, is warping.


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

Always use a soft cutting surface like a wooden board or a plastic cutting board. Avoid glass cutting boards. Always clean them after using them.


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 ...



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