Everyone has to cook and eat food no matter how rich they are or what gender they belong to. Food connects people in unimaginable ways. In fact, the process of cooking is an art in itself.
For some people, cooking is a passion, while it is just an everyday obligation for others. Some people enjoy spending time in the kitchen, and others barely fill their plates. Either way, each one of us has to spend time in the kitchen.
Among the essential things that are used during cooking, nothing beats the importance of a knife. For the simple task of making an omelet, you’ll have to pick up the knife to cut veggies.
Have you ever experienced those days when your patience was tested by a knife that just won’t cut properly? Like it has one job, and it won’t even do that. That is precisely why you need to invest in a good quality knife.
But a Knife is Just a Knife, Right?
No, your cooking experience revolves around the quality of your knife. A blunt, weak knife will do nothing except making you anxious. A knife is not just another tool for cutting – it can make or break your cooking experience. Therefore, it does matter what kind of knife you are using and for what purpose.
You will find many sets of knives in stores of different shapes and sizes. But do you need all of them? Do you even know for what purpose each knife is used? We are pretty sure that the answer is no.
Canadian celebrity chef, Dennis Prescott, says that it’s more about quality than quantity when it comes to knives. A good quality knife should last you for a lifetime, and we mean no exaggeration. We agree with Dennis, and we are determined to show you the types of knives that are a must in your kitchen and what they are specifically used for.
What is a Good Quality Knife?
Since a knife is the most used item in the kitchen, it would be a shame if you waste your money on something that would not suit your requirements. There are some features that you should check for while buying a knife. If all these checks out, the blade is ready to be purchased:
1. Check the Grip
Hold the knife in your hand and see if it fits your hand properly. Imitate as if you are cutting some vegetables. The knife should not hurt your hand in any way. The handle should not be too broad nor too narrow.
2. A Full Tang Blade
By full tang, we mean the knives that are in one piece from the tip to the handle. Many knives have joints or welding in the blade. Do not go for them; they can break easily.
3. Check the Steel
Before investing your money, make sure to check if the knife is made of real steel and not some stamped stainless steel. The real steel ones are usually hand-forged, and they need honing after every use. You can also buy a honing tool along with the knife.
4. Check the Handle
It is best if the material used for the handle is robust so that it doesn’t get brittle or break off easily. Strong wood, plastic, resin, and other high-density materials are recommended for this purpose. Do not choose a knife that has a handle made of softwood.
5. The Width of the Blade
You should check that the thickness of the blade is even throughout. If some part is thicker than the rest, the chances are that it will get dull from that part. Similarly, there should not be any bumps at the edge of the blade. A knife with rough edges is the ultimate definition of a bad knife.
Types of Knives
Now that you are aware of choosing a good quality knife and its importance, it is time to introduce you to the types of knives you should have in your kitchen. As Dennis Prescott said, “Do I have more shapes and sizes of knives in my kit? Yes. Do I need more than these three? Not really.”
1. The Chef’s Knife
Also known as the French knife, it is used for mincing, dicing, chopping, and cutting various stuff. Usually, its blade ranges from 20-23 centimeters. It has a thick heel blade, and if used correctly, it can last a very long time.
2. The Paring Knife
The paring knife is small in size with 8 centimeters in length. It is used for small objects like peeling or dicing potatoes or carving little pieces of vegetables for decorations. Its tip is usually very sharp, which is why it is suitable for such tasks.
3. The Serrated Knife
A serrated knife is like a mini saw in the kitchen. It has serrations at its edges which makes it perfect for cutting bread and tomatoes. A delicate thing like bread that is not hard is bound to get into a bad shape if a blunt knife is used.
Similarly, juicy vegetables like tomatoes will get squishy and won’t retain their shape. That is why a serrated knife is used for such purposes.
4. The Cleaver
As obvious from the name, a cleaver is used for cutting heavy chunks of meat. This knife is not necessary for your kitchen. You should buy it only if you have a lot of meat to cut regularly.
5.The Carving Knife
For dishes that require thin slices of meat, this is the perfect knife to use. The carving knife is used to carve out even pieces of raw or cooked meat. It is mainly used to plate out pieces of a roast before serving.
Instead of buying an entire set of knives without knowing its usage, you should opt for individual ones according to your usage and requirements. If you cook only for yourself and never bother a fancy meal, you might only need a good chef’s knife. But if you host big family dinners or enjoy trying out complicated recipes at home, it is a good idea to invest in several knives that you will use the most.