EDIT: Thank you everyone who left their comments about working with knives. Congratulations to Suzan Warnes in Queensland for her randomly-drawn winning comment. Thank you everyone.
If you are equipping your kitchen, you don’t need a lot of fancy gadgets, which is why you’ll never see me endorsing a hotdog maker or a fairy floss doo-dah. You do need to spend money on some quality items that will last for years but with an endless array of knives, utensils, saucepans and appliances to choose from it can get very confusing and very expensive – fast.
I have written about this before and come up with a couple of suggestions for basic equipment every kitchen needs and I suggest you make a shopping list if you are equipping your new home. But if you could only afford to buy one decent item at a time, where do you start? My number one suggestion would be a chef’s knife.
From pumpkin to parsley, there’s nothing a chef’s knife can’t cut through and you can with practise cut, dice and julienne food into the tiniest and most evenly sized pieces.
And yet, for what seems like obvious reasons, sensible people steer clear of them, thinking them dangerous objects. Timid cooks prefer small knives which are usually hopelessly unable to do the job required of them and it always ends in disaster. Now, I could regale you with that nastiest of clichés that a blunt knife will cause more damage than a sharp one – and it is not too far from gospel as it happens – but the fact is, ANY sharp knife will maim meaning that you, the user of this knife, will have to get to grips with it. All right, I’ll stop punning now.
First of all if you commit to buying a great knife, know that, with care and regular sharpening, your investment will last you a good twenty years or more. In most domestic kitchens, I would go so far to say that you don’t really need another straight-edged knife as I use mine to peel garlic, finely chop herbs and peel spuds or lemons. It will serve you brilliantly. So, once you make the decision to buy a good knife the question becomes which knife – and which sharpener? Continue reading Basics – How to Choose a Chef’s Knife – And a Giveaway!