Choosing a set of kitchen knives is a decision that any home-owner should not take lightly. Having a good set of quality knives helps to make cooking much easier, and selecting a great set is an investment. Although knives can be expensive, with proper care and maintenance, uses can expect to have the same set for many years to come.
One of the most important choices to make early on in the process is to select a great set of knives that will last. Most home cooks should pick up the following: a chef’s knife, a paring knife, a bread knife, and a cheese knife. These four items will be incredibly versatile for the home chef and can be used to create a variety of dishes. Home cooks should also learn the proper way to hold and control a knife, which will help to prevent injury and create good slices. Finally, the home chef should learn how the different knives can be used and make sure that he or she is using them for the correct purposes. A cooking class or chef demo can help to show great handling techniques. The knives should always be used on a good cutting board, which is an additional item that the home chef should purchase. Believe it or not, but there are also forums dedicated to kitchen knives, which are filled with professionals and home-users who are happy to give advice and insight as to how best to use one’s knife.
When caring for one’s knives, cooks should keep in mind that basic maintenance is required. Knives need to be sharpened in order to work as well as they can. Also, knives need to be cleaned carefully. In terms of sharpening, there are a few approaches to take. Some home cooks enjoy sharpening their own knives, but this is a skill that takes practice. Home cooks should definitely learn about the type of knife they have, then purchase sharpening stones. Cooks should also take a class or learn from a professional about how to properly sharpen. It is very easy to make a mistake when sharpening a knife, so home cooks need to have a lot of patience and practice when learning. If home sharpening is not appealing, many knife companies offer professional services where knives can be shipped off to sharpen. Similarly, there are private sharpeners who are also up to the task. Also, feel free to consult the knife forums online, which will again provide a bevy of information about sharpening.
Perhaps the most important skill when caring for kitchen knives is to make sure that the knives are cleaned properly so as not to cross contaminate while cooking. When using a knife, remember that each knife serves a different purpose, and it is not a good idea to mix and match what the knife is being used for. It is easy to pick up bacteria, especially when handling meat, so after using the knife, it should be cleaned immediately. Wash it with soap and hot water, then make sure to dry it carefully. Knives should always be hand-washed, as they are delicate in nature, then stores properly. Making sure that knives are properly cleaned is a necessary step for any home cook to prevent sickness.
Kitchen knives are a great tool for any home cook to have. However, it is important to make sure that the knives are used properly and that good skills are built when learning how to handle a knife. Knives also require a good bit of care to make sure that they perform properly. Knives should be sharpened to retain a sharp edge, either at home or by a professional company. Most importantly, knives must be cleaned to ensure that no one becomes ill from contamination. Above all, having a great set of kitchen knives is essential for any home cook, so pick up a pair and start cooking!