It is often said that a good knife set is the basic wardrobe of any serious home cook or chef, and with good reason. Knives will ensure that you prep food in the manner you need to according to the recipe, without sacrificing speed or safety. Few things are as awful as a pair of dull knives.
Whether you are a serious cook or a young chef about to embark upon your culinary career, you will need to invest in an excellent set of knives. Or, at least, settle on one excellent chef’s knife. There are a few key characteristics you need to be on the lookout for, and the following brief primer should help point you in the right direction.
Consider the Blade Design
It is important for you to be well aware of the designs of each blade, and the way in which it can facilitate or impede your cooking. Wider blades are generally meant for cutting vegetables and fruit, but you won’t be able to perform a few important tasks, such as paring. Narrow blades on the other hand are more suitable for cutting cuts of steak or fish, but they don’t help you to chop things up quickly.
You don’t always have to purchase more than one knife to meet these needs. There are multi-purpose knives available, and you can search specifically for these kinds of models if you want to have one main knife in your arsenal. The only other thing you would need to consider is if you feel that you work better with a shorter blade – be on the lookout for these particularly designed multi-purpose knives so that you don’t end up purchasing something that doesn’t feel comfortable in your hands.
Knives, of course, are made of steel. However, there are different kinds of steel, and you should become best acquainted with the material that suits your needs. Most stainless steel knives, unfortunately, don’t stay sharp for very long since the blades have not been tempered or treaters utilizing high-end techniques of steel hardening. A good knife has been tempered well and will maintain its sharpness for a long while. Furthermore, the top of the line stainless steel knives will have a higher level of chromium that will prevent them from becoming rusty, thus ensuring their longevity, which is important to any budding chef.