Have you ever found yourself in the kitchen, mid-recipe, cursing because you can’t seem to find the right knife? Or did you try to cut tomato but now it resembles tomato sauce because each knife you tried was as blunt as a hammer? Well, you’re not alone.
Choosing the perfect kitchen knives is a lot harder than it looks. With all of the different shapes and sizes, it’s tough to know which one is right for you. And trust me, the last thing you want is to be stuck with a dull knife in your hand when you’re trying to chop up an intruder, I mean some veggies.
So how do you pick the perfect knife for your kitchen?
How to choose the best kitchen knives
1. Decide what you need the knife for
Choosing the right knife can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not sure what its intended use is. Chopping seems like a fairly straight-forward task, so if you’re primary focus is hacking up some vegetables or meat then snatching a large one should get the job done.
If you’re looking to do some precise and delicate slicing, then you’ll want to look for something smaller with a more defined blade angle. Finally, for those of us who want to get that perfect dice on our veg (and look good doing it), there’s the dicing knife – go big and wide to make all those cubes even!
It’s making sure that your knife has been fully thought out before purchasing that will pay off in the end.
2. Consider the size of the knife
Choosing the right knife for the task is vital; you don’t want to be the person in the kitchen trying to cut a melon with a paring knife, it just doesn’t work. On the flip side, it’s important not to go too big either – it’s awkward and ineffective (as well as ‘cut-off you finger’ dangerous) to try and butter some toast with a butcher knife!
Finding that balance between size and job requirements is key. Smaller knives are your best bet for maneuverability and accuracy, while larger knives are great for tackling the tougher jobs. It just takes some experimentation to find which size suits you best.
3. Choose a material
Stainless steel and carbon steel are both great materials for use in kitchen knives and each has a unique set of advantages. With stainless steel, you get the convenience of durability and easy maintenance; it’s a bit like the ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ of materials!
But if you want something sharper with a bit more bite, then carbon steel is the best choice. The tradeoff is that it takes more upkeep – no pain no gain, right? At the end of the day, your knife choice should be tailored to your specific culinary needs – so take some time to think about your next move Samurai!
4. Pick a handle that’s comfortable for you
When it comes to handles, I’m all about performance-based comfort and grip. While wood is classic, it doesn’t always hold up well in wet conditions (or sword fights ha-ha).
That’s usually when I decide it’s the perfect opportunity to switch to synthetic materials which provide a superior grip and help me power through the task at hand. Even if it feels strange at first – kind of like switching from a manual car to an automatic – eventually you find that your hands start taking over.
It will feel like you are becoming one as you start adjusting perfectly to the shape – which is why I’m confident in saying there is no one size fits all solution here.
5. Test the knife before you buy it
Before you consider buying a new knife, it’s important to put it through its paces and try out how it feels in your hands. After all, you’re going to be using this baby on a daily basis.
Make sure the weight is well-adjusted and that the grasp is comfortable; if not, keep looking – there are plenty of knives in the sea. For your next kitchen warrior, go ahead and give ‘er a good ol’ shake- a- roo before signing on the dotted line.
By trial and error, you’ll soon find yourself with the perfect blade buddy by your side.
6. Don’t forget about sharpening
Oh, the forgotten necessity that is sharpening! While many of us know it’s something we should do to keep our kitchen knives in good shape, it often gets ignored (especially by husbands) in our day-to-day cooking lives.
But having a sharp knife can literally save you time and effort – it’s easy to forget how rough it is to make a nice slice when your blade isn’t up to par! So don’t forget to put regular sharpening on your schedule – otherwise you’ll find yourself with blunt blades and a lot of inventive curse words.
Best chef knife
Every experienced chef knows the importance of having a solid, reliable knife in their arsenal – not only for effectiveness and convenience, but also for peace of mind. After all, the best chef knife is a chef’s most prized possession.
Having one that is comfortable to hold, sharp, and balanced can make all the difference in creating professional dishes in a jiffy. When investing in a knife, it’s important to find one crafted from top-quality materials that won’t dull with frequent use or rust over time.
It’s also necessary to consider details such as weight, grip size, blade length, and blade shape so you can find the perfect fit for your kitchen. With these entire characteristic in mind, you can confidently choose the right blade to make every meal an adventure.
What to look for when buying a knife
1. Making sure you have the perfect knife for the job
Different knives may look similar, but subtle dissimilarities in materials and design can make a world of variance in quality, performance and value.
2. When shopping around for a new knife, always inspect its handle
Start by checking that it’s comfortable to grasp and not too lightweight or too bulky; also make sure that it has secure fastenings (preferably riveted or bolted as opposed to adhesive attachments) so that you don’t have to worry about its durability under pressure.
3. Pay attention to your blade
The blade should be crafted from strong steel, capable of enduring and keeping a good edge, with corrosion-resistant properties; after all, no one wants a blade prone to rusting or staining over time.
4. Check for warranty
Read up on any warranties offered by the manufacturer – these can give you assurance when spending a good chunk of change on something as personal and handy as a knife.
What are the 3 most important knives in a kitchen?
As any ‘master chef’ can tell you, the three most important knives in a kitchen are a chef’s knife, a paring knife and a serrated knife.
1. Chef’s knife
The seamless slicing of a juicy tomato with a sharp chef’s knife-the multi-purpose tool of the kitchen- rivals what you could get from even the most expensive mandoline. This knife should be ideally 8 inches long and generally has a wide, sharp blade that is perfect for chopping, slicing, and dicing.
2. Paring knife
A paring knife serves all kinds of small tasks from coring apples to scraping out seeds from bell peppers to creating exquisite garnishes.
3. Serrated blade knife
The serrated blade knife will help you slice through things like crusty bread without squishing the insides into oblivion. It cuts through chewy foods like bagels and tomatoes with minimal effort.
With these three knives honed and ready to go, you can conquer any cooking endeavor your heart desires!
What 3 most important things to remember using a knife?
When it comes to using a knife, there are three things you should always keep in mind: grip, angle, and pressure. Proper grip is important for controlling the knife and the angle at which you hold the knife will determine how deep your cuts are.
The pressure is what actually does the cutting – too little pressure and nothing happens, too much pressure and you risk slicing your fingers off. So next time you’re getting ready to cut something, remember the three most important things about using a knife: grip, angle, and pressure. You’re welcome.
Before you go…
If you’re still feeling lost after reading this, then that’s okay. Choosing the perfect kitchen knife is more of an art than a science, and it might take some time for you to find you’re favorite. Just remember to trust your gut— quite literally—and go with the knife that feels right in your hand.
After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time with it and if all else fails, just ask yourself what a Samurai would do while doing a samurai bow. Happy chopping!
Charlene is a lover of good food. She enjoys nothing more than cooking up a storm in the kitchen and sharing her favourite recipes with her readers. She also enjoys reading a good book.