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Choosing The Perfect Kitchen Knife

May 26, 2008
Kitchen and cooking knives come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from small garnishing knives to heavy cleavers and choppers. The only problem is they all have different purposes and work better with certain foods, so it is important to choose the perfect kitchen knife to suit all of your cooking needs.

Choosing a Kitchen Knife

Because everyone has their own cooking and cutting preferences, there really isn't one knife that is the best for every kitchen. You will want to choose a knife that works best on the types of food you use in your home, such as vegetables, breads, meats, etc.You will also need to choose between a straight edge and serrated edge knife, since they perform very differently from one another. A straight edge is great for cutting soft items like tomatoes, since it has a very sharp edge that can slice through almost anything. A serrated edged knife actually works like a small saw, and is ideal for cutting bread with a sawing action without squishing the food.

Buying a Kitchen Knife

When looking to buy a kitchen knife, you will want to look for individual pieces rather than knife sets. Although it can be more expensive this way, it is well worth the price to purchase a top-quality knife. In order to ensure you are buying a knife that will last for years, you will want to purchase one made out of stain-resistant, high carbon steel. Although they do require regular maintenance, they are the best of the best and will provide a very sharp blade that will last for years to come. You will also want to look at how the handle is attached, since knifes that are only glued into the handle can break very easily. Instead, buy a knife where the blade extends all the way down the handle, and is covered by the handle and held in place. Breaking the blade is nearly impossible, so you can rest assured your knife will last as long as you would like.

Types of Kitchen Knifes

There are all types of kitchen knifes to choose from, so you will need to pick something that works best for your specific cooking needs. The chef knife is one of the most popular and versatile kitchen knifes available, since it consists of a large sharp blade that can cut through almost anything. The wide blade is great for chopping, slicing, and even dicing, and the curved shape makes it possible to rock the knife back and forth making it easy to use. A paring knife is like a small garnish knife, and is ideal for small tasks like taking the core out of an apple. It has a very small blade and is usually best for cutting small items. A bread knife is another popular knife found in many homes, and usually consists of a very long serrated blade. It is ideal for sawing through bread and other soft items, but doesn't work well for chopping hard items like vegetables.

Caring For Your Knifes

Like most other items in your kitchen, your knives must be cared for. Straight edge blades need to be sharpened on a regular basis, while serrated knives actually never need to be sharpened. You will want to make sure and take care when using the knife, since hitting it down on a hard surface while cutting can actually dull the blade. Instead, you should use a soft cutting board to prevent any damage from occurring. Knives should be washed by hand and dried immediately, and should never be put in the dishwasher for cleaning. The detergent can actually dull the knife, and they can even become rusted depending on the type of metal the knife is made out of.

Taking care of your kitchen knife is important, especially if you purchase a high quality knife. It will help the knife to last longer and keep the blade sharp, and make it the perfect companion for your kitchen.
About the Author
Guy Bridge is the proprier of On the Table a store selling Contemporary Tableware and Designer Kitchenware. Brands include LSA Glassware, Guzzini, Robert Welch Cutlery, Joseph Joseph and Alessi.
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