Choosing your Chef’s Knife

Choosing the knife

To be a successful chef or home cook it is important to have the proper tools and to maintain them properly.  The most important tool  in the kitchen is the knife. There are many styles of knives that are used in the kitchen however I want to focus on one type of knife in this segment.

The first which is the most common is called the chef’s knife.  This knife has a long broad blade and is one of the most universal cutlery tools in the kitchen.  If you are working with a limited budget to start or upgrade your kitchen, invest in a good chef’s knife as it will be used often.  You will find that there are many to choose from and you will need to make the choice to meet your needs and comfort.

When you pick up the knife it should feel like a natural part of your hand. The handle should fit well in your hand, meaning not too small or big.  I do not like metal handles or smooth surfaces simply because of the potential for slippage and that is the last thing you want when handling knives. If you like it and are comfortable using them by all means do so I am only stating my preference.

Proper knife techniques with the chef’s knife is to hold the knife at the base of the blade (bolster) and tang (handle).  This provides you with a stable grip and limited side to side potential slip.

Note the hand position.  firm grip with limited slip potential

Note the hand position. firm grip with limited slip potential

From the palm side

From the palm side

There are many brands and I will not disparage any opinion on this as I don’t want to impress specific brands but want to state the absolute importance on the proper fit and feel for you as the cook.  When you have made your purchase you will understand the importance and joy of having a nice quality tool in your arsenal.

After you have used your knife, you want to hand wash it.  Never soak it in the sink, unless there is something that needs to soften and then only let it soak for a few minutes.  Never, ever put your good knife in a dish washer to be cleaned.

Don’t just throw your knife in a utensil drawer.  I use a magnetic strip to hang my knives.  Knives clunking around in a drawer can damage the blades, and can potentially cause harm if you reach into the drawer carelessly.

Chris & Kathy

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