You need good kitchen knives. I like to cook so I may have more than people that don’t cook. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a good knife if you know what features to look for. You should be able to get any one of these knives for less than $20. Anyone will tell you that you need to keep your knives sharp. I also think that using a sharp knife to cut onions will make you cry less then using a dull knife to crush your way through the onion.
You can probably tell that I like a full tang. To the uninitiated it just means that the blade runs all the way through the handle. You can tell that a knife has a full tang by looking at the handle. If you see the metal run all the way through between both sides of the handle than it’s a full tang.
Large kitchen knives
Moving from left to right: The knife on the left is a Faberware. It has a full tang. Some sort of Japanese design. Those little dimples on the blade cut down on the friction when you’re slicing something like cheese or tomatoes. Second from left is a Victorinox bread knife. It has a serrated blade. Besides slicing bread, it’s also good for cutting through the joints of a bird. Second from right is Ecko Eterna 12″ chef’s knife. You rock this one back n’ forth on the cutting board to chop stuff really fine, or you can use the flat edge for smashing garlic and nuts or to slice up beef. The method is to hold the front tip down on the cutting board and you move the handle up and down, so you move the knife in a rocking motion. I generally don’t like wooden handle knives, but this one is a beauty. Farthest to the right is a Joyce Chen cleaver. This one is great for hacking apart large roasts or smashing through bone.
I don’t care at all what the name is. If it looks and feels like a good knife I’ll buy it. Don’t get tied to names. Quality can be found anywhere.
Medium kitchen knives
The medium knives are the ones I use the most. Cut apart chicken or fillet fish, slice an onion or make a salad. The medium knives from left to right. Farthest to the left is a 6″ Henckels. The Henckels is a nice knife and easy to sharpen. I like a more curved blade though like the two knives to the right. Do you notice the curve? In the middle is a 6″ Chefmate made in Taiwan, but it’s full tang, sharpens easy and holds a good edge. I’m sure I didn’t pay more than 10 bucks for it. All the way over to the right is a Cold Steel fillet knife. It has a very thin and the blade has a lot of flex in it. This is my first Cold Steel kitchen knife. I can recommend this knife without hesitation. I think that this knife can also be found around ten bucks. I’ll be buying more Cold STeel kitchen knives.
Small kitchen knives
I probably use these the least. These are almost like carving knives that you use for very fine kitchen work. Once again left to right. All the way on the left is a Kershaw carbon stainless steel knife made in Japan. This was a cheap knife and it’s sharp. The handle is an easy soft grip rubber. In the middle with the blue handle is kind of a strange story. It’s an Ontario knife. I think it’s carbon steel, not stainless. I don’t like it. It stained, I guess because it’s carbon and it didn’t even come very sharp and I can’t get it to hold a good edge. I think Ontario is a good company. I have one of the RAT knives so I was disappointed to get this one. Can’t recommend the Ontario kitchen knife.
Don’t let you knives remain dirty over night. Don’t let them sit in water or the kitchen sink over night. I don’t care how much fun you are having you gotta clean em as you use em.
I keep saying you have to keep your knives sharp. I have some old fashion stones and a knife iron, but my favorites are the diamond stones. I like the ones that have two different grades in one unit. One side is course and the other side is fine. The sharpening surface also folds into the handle which is nice. Plus, all you need for these stones is a few drops of water.
You turn it over to the red side and it’s course.
The other stone I like is a Smith’s double-sided stone. Same story as the DMT stone, one side is course and the other side is fine. Once again, the whole thing inserts into the handle for storage. The nice thing with this stone is that it has a little groove in it to sharpen fish hooks.
I have the Smith’s in my silverware draw. Keep it handy and it won’t take more then 1/2 a minute to put a nice edge on it when you are cooking.
Here’s a nice tutorial put out by the good folks at DMT on how to sharpen different tools. http://www.dmtsharp.com/general/basicsharp.htm
Don’t be dull. Stay sharp.