By: Sam the Cooking Guy
If I could only have one tool in my kitchen, it would be a knife. Yes, tongs are important, and spatulas are good, and even some of the small things are cool too, but you need one, really good knife for your cooking.
With the right knife, kitchen life becomes a snap. And it’s just not about precision cutting – it’s about ease of cutting – as in everything becomes easier. The lime for your margarita cuts easier, the chicken you’ve just grilled for your salad slices like a dream and the big fat burger you made is halved in a snap. I’ve had good knives and I’ve had bad knives and I’m telling you the difference between the two is stunning.
But what makes a good knife?
- For a start, you want good steel, and say what you want about buying American, I’m partial to German or Japanese knives. They’re built to last and always made of excellent steel.
- But a knife with a full ‘tang’. That just means the steel of the blade goes all the through to the handle in one piece. That makes for a much sturdier knife.
- Get the right size knife for your hand. You need a knife you will be comfortable holding – and while a 10 inch chef’s knife looks imposing, it might not be the size for you. So before you buy something online, go to a cookware store and see what’s what.
- If only getting one knife, make it multi-purpose. A thin slicing knife can be used for everything, but is really meant for slicing meats, poultry etc. A chef’s knife, or Santoku (the Japanese version) is the right shape for a multitude of uses. See pics below
Two more things. It will need to stay sharp, and trying to sharpen like TV chefs is difficult, so a pull-through sharpener will help with that. I sharpen mine after every couple of uses. And practice makes perfect. Take your time, cuz when you rush you get cut – and that’s no fun.
The right knife won’t be cheap (probably anywhere from $75-$150) but can last a lifetime. And the result when it comes to your food will be immeasurable.