Cooking Knives

 

Let's face it, knives are weapons, and you need to be careful with them to prevent injury. Here are a few tips to stay safe:

--Keep your knives sharp. Believe it or not, a dull blade can be more dangerous than a sharp one because you're using more force to cut.

--Draw the knife away from you to cut and slice

--When you're gripping food, curl your fingers inward to protect them as you're cutting.

--Make sure your cutting surface doesn't slide. You might want to place a damp towel under your cutting board to keep it in place.

--Never put a dirty knife in sink filled with soapy water. It could be dangerous if you don't see it and reach in to grab it. It could also hit other items in the sink and damage them.

--Carry knives with their blades down, and store them in blade-down position.

For quality cooking knives and accesories at low prices, check out Metro Kitchen and Excalibur Cutlery and Gifts. Both have free shipping offers.

 
 

If you're anything like I used to be, I had no idea that cooking knives needed special care. I used and abused my very first knife set, a cheap, crappy one from Walmart (note: whatever you do, do not buy a cheap knife set), treating them no differently than regular utensils because I didn't know better.

But now that I am using quality knives and am more educated about my cutlery, I want them to last as long possible, perhaps for the rest of my life if I'm lucky.

Follow these guidelines to keep your knives in the best condition possible:

- Never put knives in the dishwasher. Whoops. I used to do all of the time because I didn't know better and was too lazy to hand wash them. Even if your knives say "dishwasher safe" and you're still not convinced, here are a few reasons not to put them in there according to Professional Cutlery Direct:
1. The sharp edges can damage the rubber coating of the dishwasher baskets, eventually allowing the metal underneath to rust.
2. Other items in the dishwasher can strike the knife edge, damaging the knife or other items.
3. If you stick a knife in a dishwasher and it sits for a while, food can cause damage and pitting to the blade.
4. Plastic handles may be discolored by detergents, and wooden ones are damaged by soaking.
5. Hot and cold cycles may change the temper of the steel, causing brittleness.

- Always use a cutting board (wood or plastic, not glass) when using your knives. This may seem like a no-brainer because you don't want to damage surfaces when you're cutting. But a cutting board also protects your knife. If you use it against a hard surface like glass, metal or ceramic (come on, I know we've all cut on plates before when we were too lazy to get out the cutting board. Admit it!), it will unnecessarily dull your knives. Take a few extra minutes to get out your cutting board, even if it's a quick job.

- Store them in a wooden knife block, in sleeves or in a compartmentalized drawer.  Don't throw them in a drawer where they will be clanging around with other knives and utensils. I use a magnetic rack and it's very handy.

- Do not use your knife as a screwdriver, chisel or other tool. Again, this may seem like a no-brainer, but I have been guilty of using the end of a knife as a hammer from time to time, not a wise idea.

Of course, if you're using a cheap cooking knife set, you might not care. But why are you still using that set? If you invest in a few nice knives, or at the very least, a decent chef's knife, I promise, it will make your life in the kitchen so much easier. You can find some good deals (and free shipping specials) at Metro Kitchen and Excalibur Cutlery and Gifts.

 
 

Instead of buying an entire cheap set of cooking knives, consider spending a little more to only buy the knives that you really need.

Most cooks agree that only three knives (and some say even one) are essential in the kitchen:

1. Chef's knife (also called a cook's knife). This is the daddy of all cooking knives. If you can afford to invest in only one quality knife, make it this one (it also makes a great gift for someone who loves to cook). The chef's knife has a long, wide blade between 6 and 10 inches long, with a straight spine and a curved cutting edge. It is mainly used for chopping and slicing, but it's pretty versatile, and you can use it for just about anything.

2. Paring knife. While a chef's knife can do just about anything, it's difficult to perform more delicate work with it. That's where the paring knife comes in. It looks like a mini-chef's knife with a blade between 2 and 4 inches long. It's great for trimming, peeling and coring veggies and fruit.

3. Serrated knife. This knife, which has a wavy, saw-like blade, is perfect for foods that have a hard texture on the outside, but are soft on the inside. It is mainly used for cutting bread, but it can be used to cut tomatoes, watermelon and other fruits and vegetables that might otherwise get crushed by a regular knife.

If you have these three quality cooking knives, you'll find that you can perform most tasks in the kitchen just fine.

For quality cooking knives at low prices, check out Metro Kitchen and Excalibur Cutlery and Gifts by clicking the links on the right side of this page. Both offer free shipping.


 
 

If you're looking to purchase some new cooking knives or maybe find the perfect chef's knife for that cook on your gift list, you might want to take a look at the results of this knife test.

Cooking blogger and engineer Michael Chu tested 11 chef's knives from $29 to over $200 to find out which ones performed the best.

His findings:

The overall best performance:
Global 8" Chef's Knife, $88.95

MAC MTH-80 MAC Mighty Chef 8" with dimples (Chu's favorite)

MAC MTH-85 MAC Mighty Chef 8.5"

Best value (price for performance)
RH Forschner Victorinox 40521 Fibrox 10-in. Chef's Knife

Best value for outstanding performance:
Tojiro DP F-808 21cm Gyoto Chef's Knife

Unacceptable
Cutco 9-1/4" French Chef, (the only knife to receive an unacceptable rating on three out of four of the tests)

The performance tests included included cutting and slicing carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and scallions.

Note that all of the cooking knives were tested out of the box and not sharpened.

To read the full review, click here.

Many of these great knives can be purchased with free shipping at Metro Kitchen and Excalibur Cutlery and Gifts.

 
 

Welcome to Cooking Knives Info, your source for information on kitchen knives. Our site is for cooking pros and pros alike. Maybe you're trying to learn what exactly all those knives in your kitchen are used for and how to cut with them, or maybe you're searching for a gift for that cook on your holiday list. We hope you enjoy this blog. Please contact us by commenting on our blog or e-mailing us.

 

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