My Favorite Things - Knives

There are a few things in my kitchen that I feel are staples and that I could not do without.  Last time, I showed you my 12 cup KitchenAid Food Processor.  Today, we're going to be talking about knives.  

I 'd like to introduce you to my knives.  Knives, blog-stalkers.  Blog-stalkers, knives.  Okay.  Comfortable? You better be, because it is absolutely IMPERATIVE that you own a good set of kitchen knives.  I'm talking about the kind that you hand-wash, never let The Hubs use for opening boxes or using as a tool, would slice a finger tomato clean in half.  (by the way, that has happened - my poor finger has the scar to prove it)

It is important for anyone who cooks to own at least the following knives: 

From top to bottom:

1. Chef's Knife - The Chef's knife is one of the most used kitchen knives and can be used for everything from chopping to slicing fruits and vegetables. Most chef's knives have a broad blade that curves upward towards the tip to allow the knife to rock for fine mincing. The spine of the blade is thick to add weight and strength. 

2. Carving Knife - Carving and slicing knives are generally used for slicing meats. These knives usually have long blades that allow for cleaner cuts, and pointed tips. Carving knives have thinner blades than chef's knives. The thinner blade means chopping with a carver or slicer can damage the knife; a sawing motion is ideal for cutting with one of these knives. A long blade allows large pieces of meat to be cut into clean, even slices. 

3. Santoku Knife - The Santoku knife is the Japanese version of the chef's knife. The santoku is excellent for chopping vegetables and the wide blade works well for scooping sliced food off a cutting board. The santoku can also be used to slice meat, and has a narrow spine for making thin cuts. The wide blade can be used to scoop diced vegetables or other ingredients into a pot or bowl and is also good for crushing garlic. The curved blade helps the rocking motion used for chopping food, and a santoku can be used on most ingredients such as fruit, vegetables, and even meat. Some Santoku knives (like mine in the picture) have hollowed out grooves on the sides of the blade. These grooves fill with the fat and juices of the product being sliced, which allows for thin, even cuts without tearing or shredding the meat. The grooves also help shed the material being cut from the blade helping to reduce sticking.

4. Saerated Knife - useful for cutting soft products with a hard crust (bread) or tough skin (sausages and tomatoes). The teeth of this knife allow greater pressure to be exerted on the object being cut and are generally thinner than a plain edge blade.

5. Paring Knife - The paring knife is a vital part of any set of kitchen knives. A paring will usually have a thin 3 to 4 inch blade that usually tapers to a point. Paring knives are used for intricate work and allow for a greater amount of control than a larger knife. In general, all paring knives (with the exception of the bird's beak) can be used for basic utility work in the kitchen.

6. Steak Knives - recommended for cutting raw meat, slicing salmon and chopping vegetables. A straight edge can be sharpened using a sharpening steel. A straight edge is useful for making very precise or clean cuts and should be razor sharp to get the best performance.

7. Shears -  They’re the best all-around tool on the counter, useful for butterflying or quartering chicken, trimming pie dough, shaping parchment to line cake pans, snipping herbs, or cutting lengths of kitchen twine.

I have owned several sets of knives.  But these bad boys are my favorite by far.  Yeah, they're KitchenAid.  I'm a fan.  They stay sharp (if used properly), look lovely and clean, and are very easy to use/handle.  And please, please, PLEAS-UH don't abuse your knives.  It is always best to hand wash your knives.  Keep them sharpened (most sets will usually come with their own sharpener) - please resist using an electric knife sharpener.  When you store knives in a butcher block like mine, make sure that any knives that are resting vertically have the blade pointing up.  If you place them in your block with the blade facing down, you run the risk of damaging your blade because of the weight put on them by the handle.  Face up.  Not down.  Up.  Hand-wash.  No dishwasher.  Rinse and repeat.  And you will have a set of knives that last you for years.  

Source: Kitchen Knives