Of all the kitchen tools, the knife is the most important tool and gets the most use. From dicing an orange to slicing a chicken breast, knowing how to work with knives is crucial to success in a kitchen. Have you ever been in a professional kitchen? If so, you have probably noticed that a knife is used almost in the creation of every dish. A sharp knife means a lot to any chef. That’s why for such an important tool, learning how to sharpen is almost crucial.
In fact, this is an essential cooking skill that every cook should have. A sharp knife will make your life easier and more enjoyable. It helps you cut and slice food fast and safe. Although sharpening your knives is not very easy, you must do this almost every week. Not everyone sharpens their knives regularly, but if you are a professional cook and you use your knives every day than you should be sharpening your most important tools every week. However, if you don’t cook as often you, you can do this once or twice a month. In fact, there is no universal answer to this question. It all depends on a few factors.
For example, if you are a professional cook who is slicing, chopping and cutting every day, then a honing steel can do wonders with your knives. While some chefs use this sharpening tool every time they use a knife, home users can use it once a week. However, at some point, even this tool can become ineffective and when this happens, you have to use a whetstone to grind a new edge.
Another good idea to keep your knives sharp is to use a manual knife sharpener. Nowadays, the market is stuffed with so many types and models of knife sharpeners that it is quite difficult to find exactly what you want. However, if you are thinking about purchasing a manual knife sharpener for your knives, there are a few things to take into account.
First of all, it is important to understand that every model is able to sharpen straight knives but only a few can sharpen serrated blades. More than that, with a manual sharpener your knives will stay sharp for longer. Some people are not used to do some research before making a purchase. They just buy something and when they go back home they realize that the product is useless. As mentioned above, there are many sharpeners on the market and each model has its own settings. While some models are made for the right hand, other can only be used by left hand. There are also tools which can be used either right or left-handed. Because of this, you need to pay more attention to quality, features, design and so on.
Another important thing to mention and to remember when making a purchase is the quality of the blade material. Because of this, it is worth investing in high-end knives. The best and most popular knives out there are the Japanese models. They are made with higher-grade steel, meaning that they keep their shape very well.
Types of knives
As outlined above, there are so many types of knives on the market, that it might be a bit difficult to know exactly what type of knife suits you best. However, there are three important types of knives that are mandatory in a kitchen, including the cook, the serrated and the paring knife.
- The cook’s knife is the most important type to have in your kitchen. It features a wide and long blade and it is used for chopping.
- The pairing knife is smaller than the cook’s type. It has a small blade which measures from two to four inches long. It is used primarily for simple tasks such as peeling potatoes, trimming vegetables or coring tomatoes.
- The serrated knife is a long knife used for meat and bread. It is primarily used on foods with different texture such as tomatoes or crusted bread.
To complete your kitchen set, you can also add a slicing knife, a cleaver and even a boning knife. While the slicing one will help you cut the cooked meat and fish, the boning one is more for delicate tasks like separating fish from bone or raw meat. Also, the slicing knife has a long blade while the boning type comes with a small, thin blade. In what regards the cleaver, it is very important to know that it can do everything a cook’s knife can do. As such, it can cut, chop, slice, smash and so on.