The kitchen knife. They’re like men, they come in all shapes and sizes, you need to find one that fits you, and used correctly they make your life better and easier. But if you don’t use it properly, you’ll just end up hurting yourself. I should know, both have happened to me. I like to think that every chef has cut themselves, especially after all the Chopped episodes I’ve watched (which will be addressed in future posts), so don’t feel bad when it happens to you. And I will spare you the pictures of my finger, (it took about a month to be round again-lol) but at least you know I’m talking from experience.
First, have a good chef’s knife. It’s the knife you will use THE MOST, promise. Fortunately you don’t have to spend one week’s pay on one if you’re broke like me. I found mine at Target in Giada De Laurentiis’ new kitchen line. Yes, I said Target. Who’s not addicted to Target? And when I saw that Giada had teamed up with them, I about fell over. Because who doesn’t love Giada? I’ve had her knife for almost two years now and it’s so wonderful. Light, sleek, easy to handle. I think I paid about $20. They don’t sell it by itself anymore, but it does come in the set. And don’t buy knives online, you want the chance to hold the knife and feel it in your hand. It’s like meeting a guy for a drink, give it a quick test before committing. (When you have the money to buy a $100+ chopping knife from a fancy cooking store you’ll get the chance to actually test it out. They say to go with a Wusthof or Zwillig/Henckels. Hopefully when that happens for me you’ll still be following! haha!) Just remember, trust the knife as it will be your constant companion in the kitchen.
Like in acting, one headshot won’t get the job done, you need a few. The same goes for knives. While your chef knife will get the job done about 95% of the time, you will need a couple special knives: a serrated knife and a small paring knife. For these knives, I got them somewhere else while I was in college and on a much tighter budget: IKEA. Yup, another favorite store of mine for you budget minded chefs. It’s also just a fun place to go. Your serrated knife is for foods like breads and tomatoes (that skin can be tough for your chef knife, although it will get the job done). Your paring knife is for more precise work: coring apples and slicing small things like garlic, dates, grapes, etc
I could go on and on about knives, which means I will have future posts so as not to go on and on. For now, I will leave you with this instructive video from America’s Test Kitchen about the proper way to sharpen your knife and how to hold it and cut (so as not to cut off your fingertip). I can’t wait to share other (fun) kitchen accessories with you so stay tuned!