Do I Really Need This Kitchen Knife?
Okay. it’s saturday morning and you’re watching some cooking show. And some chef is telling you that you, too, can make this marvelous new style of mashed potatoes, or ratatouille or whatever.
So, you walk into your kitchen, look for your kitchen knife set and reach for a knife. First let me ask where do you reach? Do you open a drawer and look into a pile of jumbled or Twisted bits of metal? Do you have large wooden block on your kitchen counter? Do you have one of those hanging magnetic knife holders mounted on the wall?
So you reach out and you grab the knife you usually take or you just grab the first handle your hand comes into contact with and you hold it up and you think to yourself I might be able to do better. Maybe it’s time I think about replacing these old knives.
The question is what kitchen knife should i buy? Or how about just what’s a good knife? what’s a good set of knives? do I need a set of knives? what knives do I need? What makes a good kitchen knife set?
I am a chef. I have been a chef. I don’t want to create the impression that I am one of the Iron Chefs. I haven’t cooked at the White House, for example. But I imagine I could probably hold my own with Anthony Bourdain as a chef not as an interview. And I have gone through my share of knives for my kitchen, knives that i love.
Who Should Read This?
It occurs to me that there is a whole group of people out there who are relatively new to the whole knife buying arena. You can imagine you’re at a party. Someone says: “hey I just got a birthday present. My mother-in-law gave me a new set of knives and it is the XYZ brand” and Bingo just like that you’re off on a conversation.
Many of the true quality knives have a rather obvious drawback. They are expensive. And when I say expensive, you know, I’m talking about these folks: you’re the average person who is just kind of working his way through life. Some fancy chef knives can cost as much as monthly rent and let’s not kid ourselves if it comes down to a choice between paying rent and buying a kitchen knife I don’t think I need to be too particular about the answer to that critical choice.
If for example your spouse or your parents or your children or your in-laws or just a close friend come to you and says: “it’s your birthday. We want to get you something real nice. We’re going to spend a lot of money on you and we know that you like such and such knife. Would you like?” Well, ask for the best thing you can think of. Or rather, this may be the time for a little education. You may want to share your deep feelings about one particular knife that you covet.
The best part?
There’s a nasty little secret out there and it goes a little bit like this: “I can’t buy one of those knives because everyone will laugh at me. if I don’t use such and such a knife they won’t think I’m cool.” This applies to just about any quality brand. So let’s deal with the dirty little secret. The Truth is, my children, that any knife is a very personal thing. Here I am talking about kitchen knives, cooking knives, knives for the preparation of food.
I’m also talking to that group of people who are not necessarily professional line chefs. who are simply home Chefs. Maybe you worked as a cook at some point in your past life. Maybe you worked at a restaurant. Maybe you worked in a diner maybe you worked at the cafeteria at school. And today you are responsible for cooking the meals for your family. How much do you wanna spend on your kitchen knives if what you are doing is preparing food for your family? Don’t get me wrong. Your family deserves the very best you can do. And you deserve to work with good equipment.
How Much Do I Want To Spend?
It is absolutely true that good quality knives will make a tremendous difference in your kitchen in your cooking in your food preparation. However, this does not imply nor am I suggesting that you need to spend the rent check on the good fancy knife just to impress your eight-year-old daughter.
If for example, you have been living with and working with a kitchen knife set that you were given as a gift whether it was a homecoming gift for a housewarming gift for a wedding gift or shower gift. And maybe these knives came from Sears or Kmart or Costco. Then you may not know how a good quality set of knives can change your life, can affect the quality of your cooking craft.
This brings us to our general summary.
How you choose a kitchen knife depends less on how fancy it is and much more on how much you can afford to spend. If, for example you’re kind of broke and you’ve only got about fifty bucks to spend that will limit you to a certain type of knife. It will be a good knife, it will work just fine and may not last for a bunch of years. But for $32- $50 it’ll do the job.
If, however you are looking in the $100 to $300 range, this will allow you to consider more upscale, specialty knives. they will, as a result of their manufacturing, be more attractive. And unfortunately they will also perform a little better. They will last longer, they will hold their edge longer, you can sharpen them easier.
If you are flush with cash and you want to look at something in excess of $300 you have many very good choices and you have the right to expect a handsome, handmade, high-quality, high finish product that will last for years and years and years.
Don’t get hung up on things like ‘hardness scale’ or grind angle or steel type or what country it was made in.
Go to Amazon and filter by price (ie, $50; $100; $250, etc.). You will find what you are looking for.