Kitchen Knives Archives

How to Sharpen Kitchen Knives

Tom V Powell asked:

Owning a great set of kitchen knives is very important when it comes to preparing a meal properly. Some would even say that your knives are direct reflection of your skill as a cook. The better condition your knives are in, the more capable of a cook you are. This is very understandable, as the condition of your knives can mean the difference between a great meal and a horrible one.

One of the first things you should know is that the price of the knife is no indication of quality. Whether you have top line stainless steel knives, or discount ones from your local department store, what matters more is the condition you keep them in. Keeping your kitchen knives sharp might seem difficult, but by following these simple steps you can maintain your knives for a very long time.

First off, when doing any work with your knives, make sure to cut on a relatively soft surface. Surfaces such as wood and plastic are ideal. Never use your kitchen knives on hard surfaces such as metal or ceramic. The repetitive cutting motion on a hard surface will cause your kitchen knives to become dull and that’s something that none of us want. While it may take longer for these hard surfaces to dull a stainless steel or ceramic knife, it will happen regardless. So try to avoid them if possible.

Another tip that’ll let you preserve the quality of your kitchen knives, is to never use your kitchen knives outside of the kitchen. While it’s super tempting to use your kitchen knives as a screwdriver when you need one, this is not what they were designed to do. By using it in this fashion you’re not only damaging your knives, you’re insuring that your knives will be dulled beyond repair. Only use your knives to do tasks that it was designed to do, this will preserve your knives and ensure that you’ll have them when you need them.

The next tip in insuring the longevity of your kitchen knives is to avoid gritty materials when using them. Gritty materials wear down to the edge of your knives and cause nicks and blemishes on its blade. Keep your guard up when using your knives during outdoor activities. If it’s exposed to any moisture, make sure to immediately dry it off.

When you’re washing your kitchen knives, make sure to use just a mild dishwashing soap and make sure to hand dry them. By allowing the blade to drip dry, you can degrade the condition of your kitchen knife’s handle. When you allow your knife to drip dry, you can also cause your knife’s blade to become stained.

Another tip that’ll help you preserve the quality of your knives, is to be very careful when dealing with knives that have wooden handles. Never soak knives that have wooden handles, for any extended period of time. The water will cause the handle to swell and in the process destroy your knife. Instead hand wash them and rub mineral oil on the handle to preserve its shining finish.

If you use these tips properly, your kitchen knives might even outlast you.

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Tips About Kitchen Knives – Quality Vs Costs

Robert Knechtel asked:

The most expensive knife isn’t necessarily the best. If you don’t keep your knives in good condition, they won’t be easy to cook with, no matter how costly they were. It’s vital to have the right knives and be able to make sure they’re in good shape, if you want to have an efficient kitchen and avoid accidents.

Get a Chef’s Knife

Make sure that you have a quality chef’s knife – the one blade every cook should have. This is a large handled knife with a blade that starts out wide near the base. It then tapers to a point. This is the knife you’ll use for the majority of your cutting in the kitchen. Since chef’s knives are so versatile, a full knife set isn’t really worth the cost. Investing in a single, high quality chef’s knife and keeping it very sharp will serve you better in the long run.

Remember that not every chef’s knife is the same. These blades come in many different sizes, and are measured by the length of the blade. Don’t get one that’s too small – the smallest knife you should buy for all purpose use is around eight inches long, not including the handle. Small knives may seem safer or easier to use, but that’s not always true. Large knives can be used to cut small things, but the reverse doesn’t work.

The variety of knives can be bewildering, since even an eight inch chef’s knife comes in examples between fifteen and a hundred and fifty dollars. Look for a knife that’s around twenty-five dollars if you’re on a budget, but more money can get you a more attractive knife. A significant overhang below the handle will help you keep it sharp.

Keep Your Knives Sharp!

You might have heard that a costly knife will hold it’s edge longer. That’s not really true. Good steel does keep an edge better than the cheapest metal, but cutting any sturdy root vegetable will cause the edge to go out of true. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a mediocre knife or one that’s top of the line. To help fix this, use a steel to straighten the edge on a daily basis. Steels are the long sticks you’ve probably seen with knife sets, and are traditionally made from steel. However, many are not ceramic or diamond. Using a steel is just a matter of swiping it down the side of the knife at a twenty degree angle, but this takes some experience. For those who aren’t comfortable with this process, there are also a few easier options.

However you choose to keep your knives sharp, wash and dry them before and after you sharpen. Once you get used to having your knives sharp, it’ll be easy to tell when the edge is going. Cutting will be a lot harder, especially on tough things. Want to test it? Slide the knife along the skin of a tomato or a peach, but don’t press down. Sharp knives will cut in right away.

Proper Sharpening

A knife and tool sharpener, which has a built in angle, will help you straighten a knife without a lot of skill. Hold the knife with the edge up, and the tip hanging off the counter’s edge. Swipe your sharpener over the edge a few times, and the blade will be a lot sharper. Remember that this kind of sharpener slowly eats away at the blade, and will shorten its life. However, a sharp knife for a shorter time is better than one that is always dull. This is worth keeping in mind if you’re unable to have your knives sharpened professionally and aren’t comfortable with a steel.

A knife should always be treated carefully if you want to preserve its edge. Never use cutting boards of glass, granite, or other hard materials. Wood and plastic are better. The edge should be preserved from damage by immediate washing and drying after use. Store your knife somewhere out of the way of other dishes, so it’ll stay in good shape.

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Why Choose Victorinox Kitchen Knives?

Rossmc Cullum asked:

Victorinox kitchen knives are made by the very same company that is famous for the Swiss Army Knife. With over 100 years of experience making high quality knives, Victorinox has a complete line of high quality kitchen knives that will serve your restaurant or catering needs.

The first thing that you notice when you get to use a good set of kitchen knives is how well they actually cut. It is probably something that you have taken for granted as your set of kitchen knives may have some wear and tear on it. However, once you get a good set of cutlery such as the Vicorinox kitchen knives you will never use a dull blade again.

Selections in the fine offering of Victorinox kitchen knives begins with the paring knife available in black or red with a 3-inch or 4-inch blade. Paring fruits and vegetables is a breeze with this easy to use stainless steel knife. The rest of the fibrox nylon handled line of knives includes an assortment that is used for filleting, paring, slicing tomatoes and for general cooking.

Victorinox offers a full line of forged knives that any cook will fall in love with. Forged cutlery is made of top of the line steel and actually feels different as they have ergonomic handles that fit just right. The Victorinox kitchen knives feature a forged Santoku knife which has become very popular in recent years. The Santoku is perfect for chopping onions, celery, and pretty much any kind of vegetables or fruits. The razor sharp blade cuts through foods so easily.

The extensive line of Victorinox kitchen knives also features rosewood handle knives, microban knives and all of the accessories that go along with working in the kitchen – scissors, sharpeners, hand protection and peelers. Victorinox makes it easy for you to have a complete set of working kitchen knives without having to buy each one separately with their complete knife sets.

Each style of knives -Chefs, Rosewood and Microban – comes in a seven piece set with its own canvas wallet for easy storage. Plus each set comes with a cook’s knife, a fillet knife, a palette knife, a boning knife a steel knife a parer, a peeler and a sharpening device.

There is even a fourteen piece set that comes with its own roll bag carrying case. This set includes two cooks’ knives two serrated carvers, a filleting knife, a boning knife, a palette knife, potato peeler, canella, turning knife and sharpener. Victorinox also makes a small knife wallet that makes taking a few important knives on a catering job easy and convenient.

Having the right tools for the job is more important than you think. You could try getting away with less expensive items but you aren’t really saving money if you are not getting the most from your food costs. Being able to properly prep foods with properly sharpened kitchen knives makes a cook’s job easier and it is actually safer in the long run. Trying to cut through dense foods like raw chicken or thick cuts of beef without having the right utensils could end up being a waste of time and food products.

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What is the Secret to Buying the Best Kitchen Knives

Michael D. Brown asked:

So you want to buy the best kitchen knives and you are wondering what you should get. A trip to your local Walmart leaves you with the choice of a bubble packed, off brand of knife that will not let you feel the edge of the blade to see how sharp it is. Going down the street you stop at your local gourmet shop and look at their selection. Here you are confronted with several different brands and styles of knives most of which have a hefty price tag. They will have slicing knives, Chef knives, boning knives and paring knives some coming in block sets and some individual. It can rapidly become a bewildering experience.

The visit to the gourmet shop will introduce you to the wide world of high quality knives that will last you a life time. Most of the brands available today are of excellent quality. The differences in pricing are usually due to the types of steel and the different processes used. Is the knife stamped out of a sheet or is it individually forged? Has the steel been folded back on itself numerous times to produce a wavy pattern on the sides as you look at it? This is called Damascus style steel. Some of the Japanese style knives will have blunt tips and “Dee” or Octagonal shaped handles. They will have funny names like Santoku, Deba, Guyoto, Usuba or Yanagi.

In the home kitchen you basically need just a few knives. A 6 or 8 inch chef’s style knife will do most of the heavy cutting that you need for soups and stews. For finer jobs like cutting an apple or a tomato you would want a utility knife or a paring knife. If you want to cut meat and do some fish trimming you will want a filet or boning knife. Add in a cerrated bread knife and perhaps some steak knives for barbecue night and you have all the kitchen knives that you really need. On the other hand you could add in a nice fancy slicer for that turkey at Thanksgiving, and a nice diamond coated sharpening steel to sharpen your knife edges. That is just the beginning if you want to build a collection of the best kitchen knives.

Investing in a set of knives for your kitchen is something you should spend some time researching. How does the knife feel in your hand? Is it balanced? How sharp is it and how long does it keep an edge before it needs to be sharpened on a stone? Are you willing to buy a sharpening stone to sharpen them yourself? Will the manufacturer sharpen them for you? Do you want to add in a knife block to keep them safe? These and many other questions are answered on the Cutting Edge at Greatcookingtoday.com

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A Brief Guide to Buying Kitchen Knives

Deevan Aw asked:

When you are looking for a great kitchen knife set, you want to take into consideration cost, the material of the knives, the types of knives that come with the set, and the maintenance of the knives.

Cost is something that cannot be helped, in other words, your budget is your budget. However, keep in mind that a high quality knife set will last longer, maybe a decade, while a less expensive knife set will need replacement after maybe two years. A set will cost between fifty US dollars, and up to a thousand dollars or more for a top of the line set.

kitchen knives are generally made of one of the four following materials: stainless steel, carbon steel, laminated (combination of carbon steel and stainless steel), and ceramic.

The carbon steel knife is 99% iron, and 1% carbon. These knives are prone to rusting, though, and are higher maintenance than stainless steel knives. They are generally sharper though, than stainless steel, though also more brittle. Famous top manufacturers of carbon steel kitchen knives are Sabatier, Kikuichi, and Forshner but these knives are being discontinued and less common. Hardness on the C scale for Carbon Steel knives is between 60 and 62.

Stainless steel contains around 11% chromium, and is very well known as a material used for cutlery manufacturing. Type 420 and 440 stainless steel is used for cutlery, 440 being harder. 440 has a hardness on the C scale of 55. Within 440, there are three grades of steel used in cutlery. Going from more less carbon, and softer, they are A, B, and C.The famous stainless steel manufacturers include Global and Kasumi among the Japanese makers, and European makers like Wusthof.

Laminated knife blades will try to create a balance of the properties of carbon steel, and stainless steep by having a sandwich of the knife materials. Ceramic knives are even sharper than normal knives, but they are more brittle. Kyocera and Yoshi knives are among the ceramic knives available on the market.

Chef’s knife – This is the most important knife in the knife set and will be used for most general kitchen tasks.

Cleaver – This is used to chop and pound food. This is a heavy knife.

Bread knife- This is a special knife that is useful to cut tomatos, and bread without crushing it.

Fillet knife – This is used to fillet fish with a thin and flexible blade.

Paring knife – This is used to cut or peel small fruits and vegetables.

Steak knife – This comes either serrated or straight and is used on the dinner table for serving steak.

Maintaining carbon steel knives is more time consuming than stainless steel. After cleaning carbon steel knives, it is recommended to coat them with some vegetable oil, lightly, to prevent oxidization. Avoid putting professional knives in the dishwashing machine, with a high variability in temperatures and strong detergents, the steel blade and even the handle can get affected.

The sharpness of the blade may decrease if the knife is dropped in the dishwasher.

Once you are done using the knife, clean it immediately so that the quality of the blade is maintained. Once the knife is clean, it should be stored in a knife block made of polyurethane, or wood. Make sure to use a cutting board of the same material to protect the blade.

Knives can be sharpened with a sharpening steel which looks like a circular rod, or a block of stone called a sharpening stone. Modern electric sharpeners are safe to use on quality knives. When using an electric sharpener, make sure not to grind away too much of the knife. You need to sharpen your knives every three to six months.

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