A few, well maybe more than a few, years ago I bought or was given one of those knife sets in a big wooden block that had every conceivable type of knife in it including
a set of steak knifes. Well, I threw it and the knives out!
Now don’t get me wrong it served me well, or so I thought. They problem is the knives in those sets never stay very sharp for long and really do make chopping, slicing and dicing a lot more difficult than need be. But you don’t have to take my word for it!
Here’s what I found a few of our celebrity chefs saying about knives:
Famous for a variety of TV shows and maybe even more for his book, Kitchen Confidential. Chef Anthony Bourdain believes you only really need ONE good chef knife, for everything! And this Global 8 inch Chef’s Knife is his hands down favorite.
“Like a pro, you should use the tip for the small stuff, and the area nearer the heel for the larger.” – Anthony Bourdain
He does go on to say that if you are looking for more these types would be good additions:
Victorinox 9 Inch Wavy Edge Bread Knife – great for soft fruit like thick skinned tomatoes and perfect for bread. The serrated edge should last for years without sharpening.
A Global 3 inch Paring Knife for fancy intricate work like making a flower or something.
And a Victorinox 6 Inch Flex Boning Knife for fish.
Another celebrity chef, admired by many, famous for quite a few TV shows, (perhaps most famous for “Good Eats”) is Alton Brown. AB, as some call him, is another ‘less is more’ proponent. He says of knives:
“You don’t need many. Honest. If you’re just starting out look for a chef’s knife in the 8-10″ range, a large serrated bread knife and a utility blade blade in the 4-6″ range.”
So, just three knives! You can find all kinds of advice from Chef Alton Brown in his book, “Alton Brown’s Gear For Your Kitchen“, geared toward equipment for the kitchen.
Oh and one more thing most professional chefs will tell you, including AB – “Steer clear of sets.”
My favorite tips for purchasing and maintaining good knives include:
- Look for a knife with a full tang – that means the steel runs the full length of the knife, all the way to the butt of the handle.
- Make sure the knife is well balanced. It should feel comfortable in your hand, not overly heavy on either the blade or handle side.
- Keep your knives razor sharp! Send them out to a professional sharpener at least once a year. You will thank yourself for doing it.