Deciding which kitchen knives are the most useful to have for a non-professional but highly enthusiastic home cook is not always an easy thing. There are just too many types, shapes, materials and qualities…and a lot of desinformation. To come to your rescue, we have put together the following set of knives no kitchen can do without. We promise, with these four kitchen knives, there is no cutting challenge too big.
The first knife to have is called a chef’s knife or a French knife. This is the most important knife you’ll ever own as it is the most versatile of all of them. You can tackle about 80% of your cutting needs with a good quality one (depends a bit on your dietary preferences). A good quality chef’s knife can last forever if well maintained. Stainless steel or carbon steel blades both work. Both have their pros and cons and typically a preference for one or the other is personal. Other materials like ceramic are also a great option, but ceramic knives are more delicate.
Knowing you need a good chef’s knife is just the start. Then you have to make a decision regarding whether you prefer a long blade or short blade, a heavier knife or a light-weight. You have to make decisions regarding the type of handle you prefer and the shape of the blade that would work best for you. We recommend knives with a longer blade as they are safer and more efficient. They might feel scarier, but once you get used to them, you will see they are actually very easy to handle.
Serrated utility knife
The second knife worth an investment is a serrated utlity knife. It looks like a bread knife, but has more belly. This type of knife is typically under-appreciated, but once you easily chop your way through a squash with one, you will realize you cannot live anymore without one. This type of knife is great for cutting fruits or veggies with tough skins, such as cantaloupes, peppers and watermelons. Or you can use it just to cut your bread.
A paring knife is another must-have in the kitchen of an ambitious cook. It is great to cut small ingredients that require more detail, such as shallots, onions, strawberries and garlic. It has all the benefits of a chef’s knife but then with the added benefit of a smaller size for more precision.
The serious cutting job is easier when using a boning knife. It gets through any kind of meat easily, helping you debone meat, fish and poultry. And the flexibility of the blade allows you to cut delicate pieces, like fish, in a very precise way.
There you go, those are the 4 knives we recommend you to have in your arsenal. They will allow you to be delicate and rough, precise and chopping away just when you need to be.