No kitchen is truly complete without a set of quality knives.
They are one of the most essential tools in the food-preparation process and should be chosen carefully.
At Dressler’s Restaurant, our staff bring their own knives to work and spend 10-15 minutes sharpening them several times a week. Chef Scott recommends spending a little less money on your knives and spending more time keeping them sharp for day-to-day use. If you are going to splurge on a knife for yourself or as a gift, there are a large number of high-quality artisan knife makers right here in the Carolinas. We love Williams Knife Company, Bloodroot Blades, and Middleton Made Knives.
There are a lot of knives on the market, but not all knives are the same. They come in all different sizes, shapes, materials, and prices. Various types of chopping, cutting, slicing, and dicing tasks call for different knives. Use knives that are the right size, comfortable to hold, durable, and sharp. Here are the kitchen knives you need to get the job done.
Chef’s Knife–These general utility knives are typically 8 to 12 inches in length. Chef’s knives are used for mincing, slicing, and chopping vegetables, slicing meat, and disjointing large cuts. Blades are made of carbon steel, stainless steel, a laminate of both metals, or ceramic. Handles can be made of wood, steel, or synthetic/composite materials. The highest quality knives are forged from a single piece of steel (typically high-carbon stainless steel) that runs the entire length of the knife.
Paring Knife–This knife is designed for the controlled cutting, peeling, and slicing of fruits and vegetables. Typical sizes range from 2.5 to 4 inches.
Serrated Knife–Use this knife for slicing delicate items like bread, tomatoes, and cake.
Fillet Knife–The thin, flexible blade is designed to slice meat and separate it from the bone and skin. It is good for filleting fish, as well as cutting thin sections from beef, pork, and chicken.
Boning Knife–The boning knife has a curved, narrow blade that is designed for removing meat from bones and cutting fish or poultry.
Keep your knives clean. Do not put your knives in the dishwasher. Instead, wash them by hand in soapy water. Do not allow them to soak in the water if they have wood handles, as they may crack or warp. Keep the blades pointed away from your fingers and wash slowly and carefully. Dry carefully, keeping the blade pointed away from you.