If you are a keen cook and enjoy preparing your food then you will certainly have a set of knives which you use regularly, and you may well have your favourites. You might also watch in admiration as the chefs on television seem to slice away at ingredients as though it was some kind of magic trick, and it seems impossible to believe that we could ever manage to prepare our ingredients as quickly, or as neatly.
If, when you try to cut a tomato you simply end up with a puddle of juice and two ragged skins, or when you slice bread you end up with the loaf either half the height it start or a slice of bread that might just as well have been ripped off than cut, then it may well be your knives which are to blame.
Effective knives are an absolute must, and make a huge difference to the ease and effectiveness of your cooking. Indeed, it is very often the fact that people are put off cooking for themselves as a direct result of their assumptions or experiences with the fiddly preparation of the ingredients, and yet all that would be necessary to make the process so much easier would be a set of good knives.
Of course, as with anything, you get what you pay for, and paying good money for quality knives will make a terrific difference. If you struggle with your knives at home, then buying one or two really good quality ones will open your eyes to the ease that they glide through food and the speed with which you are able to slice, dice and chop.
There are plenty of knife sets on the market, and you could easily go and buy a full set. However, if money is an issue, and paying two or three hundred pounds for a set of knives seems like a lot, then perhaps instead you might contemplate buying just one or two knives at a time. Not only is that easy, but you can choose which ones to have, since often the full sets of knives include ones you’re less likely to use. In fact, just two or three knives are all most people need to carry out the general tasks.
The most important knife to get is usually called a chef’s knife, and is the most widely used and most versatile knife, used for slicing, dicing, chopping and mincing. The blade on a chef’s knife is usually about six to twelve inches in length, and will be used for preparing vegetables mostly. The important thing to look for is a comfortable handle because this will be used more than any other knife, and if you cook everyday, then it will be used every day.
The next most important knife will be small paring knife. The blades on these are only usually about two to four inches, and they are used mainly for preparing fruits and vegetables, particularly the more fiddly tasks such as peeling and coring.
The third and final knife which you should consider essential is a serrated one, with a blade about seven to ten inches, this will be ideal for cutting and slicing anything which has a hard outside and a soft inside, such as bread, tomatoes and peaches.
Although there are many other types, these three should be considered essential, and if you only ever buy three knives, make sure it’s these. Your cooking will never be the same again!