How to choose a kitchen knife: detailed guide

How to choose a kitchen knife: detailed guide

To put together your knife collection that covers all kitchen tasks, you need to figure out what you want to use the knives for, evaluate the quality of the sharpening and metal, choose a comfortable handle, and select special knives for specific functions. For example, for cutting pizza and cheese, cleaning fish and vegetables. We have compiled all the useful information in this comprehensive guide.

What kind of knives should be in the kitchen?

Chef's knife

The range of knives has its own equivalent in a white T-shirt that no closet should be without. This is a chef's knife, the only one you really can not do without. It cuts greens, chops hard vegetables such as cabbage or pumpkin, and carves meat. The seeds are removed with the tip, the fillets are separated from the bones. Denser products are cut with one part at the base. The middle part is used for slicing or cleaning.

The blade length is between 15 and 36 cm. Restaurant chefs prefer blades of maximum length. The optimum length for a house is 20 cm. Handling such a knife is easy if you have not mastered any special cutting techniques and do not have much culinary experience. It may seem heavy, but as soon as you stop tearing the tip off the board when cutting food and start moving the blade with sweeping small movements, the weight will work in your favor

The advice: How to choose the right knife? Make sure you hold the knife in your hand before you buy it. Assess how well the handle fits in your hands, whether it is too heavy for your hand, whether there are any bulges

Universal knife

The second most important for the domestic arsenal. It is shorter than a chef's knife, its blade length is 12-15 cm, but it is also suitable for most cutting or chopping work. It is lighter, so anyone can handle it. You do not need to master any special techniques. It is comfortable to handle because the center of gravity is such that you can cut a slice in one movement.

A knife for peeling vegetables

The smallest, narrowest and lightest of the basic series. It has a short, up to 10 cm, blade with a sharp point. It is easy, for example, to remove the eyes from potatoes, to remove a thin layer of skin, to finish cutting fruit for decoration. A piller with a curved blade is particularly suitable for peeling small vegetables.

The advice: A knife like this can be replaced by a peeler. It removes a thin layer of skin regardless of the chef's experience.

Bread knife

It can be easily recognised by its characteristic cutting edge. It is wavy or serrated, like a saw. Such a blade can handle soft, fresh bread, does not crumble the puff pastry and cuts a delicate baguette into evenly thin slices.

The advice: The bread knife is not only suitable for bread. Why not use it to slice watermelon, melon or soft tomatoes?

Fillet knife

It is used to separate meat or fish fillets from the bone, to carve meat, raw or ready. It has a thin, slightly flexible blade that tapers to a point. A double-sided grind makes working with a filleting knife as comfortable as possible.

Curly cutting knife

With relief edges and different types of handles: like a normal knife or with a handle at the tip. They help to vary the appearance of dishes: wavy baked potatoes, an unusual-looking salad of hard vegetables, aesthetic slices of cheese. Crumble hard cheese

Cheese knife

If you are a cheese lover and keep several different types of cheese in the fridge, then it is better to have several knives based on the consistency of the product. Parmesan, for example, is not cut, but shredded with a special fork with two prongs. For soft cheeses such as Brie or Camembert, the holes in the blade are important. They make cutting easier and also prevent the pieces from sticking together. Very soft cheeses are spread with a spatula knife.

The advice: The cheese sets contain all the necessary knives as well as a board for aesthetic serving, a glass dome to prevent skinning, a bowl for cheese sauces

Knife with wheel for cutting dough or pizza

A smooth wheel can be used to divide pizza or other open pies into equally sized pieces and cut the dough into thin strips of homemade pasta. With a relief wheel, you can easily make squares with a wavy edge for ravioli.

The advice. If choosing individual knives seems like a daunting task, stick with a set. The popular ones have knives of different functionality, they are united by a common design, as well as a convenient stand that looks stylish on the countertop.

Blade material

How do you choose knives for the kitchen? Pay attention to the blades. The cutting part of the tool is the main thing. Knives with steel or ceramic blades are most commonly used.

Ceramic blades will last for many years if used correctly. They are much lighter than steel blades. The material is neutral and also completely harmless. Unlike steel, the ceramic blade does not absorb odors, does not oxidize and the products cut with it do not acquire a metallic taste. It is thicker than steel, but cuts just as well and is very difficult to scratch or blunt it.

There are also disadvantages. The ceramic blade is fragile. You can not drop them. They are not able to cut frozen food or anything very hard. The blade can crumble. You also need to choose your chopping boards carefully. Glass and metal are not suitable. They can easily damage the blade. Silicone, plastic and wood are suitable. It is also better to wash ceramics by hand and avoid strong temperature fluctuations. If you are cutting food from the refrigerator, you should not send the blade under a stream of very hot water. It could crack. Room temperature, mild detergents, no hard sponges. Here is the right care for the ceramic blade. Then it will serve as long as possible without becoming blunt.

Steel blades are the best known. The most common blades are made of stainless steel. Various substances are added to the alloy to improve the properties of the metal:

  • for wear resistance — manganese,
  • for hardness and additional corrosion protection — chromium,
  • for greater strength — molybdenum,
  • for improved sharpness — vanadium.

In the Select collection, for example, the blades are made from the German steel X50CrMoV15 (1.4116). The ratio of carbon to chromium in its composition allows it to withstand intensive use and retain its sharpness for longer. They do not oxidize and retain their appearance unchanged throughout their service life.

The quality of the blades is also influenced by the metal processing. In the Select collection, they are subjected to a triple temperature load. After forging, they are heated to 1200° C, frozen in liquid nitrogen to -70° C and then reheated to 300° C again. All of this is necessary to make the blade thin and durable at the same time and also to withstand sharpening at a smaller angle.

Sharpness of knife sharpening

If the blade is not sharp enough, even preparing a sandwich becomes an impossible task. The soft product is simply crushed, and the hard one can only be cut with great difficulty.

Therefore, it is worth paying attention to the sharpening angle. The higher it is, the easier the blade cuts delicate food. However, a very sharp blade blunts more quickly and its edge can be damaged.

With a sharpening angle of 22-26 degrees, you can cut ripe tomatoes as well as hard sausages. Paring knives are less sensitive to the sharpening angle. 30-32 degrees is sufficient.

Comfortable handle

A good handle should be durable, secure and comfortable: it must not slip in the hand, must be large enough to grip and easy to clean. The most common handles are made of plastic, wood and metal.

Plastic handles are practical and unobtrusive. The soft-touch surface prevents the handle from slipping in the hand. The particularly durable POM plastic is temperature, detergent and impact resistant.

Wooden models are aesthetically pleasing and appealing to the touch, but are difficult to care for. They should not be cleaned in the dishwasher and they should also be wiped dry immediately after washing so that the wood is not damaged or cracked by moisture.

The advice: To protect your fingers from cuts, hold the knife correctly. It's as if you were saying "hello" to it. All fingers grip firmly around the handle, none, not even the index finger, rests on the blade. Bend the fingers of the hand holding the food to be cut so that they resemble the claws of a crab. This way, the fingertips are hidden from the sharp blade.

Five ways to extend the life of a knife

  • Wash properly. Soft detergents, sponges without abrasive parts, a gentle dishwasher mode are suitable (not for all cases, it is better to study the instructions).
  • Store separately from other appliances. In a special stand, on a magnetic board or simply on a shelf, but not together with forks and spoons.
  • Use as intended. Chopping a bone with a knife is not effective. It is likely that the bone will remain intact and the blade will be severely blunted or broken.
  • Choose the right cutting boards. Wood, plastic or silicone will preserve the sharpness of the blade. The sharp edge can easily be damaged on metal utensils or ceramic plates.
  • Do not forget to sharpen. At home, it is worth having a honing steel, a whetstone or a sharpening stone in two or three stages. You should also take the knife to a professional sharpener regularly.

  • How to choose good knives for the kitchen? Remember what dishes you cook most often, choose the knives necessary for your needs, paying attention to the material and comfort of the handle. And you can also choose a set with a practical stand rather than buying them individually. Select the ones you need in our stores or directly on the website, order home delivery by courier, to the pick-up point, pick up from the store.

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