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Old 01-18-2007, 07:10 PM   #1
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What knives do I need?

I am still confused on what each type of knife is "meant" to do. Does anyone know a good reference website where I can go to learn more about what the knives I currently have are best used for and what knives I want to add to my kitchen?

jcj

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Old 01-18-2007, 08:49 PM   #2
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Here's a website:

How to sharpen a Knife, knife types, how to hold and use a knife, using a sharpening steel and stone, picture of a knife, cooking knives

But...

You can obsess about knives. You can get curved blades for peeling, flexible blades for boning, long thin blades for slicing...

And then you'll probably find that most of the work can be done by 3 knives -- a large one (aka chef's knife) for big jobs, a small one (aka utility/paring knife) for little jobs. And a longish serrated knife for bread, which isn't always suitable to a finely-honed edge.

No matter how many knives you have, there will be one or two which will be your favorites, most suited to your style of cooking.

So the real questions: What do you cook most? What kind of cutting goes with your style of cooking? The knife that goes with that is the knife you need.
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:58 PM   #3
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chef, paring, serated bread, slicking, fileting (if you do fish) are the ones you really need in the kitchen.
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Old 01-19-2007, 08:15 AM   #4
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All you really need is a good chefs knife. If kept sharp it can do any task in the kitchen. A paring knife and serrated bread knife do come in handy so those would be my top three choices, but you can get away with just a chefs if you have to.
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Old 01-19-2007, 09:36 AM   #5
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There are lots of very good knives on the market and everyone has their favorites.

You may be tempted to buy a set. It's OK if you do but, as others have said, you really don't need a lot of different knives.

Spend the money to get a few very good knives. They don't have to be all the same brand or model. You can always add other knives later, when you find you have a need.
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Old 01-25-2007, 09:56 PM   #6
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i really love santoku knives idk why I just like the balance from front to back and the shape of the knife feel comfortable because i chock up on the blade.
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Old 01-25-2007, 10:23 PM   #7
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What knives do you need? The ones that feel comfortable in your hand and allow you to get the job done.

If I only had three knives I would use a French chef's knife, a carving knife, and a boning knife.

I also have a pairing knife (probably the least used knife in my kitchen), a serrated bread knife, a Chinese Cleaver, and an old-fashioned carbon-steel "Butcher's Knife" which is great for cutting up large hunks of beast.
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Old 01-26-2007, 01:22 PM   #8
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Have you considered ceramic? Although Kyocera ceramic knives are outrageously priced, you now have alternatives. I recently bought a URI Eagle 6-inch Ceramic Chef's Knife from Target Online, with a gift card I got from a client for Christmas. There is also a company based in Hawaii called Shenzhen Ceramic Knives that sells ceramics at a reasonable price. Sure they're made in China instead of Japan, but that doesn't really matter to me. In fact, I have refused to buy Japanese products since I read the novel Rising Sun by Michael Crichton, over 10 years ago.
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Old 01-29-2007, 06:36 PM   #9
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I currently have several Wusthof knives, which I love, but wonder if I am using them to their "potential." For example, I have a santoku style knife, but apparently I cannot use a knife properly because the indentions don't help my slices from sticking to the blade. I also have a larger and a smaller cook's knife, but don't really know which one is best for what purposes. I guess from the posts what really matters is how comfortable I feel with the knife in my hand, period? I know I need to get a serated knife because nothing I have will cut a tomato or bread worth a darn. What about a butcher's knife? What do you guys use those for and how often do you use it? I had a paring knife, which I rarely used, but at some point I guess I subconsciously decided to donate it to the trash can because it is nowhere to be found. Oops!
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:09 AM   #10
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"Real" Japanese Santoku knives don't have that Granton edge, and I'm not sure it's absolutely guaranteed that things won't stick if you're using it. Some things may, some things may not. But stuck things are probably easier to get off, with those air pockets.

A santoku and a chef's knife are used for much the same things, but a chef's knife, being heavier, is better for more resistant objects. And you need a longer bladed chef's knife when a shorter blade won't make it through what you're cutting.

I usually use a 6" chef's knife in my kitchen, but I'm cooking for only two and I have small hands. If I had larger quantities to prepare, and a bigger prep. area, I'd use a larger knife. (I do, sometimes.)

My husband likes his santoku (smooth blade) best because it happens to have a bigger handle than most of our knives, and it fits him--it is "his" knife. (He also uses the 8 inch chef's knife more than I do.)

I don't use a butcher's knife--I buy precut meats. (And I do go to a store that has a real, live guy behind the meat counter.)

Main thing is, use what works best for you, and keep your knives sharp and clean them immediately after use.

And be prepared to replace paring knives, if you use them. They are escape artists!
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