Why You Need These Three (or Four) Knives



chef's knives,cutlery,kitchen knives

If you’ve ever tried to saw your way through a loaf of crusty bread with a chef’s knife then you already know that making life easier in the kitchen requires a variety of blades.

But hey, we’re not made of money, so if we can only afford a few good knives which ones should we pick? Here are your top four knives, from most to least important:

1. Chef’s Knife

The chef’s knife is the ultimate kitchen workhorse and if you have to cut your collection short, so to speak, you want to make sure this one makes the cut. (That’s the last time – promise.)

Chef’s knives come in a range of different sizes with most blades falling between 7 and 12 inches. Ideal blade length depends on your proficiency and, to some extent, the size of your hands and your typical kitchen chores.

If you’re unsure, an 8-inch blade is a popular size that can handle the widest range of cutting tasks.

2. Bread Knife

You saw that one coming, right? A good bread knife is long, serrated and easy to hold. A very good bread knife is also fairly rigid; a flimsy blade may be a weak blade and is definitely one more likely to go cattywampus while you’re cutting.

The bread knife earns second billing mainly because, being serrated, it is so different from your other blades. The other blades can be traded out with one another (to some degree), but nothing cuts bread – or tomatoes, for that matter – like a bread knife.

3.  Utility Knife

The utility knife is for quick, easy cutting tasks and every job that can be done that will spare the blade of the chef’s knife – slicing open packages, cutting through bags, bands and bundles, and piercing things.

This is because your chef’s knife is meant to stay as keen as possible so that it will be ready to cut through food without incident for long stretches between sharpening. As any kitchen pro will tell you, a dull blade is a dangerous blade and reserving your chef’s blade for food items only will keep it sharper longer.

4.  Santoku Knife

Now, a lot of people are going to disagree with this call, but it’s the last on the list and therefore flexible. And, in fact, for a lot of people the Santoku is going to serve as their chef’s knife, so that’s also something to keep in mind.

The difference between a Santoku and a Western-style chef’s knife, though, rests in its sheep’s foot blade, occasional scallops and near-zero clearing in the cutting plane. The result: an excellent blade for quick slicing, dicing and mincing that does not rely on the slower rocking technique called for with a chef’s knife.

But, the top three are a lock! So, if you don’t have those, look into your options because it could save you a lot of time (and ouchies) in the kitchen.

This 7-inch Santoku knife from Top Chef Knives features a full steel handle, non-slip grip and traditional scalloped ridges that reduce sticking when slicing.

The Ergo Chef "Pro Series" 8-inch chef's knife combines the scalloped ridges and deep heel of the Santoku with the curved edge and rounded tip of the Western chef's knife to create a uniquely blended blade.

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