If Kitchen Bachelor has provided a sliver of inspiration to try out some recipes, one thing to consider acquiring is a real Chef’s knife. (Side thought: this reminds me of Crocodile Dundee saying, “That’s not a knife…THAT’S a knife!”.)
Once you’ve wielded a razor sharp knife making dinner for your date and she realizes how manly you look…forget about it, you’re in! The same way a tradesman relies on the steady performance of his tools, a chef’s knife is the workhorse of a chef. This will set you back about $100 but you’ll use it 99% of the time and save you the frustration and inefficiencies of blunt knives.
On my 32nd birthday, my sis and bro-in-law gifted me with a Japanese, Santoku knife (*correction: see the comments section) with a Granton-edge, made by MAC. Santoku (Japanese for “3 uses”) is a style of Japanese knife that has a broad and snub-nose designed for dicing, mincing and slicing. Granton-edge describes the flat edge of the blade which has a series of shallow dimples which act like air pockets to allow the knife to slice through food without sticking.
In Chinese culture, you’re not supposed to present knives as gifts as it’s bad luck, but you can negate this “bad luck” by giving back a penny to your presenter, as though you’re purchasing this item. Yes, I know, very superstitious, right?
Here’s how to select a knife:
1. Try before you buy
2. Determine if it feels right in terms of weight and balance
3. Check to make sure there’s enough room under the handle for your knuckles
4. Make sure it’s sharp (should slice paper easily) and how well it keeps its edge
Using your knife:
– Start slow, this is probably the sharpest knife you’ve ever used
– Learn some basic knife skills and practice them (I found this great video from Dani Spies – she’s cute and gives some great tips: http://www.danispies.com/archives/howto_video/video_basic_knife_skills_video.php
Care for your knife:
This is your baby, take care of it with these tips:
– After use, wash, dry and store immediately – you don’t want your knife rusting
– Do not leave your knife in the sink – great chance someone will slice themselves
– Sharpen your knife when you notice dulling (Options include: wet stones, ceramic rods, diamond sharpening steel and electric sharpeners. A wealth of information can be found here: http://www.consumersearch.com/knife-sharpeners/review)
Enjoy your best friend in the kitchen. I hope this is useful information for all you future Kitchen Bachelors, bachelorettes and aspiring home chefs.