|Wednesday, 23 May 2012||How to choose and look after a chef’s knife|
Cooking is no fun with a blunt and clumsy knife, invest in a chef’s knife and cut with purpose. They can be expensive, but look after it well, and you’ll be using it for the rest of your life.
• It should fit in your hand comfortably, knives will often be smaller for women than men - the ideal should feel like an extension of your hand.
• Weight is important too. Remember you’ll be wielding this knife in a repetitive motion while chopping, you won’t want to take breaks mid-julienne.
• Grip, you’ll be working with wet hands a lot of the time, and a slip could be painful.
• Stainless steel is good, carbon steel is better.
• A knife with a slight curve on the tip is helpful when it comes to slicing.
• The best knives are one piece of steel. After frequent use the knife is likely to fall apart if it has a wood, or rubber handle.
• Beautiful knives don’t like dishwashers; the friction can damage or dent the blade. Clean immediately after use in soapy water, and dry.
• Store your knife on either a magnetic strip, or in a knife block, and not in a drawer full of utensils.
• When scraping food off of a board, use the flat back of the knife and not the sharp blade – if the knife makes a shrieking sound you’re using it in a way that can damage it.
• Use the knife on wood or plastic boards, glass or marble cutting surfaces aren’t kind to its blade.
• If you take all the above precautions, you won’t need to sharpen your knife that often, but when you do, you can get it done professionally or do it yourself: there are two types of sharpeners: stones and sharpeners, which create a new edge and straightening steels, which are used to hone the edge.
Where to buy
• Value-for-money at Banks.
• A premium brand at Chef’s Warehouse (they do sharpening too).
• Shop online and get your knife delivered to your door with YuppieChef.