Best Knives for First-Time Cooks
It's natural - and smart - for new cooks to wonder how to choose kitchen knives. All too often, new home cooks go all-out and splurge on a complete knife set full of items they don't know how to use and won't ultimately need anyway. Choosing the right kitchen knife can mean the difference between being an adequate cook and a kitchen wizard, so let Tongs n' Things give you a hand.
Grab a Chef's Knife First
The chef's knife is one of the only knives you'll ever need. Opt for a blade that's 8-10 inches, and as you choose, keep in mind the size of your hand and your counter space. Larger foods, such as a beef roast or a squash, may require the larger size, but that's a matter of personal choice. You can find an excellent chef's knife for a fair price, so even if you want to buy both sizes, you won't break the bank.
Pick Out a Paring Knife
Paring knives are small, but they're wickedly sharp and wonderfully versatile. Most cutlery sets worth their weight include a 3-4 inch paring knife. In addition to peeling a variety of fruits and vegetables, this knife is ideal for the smaller jobs that don't require a chef's knife. Knowing how to choose kitchen knives means using the right blade for the job at all times.
Shop for a Serrated Bread Knife
In choosing the right kitchen knife, you might wonder about the logic of picking out something with a specific job. Contrary to its name, a bread knife isn't solely for bread. Obviously, you can slice through rolls and loaves much more easily, but serrated knives also slice effortlessly through any foods that are soft inside and firm outside.
Get the Gyuto
Alternately known as the gyutou, the gyuto is roughly the same size and shape as a traditional chef's knife, but the Japanese blade is lighter and more controllable. It's thin and sharp, making it ideal for mincing, julienne, and anything else that requires a precise cut.
Snag Some Steak Knives
Lastly, every cook needs a set of steak knives. They saw through any piece of meat. They're smaller than bread knives, however, and you can place them with the rest of the silverware when you set the table for a meal that consists of tougher proteins. The majority of knife sets include five or six steak knives, but you can also purchase them individually and separately if you like.
- Alan Olmstead