Knives are the tools I use to create my magic in the kitchen, just like an artist uses his brushes. No wonder I am slightly obsessive when it comes to choosing the ones that perform best.
Every cook´s need for knives differs. If you are a baker, for instance, you will not require the same knives as a vegan chef or a barbeque enthusiast. But all cooks want one thing from their knives – they must perform the tasks they are asked to do with ease and skill. Chefs guard their knife sets like their children, once they have found one they love.
You can easily spend a fortune on knives you will never use so the best kitchen knives sets is one which incorporates all the knives you need and none that you don’t.
I adore wafer-thin slices of tomato so a really sharp vegetable knife is essential for me. Mine slices easily through the skin and flesh without crushing the tomato to a pulp. It has a serrated (wavy) edge which can also be used for the tough skins of sausages or a hard bread crust.
I also use a straight edged-knife which is really keen. It can be regularly sharpened to keep its razor-like edge. It works brilliantly for slicing meat and fish and for chopping vegetables as well.
For slicing cooked meat without shredding it or tearing it to pieces, a knife with a Granton edge works best. It has hollowed-out grooves on the blade which fill with the fat and juices which enables it to slide easily and also prevents it sticking.
Paring knives come in a variety of shapes, and again it depends on what you will use them for most. They are all small for intricate work, with a 3 to 4 inch blade that tapers to a point. I have not regretted investing in an assortment over the years as they make my life so much easier.
A good boning knife means no cut fingers! Mine are really finely-honed so I have to take care that they don’t suddenly slip along the bone when boning a chicken, for example. They have a curved blade and come in varying degrees of stiffness, so it is important to try a few out before deciding what suits you best.
My chef´s knife is the one thing I would grab in a fire. It is large but has a curved blade which means it can finely chop fresh herbs with ease and tackle every other job I throw at it. It is the most versatile knife I have and I love it.
My cleaver is sharp and strong for cutting through bones or the hard skins of vegetables such as squash. It has a sturdy spine with a wide thick blade to make light work of the tasks I set it.
And lastly, my bread knife. I adore freshly-baked bread with lashings of butter and can’t wait for it to cool down before I slice into it. So my trusty bread knife is serrated and extra-sharp so that it doesn’t squash the bread into a doughy mess.
So the best knife set is really as personal as you are. I did not buy one specific set but built it up slowly as I found knives that worked well for me.
Are you looking for the best chef knives to buy?