Since I’m back on here because I thought, probably misguidedly, that I’d be able to help someone out who is just starting out on their cooking adventures, I had better start at the start. Let’s talk knives.
I’m a massive sucker for knives and it is probably lucky my three kids hoover up all my disposable income, because there is a deep dark rabbit hole you can go down with knives. Assuming that rabbit is armed and will take all your money of course. But if you are just starting out you need just 2 knives, a good chefs knife and a utility knife.
Actually, scratch that. You need a chefs knife you can keep sharp and you enjoy using. It’s no good owning a expensive work of art if you can’t keep it sharp and it doesn’t feel good in your hand. The very first knife I can remember enjoying using was an old small chef knife we had at the beach shack at Southend. At some point the wooden handle had become a bit loose, so my Dad put a bit of heat shrink sleeve on it. It was one of the knives I learnt to sharpen on so it was always razor sharp.
I’ve owned a fair few chef knives over the years, I also like to give them away, that way when I go visiting there will always be a good knife to use. I also love sharpening the knives when we stay at an AirBnb as well. Of the two I use all the time, it is the cheapest one I like the best. It just feels great. That’s B. A is the other general use chefs knife, it has a bit more weight and works better for chopping. D is the other essential knife I own. I call it a utility knife but that is underselling it. It is a small serrated knife and I have a heap of them instead of kitchen knives. You can use it as a butter knife, or for paring vegetables or slicing tomatoes. I’d happily do without any of the other knives other than the chef for that little workhorse.
Then there are boning knives, which are for boning meat surprisingly, but unless you are doing boneless chicken or leg of lamb, you probably can get away without it. A cheap bread knife is handy, they cost bugger all.
Work out how much you want to spend, whether it is $10 or $500 (I’ve never spent that much on a knife.) Pick up and use other people’s knives to work out what shape and weight you like. Work out how you are going to keep it sharp. Can someone touch them up for you 3 or 4 times a year? Do you have time to learn to use a cheap stone? There are a heap of half decent pull through sharpeners that will extend the life of the edge. A sharp chefs knife just makes cooking so much more enjoyable.
That’s it, I’m off to sharpen all my knives before all my mates get reminded by this that I’m the person they hit up when their knives get blunt and I’ll be too busy to be doing mine.