Kitchen Knives

Find a great kitchen knife set

If you're like most people, most of the kitchen knives you own are probably dull. That's because many people don't know how to sharpen their knives, or they make the mistake of purchasing "self-sharpening" or "micro-serrated" knives, which can make a good cut initially, but over time become unusable. Not only is a dull knife annoying and difficult to use, but it is also one of the leading causes of injuries, because it will tend to slip off of foods while you're cutting. Here are some tips to help you select the best kitchen knives.

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Buying a Kitchen Knife Set

A kitchen knife set offers the best value for most home chefs. Generally, a knife set will include about 5 to 10 knives in a variety of sizes and will often come in a wood block for display on your kitchen countertop. Some sets may also contain several serrated steak knives, as well as a honing blade and a carving fork. Of course, each knife set is different, so consult the manufacturer's information before you make your purchase.

With your knife set, you'll usually get a small paring knife or two, perfect for peeling fruits and veggies and for finely cutting meats or seafood. You'll also get several mid-sized utility knives that can be used to cut almost any type of food, a bread slicing knife with special serrations that make it easy to cut bread without compacting its crust, and a large chef's knife or two. The chef knives, the jewels of the knife set, are large, heavy knives useful for a variety of purposes, such as cutting and deboning cuts of meat, slicing up large fruit like melons, squashes and pineapples, and chopping or finely slicing vegetables and herbs.

Buying Japanese Kitchen Knives

Japanese kitchen knives, also called santoku knives (santoku bocho), are a new entry in the American knife market. These ultra-thin stainless-steel knives create paper-thin slices, matchstick julienned vegetables, and perfectly trimmed meats and seafood.

Professional chefs have been using Japanese knives for years, because their extreme light weight reduces hand fatigue and allows more precise cuts than ordinary steel knives. Unlike traditional knives, Japanese knives are usually honed from a single, wire-thin piece of metal that comprises both the blade and the handle, resulting in unparalleled strength and quality.