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3 Essential Knives All Home Cooks Should Own

When looking to accomplish a task, the tools you use are of much importance. Abraham Lincoln was on record saying that if he were given 6 hours to chop down a tree, he would spend the first 4 hours sharpening the axe. Back to the main topic, you would rather spend a lot of time knowing the 3 essential knives you should own.

The 3 Essential Knives

Despite the many modernizations in kitchenware, the knife remains unshaken. There are a lot of tasks that require a knife, cutting, peeling, dicing, slicing, and chopping, among others. In a world of many blades, each knife is best at performing specific tasks. Still, there are numerous kitchen knives, and you don't want stacks of utensils, yet you aren't a professional chef. For that reason, there are some crucial knives that you need to have in your kitchen. 

Even though these knives are best at specific tasks, they are considered as general-purpose knives. They will handle more than one task effectively. Equipped with the right knife, you'll enjoy cooking since everything will be smooth and easy. An Ideal kitchen knife is worth your investment. It guarantees safety, reliance, security and ensures durability.

Interestingly, you don’t have to break the bank to own quality kitchen knives. When shopping, target knives with high carbon-steel alloy blades – highly coveted feature by professional chefs. On the handle, it largely depends on your taste, ergonomics and comfort. You can choose between a plastic or wood handle. Plastic handles are, however, better since they are dishwasher safe. 

Due to the multiple options available in the market, this guide highlights the three best knives you need before you can qualify as a home cook, pun intended—it aids you avoid making serendipitous decisions when shopping for knives, especially online.

1. Chef Knife

A chef knife is the most vital knife in your kitchen. They vary in size, and your needs determine the exact size you need. The average and most widely used is the 8-inch blade. If you have huge hands, a 10-inch blade will serve you well, while a 6-inch blade will serve you if your hands are small. 

Notably, the long knife is more efficient and versatile. The big blade size helps you cover a lot of work in less time. Also, in regard to knives, the safety increases as the blade size increases. You, therefore, must choose the right size of your chef knife based on all those factors.

When choosing a chef knife, ensure you prioritize a full tang over a half-tang blade. They are more versatile and durable. Ideally, get a knife that is comfortable to hold and does the job done efficiently. 

A chef knife handles most of the tasks in your kitchen. You’ll use it to slice and dice vegetables, meat, fish, and fruits. Although the chef knife is the ultimate champion of the kitchen, you shouldn’t use it to butcher poultry or peel vegetables with massive skins such as pumpkins. You also don’t use it to poke holes on tins.

2. Bread Knife

Also known as serrated knives, the bread knife takes on every job that doesn’t suit the straight blade knife. This knife is long and thin. The serrated knife features an offsite handle for seamless blade movement.  The sawing motion allows the blade’s knife to grip and cut through the ingredients smoothly. 

The serrated knife is associated with bread and thus the moniker bread knife. It is specifically designed for bread, cutting cake layers and other baked foods. Furthermore, the serrated blade is handy with waxy surfaces, especially fruits. This knife allows you to cut tomatoes, watermelons, peppers, pineapples, and tomatoes perfectly.

Unlike other knives, serrated knives are precisely for slicing, not chopping or peeling. It's also worth noting that the serrated blade isn't ideal for cutting berries, garlic, and fresh herbs. 

When shopping for a serrated knife, you should pay attention to the size of the teeth. Too large and too small teeth can be problematic to use from bread to fruits without much hustle.

3. Paring Knife

The paring knife is the third most important in your kitchen. The paring knife completes whatever the chef knife can’t handle. The average paring knife is approximately 31/2 inches long. It’s desired for its precision. The paring knife is ideal for any piece of food that needs attention to detail. 

The paring knife is unsurpassed in slicing and mincing small chunks of food, which could be very difficult with an 8″ blade knife. For instance, you can use it for hulling strawberries, chopping garlic, or peeling vegetables and fruits.

Reasonably, the paring knife is also the most affordable of the three most indispensable knives in your kitchen. You will most likely encounter some ceramic knives when shopping. It would be best if you chose metallic blades over them because of durability. 

Despite the reliability of the paring knife in handling pieces of food, you should avoid using it to cut hard vegetables such as beetroots, turnips, carrot, parsnips, and such. Due to their small size, these knives do not have enough weight to slice through foods easily. You don’t have to apply force to accomplish any job with the knife to avoid potential accidents.

Most Important Kitchen Knives FAQ

What Are The Most Vital Features To Consider?

The blade and the handle help you a lot in choosing a good knife. Most knives featuring good-quality steel have a sharp, strong blade which is perfect. The blade is also easier to clean. Ceramic blades are sharp but brittle, thus a turnoff. A good handle, on the other hand, gives you a good and comfortable grip. Plastic handles are considered dishwasher safe and hence an ideal option.

Bread Vs Serrated Knife: What's The Difference?

A serrated knife is also called a bread knife because of its long history of close association with bread. You can use it to carry out other tasks such as cutting vegetables with thick waxy skins such as tomatoes. 

How To Care For Your Knives?

Once you buy the three most essential knives in your kitchen, you should accord them a lot of care to maintain their efficiency and ensure their longevity. First, you should always ensure the blades are sharp with regular sharpening. You should, however, not sharpen them until they are very dull. Secondly, you should always clean them to avoid getting rust and stain. Above all, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure optimal care. Avoid these 7 ways you can ruin your knives.

3 essential knives

3 Essential Knives All Home Cooks Should Own – Summing Up

Owning the three most essential knives in your kitchen is half the task. Maintaining their prowess is the other task that you should perform diligently to keep their prowess. You must ensure they are always sharp, and you will forever enjoy using each of the three knives. Also, it would be best if you looked at the weight, ergonomics and blade type when buying the knives. 

Lastly, you should always deploy the correct knife when performing different tasks. As highlighted in the guide, each knife is best at specific tasks. You should always use the preceding statement as a rule of thumb. This rule will give you unforeseen happiness and success with the knives. 

Cate Nderi