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PERSONAL CHEF

PERSONAL CHEF
FOOD FOR REAL PEOPLE

Friday, September 19, 2014

MAINTAINING YOUR KITCHEN KNIVES

Knives are the tools we most use in our kitchens so we need to take proper care of them. But first, for those of you that need a few lessons on what knives to purchase, I'll go over some with you and then we'll get into maintaing them. And remember when ever you buy any knife, you want to hold it in your hand, and see if you like the feel. Such as the handle, the length of the blade as well as weight, to the way it looks. If you are a golfer you know what I'm talking about, you need to love the look of your knife first,if it doesn't look good? There's no chance you'll pick it up or oder it online.

CHEFS KINFE: This is your go to knife for slicing, chopping, mincing, in other words this is your main weapon. There are different styles of chef's knives, from stamped stainless steel, to forged stainless steel, from wooden handles, to rubber and other composite handles, it can get pretty confusing.

1. An 8" blade chef's knife is a good length for basic home kitchen use, a 10" even by professional chefs are a bit cumbersome, though longer blades is great for slicing through thick skinned pumpkins that are huge, or firm cheeses. A 6" blade is too short for general use, but works well as a veggie slicer or fruit knife, unless you're a true artist with food, don't waste time with buying one, I have one, but seldom ever use it.

2. A paring knife is a knife you'll use to peel carrots, or potatoes, or to use to cut out some smaller pieces out of an apple or the like, it really comes in handy when you misplace your vegetable peeler.

3. A 7" Fillet knife (also can be used as a boning knife), this knife is generally flexible and narrow with a pointed tip, it is used for removing meat from bones like chicken, fish etc.

4. A meat cleaver made for breaking through bones, like spare ribs, and short ribs. Some call it a hacker, generally on the heavy side. It does come in handy when you want to save money and buy meats with bone in. Butchers will charge more for the service and the packaging. 

5. A carving set with a fork, you'd probably use it during two dinners, one would be Thanksgiving, and the other Christmas when you got a rib roast or turkey to carve up. Don't spend an arm and a leg for this, Macy's or Walmart has good carving sets for a low price.

Below is the current prices for these knives I am talking about, as far as caring for your knives, keep them in a knife holder magnet attached to the wall, or in a wooden block, keep them out of reach of children, never point the knives at anyone, keep them sharp, clean them with warm anti bacterial soap when cutting or slicing raw or cooked meats. Some cooks will tell you "Don't use soap." I do, and I haven't had a problem yet, just rinse it well, and dry them immediately. Get some lessons on knives, watch Youtube videos on chefs handling knives, and good luck.

$34.56 Victorinox 8" Chef Knife from Amazon

$25.16 Victorinox 7" Fillet Knife from Amazon

$11.99 J.A. Henckels 3 pc. Paring Knife Set Amazon

$48.95 J.A. Henckels 6" Meat Cleaver Amazon

$20.16 J.A. Hencke's 8" Slicer & Fork Set Amazon

And you can purchase a sharpening rod from your local hardware store, just have the clerk demonstrate how to use it, it is a tool to maintain the edge of your knives. Your Chef's knife will need to be sharpened the most. Also once you can't get your knives sharp using the sharpening rod, you can call a professional knife sharpener to give a new edge to your blades, or you can learn from an expert on how to sharpen it yourself, you will need a sharpening stone to do this, and the technique is very important, inexperienced cooks ruin their blades by not taking lessons on sharpening their knives. 

In time you will learn how to slice, dice and chop efficiently, as well as to care for your knives. I've blogged on this subject many times, but it's always good to be updated on the basics of kitchen tools. And your knives are important to you as a home cook, without it you're like a cop without his pistol.

Until next time have a great life!

Ron Sambrano
     
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