What to look for in new kitchen knives?

If you have ever shopped for kitchen knives or even glanced in a cook shop, you will know that they can be extremely expensive. This makes buying them a little intimidating – which knives do you need? What if you buy the wrong one and never use it? And could you opt for a less expensive option that will still do the job?

Basic knivesKnife block

There are four types of knife that every kitchen should have to cover the range of basic tasks you are likely to do. These knives don’t have to be the very expensive models but if you go for a reasonable quality (at a higher price), then they will last longer and in the case of the straight edge blades, will sharpen better.

  1. The pairing or vegetable knife is the smallest of the lot and is used for all those little jobs like cutting up prawns and taking the centres out of fruit. It has a short, straight blade so can be sharpened with a knife sharpener to keep a good edge.
  1. The tomato knife is a flexible, serrated knife that is a little bigger than the paring knife and has a rounded edge. It is used for slicing fruit and vegetables and doesn’t require sharpening.
  1. The cook’s or chef’s knife is an all-purpose knife that can chop herbs, prepare meat and cut through tough vegetables like swede or squash. The size of the blade can range from 15cm to 36cm so go for a size you are comfortable using.
  1. The bread knife has a long blade and is serrated so doesn’t need sharpening. As the name suggests, it is used for cutting bread, sandwiches and also for cakes. It can also work as a carving knife for some people.

Specialist knives

There are many different types of knives that you may want to consider depending on what you do. So, if you aren’t one to cook much at home or do a range of dishes, then the above might be fine. However, if you want to expand your range, here are a few of the more popular specialist knives.

  • Boning knife – dealing with joints of meat to remove bones and tissues if you do a little home butcherySantoku knife
  • Filleting knife – used to remove all the inedible parts of fish
  • Carving knife – slicing cooked meats, often used with a large fork to hold to joint in place
  • Santoku (as seen in the photo) – Japanese style of knife used for slicing, dicing and chopping

Knife material

The most common material for a knife blade is stainless steel – this is the most budget friendly option but straight blade knives will need regular sharpening so invest in a steel or knife sharpener. Carbon steel is the more expensive version while Damascus blades have a mottled look as the steel core is surrounded by soft and hard stainless steel for a very sharp blade.

You can also try ceramic blades – these are some 10 times harder than steel but weigh less and keep their edge for much longer. They can chip, however, so the right storage is important to ensure their longevity.

If you’re looking for a kitchen redesign as well as some new knifes then Kitchens by Design can help. Our hugely experienced team can help with all your kitchen design needs. Call us on 0117 962 2599 or fill out our contact form.

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