Recently, I suffered a small bout of insomnia and tried watching some late night TV in the hopes it would put me to sleep. It did eventually, but I was astounded by the amount of kitchen gadgets advertised to make life easier. Most of those gadgets are replacements of some sort for a good kitchen knife and knife skills. Honestly, my chef’s and paring knives are used every single day and because of that they are some of my most prized tools.
When purchasing knives, buy the best quality you can afford. I can’t stress this enough cheap knives don’t last and a good one will last you a lifetime if properly maintained. Take your knives for a test drive before purchasing: feel them, handle them like you would cut something, make sure it feels right too you and has a good balance.
Once you find the knife of your dreams care for it properly. Cut with the knife on a chopping board in order to prevent unnecessary damage or wearing of the blade. Keep the knife clean and don’t allow it too soak in water – simply hand wash and dry after every use. Most importantly, keep those knives sharp (Cooks’ Illustrated has a great tutorial).
Learning how to properly use a knife is an entirely different animal. If you are blessed to live in an area that offers knife skill classes – take one if you’re inexperienced. The class will save you time and frustration in the kitchen. If you don’t live in such an area there are multitude of videos and articleson the web. No matter what, however; you will need to practice, as in all things: practice makes perfect.
Save yourself some time and money: get a good knife or two and some skills to go with that knife. You’ll then be able to ignore all those chopping, dicing, get it done in a second ads on TV.