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Kamikoto Shares Why a Good Chef's Knife is the Most Important Kitchen Tool
It is often said in the culinary world that the single most important tool in the kitchen is a good knife. Having the right knife can be a huge help in creating beautiful dishes and improving safety in the kitchen. Kamikoto, an online knife retailer based out of Tokyo, Japan, that features high-quality Japanese steel knives, explains why a good knife is essential and what types of knives every home chef should have in their kitchen.
Reasons to Have a Good Knife
A chef’s knife is known as the most important tool in the kitchen. Some people may be nervous about using a sharp knife, but it is safer to use a sharp knife than a dull knife. Using a properly sharpened knife means that you will have more control over what you are cutting and not experience slippage. This means that cutting will be safer, and you will have more consistent slicing, leading to better cooking results.
Cutting with a sharp knife is more enjoyable than cutting with an old, dull knife. It is more efficient and can get the job done with panache, whether you are cutting herbs or a huge butternut squash.
Choosing the Right Knife
For a piece of equipment that you will use every day, it is important to find the best. Many good quality knives are on the market, but it is a great idea to research your purchase carefully as not everyone likes every style of kitchen knife.
You need to know what kind of steel is used in your knife. Different grades of steel have different performance capabilities. Today, high-carbon stainless steel is produced, which is extremely hard and resists rust and corrosion.
If your knife is not comfortable to hold, you will not use it. To avoid investing in the wrong knife, it is important to find the right size in terms of the knife length and the handle. You will want something that matches the size of your hand. Many knives have a bolster, adding comfort and support.
Single or Double Bevel:
With single bevel knives, one side of the blade is completely straight, while the other contains the angle that forms the edge. These knives are sometimes referred to as chisel edge. Customary to Japanese traditions, Kamikoto focuses on single-bevel knives.
Most European knives are double-beveled. They come in a variety of edge styles with the most common being a V-shape, however, there are also compound (double-layered V edge) and convex shapes.
Choosing between the two options really comes down to personal preference.
Properly Caring For Your Knife
This process will help you care for your investment and keep it sharp, attractive, and functional for many years to come:
While a quality knife can last a lifetime, it does require proper maintenance. The first thing you need to do to take proper care of your knife is to wash it correctly. You should never put your knife in the dishwasher, but instead, wash it by hand with soap and water. Dishwashers are especially damaging to fine knives because they involve high heat, collisions with other utensils, and harsh detergents.
Dry your knife thoroughly rather than letting it sit in the dish drainer to dry on its own. While most high-carbon steel blades will not rust, it is not worth finding out whether your knife can be left wet for any length of time.
All knives will need to be sharpened at some point. Using a whetstone and learning to sharpen by hand is the best way. However, not every home chef will feel confident using these techniques. Rather than using an at-home mechanical sharpener that can damage your blade, send it to a professional to be sharpened. Many kitchen supply stores will have contacts for people who can sharpen knives well.
Keep your knives in a wooden knife block or use a blade guard. No matter what, never leave your fine knives in a drawer where they can bump into other objects and lose their sharpness and have their edges damaged.
Avoid using marble and glass cutting boards. These will damage the blade’s edge. End-grain wood cutting boards are preferable, but rubber and plastic are also acceptable if you can’t afford end-grain wood. If you have invested a few hundred dollars in your chef’s knife, it shouldn’t be a problem to buy quality cutting boards.
Knives and the Chef
People who enjoy watching cooking shows on television frequently see that their favorite chefs carry their knife rolls to competitions. Most chefs become very attached to their knives and always prefer them over borrowing someone else’s knives. Having a personal relationship with the steel is something you can achieve at home if you carefully choose your knife and take proper care of it.
Ideally, you will not need very many knives to build your home collection. Your 8 to 10-inch chef’s knife should be the backbone of your collection. You will also need a short paring knife. A serrated bread knife is a great idea, and a carving knife for meats is good to have. Finally, many chefs choose to buy a cleaver to deal with large pieces of meat efficiently.
Kamikoto believes that every home chef deserves to prepare food with a good knife. Kitchens do not need a lot of fancy equipment to produce great food, but a proper chef’s knife can transform your ability in the kitchen. Try to get past your fear of using a sharp knife and see what a proper chef’s knife can do for your cooking game.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the management of EconoTimes