Brand names are not the solution in your quest for quality kitchen equipment, more so knives. Knives are indispensible equipments of a kitchen and hence can be considered as some sort of an investment. Investing in a good set of knives could mean making cooking easier. Good quality kitchen knives should possess the following features – durability, strength and ergonomic. Here are some tips on how to choose the right knives for your kitchen.
1. Select Based on Utility
Most kitchens would need a set of knives for various purposes – all purpose for cutting a range of normal foods, chef’s knife for cutting and dicing meat, paring knife for cutting veggies, bread knife, filleting knife for fish, carving knife for slicing meat and a honer for sharpening these knives.
2. Look for an Ergonomic Handle
Make sure that you test the hold of the knife with your own hands as what is good for one person need not be the right fit for another. Hold the knife you wish to buy in your hands and run the motions for a while and judge how it feels before taking a final decision.
3. Gauge the Amount and Location of Steel
A good quality knife is made of steel and is a single piece with not joints and welded bits. A knife that is forged at different points to its handle and thick enough is a good one as against one that is thin and embedded in a plastic handle.
4. Feel the Weight
Depending on the foods that are to be chopped, a knife needs to be heavy or light. Knives that are meant to chop hard food material such as nuts and frozen foods must weigh heavy whereas those that require chopping light foods such as veggies and cheese must be light. Make sure to keep this aspect in mind while choosing a knife.
5. Check for the Balance
Balance of a knife place with the cutting edge down is important in making the act of cutting an easy job. It places less strain on your wrist and arm thus making bulk processing easier. But be aware that this feature is available in the expensive knives category as most affordable knives cannot incorporate this property at that price.
6. Examine the Hilt
Hilt is the point where the knife edge ends and becomes a handle. It is the strongest part of a knife and hence should never have a joint at that point. Any gap at this point should shift your decision to rejecting the knife as such a tool will not last very long and will contribute to an unhygienic cooking gear by harboring bacteria.
7. Material of the Handle and the Knife
The most common materials used in a knife handle are various grades of plastic, wood and bone too. The best however is a handle made of toughened resin. The worst is a bone handle as it loses density over time causing unexpected injuries. The knife itself is usually made of steel, carbon steel being the best among them. Ceramic knives are the best among the lot but only high quality ones should be purchased as cheaper varieties are prone to breaking and causing injury.
8. Measure the Cutting Edge
The cutting edge of any knife should be smooth and extend all the way to the hilt. If it ends even a quarter of a centimeter before the hilt, the knife is useless. It lacks the cut and one cannot cut the food material entirely in one go. Also serrated knives are a no-no for general usage. Unless you want to use it for tearing or sawing food, such knives are useless.
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