How to Choose Cooking Knives

by Lindsay Champion

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A quality set of kitchen cutlery in your kitchen is the difference between a pleasurable cooking experience and a tedious one. When you're shopping for individual knives or cutlery sets, the main things to look for are durability and a long-lasting sharp edge.

Choosing Cooking Knives:

  1. Quality over quantity: Purchase a few high-quality individual knives instead of a bunch of low-quality ones. It's better to build a collection of quality knives piece by piece rather than waste money on large quantities of cheap knives. Another option is to purchase a small cutlery set of high-quality knives.

  2. Find out what it's made of: High-carbon knives do not stay as sharp as knives that contain chromium or vanadium. For the4 most durable knives, look for ones that contain SG-2 or VG-10 steel, which are considered to be the sharpest and longest lasting materials for knives.

  3. Store your knives in a knife block: Most cutlery sets come with a knife block, but if you are purchasing your knives individually, you may want to purchase a knife block to protect your investment. Keeping your knives in the drawer with other cutlery will dull them more quickly.

  4. Buy what you need: If you are a vegetarian, for instance, you will probably not need a boning knife or a meat cleaver. If you cook fish often, invest in a filleting knife. If you love to cook and entertain, go for a comprehensive knife set that you can use to cut almost any type of food. A comprehensive set will include one cleaver, two chef knives, a paring knife, a boning knife, a fillet knife, and a serrated knife.

  5. Stamped knives versus forged knives: Although it is a personal decision as to which knives you would like to use, forged knives are generally thought to be of higher quality. Stamped knives are cut in the factory with templates that press into a flat sheet of metal, like a cookie cutter. Stamped knives are less expensive but do not stay as sharp as forged knives. Forged knives are hand-carved using heat to form the knife. Forged knives are heavier and more durable, and they stay sharp longer.

Cutlery Buying Tip:

  1. Purchase a knife set with a warranty, if possible, but do not purchase knives just because they have a warranty.

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