How to Choose the Right Knife Set
Almost any cooking experience can be enhanced by using a good quality knife. Often, there is nothing prized more than the professional chef. Home cooks should also take advantage by setting up their kitchen with the proper knives. The result is faster, more precise slicing and chopping. Plus, a good quality knife will last you longer than the cheaper counterparts that may tempt you with their low prices.
A knife set isn’t just great for someone moving out on their own for the first time. If you’ve been living on your own for years but find your knives lackluster and chopping anything in the kitchen to take way too much effort, you should consider getting a higher quality knife set. Knife sets are also great for someone who doesn’t want to put in the time researching and deciding between each individual knife on the market. You also get the benefit of owning knives that actually match, one of the true signs of successful adulting.
Types of Knives
A knife set comes with a variety of different knives to meet different needs in the kitchen. To choose the right knife set for you, you need to think about what types of cooking you do the most often and how you’ll be using your knives. Here is an overview of some of the different knives available which may come in your set.
- Chef’s knife: the classic knife used for slicing and chopping fresh ingredients, such as fruits and vegetables
- Utility knife: a small knife used for cutting smaller ingredients, such as shallots
- Paring knife: use this knife for paring, slicing, and peeling
- Bread knife: a serrated knife used for slicing bread
- Steak knife: easily cuts through meat
- Boning knife: a knife with a narrow blade that is used to separate meat from the bone
- Carving knife: use to carve large portions of meat, such as your Thanksgiving turkey
- Cleaver: can be used to cut through bone, including through lobster
- Kitchen shears: kitchen scissors that can be used for opening food packages, cut herbs, and more
Other Factors to Consider
Knife sets often come in a storage block and may offer four knives or a dozen. How many you decide to get in your set will be based on your cooking habits and likely your budget as well. The included knives should have sharp blades that stay sharp over time. Without a doubt, the blades will dull over time and require sharpening, but you don’t want to need to bring out the knife sharpener for each use.
Blade material will likely be stainless steel or ceramic. While ceramic knives are gaining in popularity, keep in mind that they are also prone to chipping, meaning their long-term durability may be underwhelming. A desirable handle will feel comfortable to hold and offer you a good, secure grip for safety. Most likely, you’ll want the storage block to be attractive enough to feature on your kitchen counter. If it includes a few extra spaces for you to grow your knife collection over time, even better. Finally, make sure that your knife set comes with a good warranty so that you can feel confident in your investment.