Without a doubt, knives are the most important tool in your kitchen arsenal. Whether you’re an avid foodie or a novice home chef, here are the basic knives everyone should keep in their kitchen. Be sure to store these essentials safely within a knife block, conveniently located inside a drawer of your custom cabinets and close to all the cooking action!
Bread lovers, rejoice! As the name implies, a bread knife is the ideal tool for cutting bagels and baguettes and slicing loaves of bread. This specialty knife is long and has a serrated edge that can cut through the crusty outer layer of a loaf of bread or sandwich without damaging the soft inside. Unlike straight-edged knives, a bread knife can also be used to cut through delicate tomatoes and tough melons alike.
This essential kitchen knife is small but mighty. Perfect for delicate tasks that need a precise hand, a paring knife is the perfect tool for deveining fresh shrimp, removing the tops of strawberries, peeling and paring fruit, and intricately removing seeds from jalapeno peppers and lemons. Look for an all-purpose paring knife that is around three and a half inches in length and has a comfortable, durable handle.
A carving knife (also known as a kitchen knife) is a home staple, especially around holidays. This large knife is used to carve and slice meats, such as ham, poultry, beef, and pork. It’s extra-long length and ultra thin blade allows you to make precise, thinly sliced cuts of meat. Look for a strong steel carving knife with a narrow edge. A tapered, sharp point is best for cutting through bone or fileting, while a rounded tip is a good choice for slicing and serving tender turkey and roasts.
This kitchen mainstay is perhaps the most important knife on this list, thanks to its ample size and versatility. According to Good Housekeeping, “if you invest in one cooking tool, this should be it.” A chef’s knife is indispensable and can be used for slicing meat, dicing vegetables, and even finely mincing fresh herbs. A chef’s knife needs to be super sharp and durable. When shopping, test how it feels in your hand before you buy.
Of course, this is just a sample of the many knives available for home cooks to try. In addition to a drawer knife block for your custom cabinets, invest in a quality sharpener to keep your knives cutting with ease, whether it’s a simple steel honing rod or a top of the line electrical model.
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