The urgent need: how to choose the right knives for the kitchen
Even if you equip your kitchen with the latest technology, filling it with blenders, combines, fryers, pancakes and other clever devices, you will not be able to do without the most common kitchen knife. It is the knife rightfully considered the king of the kitchen. And how fascinating the masterful mastery of knives by professional cooks! In this action, there is something truly magical! It is unlikely that a banal click on the buttons can lead someone to the same delight. However, even without chef cooking, learn how to choose knives for the kitchen and how many of them should be in the "home arsenal" will not be superfluous. After all, so often "for complete happiness" in the kitchen is missing just a good knife: this does not cut anything, it's too big, and this one is so sharp that it's scary to take it into your hands. Together with a hypermarket of crockery and kitchen knives, we will find the perfect tool for you at an affordable price.
The main types of knives for the kitchen
Before proceeding directly to the selection and purchase of kitchen knives, it is necessary to decide which blades are needed in the kitchen and how many should be. All sorts of kits for the kitchen today are on sale more than enough, but it hardly makes sense to clutter up space by purchasing a separate knife for each kind of product (believe me, they do exist!). It is better to choose universal models, which are convenient for preparing different dishes, and for their design. In the kitchen, you can do with four or five knives of different configurations.
- Chef's knife
The chef's knife is the most versatile and most common kitchen knife in the world. In the US it is also called French, despite its German roots. It has a regular smooth blade with a width of 2 to 4 cm and a length of 15 to 30 cm. The handle is 18-22 cm in length. It can be made of different materials, differ in shape and weight, but its main characteristics are always unchanged. A wide blade and a successful weight balance of the blade and knob make the chef's knife irreplaceable in the preparation of products for cooking various dishes.
- Large kitchen trio
There is such a thing as a "kitchen trio": three knives with long wide blades that can be used for almost all types of kitchen work, and first of all for cutting products with dense structure. The main thing in the "Trio" is a large chef's knife, the length of the blade is not less than 45 cm, which allows them to do a maximum of kitchen manipulations, starting with cutting meat products and ending with chopping vegetables for salads. The average knife in the "Trio" has a blade length of 35-40 cm, and "small" - 25-30. In principle, they have the same functions as the "older brother", it is sometimes much easier and more convenient to use a short knife. And some manipulation is simply impossible to perform with long blades for the simple reason that they require special agility and small, painstaking work.
- Knife for bread
Bread is everything to the head, therefore it deserves not only a special relationship, but also a separate knife. Bread knife is easy to distinguish from "sharp fellow": its long blade has the same width along its entire length, and the tip is usually cut and not pointed. Serretor sharpening the blade with the teeth along the cutting edge will not allow the knife to slip off the hard bread crust and allow even freshly baked bread to be cut evenly. Thanks to the long blade of the bread knife it is convenient to cut large loaves, pies and loaves. Bread knife is usually used for cutting cakes. It can also be useful for cleaning and slicing large fruits with tender flesh and hard skin, for example, pineapples.
- Knife for vegetables and fruits
Favorite tool housewives - a knife for cleaning vegetables and fruits with a short blade and handle (with the blade often shorter than the handle), a pointed tip and a straight cutting surface. Although it is much more convenient for many people to use a different kind of cleaning knife - with a blade between two holders and a hole in the body. With such knives it is especially convenient to process potatoes, beets, carrots.
- Knives for meat and fish
The knife can not be confused with any other, because it is the narrowest and longest. This knife allows you to cut thin and even pieces of meat or fish. Thanks to the long narrow blade, the cut will be uniform and neat, and the product will not stick to the surface of the knife or crumple. It is easy to cope with even the most tough and sinewy meat will help a special knife for meat. There is also a knife for separating meat from bones: externally it resembles a fillet, but somewhat shorter than the latter and with a strongly rounded edge to the point.
- Cutting knife
Cutting the sausage to the faithful on a sandwich is also possible with an ordinary knife, but if guests are drawn on the doorstep or, God forbid, "beloved" mother-in-law Bert Moiseyevna came with another out-of-schedule visit of "courtesy", without a special cutting knife with a straight undulating cutting edge. With its help in the twinkling of an eye you can prepare a variety of cold snacks, quickly and accurately cutting into thin slices of sausage, ham, cold boar, balyk, smoked fish, cheese and other goodies.
If you want, you can replenish your arsenal with a confectionery knife, a knife for butter, potatoes, cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes or quaint knives for carving - artistic cutting of products. But why such fanaticism, if you can completely do with a standard set. Moreover, as practice shows, outlandish knives sooner or later find themselves in a box on the top shelf in the far corner of the pantry.
How to choose the "right" kitchen knife
With the types of knives a little understood. It's time to talk about quality, because it depends on it reliability, durability, convenience and ease of use of the knife. To buy kitchen knives is better not in the market, but in branded shops or specialized outlets that sell the original certified goods. What points should I pay special attention to when choosing a kitchen knife?
The main thing that should be able to do any knife is to cut well, and this directly depends on the quality of the blade. The most important indicator - the quality of steel, more precisely - its brand. Good chef knives are usually made of stainless steel with the addition of chromium, which gives the stainless steel a hardness and increases its anti-corrosion properties. In most branded knives, in addition to chromium, stainless steel contains normalized additives of carbon, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium and silicon. Manganese allows to increase wear resistance, molybdenum protects the knife from brittleness, products with vanadium differ very sharp blade. Before buying, carefully inspect the knife blade - the steel should be homogeneous, without any inclusions and divorces. The best for today are forged kitchen knives. They are durable, reliable, durable, do not require frequent sharpening.
Another important indicator is the quality of the cutting surface of the knife. It should not have any dents and scrapes. Ideally, from the handle to the tip of the knife should go a continuous thin shiny line. For maximum comfort, preference should be given to knives with double-sided sharpening. Increasingly, the oldest sellers lure customers with knives with a "laser sharpening". You can not call this marking another trick of marketers, since the laser is actually used, although not for sharpening, but for hardening the blade. After laser treatment, the knife is not only not dull, but is also self-sharpened during operation. To distinguish the "laser knife" from the usual can be matte risk, located perpendicular to the cutting surface of the knife, along the blade.
A comfortable handle is just as important as a sharp blade. Even an ideally sharpened knife will be inconvenient to use if it has a bad handle. To date, handles for kitchen knives are made of wood, plastic or metal.
Traditional wooden handles are quite comfortable, however, with active use over time, they wear off, lose their original appearance, in the tree appear cracks in which grease and dirt accumulate. Knives with wooden handles require a careful attitude, they are undesirable to be washed in a dishwasher or for a long time left in a sink.
Handle, made of high-quality plastic, will last much longer than a wooden analog. However, a very unpleasant surprise can be covered in the plastic handle: unlike the wooden handle, it completely hides part of the steel sheet, which does not allow to check the depth of its entry into the handle. Unfair producers often save on steel, deliberately shortening the canvas. Ideally, the steel canvas should extend almost to the edge of the handle. If it reaches only half, in the course of operation it can loosen up, break off or simply fall out.
The most durable are metal handles: they are not afraid of moisture and temperature changes, they do not crack, do not break down, they do not get shattered. Virtually the only drawback of knives with metal handles is the relatively large weight of the product.
Ceramic Knives for Kitchen
Relatively recently, so-called ceramic knives made of zirconium dioxide began to appear in our kitchens. Blades of ceramic knives can be "white" and "black". Black blades have a large hardening, so they are much stronger, and accordingly, and more expensive. Ceramic knives do not need sharpening. Even after several years of regular use, the blade will cut like a new one. In this case, the blade made of zirconium dioxide is lighter than steel almost twice! Their main disadvantages are high cost and damage at impact against hard surfaces and objects.