They tend to discolor, however, and require more sharpening. The bottom is a good example of a Nair, and the second from the top is a utility knife with a Santos -style tip.
Here are some random tips when shopping for kitchen knives : If you’re just starting out, look for a chef’s knife in the 8- to 10-inch range, a large serrated bread knife, and a utility blade in the 4- to 6-inch range.
When you’re ready to move on, contemplate a semi-flexible boning knife for butchery duties and a long slicer for thinly dispatching roasts and the like. Also, I’d get a decent pair of kitchen shears, the kind that come apart into two pieces.
By and large, I think the Japanese manufacture the best cutlery in the world, much better than the big European brands that came to dominate the American market in the 90s. Superior steel aside, many find that Japanese shapes such as those of the Santos, with its dropped point, and the cleaver-like Nair, are handier in the modern kitchen.
For my money, Cut Brooklyn and Murray Carter Cutlery (made in New York and Oregon respectively) are as good as any knives in the world. I’ve seen people buy $300 blades and then run them on a cheap board and curse the knife.
Your board needs to be heavy and it needs to be rock maple. Plastic boards are fine for butchery, but when it comes to serious slicing and dicing (not to mention chopping and mincing), you want wood.
Want to know another way to turn a quality knife into a box cutter? If you like your knives sharp, have those edges maintained regularly by a professional knife sharpener once or twice a year.
If I were an ancient pharaoh who got to be buried with her favorite earthly possessions, I’d pick my Dutch oven, chopping block, and J.A. ADVERTISEMENT Our favorite chef’s knives are forged from carbon steel, which is a component made from a metal alloy consisting of the two title elements.
The carbon makes the steel much stronger and more durable, so unlike other metals, it won’t bend easily and will hold its sharp edge for much longer. Stainless steel is a less expensive metal that can still hold its own in the kitchen.
For smaller knives, ceramic may be a good investment, but for your chef’s knife, stick to metal. Material isn’t the only thing you need to pay attention to when looking for a good kitchen knife.
Paring knife: These smaller knives are perfect for precise tasks like detaining shrimp and cutting fruits, and they should be about 3.25 to 4 inches long. A good knife definitely won’t be the lightest item in your kitchen, but it doesn’t have to be the heaviest either.
There are differing schools of thought on whether the best knives are heavy or light, but ultimately, it needs to be the right weight for you. You don’t want to purchase a knife that’s too heavy to chop with, so find one that feels comfortable in your hand.
ADVERTISEMENT There should be equal weight distribution between the handle and the blade of your knife. Hold the knife in your hand before purchasing to ensure its weight distribution is just right.
Some high-quality knives are made entirely from steel, from the blade to the handle, and while they look sleek, they aren't always the most comfortable to hold. Once you’ve found and purchased a new knife, it’s up to you to ensure your tool stays just as fresh as the day you bought it.
Damascus steel will depend on the manufacturing, so check the instructions that come with your knife. Handles made from non-metal ingredients may degrade over time in the dishwasher, and the blades themselves may be more prone to rusting when put through the harsh cycle.
Experts recommend hand washing and cloth drying your knives immediately after use. Even if you take the best care of your knife and sharpen it every day, you can quickly ruin the blade if you’re chopping on a low-quality cutting board.
Good Eats, the only instructional cooking show on prime time, lures more than 20 million viewers a month to the Food Network, thanks to its quirky humor, geeky insights, and DIY ethos. So it’s no surprise that star Alton Brown, who also writes and directs each episode, brings those same traits to his James Beard Foundation Award-winning cookbooks.
Ahead of the debut of his latest, Good Eats 2: The Middle Years, we ask the Atlanta native to walk us through his kitchen and tell us about some of his favorite devices. Brown wanted to make top-notch beef jerky that evoked his Scout days, but commercial dehydrators incorporate heating elements as well as fans.
For cutting board advice I follow the wise counsel of Alton Brown. He has given some great cutting board tips over the years on his show, Good Eats, and in his book, Gear For Your Kitchen (the perfect gift for the young cook or married couple).
This Flip Chop cutting board is wood on one side and plastic on the other. Alton Brown recommends only two materials be considered when buying a cutting board : wood and plastic.
Metal, granite, and marble also are very pretty, but will dull your knives. Don’t be tempted to cut anything directly on your granite or marble counter tops or on your sheet pans.
On an episode of Good Eats, Alton Brown mentioned that his favorite type of wood cutting board is made of rock maple. It’s not cheap, but it’s a good investment that with the proper care, will be with you for a long time.
It’s easy for the wood to pick up bacteria that you will not enjoy along with your food. For raw meat Alton and I (he has no clue who I am despite my comments on his Instagram account) use plastic.
The big one is perfect for carving huge hunks of meat, like ham or turkey. The small plastic cutting board is great for smaller jobs when I don’t want to break out the big guy.
The downfall with plastic boards is that when they get deep cuts in them, you can’t sand them like you would with wood. When the cuts are too deep you really have to buy a new one, as it’s important to get them perfectly clean and free of bacteria.
Once you have your cutting board, it’s important to take good care of it. Once in a while it’s good to take some white distilled vinegar and rub down your board (whether it’s plastic or wood).
Rinse the vinegar off and let the board air dry. Never do that with wooden boards, it could cause them to warp or dry out and crack.
If you are going to use mineral oil with your wood cutting boards make sure that it is food safe. I love these flexible plastic cutting boards.
I do like using them to bring food to the table, like freshly baked rolls. They make their creations on the flexible boards instead of directly on the table.