This is to serve as a guide to home chefs to be able to execute many dishes with their knife skills using the proper tools for each job. I hope that this blog cuts out a lot of research and confusion in marketing which exists on determining the correct brand knives to purchase. But first, a little history.
The history of knives dates back nearly 2.5 million years in what is now Ethiopia. They were rocks that were cracked on each other to create a sharp surface. They were used for cutting many things. The oldest evidence of any protein residue dates back to northeast Jordan from about 250,000 years ago. Knives originally were used for hunting purposes, but they evolved into the kitchen and in sizes over the years. They have been made of stone, copper and steel. Most of the kitchen knife makers today had origins of making knives for military purposes.
It is important to have the correct tools for the job so I shall break down the 4-5 knives needed that are essential for any home chef as well as the different brands to consider. When you have the correct equipment, your cooking will become more efficient and you’ll accomplish a greater variety of cuisines.
There is really no need to buy anything beyond the following knives for home use unless you are really technical and have honed your craft. Also purchase knives that are the best weighted in your hand and won;t tire you as quickly. Every knife manufacturer feels different in your hand and it is more of a personal preference.
This knife is the workhorse in the kitchen that handles probably 70% of what you’re going to do in the kitchen. It is your choice on which size is better and what you feel the most comfortable with. You want to consider both the weighting on this knife and how it feels as not to place too much stress on your wrist.
If you are filleting lots of fish, processing lots of meat and poultry than this knife would be essential! It makes these jobs very EASY!!
This is the essential, go-to kitchen knife for all of your intricate tasks in the kitchen. Its small size gives you more control for tasks like peeling apples, supreme an orange and coring fruits and vegetables.
This is going to be great for breaking down all of your proteins so that you can purchase items whole and process them yourself which will save time and energy. It is a broad thick heavy blade which makes it ideal for the job.
These Japanese knives are extremely sharp and lightweight so you might not tire as easy with them. Possible drawbacks might be that they are more difficult to sharpen for the average home chef and they have a very thin edge making it easy to dull the blade.
Classic German steel which holds it edge for a very long time! If I was stuck in the desert and only could bring one knife, it would be the Wüsthof Chef Knife. These are heavier however so please keep that in mind.
These are Japanese knives which I would consider to be the compromise in shape, weight, and edge of the blade. They can hold an edge a long time, but not as heavy as Wüsthof.
Mac Knives are truly the best of the best. For versatility and all-around purpose, I would recommend purchasing these knives.
Perfect for slicing all of your proteins so that you don’t destroy the integrity of the meat and have perfectly thin slices. This might be what you use to carve the turkey, ham etc. This can also be used for sushi lovers as well!
Go to a store like Sur Le Table to test which knives feel better in your hand (don’t forget to bring a couple of ripe tomatoes). Purchase what feels best in your hand and which knives will slice through the tomatoes without smashing them.
Happy cooking in the kitchen! Drop me a line or tag me on your favorite social media channel with your next knife purchase set and give me some feedback.