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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kitchen Must Have -- GOOD Knives

If you have aspirations of becoming a better cook or love to cook but have never invested in a good knife, please do so immediately!  They are expensive but you don't have to buy a whole set, just a few basics.  I would highly recommend Wusthof knives.  You can buy them at Bed, Bath and Beyond (they are exempt from the BB&B coupons) and most department stores.  Halls runs a 20% off sale about every 6 months.  Here is what I suggest buying:

From left to right -- 3.5" paring knife, 8" chef's knife, 7" Santoku knife, serrated knife, steel, scissors

The small knife on the left is a paring knife, the next one in is an 8" chef's knife.  They sell these 2 together in a kit for about $140.  I would start with these 2 pieces and a steel (the second from right) for sharpening (actually it more straightens than sharpens but that's a whole Alton Brown episode.)  Next I would add the 7" Santoku.  That is actually my go-to knife most of the time.  The serrated knife is great to have but I would definitely add it last and the shears are cheap, like $25 so easy to add on.  A few tips:

1.  Never put them in the dishwasher.  I do put my scissors in the dishwasher but never the others.
2.  Halls runs a Wusthof event every 6 months, 20% off the knives and FREE sharpening!  Take advantage.  Wrap up all your knives in a kitchen towel and take them down there.
3.  If your knife doesn't glide through your food use the steel to sharpen it up at home.  On the steel packaging it has detailed directions but if you buy the knife from Halls they can give you instruction on the proper way to do it.

I promise, once you have these knifes your cutting skills will improve greatly and you can purge from your kitchen most of those cutting gadgets (egg slicer, chopper, etc.)!  So make the investment one time and they will last you a life time.  I actually TRAVEL with these knives.  If we are going on vacation to a lake or beach house and I will have to cook the steel and my 7" Santoku come with me.  If I'm going to someones house and will need to do some cutting at the last minute for whatever contribution I'm bringing, the knife goes with me.  That's how much better they are than your run of the mill knives.  Once you have one you'll never be able to go back.

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