So how close have you ever gotten to buying one of those knives on TV that cuts through tin cans and never needs sharpening? As tempting as they sound, experts says your kitchen only needs 6 types of knives for cooking.
What To Look For
The best quality knives are forged from high-carbon, no-stain steel. Knives stamped from a single sheet of steel are generally more affordable and also work well. Regardless of the construction the blade should not bend easily, there should be some weight to it and the handle should fit your hand well. Buy the best quality knives you can afford, focusing on a few key choices that will perform many different tasks.
Skip The Block
So many people have large knife blocks on their countertops, but how many of the dozen or so knives are really used? Most cooks rely on a tried-and-true few to perform the bulk of their kitchen duties. Buying your knives separately enables you to choose your favorites, regardless of whether they make a nice matched set.
Knife #1-Chef's Knife — 8 to 10 inches
If there is only room for one knife in your kitchen tool budget, this is the one. Heavy enough to mince garlic or onions quickly — yet long enough to slice a pork roast — this is one tool no cook should be without. Choose the best you can afford, since this is the knife that will see the most game time in your kitchen.
Knife #2-Paring Knife
Choose a paring knife with a blade slightly longer than the traditional 3-inch blade, and this quickly becomes one of the most versatile items in your kitchen. Paring knives are commonly used for mincing garlic or shallots and peeling apples or pears, but a longer blade makes it useful for cutting cheese or fruit, even deboning chicken breasts.
Knife #3-Serrated Bread Knife
Who doesn't love a loaf of crusty bread? Using your chef's knife to slice bread quickly dulls the blade, making your other cutting duties more difficult. A good bread knife is sharp enough to slice through the toughest sourdough, yet still ready to slice a tomato for your BLT.
Think there isn't anything new on the knife scene? Think again. The Santoku is like a cross between a classic French chef's knife and a Japanese cleaver — and rapidly becoming a kitchen favorite. Good for a wide range of applications, this knife would be a welcome addition to any kitchen.
Knife #5-Carving Knife
While you won't be carving the Thanksgiving turkey often, a nice addition to your knife collection is a carving set. Think roast chicken, spiral-sliced ham at Easter or prime rib on New Year's Eve — this isn't just a turkey tool. Look for a carving set with 8-inch carver blade and a meat fork.
Knife #6-Sharpening Steel
OK, it technically isn't a knife, but quickly becomes your kitchen's best friend. Also known as a Honing Steel, a high-quality sharpening steel will help keep your blades sharp and ready for action and will allow you to care for your own knives efficiently. Just a couple brushes on each side is all you need before each use.