Wusthof Classic Knives
Purchasing knives can cause a ton of confusion. Just what makes some knives more expensive than others? Why are some hundreds of dollars and some only a tenner? There are a ton of things that go into that discussion: tang, spine, degree of blade, the edge, the bolster, the composition of the metal…there is a LOT of info out there but I am not linking to it. Find that rabbit hole on your own. Here is what I do know: I have owned about 10 different brands of really nice knives and I always. Always. ALWAYS. Go back to these. They feel good in your hand. They sharpen easily and hold an edge for a while. They are not too heavy, not too light. They look nice. And they last. As far as knives go these are probably the bottom of the high-end-knife scale but I always recommend them to people.
And as far as which knives to start with, my recommendations are:
8″ Chef’s Knife
Everyone needs a go-to knife. The one knife that slices and dices. It won’t cut through a can and then slice a tomato but it will cut your squash, slice your pizza, dice your onions, cut your melon and chop your parsley. An 8″ chef’s knife is the perfect size to handle everything…except what a paring knife is used for.
Paring Knife (pronounced “pear-ing knife”)
So the 8″ chefs knife can handle virtually everything, but sometimes you do need a smaller knife too. Sometimes you need the precision of a smaller blade for peeling fruit or vegetables or cutting tiny rotten bits out of potatoes. C’mon, we don’t want to talk about these things but they happen. They do. Get a paring knife to make them go away.
Okay, I admit it. This one isn’t “needed” but it is fun to have a spare knife. What if Jacques Pepin shows up and you both go to grab for the 8″ chef’s knife? What will you say? Who will get it? Do you let him take it and get all the credit for YOUR Chicken Supreme? NO! You cook together. The Santoku Knife means togetherness.
Ever try to cut bread with a flat knife? Don’t. Just splash out and get it. It may not get as much use as the Chefs Knife or Paring Knife but you will be very happy that you have it when you need it. And think beyond a crusty baguette. Super ripe tomatoes? Serrated knife. Leveling cake? Serrated knife. Baked phyllo dough? Serrated knife.
These don’t have to be fancy but you should have a pair of scissors that lives in your knife drawer (block, magnet). These may not ever be used for wrapping presents, opening packages, cutting gum out of the dogs hair. These are JUST for your use in the kitchen. I marked my transition into adulthood by knowing to use scissors to open the cereal bag instead of tearing it open with my teeth. I am proud of the woman I have become every time I open the kitchen drawer and see them sitting here. Just waiting to be called upon.
Look sharp people.