Friday, July 24, 2009

My Knife Collection

80% of my time in the kitchen is spent using my knives. I always ogle the knives in kitchenware stores but in reality I have everything I need already. I may splurge anyway on another knife this year. Supposedly the new Japanese knives are thinner and lighter which intrigues me.

Here is my kitchen knife collection. The majority are from an old set of J. A. Henckel's high-carbon stainless Twin Four Star knives which have ultra-smooth polypropylene handles I really love. I'm a strong believer in that there is no perfect knife for every hand but these are what work for me. I gave away my Chinese cleaver because it was just awkward for me to use and I also used to have a Sabatier 100% carbon steel knife (they're considered superior for keeping a sharp edge) but it annoyed me when it turned various foods black. None of my knives have ever been in a dishwasher because I'd worry that they'd lose their edge from bouncing around in there.

From left to right,
1. Henckels Paring knife - DH prefers this for cutting garlic.
2. Henckels Boning knife - This is used the least frequently of all the knives but I do like the curved tip for carving pumpkins.
3. Henckels Small serrated knife - This is what I use for cutting fruit and slicing lemons.
4. Henckels Utility Knife - This is my favorite most-used knife - the blade is 6" and very thin. In fact it is so thin I'm amazed it hasn't broken over the years but I really love it. Apparently I can replace it for around $50 so now I don't have to baby it as much.
5. Can you guess what this curved knife with serrated edges on both sides is? It is a grapefruit knife by Hoffritz and I adore it for cutting the rind off of melons or removing the seeds and pith from a tomato.
6. On America's Test Kitchen they recommended this very inexpensive Forschner Chef's knife (made by Victorinox the Swiss Army knife people) for larger men's hands. DH reports the size is perfect for him and although it is a bit large for my hands, I use it occasionally when I need to cut up large, heavy items like winter squash or watermelons. Neither of us liked the thickness or the weight of the chef's knife that came with the Henckels set so we gave that away.
7. Inox bread knife - This came in a bread baking kit from a girlfriend.
8. The honing steel that came with the Henckels set to realign the very edge of the blade.

Honing is helpful but every now and then I have to actually remove some metal. Here's my Chef's Choice electric knife sharpener . It has a diamond abrasive in the two slots on the left (one slot for either side of the blade) to remove metal and the two slots on the right hone the edge. I try to use this on my knives three or four times a year. I've tried sharpening serrated knives with one of these sharpeners (only on the smooth/flat side of the blade) but it does take off the bottom points of the serrated blade. Fortunately serrated knives stay sharp longer but generally I just replace my bread knife every few years.

My 2" thick huge cutting board. This was quite expensive but it has lasted many years. Once a year DH re-sands it and I use mineral oil to buff it every now and then. We use plastic cutting boards for things that stain (like chipotles in adobo sauce) and for DH's non-vegetarian items.

Paring Knife on Foodista


FoodTravelDiva said...

You have a lovely set of knives! Good knives make cooking so much more enjoyable. I am totally enjoying your blog and I would love to direct our Foodista readers to it. If that's okay with you, please add your choice of widget to this post and you're all set!

Nanette said...

Thank you FoodTravelDiva!

Nanette said...
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