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What Knives Do You Really Need in Your Kitchen?

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knives you need

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Do you ever feel like you’re trying to cut through a tomato with the back of a comb?  If you’re like me, you probably purchased a few knives soon after your wedding, before you knew much about slicing and chopping, let alone cooking.  If you’re like so many people I know, you’ve hardly sharpened them since.

If you are straining your muscles and patience trying to saw through a squash or melon, you may not be using the right tool for the job.

In my daily cooking, I primarily use four knives for my kitchen tasks and have found that for these core implements, it’s worth investing in good quality.

Chef's Knife

Chef’s Knife

This knife is the workhorse of the kitchen and is great for cutting many foods such as onions, potatoes, melons, long vegetables, etc. A good quality chef’s knife will make cooking any dish, for instance this this vegetable taco recipe, easier. For a reasonably-priced, but high quality version, try this Wustof knife, which is what I have been using for the past 20 years.

Paring Knife

Paring Knife

This is a small knife that is great for slicing cheese, cutting small fruits and vegetables, and introducing knife skills to kids. I have been using mine daily for the past 20 years and it is now my 10-year-old’s knife of choice.

Medium-Length Serrated Knife

Medium-Length Serrated Knife

This is a great knife for slicing slippery items like peppers and tomatoes, which are delicious in this fajita recipe. I really like this one and use it almost daily in my own cooking.

Long Serrated Knife

A Long Serrated Bread Knife

Perfect for slicing breads of all sorts, this is an essential tool and will make preparing this French toast recipe so much easier. My friends gave me this one as a birthday gift about 10 years ago and I use it daily.

Other Tools to Consider

I also find that a top-notch peeler, grater, and pair of kitchen shears come in very handy and make cooking go much more smoothly.

Caring for your knives

Protecting your investment by taking good care of them is very important. In order to keep them as sharp and ding-free as possible, store your knives either in a knife block or on a magnet strip mounted on your wall.

It is also important to cut on a proper cutting board. Stone and metal will destroy your knives. My favorites are all wooden because they are easier on the knives and have antimicrobial properties that keep you healthier.

In addition, straight edged knives should be sharpened every week or two — it makes it much easier to slice, dice, and julienne with a well-honed knife.  Sharper knives are actually safer, too, because they do not slip off of vegetable skins or lurch unevenly through foods. I have tried many, many different knife sharpeners and have found this one to be easiest to use.

Some Knife Skills

Finally, knowing how to use your knives efficiently and safely is essential. For tips and suggestions on this, check out my post packed with chopping advice.

Do you have a brand of knives that you favor? I’d love to hear what it is and how you take care of your cutlery. Please share here or on The Scramble Facebook page.

Do you want meal preparation to be even easier? Check out The Scramble’s family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!

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