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Old 06-17-2009, 03:19 PM
 
5,945 posts, read 12,721,568 times
Reputation: 6677

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It's time to bite the bullet and get some decent knives. Educate me you wonderful foodie people! Share with me your knively wisdom... what brands do you like? Why? How do you care for them? How do you store them? How do you keep them sharp? How many do you really need? What do you look for in a good knife?

And I cook, a lot. Three meals a day every day for a family of four plus extra's sometimes. I have been getting by for years and years (don't laugh... OK... go ahead and laugh... my husband and I laugh! lol) with steak knives for cutting everything. Seriously. I cut everything - veggies, fruit, meat, onions, garlic, bread, etc. with these little steak knives because I've never ever bought a proper chef's knife or any other kind of kitchen knife. I've got all this really nice and expensive cookware and all these happy gadgets and I do all this cooking all the time... and here I am holding steak knives.

Sad, huh? The reason being is that I didn't want to buy cheap knives, yet I knew the good ones were going to be expensive... and since I didn't know how to properly care for knives, I didn't want to buy an expensive knife and then possibly ruin it. So I've just been making do with using my little steak knives for everything! Help me people, please.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:23 PM
 
Location: South Bay Native
13,050 posts, read 21,163,651 times
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Skip the kits, unless they consist of items you will actually use. I love Wusthof and Henckels, can't go wrong there.

I also bought recently a Cuisinart Santoku knife for just $9.99 and so far it has proven to be a good value!

The thought of using only steak knivs to prepare any meal fo rme would be hard to swallow! I am very fussy about my knives, and have different ones for different tasks.

You would probably be best off starting with a long chef's knife, a carving knife, a shorter chef's knife, and a paring knife. A long serrated knife for cutting bread is wonderful to have. Keep them sharp by using a knife sharpening tool, which you can get for under $10.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:41 PM
 
14,934 posts, read 26,640,695 times
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For prep work I use Wusthof. My husband has some Henckels and he loves those. For steak knives I love my Shun's. Nothing like quality knives.
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:44 PM
 
1,116 posts, read 2,541,819 times
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Wustof, Henckls, or Dexter Russell. I couldn't do without my DR cleaver, my husband loves his Henckls paring knife.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:24 PM
 
5,683 posts, read 8,880,095 times
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Wusthof and Henckls are both excellent, high-quality knife brands that will give you decades of good service.

I agree that it's better to buy individual pieces than a set. What the manufacturers think is the perfect assortment never matches what I'm looking for, so I always buy them piecemeal. Also, the price of a whole set of good cutlery is generally high enough to present a barrier, while I can afford one knife at a time every few months if need be. And I'd hate to drop several hundred bucks on a set only to discover that I didn't like it.

I'd suggest that you go to a store where they'll let you pick the knives up and see how they fit in your hand and how the balance feels. You'll find that some knives just feel better in your hand than others, as if they're made for your particular hand size and shape. My spouse and I like very different knives, because of our widely differing hand shapes.

As to the specific styles, well, that depends a lot on your cooking style. We have a medium-sized chef's knife, one small and one medium Santoku, a paring knife, a utility knife, a serrated utility knife, a roast-carving knife and a boning knife. Your needs may differ, though.

We sharpen ours on a good steel, and for the ones that we use a lot, a couple of times a year, we take them to a professional knife sharpener at a kitchen-goods store here in town. A high-quality knife will hold its edge for an amazingly long time, but with very frequent use they do start to get dull.

Good luck and happy shopping - come back and let us know what you decide on!
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,556,197 times
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I refuse to use stainless, I'm always on the lookout for good knives at flea markets and such. I use an Arkansas stone to sharpen them. My greatest treasure is a 5-inch Olsen boning knife, which Ive had for decades and it was old when I got it. I need nothing else---it is perfect for absolutely everything. Irreplaceable. If my house was on fire, it's the one thing I'd take out the door.
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:22 PM
 
4,304 posts, read 11,126,079 times
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I have collected some Henckels over the years and they have been a great knives. They have several price points so make sure you get some good ones. I have purchased most of mines from Marshalls/ TJ Maxx at deep discounts. I use a 8 inch chef, Santoku and paring knife the most. I also have a carving and bread knife but use them alot less than the others.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:24 PM
 
5,945 posts, read 12,721,568 times
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Thank you so much, everyone. I plan on shopping around next week when we get back from camping. We have two really huge (and fun!) restaurant supply stores as well as several kitchen stores (like Hartwick's....) here in town, as well as some outlet stores just north of us where I've also seen what looked like good kitchen knives as well... so it'll be fun shopping around. We also have a really fun place here called "Down to Earth" that sells home goods, I've seen knives and steels (what you use to keep them sharp?) there as well.

How do you store your knives? In drawers? In one of those wood knife holder things you see? On a magnetic strip on the wall? Is there a wrong way to store good knives?

Thanks so much for sharing your experience and wisdom!
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:40 PM
 
5,945 posts, read 12,721,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I refuse to use stainless, I'm always on the lookout for good knives at flea markets and such. I use an Arkansas stone to sharpen them. My greatest treasure is a 5-inch Olsen boning knife, which Ive had for decades and it was old when I got it. I need nothing else---it is perfect for absolutely everything. Irreplaceable. If my house was on fire, it's the one thing I'd take out the door.
May I ask - why you refuse to use stainless? Does it just go dull too quickly?

I actually had a stainless steal chef's knife awhile ago... I think the brand was Kitchenaid or Chefsmate or something. It was given to us when we were first married, and we used it for years. Then one day I was using it to cut a whole chicken up into parts... and the knife broke in half! Scared me to death. I don't know if the knife was just old, or if it was because it was just cheap to begin with... but that was the only chef's knife experience I've ever had!

I know I'd like a cleaver for cutting up chicken. We do a lot of that... I get a whole chicken because it's a better value, then cut it up into pieces, marinate it, then we grill it. We do that a lot, and it's always a pain doing that with my dinky steak knives! I have to say, though, that the steak knives have stayed sharp for years. As far as steak knives go, these are awesome. I wish I knew the brand of these knives (they were also a gift) because I'd just buy this same brand for the other knives...

I forgot to mention, too, that for things like dicing onions and slicing bell peppers and doing small bits like that... I use my Borner mandoline slicer. It's really easy and fast. I love it. Here's a link: Amazon.com: Swissmar Borner V-Slicer Plus Mandoline: Kitchen & Dining I've also had this for years and years and it's never needed sharpening. It slices thin or thick, juliennes, dices, and grates. It even works with cheese. I love this thing. It's probably why I've been able to go so long without a decent kitchen knife! But - it doesn't do meat... I probably should focus on knives that work well on deboning meat or cutting apart chicken... would that be paring knives, cleavers?
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Annandale, VA
9,447 posts, read 7,598,173 times
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I purchased a "basic" Wustof set which came with a countertop block for storage and then separately purchased the matching steak knives. I will probably have them forever. Once you purchase good quality cookware you never have to buy it again.
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