Saturday, May 14, 2011

Knives (cont.)

I am sorry this blog is out of order and late.  Thursday the blog site had some problems.  They didn't get them fixed until sometime of Friday.  Because of this the Thursday blog did not go out and I had to re-schedule it for Saturday.  Again, I'm sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.   Let's get started.

The next knife that you need in your kitchen is a serrated one.  They usually run 8 to 12 inches in length.  The blade is not always the same in shape because of the many different uses.
Serrated Bread Knife
Serrated Carving Knife

The serrated blade lets you slice breads, whether they are hard or soft crusted, without destroying them.  Carving knives come with straight or serrated blades.  The serrated ones were sometimes referred to as a ham slicer years ago.  The nice thing about a serrated carving knife is that you can get by with just that one knife.  It will double better for both a bread knife and a carver.

These 3 types of knives (chef, paring & serrated) are really all you need to get by in your kitchen.  I'm sure you noticed that I showed pictures of more then 3 knives and they are all mine.  I believe that I have somewhere around 12 to 15 knives.  Remember that I was in the business for 40 years.

Having said that, most people buy a set of knives to get started.  These sets can offer a variety of knives and you will usually use each one of them.  My set has 6 different knives in it.  In getting started, buy what you can afford.  Just make sure you buy quality over quantity.

 Taking care of your knives is your number one priority.  Remember that  a good quality knife will last you almost forever.  There are basically 3 things that you need to do to take that good care.

First, never put a knife in the dishwasher.  You always wash them by hand with a little soap and a lot of hot water.  Second, store them correctly.  If you have a set and they came with a knife block to put them in, use it.  If they came with a knife shield, use it.  If they didn't, store them in a place by themselves.  It could be a drawer, a box or any place you won't accidentally cut yourself when you go to get something.  Think safety for you and safety for the knife too.  If you keep the knife safe, it's blade and edge will last much longer.
Knife Steel & Sharpener

The third is keep them sharp.  A dull knife will cause more injury than a sharp one.  To keep them sharp you need to have a knife sharpener that you will use.  It also helps to have a knife steel.

The steel is used to hone a knife blade.  Honing a knife is not sharpening a knife.  Honing extents the life of a blade by realigning the molecules on the edge.  It is the using of the knife that creates this need to realign.  You should use a steel every time you use the knife.  Blades will dull over time from use even with you using a steel.  So from time to time the blade needs to be sharpened.  You can take your knives to someone that sharpens knives.  But you can do it yourself too.  Just follow the instructions that come with your sharpener.  When you buy one make sure it is one that you understand and can operate easily.  I like the one in the picture.  It is easy to use and safe.  I'll go back to my favorite places to shop, Kohl'sFood Network and QVC.  I don't remember which one is where I got the sharpener, but it was at one of them.

Tomorrow there is a recipe for "Chicken Burgers on the Grill."  Enjoy them.

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