Whether you favor offset smokers, gas barbecue grills, or charcoal models, if you are going to prepare and cook high-quality cuts of meat, you need to make sure you are prepared to make all of the cuts necessary. And great cuts require amazing knives. But with some many knives on the market, it can be hard to determine which ones you actually need and which you can pass by.
When push comes to shove, most cooks can perform all of the work necessary with only three kitchen knives. So, before you spend a fortune on fancy knife sets and specialty items, invest in these three knives and see if you can’t get by without the others.
- Chef’s Knife
A quality chef’s knife will quickly become your go-to option for most of your kitchen duties. It is designed to handle a wide range of tasks including chopping, mincing, slicing, and dicing. In fact, if you keep it properly sharpened, you can even use it to cut through bone.
Chef’s knives come in a range of sizes, often between 6 and 12 inches, so you can pick a size that feels comfortable in your hand and provides you with the necessary control. To be considered a true chef’s knife, it must be at least 1 ½ inches across at the widest point.
- Paring Knife
Paring knives are significantly smaller than chef’s knives, often measuring only 3 to 4 inches in length. However, the smaller size helps give you additional control. This is a perfect choice for peeling fruits and vegetables as well as paring. You can also use it to core fruits, score dough, and even trim chicken.
A paring knife provides a level of finesse, so it can be an ideal choice for any activity where a chef’s knife feels to cumbersome.
- Bread Knife
A bread knife features a serrated edge, making it ideal for food items that feature one texture on the outside and a different texture within. It gives you the ability to saw at items like crusty bread, so you want to choose an option that is long enough to handle those tasks. If you regularly wrestle with these tougher to cut items, you may want to choose an offset option. The handle location helps ensure you won’t slam your knuckles into the countertop or cutting board as you finish the cuts.
Keep Kitchen Knives in the Kitchen
Once you invest in high-quality kitchen knives, make sure they don’t pull double duty outside of the kitchen. If you need a knife for other common tasks, like opening boxes or home improvement tasks, then you need to invest in a separate knife. Often, some of the best utility knives can offer a wide range of function for other household activities. Then, you can keep the knives that touch your food separate from the ones that touch anything else.
You may also want to invest in two sharpeners for similar reasons. Keep the one that is used on kitchen knives in the kitchen, and a separate one with other tools for utility knives. Again, you don’t necessarily want to have debris from a utility knife mingling with the knives you use for food. When in doubt, keeping these things separate is often for the best.