Knife Skills 101

Knife-Skills.

Knife-Skills1 Over the years, I’ve discovered many of my clients have no idea how to use a knife, often ask me what the best knives to purchase are and they don’t know how to care for cutlery.

So, I’ve put together a little post on a few tips that will help keep you sharp on your knife skills.

I don’t think it’s necessary for any of us to have a ton of knives in our kitchens. You can do so much with 3 knives.

Knife-Skills

A chef’s knife.

A paring Knife.

A Serrated bread knife (if you eat bread) OR a fillet knife (if you eat lots of fish) OR a steak knife (if you eat poultry and meats).

A knife is made up of 4 parts: The tang, the bolster, the handle and the blade. Most blades are made from stainless steel, high-carbon steel, carbon steel or ceramic. Metal blades can be either forged or stamped. Forged means it’s molded from high heat and are used for heftier jobs and tend to last a bit longer. Stamped means it’s pressed out of metal and is better used for lighter work such as filleting a fish.

Tang: This is the area that extends into the handle and is the ‘curve’ at the end of the handle.

Bolster: This is the thick ridge between the handle and the blade; it’s rare on stamped knives and standard on forged knives.

Handle: This can be made from rubber, metal, wood or plastic. I prefer non-wood handles because they are more durable. The handle can be molded around the blade or riveted to the blade. I always tell my clients to ‘feel’ and ‘hold’ the handle of knives before they purchase them to make sure they are comfortable to use. Ordering online can be tough because you can’t get a ‘feel’ for the grip.

Blade: This is the sharp area used for cutting, chopping, slicing, etc.

Knife-Skills.

Buying Knives:

4 Types of Knives: Stainless Steel, High-Carbon Steel, Carbon Steel and Ceramic Knifes.

Stainless Steel: Inexpensive and can’t be sharpened when they loose their ‘sharpness’

High-Carbon Steel: Most professional knives are High-Carbon Steel, which allows you to sharpen the blade without discoloration.

Carbon Steel: These knives hold their sharp edges well but need to be cleaned and dried often. They will eventually turn black over time and discolor.

Ceramic: These knives stay quite sharp but they may be broken if not handled with care. These are my favorite type of knives!

Caring For Knives: Never put your knives in the dishwasher. I learned this living with my cousins in LA years ago. Dishwashers dull the edges of knives and make them wear much faster than if you hand wash them.

Sharpening Knives: A professional sharpener can be purchased at most stores or online for less than $10 and can be used twice a year to sharpen your knives- which will make cutting, chopping and dicing much MUCH easier.

See, what wasn’t so bad.

Was it?

Easier than you thought, right?

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Amie | 
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39 replies
  1. Debra Lee
    Debra Lee says:

    What a great article. I think we al have our favorite go to items. Thanks for all the great giveaways you do. Would love to have some skin care since I’m getting close to 50 and my skin is really changing!

    Reply
  2. Emily
    Emily says:

    knife care is always useful…even for the professional chefs among us. as for my preferred brand, i use global knives. they’re made from one solid piece of metal (stainless steel), can go through the dishwasher (or so i’ve been told) and are the best i’ve ever used! of course, they are on the expensive side, but they last forever so i think they’re worth it.

    Reply
    • Emily
      Emily says:

      whoops! my global knives aren’t stainless…they’re high carbon steel. i guess that’s why they’re so expensive.

      Reply
  3. Sheryl Edwards
    Sheryl Edwards says:

    Thank you for the knife care tutorial. I need to take better care of my knives!
    Thank you for the skincare giveaway!

    Reply
  4. Amanda B.
    Amanda B. says:

    Bought a $10 knife sharpener at Target this past weekend. What a difference! My favorite knife was useless before and it was surprisingly easy to sharpen it myself.

    Reply
  5. Beth Duggan
    Beth Duggan says:

    Great read!! Thanks for the information ! Always enjoy your tips as well as the recipes! Also interested in skin care give away !

    Reply
  6. Evelyn
    Evelyn says:

    I always find your posts so helpful. I learn something new and remember it because the information is always so clear and well organized. Thank you for all the great information and very generous giveaways. The Healthy Apple is a must read for me.

    Reply
  7. Dana M
    Dana M says:

    My husband and I just had a discussion on knives as we are looking to purchase a new set. We are leaning towards the ceramic, and I’m glad to see they are your favorite :D

    Reply
  8. Kylie Kelty
    Kylie Kelty says:

    I’d love to win the skin care giveaway! Been wanting to try these products for a while now. Thanks for the opportunity!

    Reply
  9. Heather Brown-Klar
    Heather Brown-Klar says:

    Ceramic knives are my favorite! It amazes mt how much easier & more “fun” it is to prepare a meal with good knives. Cutting tomatoes with a dull knife is living hell :0) Thanks for the good read & also, the wonderful fb product give-a-way!!

    Reply
  10. Becky Root
    Becky Root says:

    I have had the same pairing knife for years it was originally my mothers. I would lost without it. Thanks for all the articles and recipes I just love your site. I have gut and colon flora issues for 3 years so always looking for the best products!

    Reply
  11. Viki HOjnacki
    Viki HOjnacki says:

    Wow that would be great if I had these bracelets. I have declared no FEAR over my life recently. I need to stand up and go after all that I am meant to do and be.

    Reply
  12. kc
    kc says:

    It amaze me sometimes how expensive knives can be, but they are essential tools. Thank you for the informative article and giveaways.

    Reply
  13. Terrilee
    Terrilee says:

    You have so much great info in your posts! Love the African bead bracelets. Just wear your reminders on your wrist, always in sight.

    Reply
  14. Karen D
    Karen D says:

    Great information! I was lucky enough to find a nib Chef’s Choice electric sharpener at the thrift shop for $1.50! Best investment I ever made. Does an excellent job, and now even my old knives can cut with the best of them (also, at a different time, got a full, Wusthof knife block for $2.50) Now I’m a happy chopper!

    Reply

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