Ask any professional chef to name the most important tool in a kitchen, and the response will usually be the same: good knives. That sentiment is echoed by Lisa Cannelora, a professional kitchen designer who operates Cucina di Cannelora in Alameda, California.
As a former restaurant chef, Cannelora understands her knives. And with the holiday season approaching, she is happy to talk about her advice on the particular knives you should have in your own kitchen, where you should store them and how to protect them (and yourself) from injury.
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We know that a good knife is important, but what exactly makes a knife “good”? Go to a home goods store’s knife section and you could be overwhelmed by the options.
Fight the urge to take the easy way out. “We always recommend to our clients that they do not buy the complete set,” Cannelora says.
She urges restricting a set to the many useful kinds of knives. In accordance with Cannelora, these include:
• 8-inch chef knife
• 1 or 2 2 paring knives
• Bread knife
• Japanese-style vegetable knife
• Chinese cleaver (if you reduce whole chickens)
• 10-inch chef knife
• Meat-carving knife
• Boning knife
• Butcher knife
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Where to keep knives. The best location to store knives is where they are needed most. However, that does not mean you have to keep all knives in the exact same spot. In accordance with Cannelora, “Knives could be stored in different locations in the kitchen if the space is big enough to have several stations. Veg prep, as an instance, may be in a different place than where you create slice or sandwiches or butcher meats.”
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If you’re constructing a new kitchen, then figure out where you want to achieve each of these tasks. Then find the most sensible knife place for every workstation. However many workstations you have, each will require its own cutting board.
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Storage Choices. Whether designing a new kitchen or rearranging an existing one, Cannelora prefers to shop knives onto a wall-mounted magnet or inside a countertop knife block. “Those two options make knives most readily available,” she says.
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“Though,” she’s “if counter and wall space is an issue, then I would suggest storing knives in a wooden knife holder in a drawer closest to the Valve.” With prescribed slots for every blade, these drawer inserts help prevent accidents as you’re searching for the right tool.
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Whether this option raises safety issues for you, think about investing in a locking knife such as this one.
Another option for maintaining knives close at hand but out of children’s reach is a built-in countertop knife block. For this setup the carpenter cut slits from the wooden counter behind the dishwasher. This low-tech setup works because the blades are completely straightened, preventing hands from tangling with the blades from below.
If you’re considering this thought for your kitchen, then remember you’ll need just as much clearance beneath the countertop as the knives are long. Knives must be completely encased so blades can’t interfere with the contents of drawers that are nearby or be exposed to any lower cabinets.
Here a knife block is constructed into a rock counter.
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Safety. When it comes to knives, safety is the first priority. Dull blades are a frequently overlooked safety element. “Dull knives are harmful because you induce cuts,” Cannelora says. The additional effort could lead to accidents.
“Good-quality knives maintain a sharp edge longer,” she continues. “Plus, they are customized for superior relaxation in mind, which ultimately gives you more control.”
More safety tips:
• When you’re completed with knives, make them adjacent to the sink (not inside) till they are ready to be washed.
• Never put knives in a bowl or sink full of soapy water. A knife lurking under suds is as harmful as a hiding rattlesnake.
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• Maintain a clean, wet rag at your workstation to wipe knives on as you cook.
• in the event that you have children in your home, not leave knives at the edge of a counter or within a child’s reach.
• Never let children play with knives. When they’re old enough, teach them how to maintain and carry knives correctly. The handle should carries knives with the tip.
• If a knife drops, then do not try to grab it. Let it drop to the ground.
The knife drawer shown here is best for a adults-only household.
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Sharpening. Cannelora recommends using knives professionally sharpened when needed. Between visits, she hones her blades with a porcelain knife sharpener. To keep knives sharper longer, she advocates having a wooden cutting board.
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Here is to a year filled with delicious home-cooked meals without any accidents!
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