Delicious and innovative dishes are equal parts fresh and tasty ingredients and high-quality tools. This is why you need to have these 3 Essential Kitchen Knives on hand and make sure that they function properly.
Choosing the right chef knives is an intricate process that requires time, money and detailed research.
You will need to put in the effort so that you take the best decisions and turn your kitchen from ordinary to professional in a matter of days.
Furthermore, listening to an expert opinion or two will be to your advantage in the end. And who better to offer valuable advice to any beginners out there than one of the greatest chefs of all time, Jacques Pépin?
Table of Contents
The Essential Kit
When it comes to cuisine, one of the most prominent names has to be that of Jacques Pépin. He rose to both European and American fame by being the personal chef of three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle, as well as teaching gastronomy. Later on, he also starred in multiple television shows.
In one of these shows, Pépin notoriously cooked alongside the renowned Julia Child, who was also his lifelong friend. At this point, it’s safe to say that, if anyone knows knives, it’s Jacques. And according to him, the three essential knives for any chef are “an eight-to-twelve inch cook’s knife, a six-inch utility knife, and a paring knife.” Let’s find out more about each one.
· Chef’s Knife
The first and most important item on the list is the chef’s (or cook’s) knife. This is a staple for any aspiring pro because it can be used effectively for a multitude of tasks. While restaurant staff usually have ten to twelve-inch blades on hand, you won’t need anything larger than an eight-incher.
It will come in handy when you need a chef knife to chop, mince or slice something fast. Over time, you will develop such dexterity when utilizing it that you will eliminate the need for a food processor almost entirely, at least when it comes to piecing up fruits, veggies or herbs. Furthermore, you can also use it on meat with great ease.
The Hanzo chef’s knife sells for about $100.
But if you want something a bit more affordable in the same style, the Kuma Multi-Purpose is the way to go. Priced at just under $30 dollars, it makes a great addition to any kitchen.
· Paring Knife
Every aspiring chef needs a reliable paring knife in their arsenal. Although it looks exactly like a cook’s, it’s considerably smaller, with its two to four-inch blade and delicate design. This makes it an excellent choice for any type of precision work that you might need to get done while prepping a meal.
Not only does it get the job done when it comes to peeling fruits and veggies, it’s also great at slicing garlic cloves or shallots, coring apples, removing the ribs for jalapenos and so on. All in all, this nifty little tool is indispensable if you aspire to cook incredible meals that both look and taste amazing.
If slightly more expensive Japanese excellence is your game, then the Tojiro DP 3.5-inch or the Mac Knife Chef Series 4-inch both make adequate choices. They are situated at the 40 to 50-dollar price point, so it’s not too steep either. And for a more affordable alternative, go for the 7-dollar Victorinox 3.25-inch Forschner
· Utility Knife
Last, but certainly not least of chef Pépin’s list is the utility knife, which acts as a sort of do-it-all middle ground between the chef’s knife and the paring knife. It’s not as big as the former, but not as small as the latter either, and there are many ways to use it. Peel and cut larger fruits and vegetables, or slice cheese and more tender meats.
Whatever you might need it for, if you have a quality one on hand, you can consider the job done. The serrated variant is always the best, and two worthy choices in the 50 to 100 price range are the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro Serrated Prep Knife or the Wüsthof Classic Serrated Utility Knife.
The Swiss make a great affordable model as well in the form of the Victorinox Fibrox Pro 4-inch, which retails for around 15 dollars at most depending on where you buy it from. There is an option to fit any budget and any kitchen, so do your research and find yours today. Only by doing so will you become a true master chef.
Once you have these three essential kitchen knives on hand, you can proceed to prepare expert meals that are both delicious and well-executed. And when you’re ready, you can also expand your collecting and add a cleaver, a boning knife and much more to it. But for the moment, you’ve got everything you need.
This is a guest post from Lucas Ferguson.