Reddit mentions: The best chefs knives
We found 1,699 Reddit comments discussing the best chefs knives. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 386 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.
1. Victorinox Fibrox Pro Knife, 8-Inch Chef's FFP, 8 Inch, Black
- For home chefs & professionals. This Fibro Pro chef's knife has been the top choice of both home chefs and professionals alike. Expertly crafted with a tapered stainless steel edge that cuts with ease and efficiency.
- Fit for all tasks. Designed to handle kitchen tasks both big and small, This durable knife's razor sharp and laser-tested blade effortlessly chops, minces, slices and dices. An essential for every kitchen.
- Easy handling. Each knife features an ergonomic handle made from thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) for a non-slip grip - even when wet. This exceptional knife is weighted and balanced for easy handling.
- Knife Dimensions. Blade made out of stainless steel material - 7. 9 inches in length. Made with dishwasher safe materials for an easy clean.
- Trusted Swiss quality. Expertly crafted in Switzerland in 1884, Victorinox provides a lifetime against defects in material and workmanship. Making a Lifetime commitment has never been so easy.
- Included Components: Fibrox Pro 8-Inch Chef'S Knife, Ffp
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2. Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife, 8-Inch
- An all-purpose chef’s knife provides ultimate control to mince your way through any culinary challenge.
- Contemporary, textured handle with a non-slip grip -- even when wet. The handle is ergonomically designed to help minimize tension at the wrist and provides a much more comfortable grip.
- Hygienic, dishwasher safe, slip-resistant and NSF approved. These exceptional knives are weighted and balanced for easy handling.
- Multipurpose chef's knife designed for chopping, mincing, slicing, and dicing with razor sharp, laser-tested, tapered knife edge is ground to form an exacting angle, to hold a sharp edge longer and ensure maximum cutting performance and durability
- Ergonomically designed, non-slip Fibrox Pro handle provides a sure grip and easy handling even when wet, making each knife safer and more efficient
- “Highly Recommended” for over 20 years by a leading gourmet consumer magazine that features unbiased ratings and reviews of cookware and kitchen equipment
- Expertly crafted in Switzerland since 1884; designed for professionals who use knives all day, every day; lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship
- Swiss item #: 5.2063.20 is imprinted on the blade. This is the same exact knife as 40520, 47520, 45520, and 47520.US2. The only difference is how the knife is packaged.
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|Release date||March 2022|
3. Victorinox 8 Inch Swiss Classic Chef's Knife
- Multipurpose chef's knife designed for chopping, mincing, slicing, and dicing with razor sharp, laser-tested, tapered knife edge, which is ground to form an exacting angle, to hold a sharp edge longer and ensure maximum cutting performance and durability
- Contemporary handle inspired by our Fibrox Pro line is textured, ergonomic, and slip-resistant and is paired with lightweight European steel for a perfectly balanced design
- “Recommended” by a leading gourmet consumer magazine that features unbiased ratings and reviews of cookware and kitchen equipment
- The same blade used by professionals with a handle that suits the needs of home chefs
- Expertly crafted in Switzerland since 1884; designed for professionals who use knives all day, every day; lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship
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|Release date||April 2021|
4. Global 8" Chef's Knife
Lightweight, precisely balanced 8-inch or 20cm chef's knifeBlade made of high-tech molybdenum/vanadium stainless steelEdge retains razor sharpness exceptionally wellStainless-steel handle molded for Comfort, dimpled for safe gripLifetime warranty against defects and breakage
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5. WÜSTHOF 4582/20 Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife,Black,8-Inch
- KITCHEN WORKHORSE – The WÜSTHOF 8” Classic Chef’s Knife is essential for preparing any meal. This all-purpose cook’s knife can be used for chopping, mincing, slicing and dicing
- WÜSTHOF CLASSIC SERIES – The full Tang, Triple Riveted handles of the classic line offer the widest range of cutlery that can satisfy every home cook or professional chef. The WÜSTHOF classic series has been our best-selling series for generations
- CHEF’S KNIFE – Features an 8” long blade, 4.5” long handle and weighs 8.5 ounce Full Bolster and Finger Guard, German Made Cook’s Knife. Ergonomic handle design made from a long-lasting synthetic material to resist fading and discoloration
- PRECISION FORGED – The 8” Chef’s Knife is forged from a single block of high carbon stainless steel and tempered to 58-degree HRC. The Precision Edge Technology (PEtec) yields a blade that is 20% sharper with twice the edge retention than previous models
- ENTURIES OF TRADITION – Family owned for seven generations, WÜSTHOF was founded in Solingen, Germany over 200 years ago. WÜSTHOF’s cutlery carries the Solingen name, a designation reserved for products that meet the strictest quality standards
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|Release date||May 2019|
6. Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife with VG-MAX Cutting Core and Ebony PakkaWood Handle; All-Purpose Blade for a Full Range of Cutting Tasks with Curved Blade for Easy Cuts; Cutlery Handcrafted in Japan
- JAPANESE CHEF'S KNIFE: The Shun 8-inch Classic Chef's knife is the perfect all-purpose kitchen knife. It's ideal for preparing fruit, vegetables, meat and more.
- WIDE, CURVED BLADE: This Japanese kitchen knife has a wide blade that keeps knuckles off the cutting board with a curved belly that can be "rocked" through herbs and spices for a very fine mince.
- HIGH-QUALITY CONSTRUCTION: Constructed with Shun's proprietary VG-MAX cutting core and clad in 68 layers of stainless Damascus, this chef knife is corrosion and stain resistant with a strong, razor-sharp edge.
- COMFORTABLE HANDLE: The D-shaped, ebony-finished Pakkawood handle is durable, beautiful, doesn't harbor bacteria, and comfortable to use for both left- and right-handed users.
- TRADITIONAL, ARTISAN CUTLERY: Inspired by the traditions of ancient Japan, Shun knives are handcrafted by highly skilled artisans to produce blades of unparalleled quality and beauty.
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7. J.A. Henckels International 31161-201 CLASSIC Chef's Knife, 8 Inch, Black
- QUALITY MANUFACTURING: Fabricated from high quality German stainless steel. Handle length - 4.72 inch. Product assembled in Spain. Blade sourced from Germany
- VERY DURABLE: Fully forged construction offers durability and a seamless transition from blade to handle
- PRECISE CUTTING: Professional, satin finished blade boasts Precision cutting and is finely honed for long lasting sharpness
- BALANCED BLADE: Ergonomic, traditional triple rivet handle gives balance and comfort
- MULTIPURPOSE KNIFE: Large sized 8-inch multipurpose chef's knife for chopping, mincing, slicing and dicing.
- PROTECTIVE BOLSTER: Full bolster provides weight and ensures safety
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|Release date||August 2019|
8. MAC MIGHTY Mac Professional Hollow Edge Chef's Knife, 8 Inch, Silver
- 2.5mm blade. The added dimples help the knife to glide through sticky foods such as potatoes, apples, and summer squash
- Lightweight. Knife Length- 12.63 inches
- Pakka wood handle. Blade thickness - 2.5 mm
- Hand wash is recommended Not dishwasher safe
- Made In Japan
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9. Wusthof 4862-7/20 Pro Cook´s knife, 8 Inch, Black
- Designed for the demands of the commercial kitchen
- Nsf approved
- Ergonomic handle
- Poly handle
- Rust-resistant steel
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10. Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Chef's Knife, 8 Inch
- QUALITY CONSTRUCTION: Knife is precision-forged with high-carbon German steel for better durability, and taper-ground edge allows for increased efficiency when cutting along with incredible long-lasting sharpness
- SUPERIOR DESIGN: The finest handle in forged cutlery; built to last ergonomic handle offers comfort and a non-slip grip, even with wet hands
- BEST USE: The perfect knife for chopping, mincing, and cutting. Ideal for dicing onions, mincing shallots, chopping herbs, crushing garlic, and shredding cabbage
- EASY CARE: To maximize the performance and longevity of your knife, carefully wash cutlery by hand with warm water and mild soap; rinse and dry completely with a soft towel. Do not place in dishwasher or submerge for long periods of time
- MERCER CULINARY GENESIS SERIES: Never stop experimenting in the kitchen; this Genesis knife is essential in every kitchen, perfect for professional use or the home cooking enthusiast
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|Size||8-Inch Chef's Knife|
11. WÜSTHOF CLASSIC IKON 8 Inch Chef’s Knife | Full-Tang Half Bolster 8" Cook’s Knife | Precision Forged High-Carbon Stainless Steel German Made Chef’s Knife – Model 4596-7/20,Black
KITCHEN WORKHORSE – The WÜSTHOF 8” CLASSIC IKON Chef’s Knife is essential for preparing any meal. This all-purpose cook’s knife can be used for chopping, mincing, slicing and dicingWÜSTHOF CLASSIC IKON SERIES – Features a sleek and sophisticated black handle with a double bolster for exc...
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12. Kiwi Brand Stainless Steel 8 inch Thai Chef's Knife No. 21
- cooks knive
- inexpensively made
- blade hardened and tempered
- We Shipping by economy International post usually takes 14-17 day. Please contact us if you do not receive your order after 20 business day and we will try to help you resolve it.
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13. Ken Onion by Shun DM0500 8-Inch Chef's Knife
Patent-pending chef's knife designed by one of the world's top knife designers, Ken OnionFeatures specially angled curved bolster and specially shaped handle; fits hand perfectly and releases all arm tensionForged from VG-10 stainless-steel; resists corrosion and rust; 8-inch Damascus blade has extr...
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14. Mac Knife Chef Series Chef's Knife, 7-1/4-Inch
2mm Blade, rust-resistant, exceptionally sharp, made out of high carbon and keeps the edge for a long timeOriginal Molybdenum steel has better edge-retentionPakka wood handleHand wash is recommended Not dishwasher safeMade In Japan
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15. Mercer Culinary M23510 Renaissance 8-Inch Forged Chef's Knife,Black
Triple-riveted, ergonomically designed Delrin handle. One-piece precision forged construction. Rounded spine for comfort grip.Shortened bolster exposes full blade edge, allowing for easier sharpeningFull tang runs the entire length of the handle for superior balanceHand wash knives for blade edge an...
16. Mac Knife Series Hollow Edge Chef's Knife, 8-Inch, 8 Inch, Silver
2mm Blade, rust-resistant, exceptionally sharp, made out of high carbon and keeps the edge for a long timeOriginal Molybdenum steel has better edge-retentionPakka wood handleHand wash is recommended Not dishwasher safeMade In Japan
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17. Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Short Bolster Forged Chef's Knife, 8 Inch
- QUALITY CONSTRUCTION: Knife is precision-forged with high-carbon German steel for better durability, and taper-ground edge allows for increased efficiency when cutting along with incredible long-lasting sharpness
- SUPERIOR DESIGN: The finest handle in forged cutlery; built to last ergonomic handle offers comfort and a non-slip grip, even with wet hands
- BEST USE: Sharp tines are perfect for piercing food; a compliment to any of Mercer Culinary's Carving Knives to easily slice and serve meats like chicken, ham, or turkey
- EASY CARE: To maximize the performance and longevity of your carving fork, carefully wash by hand with warm water and mild soap; rinse and dry completely with a soft towel. Do not place in dishwasher or submerge for long periods of time
- MERCER CULINARY GENESIS SERIES: Never stop experimenting in the kitchen; this Genesis fork is essential in every kitchen, perfect for professional use or the home cooking enthusiast
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|Color||Short Bolster Chef's Knife|
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|Size||8-Inch Short Bolster Chef's Knife|
18. Curious Chef Kids Cookware - 3-Piece Knife Set I Real Utensils, Dishwasher Safe, BPA-Free I Kid-Safe I Cuts Fruits & Vegetables I Small, Medium & Large, White/Green
- PLAYFUL DESIGNS, REAL TOOLS - This knife set features youthful and bright colors that children will find stimulating, while providing real-world tools to cook with; every piece was tested and approved by kids for ease of use
- KID-FRIENDLY DESIGN - Nylon serrated blade with blunt tip; cuts tough fruits and vegetables but is much safer on skin than metal blades; ergonomic handles with soft button grips provide your little chef a firm hold
- INCLUDES - This 3-Piece Kids Knife Set includes a large, medium, and small knife, all made in the smaller dimensions of a child; lets your excited little chef help with the cutting while keeping hands and fingers safe
- DIMENSIONS - Large knife: 10.8″ L x 2″ W x 0.5″ H; Medium knife: 9.8″ L x 1.8″ W x 0.5″ H; Small knife: 8.8″ L x 1.5″ W x 0.5″ H; Ages 4+
- THE CURIOUS CHEF DIFFERENCE - Our products are real utensils and cooking tools uniquely designed for kids to express their creativity in the kitchen; Each product is a result of years of testing and research to ensure functionality and safety
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|Color||White & Green|
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19. Zwilling J.A. Henckels ZWILLING Chef's Knife, 8 Inch, Black
- Manufactured in Germany
- Special formula high carbon NO STAIN steel
- SIGMAFORGE knife is forged from a Single piece of solid steel
- Ice hardened Friodur blade starts sharper, stays sharper longer, and has superior resilience
- Precision honed blade and laser Controlled edge ensures ideal cutting angle for sharpness and durability
- Ergonomic polypropylene handles permanently bonded for seamless accuracy and gaps
- 57 Rockwell Hardness = excellent edge retention
- Edge angle 15 degrees per side
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|Release date||August 2019|
20. ZWILLING Professional "S" Chef's Knife 8-Inch, Black
- QUALITY MANUFACTURING: Manufactured in Germany. Special formula high carbon no stain steel. Sigma forge knife is forged from a single piece of solid steel
- RESILIENT BLADE: Ice-hardened FRIODUR blade starts sharper stays sharper longer and has superior resilience
- PRECISE CUTTING: Precision honed blade and laser-controlled edge ensures ideal cutting angle for sharpness and durability
- BALANCED KNIFE: Ergonomic polymer three rivet handle is perfectly bonded to the full tang
- RETAINS SHARP EDGE: 57 Rockwell hardness is equal to excellent edge retention. Edge angle 15° per side
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🎓 Reddit experts on chefs knives
The comments and opinions expressed on this page are written exclusively by redditors. To provide you with the most relevant data, we sourced opinions from the most knowledgeable Reddit users based the total number of upvotes and downvotes received across comments on subreddits where chefs knives are discussed. For your reference and for the sake of transparency, here are the specialists whose opinions mattered the most in our ranking.
Total score: 196
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An Amazon registry (I would skip the Kohls cutlery offerings) will limit you somewhat, but there are certainly decent options available. I think your selection of two chef knives, a bread knife, and a paring knife is a good choice. For the most part I'm going to suggest fairly costly knives because, frankly, this isn't /r/culinary.
Chef knives first. Everything I have to say about 8"/210mm knives I would apply to 10"/240mm knives unless I make note.
If you want a hefty Western chef knife, I find Messermeister to be best in show. They take an edge better than other stainless German knives I've owned and they keep it longer. I find the grind and profile to be slightly more modern and workable in the Elite models opposed to the highly popular Wusthof Classic and sundry Henckels lines. The fit and finish on them is on par with Wusthof, which is to say impeccable. Messermeister makes three different handles for its Elite lines and offers the blades in a thinner Stealth version, which I like. Since Messermeister's Amazon offerings are a bit wonky I would highly suggest you look around the site for the style you like. You might even find some other kitchen gadgets you like. If you are interested in a French profile, look at K-Sabatier. A carbon K-Sab is a lot of fun. And though the stainless knives they produce aren't really as magical as their carbons, they're still fine knives.
There are many good Japanese companies and makers to consider. These knives will all be lighter and somewhat thinner than almost any Western knife. If you want something functional and somewhat reasonably priced, Suisin, Mac, and Tojiro have some good options. In the next price bracket up, a Kikuichi, a Yoshihiro, a Takayuki, or a Misono fits the bill, though Misono knives have become incredibly inflated in price. If you have a rich Uncle Ed, slip a Takeda into your list. I would definitely consider other knives at these general price ranges, but they're not available on Amazon.
A few budget suggestions:
To find out who really loves you:
Rich Uncle Ed special:
Unfortunately I didn't spot many knives on Amazon that I have confidence in and feature a Japanese handle. That's a shame because they're a treat.
Unlike my essay on chef knives, I have only one bread knife suggestion, the Mac Superior 270mm bread knife. It's the best Amazon has to offer and one of the best bread knives you can buy. Tojiro makes a clone that sells for less elsewhere if no one gives you one.
Paring knives are a little different. Edge retention and grind are much less important than geometry. I have this Henckels Pro 3" and I like it; the height of the blade is very comfortable. It has no flex, though, so don't expect to use it optimally for boning tasks. I am almost as happy with any Victorinox paring knife. I would suggest you try as many as possible in brick and mortar outlets to figure out what you like.
And finally, storage. A wall mounted magnetic strip is popular. Those made of wood have less chance of scratching or damaging a knife, so they're somewhat preferable, but as long as you pop the knife off tip first you won't damage it. I've used this strip from Winco for the past year at work with no ill effect. A knife block actually is a good storage option if you can find one to fit your collection. The biggest risk is catching the tip when the knife is inserted into the block, but that's not much of a concern if the user is careful. I use a Victorinox block that was a gift at home for most of my house knives. This block is great, I've been told. A drawer insert is another good low space option. I like my Knife Dock for the stuff I want to keep safe. It lets me slip in as many knives as I have space for the handles. This insert from Wusthof is also popular.
Poor ass college student's guide to cooking episode 2 (draft)
Shokugeki no Soma is one of my favorite anime of all time, if nothing else because it showcases the amazing world of cooking to weebs like us. However, it isn't a guide, and it seems that too many of you guys here need a good lesson on how to get stuff done. Trust me, it's worth it and you'll feel much better about yourself after each episode, and maybe even want to try some stuff in the show out!
Lesson 2: Food is good. If you understand good food, you'll be able to make good food. Go eat more good food
One of the most important points in cooking, after the skills and book knowledge I can type here, is to acquire a good taste. Without it you won't progress beyond recipe following level (which is stupid easy, as I'll cover in the future). This is the reason why Soma, Erina, and others in this episode seem to all come from cooking families. They've all been raised while tasting great food made by their parents.
Now, not all of us are this lucky. I personally was lucky enough to be raised with great food, but only in Japanese cuisine. So I acquired my taste for other styles of cooking in other ways. Specifically, I started to really improve on my cooking when I started enjoying great food made by other people. The show will cover this too as Soma encounters different students with unique specialties.
Next time you get the chance, go eat some great food. Don't waste your money on bad fast food. And when you do eat out, try to guess what makes your favorites taste as well as they do, and venture out to try new places with new dishes to offer. Especially those that offer the style of cooking you are trying to imitate.
Ingredients/Spices of the day (two ingredients, one condiment)
A god among proteins, it honestly deserves an entire post. They are quite possibly the cheapest, richest, most versatile ingredient in the world. They can be used as the main superstar, or as a supporting agent to enhance other dishes. They are very delicate when used as the main dish however, and are easily under or over cooked with a small region of perfection in between. Practicing cooking fried eggs or scrambled eggs for breakfast is a great way to hone your sense of over/under cooking that you'll make use of in any other dish in the future.
Fresh is better, but last for a good two weeks in the fridge.
Broth or Stock (dashi in Japanese)
An easy way to add the flavor of meat, fish, etc to a dish without actually using it. This is great when you don't want the texture or the bulk of the ingredient, and is often used in soups or sauces. Japanese sometimes like to use it like Soma did to add little bombs of flavor in a complex dish. Very cheap to make or buy since it often uses junk meat or bones.
ネギ negi, scallion?
A staple of Japanese cuisine, Soma uses it here to add a bit of oniony kick and a nice crunchy texture to a predominantly mushy dish. I think chives are used in Western cuisine to similar effect, like that British dude did in the scrambled eggs video above.
Freshness is paramount. Lasts for maybe a week or two, but every day lost beyond 3/4 is that bit of flavour lost.
Skill/Gear of the day: Knife and Cutting Board
The two mainstays of any kitchen. Having good ones are important with quality >>>>> quantity. You honestly don't need more than one each. Maintenance is a very important and different topic.
Learning how to quickly chop veggies will speed up your cooking immensely, and is like the coolest part (It's basically all Soma does to show off). You will impress a lot of your friends and maybe a girl or two if you are lucky.
If you own a knife and cutting board. That's great, you're ready. If not, just buy a chef's knife and as big and heavy wooden board you are willing to buy. And if you are fancy, A steel
Presentation of the day
Pls use proper china and metal silverware. It makes McDonalds look good, not to mention just feel that much better.
Tell me what improvements I can make to this guide! I hope that by episode 10 I won't be seeing any more cereal comments in these rewatches!
You and I are probably similar. I had never cooked before spontaneously deciding I was going to cook all of my own food from scratch on my 37th birthday. I also spent HOURS slaving away on often so-so dishes and felt discouraged. I pushed through that initial 2-3 month window of crappiness and now I'm 2.5 years into cooking 6 days a week and it's been life changing. That said, I still don't LIKE cooking, but I don't mind it, and I love the feeling that I finally know what I should be eating.
I think it was J. Kenzi Lopez Alt who said that good food is the result of:
Good recipes: I can't believe there's 41 comments and no one's mentioned Budget Bytes. She is the queen of pragmatic, low cost, fast-enough, from-scratch, healthy weeknight dinners. For your first couple of months of cooking try focusing on just her recipes. They're beginner friendly and very well written.
At least until you develop the sense of what makes recipes good, avoid YouTube, gif recipes, Pintrest, and the obnoxious blogs full of too-well-staged-photos. They're interested in views and shares, not cooking.
Here's some other sites that produce consistently good food:
Here's some confidence building fantastic recipes:
Good Ingredients: In the beginning I found that cooking was often way more expensive than I'd ever imagined. That was in part because I hadn't built up much of a pantry (oils, vinegars, spices, other condiments), but the main reason was because I was shopping a supermarket. For both cost and quality reasons, each week try finding a new market in your area. In particular, look for ethnic markets frequented by people of the biggest ethnic culture in your area. The asian, mexican, and middle eastern markets in my area have better quality food for quite seriously 50-75% less than a supermarket. The closest supermarket charged $7/lb for prepackaged ground beef. The mexican place nearby charges $3/lb for ground beef they grind themselves.
Speaking of ethnic markets, try to find an ethnic market with a dry goods section where you can scoop out as much of an ingredient as you want into bags for cheap.
If you live in a metropolitan area find a Penzeys. They sell spices that are much higher quality than a supermarket for about 25-50% less than supermarket prices.
You're going to need tons of chicken broth. Until you inevitably start making your own large batches in a pressure cooker a year from now, stick with Better Than Bouillon(https://www.betterthanbouillon.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/BTB_Package_8oz_Roasted_Chicken_Base-2017.png). It's cheaper and better than the crap you get from a can or carton.
Good Equipment: The most important thing is a sharp knife. Here's the $27 knife everyone usually recommends. Even if you already have a knife, it's probably dull if it's not new and you haven't sharpened it; get it sharpened or buy a new one for now. Learn to hone it before or after each use.
Go to a kitchen supply store, Smart & Final, or Amazon and get a couple of 1/4 sheet trays ($4?), ten or so bar towels ($1 each), and a prep bin ($4) so that your prep area looks like this. Also get a bench scraper ($5). The 1/4 sheet trays keep your ingredients organized and ready to go. The prep bin saves you from having to keep a trash can nearby and keeps things tidy. The bench scraper is a time-saving godsend for moving stuff around. A proper prep station alone will probably cut your cooking times by 10-20%.
Good Technique: Once you have an organized prep station and you get your workflow down, the biggest time saver is going to be knife skills. Onions & garlic will be your most commonly chopped items, so watch several videos and make sure that each time you chop one of those it's meaningful practice. To avoid cutting yourself: get a sharp knife, while cutting always consider what would happen if your knife slips, and every time something awkward/unusual happens, take a small pause before you continue cutting.
The art of home cooking by recipe really comes down to heat management. Get an infrared thermometer for $20, they're incredibly valuable when starting out. For the vast majority of sauteing, turn your pan to medium high (just guess) and measure your pan with that thermometer until it's around 300 then pour in whatever oil you're using. Keep checking them temp with the thermometer until that oil is around 330-360 then toss in your meat or vegetables. If you wait a few seconds, slide the food out of the middle of the pan, and check the temp again you'll see it's in low 200's because the food saps the heat out of the pan. Your goal is to keep that heat in the 300's. Note that as the food heats up the pan will get hotter quicker, so as you're learning keep monitoring that pan and get used to the sounds it's making so eventually you'll manage heat through sound & instinct.
The last thing is: use more salt. If you're cooking a recipe that looked great, and got great reviews, and it doesn't seem like you made any big mistakes yet it's still bland, it's because you didn't add enough salt 100% of the time. It took me a while to realize that when I add salt to a dish someone else has made, they had already put a good amount of salt in it. So when salting a dish that makes four portions, you're not going to just shake in some salt from a shaker, you're going to pour in a teaspoon or more.
I was actually starting to draft a little cooking ideas post like this. This is just what I found value in and will ramble because I haven't really edited it down at all. So if anyone reads it and has notes please let me know, it's fairly directionless at the moment. It is also from the perspective of and aimed towards young single people but not exclusive to. I am also well aware a lot of you folks are good cooks or at least have a functional kitchen and I in no way want it to sound like I'm more knowledgeable than anyone with an hour to watch youtube videos.
TL:DR Make sure your skills are on point before getting convenience tools as you might not need them, a cast iron or good stainless steel skillet and a good couple of knives can do most things in a kitchen, plan meals before you shop to avoid wastefulness.
This post is big, flawed, and broken into two main sections. One is purely skills based, stuff you can totally do for free and can start doing right this moment. That's a big part of minimalism for me, gaining skills and getting good at some things rather than owning and being okay at a ton of things. The second section is more of a buy guide, again all from my experience.
First off is to focus less on the equipment and more on the technique. Fundamentally, knife skills, understanding of cook times, heat, and technique, creativity and planning are some terms I like. In addition I have thoughts on tools and ingredients
First, learn your knife, do drills, practice good form constantly. When I started in a fast-food-y sandwich shop when I was 16, the manager (who was a line cook for years) suggested I practice things like chopping a carrot as thinly as possible, or celery, or breaking down onion and garlic. Then I got to work with the prep team (which was cool because they taught me Spanish) to learn basic stuff like sauces and cooking meats. The result is a few years later, I have a decent knife. Not as good as a legit cook or anything but enough that I can confidently use a sharp knife to do anything a home cook would ever need to.
Cook times. It's way less intimidating to work on food when you know "okay my chicken will take this long, oven takes this long, rice needs this much time", and so on. From a minimalist perspective, this will help you cut down on some tools such as a plug-in type grill, rice cookers, stuff that times or cooks food for you. Learning how to use heat also really improves the versatility of something as simple as a cast iron pan. Technique will allow you to make staple dishes or at least be able to take a guess at how to prepare just about anything, and the most valuable tip for that is look up how to make individual components of dishes rather than just recipes over and over. This becomes relevant in the next portion as well.
Creativity. As some people are mentioning, "aspirational groceries" cause clutter and waste in the form of garbage and money. Creativity helps solve this when paired with planning. When shopping, I found it valuable to plan out meals for the week. Buy what you need, make a note of what isn't used, and refine. That's planning. Creativity is ending up with some random ingredients and Macgyvering it together so you don't waste or overspend. That is made much easier by having solid cooking techniques so you have a bit of a starting off point for creativity.
Now into the stuff. I personally think a couple things are fundamental. Babish from YouTube has a great List . First off, get a good 7" to 8" Chef knife. I use a Gyuto but that's more because I impulse bought one when I first moved out and had all the money in the world from not having any expenses and was talked into it by a very nice saleswoman at the knife shop in town. Wusthof is a great name in knives and if you can get a hold of an 8" one of those, a bread knife, and maybe a pairing knife (I don't really use mine much but some people do) you will be able to do most things. I'd avoid buying a knife set just because you're more than likely paying for an extra 3 or so knives you won't use, and they're cheap for a reason. But to each their own, it is very convenient to have the steak knives, honing rod, and scissors that most of them include. No judgement here. Plus they're really really affordable.
Now as to everything else, I'm not as researched. I think a good cast iron skillet is fantastic from a minimalist perspective as you can do most things that you'd really ever need to do on it, from frying to saute to some baking. Kent Rollins is first off a joy to watch but more importantly uses very limited tools. He does have his specialized "bertha" stove but for the most part it's just him with either open fires or a hot stove cooking in cast iron pans and dutch ovens. If you want to know more, I'd just watch the babish video above, he talks more about why he has what he has, such as this expensive but amazing set of pots and pans. Off the top of my head: baking sheets, a large cutting board, a meat thermometer (safety), measuring cups and spoons, box grater (or one coarse grater and one microplane grater), spatulas, tongs, etc.
Like I said this is mostly ranting, and I'm going to research and trim it down for the future, but these are my thoughts at the moment.
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The best chef’s knife for most people
>With its super-sharp edge, its sleek, tapered shape, and its comfortable handle, this knife will make your everyday dicing and slicing tasks smoother and quicker.
>Every kitchen should have a chef’s knife — it’s the most versatile piece in any cutlery set, and it will make food prep on Thanksgiving and every other day faster and easier. The Mac MTH-80 has been the top pick in our guide to chef’s knives since 2013, a choice backed by 120 hours of research, interviews with experts and chefs, and tests that involved chopping more than 70 pounds of produce. The Mac is universally comfortable, and it has proven that it can stay sharp through regular use, even in our busy test kitchen. Other knives to consider for preparing a Thanksgiving meal: a paring knife for delicate tasks, and a serrated knife for slicing bread, root vegetables, and even meat.
Price: $145 (17% OFF)
Proteak TeakHaus Rectangle Edge Grain Cutting Board with Hand Grip
The best wood cutting board
>This beautiful, eco-conscious teak board requires more careful cleaning than a plastic board, but it felt better under a knife and was easier to maintain than the other wood boards we tested.
>If you want a hefty wood cutting board (which looks better and is easier on your knives), we recommend the Proteak TeakHaus Rectangle Edge Grain Cutting Board with Hand Grip. It’s thick enough to stay in place and resist warping, but it isn’t so heavy that you can’t easily move it around. It can also double as a serving board for a cheese spread before dinner. For carving the Thanksgiving turkey, check out the Proteak Teakhaus 24-by-18-inch board, a larger version of our pick that has a juice groove.
Price: $85 (12% OFF)
Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor
The best food processor
>With just pulse and on buttons plus a single bowl, this is one of Cuisinart’s most basic models, but it consistently chops, slices, and kneads better than any other food processor we’ve found for under $250.
>A food processor is the best tool for quickly performing a variety of chopping, slicing, and shredding tasks, something you’ll be doing a lot of when prepping for Thanksgiving.
Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Dutch Oven
Best Dutch oven
>With big handles and durable design, this Dutch oven aced every test, rivaling models four times the price. A nice Dutch oven is indispensable for preparing all kinds of hearty Thanksgiving sides, and it looks nice enough to double as a serving dish.
All-Clad Stainless 12″ Covered Fry Pan
The best skillet
>With its superior heat conduction, durable construction, and comfortable handle, the All-Clad 12-inch skillet is a workhorse that will last beyond a lifetime.
>A 12-inch skillet is an essential kitchen tool: It’s perfect for stir-frying, pan-frying, making one-pan meals, and searing steaks and other hunks of meat. At Thanksgiving, you can use it for everything from toasting nuts to creaming spinach.
Price: $99 (50% OFF)
Bayou Classic Aluminum Turkey Fryer Stockpot
The best turkey fryer pot
>Part one of our suggested turkey-frying kit is a 30-quart aluminum stockpot that heated up quickly and stayed warm in our tests.
>Our pick for the best turkey fryer is the 30-quart Bayou Classic Aluminum Turkey Fryer Stockpot along with the Bayou Classic Single Burner Patio Stove. The affordable, quick-heating stockpot kit has everything you need to get the job done except the oil, the turkey, and a heat source. The separate stove is solidly built, powerful (enough), and designed with the four-legged stability you want when you’re handling 4 gallons of bubbling oil.
Congrats! It's the tool that'll make the single-biggest difference in your cooking: a good knife can be used for many more tasks than a bad one, you'll be more accurate with your prep, and you'll just be more effective in the kitchen because you get more enjoyment from using it!
Re: your other post about the chef's knife, there are obviously a billion options at every price point, but there are also some sure-fire safe places to start. German knives like your Wusthof that use Solingen metal are deservedly popular. Solingen is a city in Germany that's famous for making knives, swords, scissors, razors, everything. Seki City is the Japanese equivalent. You can nerd out about this stuff all day long, but the only important bit is that Seki steel holds a sharp edge just a little longer than Solingen. Anthony Bourdain recommended Japanese knives for home chefs for this reason; not because they're better, they aren't, but because casual cooks are less likely to take frequent care of their equipment than cooks who use it every day for their job. You take care of your German knives? They're wonderful.
Wushtof and Henckels are the most visible German brands; Global is probably the Japanese brand most US shoppers are used to seeing. Moving up a bit in price, but without getting unreasonable, are Shun and Mac, two very good Japanese brands. I have knives by both—an 8" santoku-style Shun and a 10" French-style Mac. You'll almost certainly be able to find both on deep sale for Black Friday, if you need to give your parents a hint ;). At the other end of the price spectrum, possibly the single-most popular chef's knife in the US that didn't come in a set as part of a wedding present is the Victorinox Fibrox 8" or 10". Professional cooks who don't bring their personal knife collections to work use these. They cost about forty bucks and they're awesome. They don't look awesome. The handles are molded plastic, the blade tangs don't have a sexy reveal all the way down like any of the other knives we're talking about here, and if you let yourself get bothered by this sort of thing—which is OK, people do—they can feel like something you'd use if you were working back of house at The Golden Corral. But. Like most staples in any industry, there is a reason that everyone, everyone uses them. They're sharp, reliable, inexpensive and easy to replace if needed. I honestly recommend that every home cook have at least one, even if you also have a fetish-level artisan kitchen knife collection, because you never know when you're going to need to break down a raw chicken and finely slice a head of fennel at the same time. In fact I tend to compulsively order their 3.25" paring knives anytime I need to bump a purchase over the free-shipping threshold on Amazon, because I know you can never have enough of the damn things. They're like flashlights or AA batteries.
That's a lot of text in defense of a cheap knife, but those other knives sell themselves, and TBH a lot of it's overkill. Between my Shun santoku and my Mac, I recommend the Mac for two reasons. One, the Shun is just way thicker than the Mac, and regardless of which knife you go with that's something to consider. If the top of the knife is more than a couple of millimeters thick, then it doesn't matter how sharp it is; it's going to give you a headache when you try to slice something that's taller than it—like a large squash or a really big sweet potato, for instance. The Mac is a much slimmer knife, which makes it more useful. Two, the santoku thing is kind of a fad. Blame the Food Network, I guess. Santoku knives attempt to sit the fence between French-style knives and Chinese chef's knives. Chinese chef's knives are cleavers and are, to be fair, the Swiss Army Knife of knives. They do everything. They are badass. But unless you're going to go full-tilt with a proper Chinese knife (just about anything that Dexter-Russell makes, by the way, is legit) then just get a French chef's knife. It's worked the way it works for as long as it works for a reason. The santoku's height is meant to simulate a cleaver, meaning in practice that you can safely turn it on its side and bang it with your fist to smash something like garlic. French chefs have been doing that just fine for centuries.
Depending on the size of your hands (you said you're a teenager, so you're probably still growing) I think an 8" knife is probably great for you. 10" is more the norm in a professional kitchen, but even 7" is usually more than enough for anything you're going to come across at home. If you don't feel like waving around a sword, go with one of these.
Welcome to your new addiction!
TLDR: I made a shopping list at the end.
I think most people who are serious about having a good set of knives would advise you to not actually buy knives in a set. It is useful to keep in mind that most knife sets, especially at your budget range or lower priced, are sets for marketing reasons and not a value buy. Certain traits like the number of items included in the set make them seem like you are getting a lot of items for your money, and then shortcuts are taken to increase the number of items versus the quality items. This is a marketing trick. It sounds like you are getting more value the higher the number of stated pieces there are.
For example of typical cost saving shortcuts used in sets: you typically want a bread knife to be 9 or 10 inches, or a 8 inch chef's knife, but shorter lengths will be typical when in a set. You probably don't need to be concerned about having the 6 or 8 steak knives of low quality (again, to increase the number of pieces in the set to make it seem like a good value). In fact, just 3 or 4 high quality knives will perform everything you need of them. For the most part, you can get by on 90% or 95% of what you might do with just a workhorse chef's knife if you need to.
My recommended path therefore is to build your own set. This also has the benefit of letting you pick and choose for each specific piece rather than being locked into one brand or one style, and can allow you to budget things out to pick up a quality piece when you can afford it rather than thinking you should have everything all at once.
In order of how you should acquire your pieces:
First, knives are tools that are subject to degradation in performance as they are used. It is important that you mitigate this by investing in protecting the edge of the knife when not in use and that you are able to regularly maintain the edge. You will want either a good wood block or knife edge guards or a good drawer holder to keep your knives safe from non-use related damage. I would lean towards definitely having a wood block or wood drawer holder. It is probably worth planning for the future here, so get what you need. This item should last for a long time so the money will not be wasted.
Look for something that will hold everything you eventually need. Make sure there is a slot that will hold a honing rod. You might want a kitchen shears in the future, so a slot for that is good, too. Ideally, there will be more than one slot that will handle a larger knife (2 inch wide or larger, for more than one chef's knife, santoku, etc.) and if it is an angle block the high positions will be long enough for 10 inch or longer knives. I really like the 17 slot options from cutlery and more. These are normally $50 or so, but can go on sale multiple times per year. Again - this will last you for your lifetime so find what you want for your ultimate plan and go for it.
Again, since it is not worth having a knife that doesn't work, you will need to maintain the edge. You do not need to be an expert sharpener, as you can find this as a service, but regular honing is a good way to only need this service maybe once or twice per year. Keep in mind that a sharp knife is safer than a dull knife, because you can stay in control and not need to use excess force with a sharp knife. An ER visit because of a dull knife will cost a lot more than what you spend on a good knife that can be kept sharp. You can shop around for this, but I would still look for something of quality. The Shun honing steel has a nice feature where it has a built in angle guide (this is at 16 degrees, but that is very close to common for a lot of knives).
So now that you are finally ready to look at knives, you want to start out worried only about 3 good knives: A chef's knife, a bread knife, and a paring knife. You do not need to spend a lot on the bread or paring knives to get you going, in fact some of the options at low price ranges for these are really good performers.
For a bread knife, the Mercer Millennia 10 inch wavy can be found for about $15. (as mentioned before, you'd likely get a shorter length in a normal set in a big box store). For a paring knife, a Victorinox 3.25 inch will be just a few dollars. It's nothing fancy and perhaps the handle seems small and thin, but for getting going this works great.
The chef's knife will be your main workhorse, easily taking care of 90% or more of what you are doing in the kitchen. It is very worthwhile to invest in this piece.
It is also worthwhile, in my opinion, to have more than one chef's knife (or mix with other workhorse knives, i.e. a nakiri or santoku, etc.). I would recommend making a long term plan to save for a quality piece in this category eventually (and with my approach of your knife block being able to handle more than one of a main type of knife you will not need to worry about storing it safely). Eventually you might want to look at the $130+ options in this category, but that is for the future.
In the meantime, with the budget range, I would go for the Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8 inch chef's knife. Usually around $35-$45. I have knives 3 times as expensive but still grab this if I need to swap to a clean knife or think I will need to be a bit more rough with the chopping.
Current Shopping List (prices subject to change with sales/economics):
This would fit in on the low range of your current stated budget and set you on a good path towards adding pieces (because of the knife block choice) once you can determine what you want and save towards them.
Keep in mind that if you can set yourself up to cook at home more and enjoy cooking and all of that, you will automatically shift your budget towards being able to keep improving your home cooking experience as you save from not eating out and wasteful food practices, etc.
You're new to the industry, and new to cooking. Quite frankly, your skills are at the point where you won't really have a huge preference one way or the other, and you won't perform any differently with a 50 dollars knife versus a 5000 dollar knife. Similarly, fancy whetstones, glass stones, sharpening systems, etc won't make a difference either.
Right now, get the basics. Good solid stuff that's relatively cheap so that you can figure out what you like, and don't like. You have 1300-1500 to spend-- Good. Save it for now. Industry doesn't pay much. Here's the basics to start you out that has the best bang for buck, and gives you some different styles and feels to try out, so that you can figure out what you'll eventually enjoy the most. If you want more information on any of the knives, let me know.
This is a knife that's full tang, VG-10 steel(same as Shun), and has decent heat treat. Western style handle, with a westernized santoku Japanese style blade. At 60 bucks, it's a steal.
Ubiquitous western style knife. Steel is the same as the more expensive Wustofs, Mercers, and anything that claims to use "German Stainless Steel". It's all x50crmov15, with slightly different heat treats. Victorinox does it right.
HAP40 high speed tool steel. This is the high tech stuff used in blade competitions. Japanese style handle, maintains a really sharp edge for a really long time. A little more expensive, but that kind of steel for that price is really, really worth it.
Look, a cleaver's a cleaver. You don't need fancy steels or anything-- You just need a whole lotta force behind a whole lotta steel. Hone and sharpen often, and this'll do great for you.
Speaking of cleavers, though...
Chinese cleavers are awesome. They're not actually cleavers though, don't use them on bones and the like-- They're the Chinese version of the all purpose chef knife or gyuto knife. Chinese chefs are expected to be able to do everything with this knife, from fileting to tourne to peeling to chopping to brunoise, so they're actually quite versatile. Speaking of which-- This also fills in for the Japanese Nakiri role. Tons of fun to use.
This is a fantastic stone, one that Master Bladesmith Murray Carter uses. I ran a knife sharpening service, and this is the one I used for most knives as well. Since you won't have to deal with weird recurves and tantos and nightmare grinds and the like that can show up on folding knives, this will serve you very well.
This is in case you get some gnarly chips on any knives. This'll get it out quick and easy. Bonus-- Use it to flatten and maintain your King stone. This and the King stone is all you really need for sharpening. You can easily get a shaving edge with it.
Besides those, stick with what you got in the Mercer kit for the specialty knives. You really don't need fancy versions of those. You also really don't need a serrated utility knife at all. In the professional kitchen, the three knives that saw the most work were the overall chef knife(even for fileting and some light butchering), the 4 dollar Victorinox paring knife(quick and easy to sharpen), and the Mercer tourne knife.
Buying all this will amount to 431.31, giving you a combination sharpening stone, a flattening/reprofiling stone, and 5 fun knives of all different kinds to play with, at a fraction of the cost. You'll notice I didn't put any Super Blue or White #1 steels in there-- That's because A) They're more difficult to take care of, and B) They're really overpriced for what they are, simply because their "japanese" moniker makes people think they're super laser swords from a land of secret steels(they're not). The HAP40 steel beats these steels in pretty much every category.
Hope you found it helpful! Have fun with whatever you decide to choose.
Epicurious is a good source for recipes online. You'll want to stick with recipes that have a lot of reviews and have 4 to 5 stars, so you know that the recipe is a good one. One common frustration for new cooks is that they fail to make good tasting dishes, but don't realize that the main problem is that they're working from bad recipes. Keep in mind that you'll want to stick to dishes with 4 to 8 ingredients and not too much prep work when you're first starting out.
Make recipes from Mark Bittman's minimalist column on the New York Times web site. There's a printed recipe and an instructional video for each one. He's entertaining and most of the recipes only have a few ingredients, they're also delicious. His cookbook, "How to Cook Everything" is a great all-purpose cookbook to have around.
You need to get past the pay wall to print the recipes from the New York Times, but that involves hitting the "X" or "Stop Loading" button in your browser window a second or so after the page loads.
Learn the basics of using a chef's knife, to make your slicing go more quickly and safely. When cutting with a chef's knife, use a pinch grip and protect the fingers of your "guiding hand" by curling the tips of your fingers inward, as shown here:
One of the most frequent things you're going to do, if you don't hate onions, is to chop or mince onions as prep work for your recipes. This is the best way to do it:
Good tools are important because they won't get in your way and they'll help you cook efficiently, I'll go ahead and mention some of the things I use in my kitchen that I'd have a very hard time doing without.
As for knives, I'd recommend a Forschner Victorinox Chef's knife with a Fibrox handle in the 8-inch or 10-inch size, they're under $30 and very good. You can do just about everything with a Chef's knife, you do not need expensive knives, please trust me on this one. You'll want to have it sharpened every 4 to 8 months or so if you're cooking about three or four times a week. Once you can no longer slice into the skin of a tomato easily, it's probably a good time to get it sharpened.
These spatulas are great, they're made of very thin, very flexible heat resistant nylon:
These are perfect for moving things around in the pan when you're sauteing or stir-frying, also great for scraping stuff away from the bottom of a nonstick pan so it doesn't burn, for instance risotto, polenta, a cornstarch-based pudding or scrambled eggs:
I prefer to use teflon-coated thick aluminum pans like this one (they often come with a blue heat-resistant removable handle, and can be found at restaurant supply stores and some discount stores, like Job Lot in the Northeast), never (never ever) touch them with metal utensils and they will last for a long time, I have a 12", two 10", and one 8":
Okay. Welcome to the wonderful world of chemistry and fire that results in yummy! Hopefully this is going to be a nice, little primer for the absolute essentials for a working kitchen.
The equipment you absolutely must have:
A 10" skillet. Thick-bottomed (the thin ones just warp and get unusable)
An 8" skillet. Sometimes you've gotta cook two things at once.
A quart pot, with lid. A second one is a smart idea, but it can wait.
A wooden spoon.
A liquid measuring cup. I'd get a 2-cup one first, and a 4-cup one later.
Measuring cups. Don't try to get away with measuring liquids with your dry cups. It always ends in tears.
The New Best Recipe. It's like The Joy of Cooking, except more comprehensive, based on the chemical science of food, and half the price. Also, the recipes are frickin' DYNAMITE.
A quality 8" chef's knife. This is a great first knife, and will last you many happy years. I know the 6" one is cheaper. Trust me--you'll be glad for the bigger knife in the long run.
TWO cutting boards of a reasonable size. Mark one as being for raw meat only.
A pair of tongs.
A vegetable peeler
Your basic cooking staples that go into making more or less everything:
Garlic powder. NOT Garlic salt.
Oil. Olive Oil tastes better, but Canola is more forgiving to learn on.
A cheap-ass bottle of Cabernet. Some of your food's chemical compounds are alcohol-soluble, but not water-soluble. A little cheap booze will liberate them.
Canned tomatoes. I go with diced. No salt added is a plus.
Flour. All purpose is good.
Boneless/Skinless chicken. Breasts or thighs, your choice.
Chicken stock. The granulated or powdered stuff keeps well and is easier to work with than the cubes.
So, I'll get to a starter recipe in a minute, but before I do, I want to talk about a couple of kitchen axioms before we get there. Follow these guidelines across the board and you'll have an easy time of things.
Read the whole recipe before you start cooking. Always! Every time! Seriously! You'll fuck it up otherwise!
When you're cooking on the stove, if you think you're at the right temperature, decrease the heat. The most basic screw-up is cooking your food at too high a heat.
Never, ever, ever cut raw meat on the same cutting board as anything else. You'll make yourself and others sick.
Do your prep work before you start to actually cook. That means cut your veggies, measure your spices and liquids, and so forth.
Keep your knife razor-sharp. Most kitchen injuries come as a result of dull knives. If it feels like you have to work to cut something, your knife needs to be steeled (don't worry about it for now) or sharpened.
Clean your gear as soon as you're done eating.
The chef's knife NEVER goes in the dishwasher. Dish detergent will screw up your blade.
And now, a recipe to get you started: Parmesan Chicken Risotto.
1 chicken breast, thawed and patted dry with paper towels.
2 Tablespoons of oil
3/4 Cup of rice
1 cup of chicken broth
1/4 cup of cooking wine
1/2 cup of SHREDDED Parmesan. The grated stuff doesn't work quite right.
1 onion, diced fine.
2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
A carrot, peeled and chopped fine.
1 teaspoon of dried thyme. You can skip this if you really have to, but it's better with.
Salt & pepper, to taste.
Step 1: Put a tablespoon of oil in a quart pot and turn your stovetop to medium-high (a 7, at most). When the oil looks kind of shimmery, but isn't smoking, put the chicken breast in. Let it sit and cook for about 6 minutes. Flip it over with a pair of tongs, and give it another 6 minutes. Take it out and set it aside for now.
Step 2: Turn the heat down to medium-low (like, 3 or 4) and take the pot off of the heat. Let the pot cool down some, then add the other tablespoon of rice. Once it's warmed up, add in your onions and garlic powder, and stir to combine well. Once the sizzling sound has died down, put the pot back on your burner and cook for 8 minutes. If the onion starts to brown at all, take it off the heat and let it cool down. You're looking for translucent white onions with no browning at all. (BTW: This is called sweating, and it's a fundamental cooking technique. Learn it and practice it, because it's the key to almost any dish you cook with onions, celery, peppers, garlic, and a wide variety of other vegetables.)
Step 3: Add in the thyme, carrot, and the rice, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Scrape up the brown stuff on the bottom of the pan that's leftover from the chicken. It's tasty. Cook the rice for about 3 minutes, stirring very frequently, but not all the time.
Step 4: Add the brother and wine, and stir to make sure that no rice is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Lid the pot, bring to a slow boil over slightly higher heat (4, or 5 at the most), and set a timer for 10 minutes. Stir it three times during the 10 minutes.
Step 5: Put the chicken breast on top of the cooking rice, put the lid back on, and set the timer for 15 minutes. Stir it four times during this period. Move the chicken around as needed.
Step 6: Take the pot off the heat, remove the chicken, and stir the Parmesan into the rice. Take two forks and shred the chicken, then put that into the rice. Let it sit for a couple of minutes for the cheese to melt and everything to come down from scaldingly-hot to pleasantly warm.
Step 7: Eat.
Chef's knife, paring Knife, bread Knife, and a honing rod. A utility knife is a nice bonus. If you do a lot of heavy veggie prep you may want to look into a vegetable cleaver which are awesome for cutting large veggies quickly, though not essential. It's sometimes called a Nakiri in Japanese.
- Note that with Chef's knives there are sometimes what's called the French or Western style, which is curved and kind of the most common one you're used to, and then Japanese style, which is also often called Santoku, which tend to be a little shorter (7"ish) and much less curved, sometimes flat, and with these little divots designed to prevent food sticking to it. Some manufacturers nowadays are creating a hybrid best of both worlds, so you can get the longer curve of a Western style with some of the features of a Santoku.
- I never recommend getting a set, always buy them individually because sets tend to be bundled with inferior quality knives.
- You're going to want to look for stainless steel and avoid carbon steel for what you're doing (carbon is actually amazingly sharp but very fussy to maintain for a home cook and rusts easily).
- You want a knife that is "forged" and not "stamped". This, among other things, has to do with build quality, and a forged knife goes all the way through the bolster (handle of the knife). You can almost always tell the difference when you pick one up, stamped feels lightweight and cheap, a forged knife feels heavy and balanced in your hand. I won't say this is the only barometer of quality (there are shitty forged knives out there and decent stamped ones), but starting with a forged knife for an investment purchase is the way to go.
- As for brands, Wusthoff is a classic that makes quality knives you can't go wrong with. Lately, though, I'm a huge fan of MAC Knives, especially the professional series. Incredibly well made, amazing feel, and razor sharp. They are a little pricier but not terrible - the chef's knife runs for around $140ish on Amazon (and it's got about 5 stars from 300 reviews!) ... it's also kind of a hybrid style as I mentioned earlier. Their paring/utility/bread knives should be cheaper at around $50-100. But as others suggested, it's also very important to get a knife that feels right in your hand as you'll be the one using it. If you have a cooking or knife store in your town I recommend going to try out different ones to see what fits you best– and many stores will carry both MAC and Wusthoff.
- With the honing rod, learn how to use it properly and understand it's not a sharpener as it's often confused to be. Ideally I recommend you simply get your knives sharpened professionally about every 6 months (usually about $5-10 per knife) and then use the honing rod quickly before you cook or at least once a week to maintain a nice, sharp edge and upkeep your knives. There's lots of videos on youtube explaining how to hone your knives correctly.
- And when you get your knives, also be sure to dry and store them correctly. I'd avoid putting them in a dishwasher and NEVER toss them into drawers— unless you have sheaths for them to protect the blade edges. I have a knife block on my wall and I love it, my knives are safe, easy to reach, and plus it looks pretty cool!
Good luck, hope this helps.
I have several knives.
My most used knife, and the one I like the most is a 8 inch Wüsthof classic. I really like the balance and the grip of this one.
I also have a Mac Chef's Knife, 7-1/4-Inch. This is stamped, not forged, but for just a few dollars more than the Victorinox you get a knife that actually sits and balances well in your hand and it's made of much better steel. I actually bought it in a brick and mortar store for about $20.
It's not as well balanced as the Wüsthof, but I like the fact that it doesn't have a full bolster. It's much easier to sharpen. If I would start anew I would get half-bolster designs for my expensive knives, but it's really no big deal at all.
I also have Tojiro DP Gyutou. The price varies, now it's a few dollars more expensive than the Victorinox, but I bought it cheaper. This is an excellent knife with better steel than the above knives. The grip is fantastic. The balance is good, but not quite as good as the Wüsthof, nothing really gets there for me, but it's good. Again the lack of a full bolster is a great feature of this knife.
Personally now I think that the Wüsthof Ikon lines are better than the classic series, because of the half-bolster design, but I didn't know this years back when I bought my classic.
Also, I keep saying that these knives feel so good in the hand compared to the Victorinox but this is a very subjective thing and people should try for themselves. I know some people love the Victorinox, if that's the case, go for it; personally, I can't stand it. PinchGrip4Lyfe.
I also have a J.A. HENCKELS INTERNATIONAL Forged Synergy 8-inch Chef's Knife. This is cheaper than the Victorinox. The balance is pretty good, but the grip is not as good as the knives posted above. It's still light-years better than the Victorinox grip though.
If I had to buy a cheap knife I would get Kai 6720C Wasabi Black Chef's Knife, 8-Inch. This is way cheaper than the Victorinox. That being said, I haven't tested it.
My goal here is not to convince anyone that the Victorinox is awful. I know some people really like the grip, but to make clear that at around the same price point there are many knives, and you should get which one feels best in your hand. Victorinox is not the only option for cheap knives, unlike what the reddit gospel says!
Which is better really comes down to what you prefer and what you will be using a knife for. Classic European cooking, for example, really benefits from being able to rock chop as Jacques Pépin does in this video. Of course you don't have to do any of that to process garlic but rather its just one set of techniques and styles. In this realm, Wusthof and knives like it do very well. There's also Messermeister, Zwilling, and more. The caveat is while they all offer good quality knives, they also offer some very poor quality ones. Make sure you do the research and go for top tier products if you're going to get one.
On the other end of the spectrum we have French and Japanese style knives like a Sabatier and a gyuto which can rock chop but you're not going to be able to come close to what Jacques did to that garlic. Of course there are santokus which you mention. These don't rock chop at all but are great for slicing, dicing, and mincing. I find a classic Wusthof nothing but a pain to mince with. Even santokus come in different styles. On one hand you have this Tojiro DP santoku with a big of a curve compared to this Kohetsu which has very little.
Somewhere in the middle we get things like this Victoronix 8" which is one the best values available. The profile is not quite European and not quite Japanese.
So, back to your original question: which is better, the Shun or Wusthof santoku? If I had to choose one I would go with the Shun simply because it is a Japanese manufacturer making a Japanese knife with Japanese steel. The steel used its harder than the Wusthof which pairs very well with how a santoku is meant to be used. You get all the benefits of a harder steel (ie. edge retention) while not having to worry about its toughness which can be an issue while rock chopping since it can cause twisting. However, I would also recommend you look beyond the Shun if you have other options available to you. Not including any import tax, the Fujiwara Santoku on japanesechefsknife costs about the same and has a much better steel (though it is reactive). Its fit an finish might not be as good as the name brand's but other than that I personally think is a better knife in every way.
I don't have time to make sure it's comprehensive and everything but I can throw some stuff together real quick:
You really only need 2, a chef's knife and serrated knife. A pairing knife is occasionally useful but rarely necessary. If you really like sharp knives, buy a whetstone and learn to sharpen, cheap knives can get just as sharp as expensive ones.
Pots and Pans
You need four or five things here. I'd say your mainly looking for a large saute pan, a stock pot, and a sauce pan. If you cook eggs you can grab a non-stick saute pan too. Don't use non stick pans for things that don't stick to pans. They wear out fast and they're garbage when they lose their coating. Oh and a sheet pan.
This is just suggestions if you don't have the stuff already, I think the real bottom line is that the stuff you already have is likely fine, and being a good cook is about knowledge and technique and putting effort into tasty food for people you care about, not gear.
Yeah, cooking seems scary, but I swear it's not. I went from "I don't know how to do this and I don't want to and this is scary" to "well, let's see what I can do!"
It can feel incredibly defeating to read a cookbook which tells you you need this and that and that and you go "I have maybe... half of this." You can absolutely substitute items when cooking. Just take a moment and think about the flavors.
Being a good cook is always a +1 to impress a significant other, guy or girl. Even if you can only cook a few meals well, wow them once or twice and you will forever be "that date who can cook."
Just make sure you have a reasonably sized pot, a good non-teflon pan (cast iron is good, but so is any stainless steel one with a nice core), a spatula, some tongs, and a nice set of steak knives.
Finally, if you do splurge on one thing in your kitchen, a good kitchen knife can go a long way. I have a fancy folded carbon steel knife gifted to me, and I love it, but I went a long time with this guy http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000638D32 and I love it. A good sharp knife (and a cutting board!) makes you feel significantly more competent, and that helps.
I do a lot of sharpening, and have used many kinds of stones, jigs, and gadgets. Many of the jigs and gadgets are junk, or slow, or high-maintenance.
For basic kitchen knife maintenance, it's worth it to learn to sharpen freehand with inexpensive waterstones. If you want to spend more money for better tools, spend it on nice big diamond stones. Don't spend money on sharpening machines, jigs, or gadgets. My personal sharpening setup is three 3x8 EZE-Lap diamond stones (Coarse, fine, and super-fine), and a leather strop with chromium oxide buffing powder. With this I can turn pretty much any piece of steel into a long-lasting razor blade. EZE-lap makes some nice double-sided diamond stones too that look great for kitchen use. Knife steels have their place (touch-ups between real sharpenings), but are not a complete solution on their own, and can be bypassed entirely.
For knives, anything that's not super low-end is good. It should feel great when held correctly. Most home cooks who've spent $200 on a fancy chef's knife would be just as well off with something like a $55 Henckel's Classic. Knives like that are good steel, easy to sharpen and easy to use. Most good knives require thoughtful maintenance. If someone needs a cook's knife but will not take good care of it, get them a Victorinox Fibrox. They're cheap, good-enough knives with handles that can survive the dishwasher. I also like knives from Wüsthof, Global, Shun, Mac, and many others. Modern knives are mostly excellent. As long as you avoid ultra-cheap options and exotic gimmicks, it's easy to go right.
A good knife is a very personal thing, like a religion. Some people belong to the church of Whustoff (like me), others the Church of Henckel. Even some will claim no church allegiance and say that This Victorinox is the best chef's knife. Really though, it's a straight matter of personal preference.
Most high quality knives don't differ all that much. They manufacturing and forging methods are basically the same. What's left is looks, weight, feel, and other things. There is no objective answer to the question "what shape handle is preferable" as it will depend on how big your hand is, what kind of grip you use, and other things like that. My chef's knife is a Whustoff Classic 8" wide Chef's knife. I bought it after going to a local cookware store and personally holding and trying out every chef knife they had in stock. For me, the 8" size is good, but the extra width gives the knife a good heft that I really enjoy, especially because my primary knife before that was a large butcher's knife. I also like the way the handle is shaped, as it feels good in my hand.
Being of the Church of Whustoff, I will recommend the Whustoff Classic line of knives. But to be honest, the blade will be very similar to the comparable Zwilling Henckles chef knife. These are both very traditional knife designs, and your preference will likely be decided by how they feel in your hand. Other brands exist, though, I don't know too much about them. Global, for example, makes extremely sharp, extremely lightweight knives. I tried some out at the store, but didn't really like they way they felt. Not enough heft for my purposes.
For size, I would recommend getting the standard 8" knife. It is the most common size, and it is probably the most versatile as well. I liked the feel of the 10" knives I tried, but I think their length is not for everyone.
TL;DR go to a store where you can try all their knives and get the one that feels best for you.
For knives, the same rules apply. With even more emphasis in the safety aspect of it. A lot of people think that with sharper knives, you'll cut yourself more while cooking, but the truth is the exact opposite. Since the cook should let the knife do the cutting. If you're using strength, your knife is either dull or bad. Which is why you should buy good knives (and an okay whetstone) learn how to hone them and do so every 3 uses (I personally sharpen my knives before using and after washing).
Some people will tell you to buy Shun, others will tell you to buy Miyabi or Yaxell (personal favorite). But you don't need these, these are overkill and most chefs don't even use them on a professional kitchen (they might do so in events, but in a normal kitchen you wouldn't want to wear such an expensive knife)
So, all in all you could either go the cheaper way and buy Victorinox, which is a GOOD knife, nothing amazing about it, but reliable and that will get the job done. Also, it is very easy to sharpen.
If you want the mid-range price I'd say either Global, Henckels(If you chose Henckels, choose the forged, not the standard piece) or Wüsthof. I like all three, all of them will last you upwards to 20 years if you properly maintain and wash them buy hand (very important, a great deal of the damage done to knifes is while washing).
A good knife is a companion for the rest of your life in the kitchen. And these three are the best for heavy and professional use. Though the more expensive ones cut better, the wear on them is not worth it for a professional cook.
And lastly, don't buy a kit with 8 to 12 knifes. You won't use that. That is a piece of decoration, on which you'd be wasting money. You only NEED 1 good knife. It is best to have two or three, but no more.
Start with one, I think the best model to start off is the Chef's 8 inch. In either brand. If you enjoy it, go ahead to the chef's 8 inch and the utility and that's it!
Also, don't rule out Victorinox if you're just getting started, they make very good knifes for starters, and you don't need to worry much when sharpening them, since they sell a tool which can re-cut its edge to the proper shape, so if you mess up, you can actually "Reset to factory settings"
I'll link here the 8 inch chefs of the knifes I mentioned. You might find them small at first but even I rarely need to take out my 10inch or the 12 inch.
Henckels (forged): https://amzn.com/B00004RFKS
Victorinox (weirdly, the bettex one [Fibrox] was 4 cents cheaper then the most basic. I am linking both, but i don't know if you can "reset" the blade of the better one)
Victorinox Fibrox: https://amzn.com/B008M5U1C2
Victorinox basic: https://amzn.com/B0061SWV8Y
Victorinox tool (this is not a sharpener, this literally CUTS the blade back into shape): https://amzn.com/B001X5A998
Alright, others are helping you out with recipes, but let's talk about something a bit more important to your question: How the hell do I cook?
Cooking is all about two things: Prepping and time management. Time management being the hardest thing for people to do. We get distracted by kids, our phones, the television/internet/etc., and we lose focus. Sometimes we get so absorbed in other things we forget that shit is heating up and might be burning! Teach yourself time management by not getting too distracted or by using a timer. Also use your nose. Not only is your nose extremely important to detecting flavour (e.g. the citrusy taste of lemon. Taste is done by the tongue and would embody the sour taste of the lemon), it's also a good indicator that something is burning! Make sure you remain close to the kitchen at all possible times.
Also don't just focus on making one thing! Use your time wisely! It's time management, after all! Get yourself your main course and make some sides too. Use the time that you're browning some onions or boiling pasta noodles to work on prepping and making something else as well. It'll keep you focused in the kitchen and not distract you from the stove.
Invest in a sharp knife, if your current knives suck. You can find some pretty good knives for really cheap, too! Here's a chef's knife for about $30. Also you don't need three thousand different knives. The best options to get are:
Serrated knife (for cutting bread and soft items)
The paring knife is like what would happen if a scalpel and a chef's knife got drunk, had some fun, and ended up spawning a child. It can be used to cut smaller objects if using your chef's knife is too difficult for some tasks, or for making intricate details for food when it comes to plating.
On the matter of knives, let's talk about cutting. Do your knife skills suck? That's quite alright, you're still learning! First of all, when you hold the knife, wrap your pinky, ring, and middle finger around the handle of the knife. Take your index finger and thumb and grip the blade of the knife (note: the blade is the large, flat body of the knife. The edge is the cutting portion. Don't touch that!). When it comes to cutting, you want to lift the knife up from the back, keeping the tip of the knife on the cutting board. Then, push forwards and downwards to make a cut. For visual support, check out this: How to use a chef's knife
Also important, like in the video, is making your hand a "claw". Do not have your fingers extended, curl them up to resemble a claw! The reason being that when the knife gets close your fingers, the flat top of the fingers will help keep the knife straight. Also if you were to slip, you'll only knick some of your skin instead of cutting off part of your finger(s) and having to be rushed to the hospital.
What about cutting onions and stuff?
No problemo, let's get a few more videos in here to help you out!
Basic Knife Skills (Note: They also go into depth about the three knives I told you about, so you know I'm not yanking your chain)
How to dice an onion
How to dice and julienne (for just about everything else, like potatoes and stuff).
If you've got anymore cooking related questions, feel free to ask me! Also /r/cooking and /r/AskCulinary are great sources. I'm sure plenty of people will be willing to add in and help out as well.
Oh, and if you're really worried about the claw technique and stuff (because it can make objects, especially round and slippery objects like onions, difficult to keep a static hold of), you can invest in a finger guard. Happy cooking!
I recommend the Victorinox Fibrox, it performs well, it's comfortable and it's very durable. If you find the Fibrox handle too ugly, they offer the same blade but with a rosewood handle.
Care wise, touch up the edge with a hone to ensure it performs the best it can before you begin preparing food. Eventually however the edge will wear down, at which point you will need to sharpen it. For this I recommend the Shapton Kuromaku 1000, for guidence on how to use a whetstone check this playlist out.
The whetstone itself will also need to be maintained, as you use it you will wear it down unevenly and it will need to be flattened. Most people use a diamond plate but there is a more cost effective option that I use which is lapping the stone using SiC powder on glass, which is done like this (be aware however, that this method is MUCH louder and a bit messier than lapping with a diamond plate).
If all of this sounds like too much and you want a more simple care solution then you can get by very well by just using a ceramic sharpening rod. It combines the ability to touch up the edge quickly before use with the ability of a whetstone to remove material from the blade.
I got by with just a ceramic rod for a long time, but eventually bought whetstones when I wanted more control/better long term maintenance.
Don't buy a knife set. You don't need those knives. All you need is the following;
One chef's knife: Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Chef's Knife 40520, 47520, 45520, 5.2063.20 https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B000638D32/
One pairing knife: Victorinox Cutlery 3.25-Inch Paring Knife, Small Black Polypropylene Handle https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0019WXPQY/
The basics of a chefs knife and pairing knife is $50. Those are good knives. I have two of the chef's knives and three of the pairing knives. The chefs knives hold their edge very well and are sharpened to 15 degrees.
These two knives are all a basic home cook needs. The rest of the kit is filler to get the piece count up. You won't use the carving fork. You don't know how to use the carbon steel honing rod. You don't filet your own fish. You are likely eatting wonder bread so you don't need a bread knife. Unless you plan murder a roommate you don't need a clever. You ain't eatting steak so you don't need steak knives. Heck I eat steak quite a bit and I don't think I need steak knives You need a knife for delicate work and work horse. That is your pairing knife and chefs knife respectively.
After that I would add the following (mind you I am not happy with the price on the sharpener, but it's a fairly good one, just make sure you get one to sharpen asian knives or 15 degrees);
One pair of kitchen shears: Messermeister DN-2070 8-Inch Take-Apart Kitchen Scissors https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B000VS6CAS/
One knife sharpener: Chef's Choice 463 Pronto Santoku/Asian Manual Knife Sharpener https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B002JIMVS0/
One bread knife: Mercer Culinary 10-Inch Wide Bread Knife https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B000PS1HS6/
I consider these the next purchases because eventually you need some scissors dedicated to kitchen use, and maybe ones that will cut small bone and are easy to clean after use on raw meat. The shears are amazing. Blew me away.
The sharpener because you need to maintain your knives. Keeping your knives sharp is safer and makes them a joy to work with. The above knives come razor sharp and will last you a while before needing a proper sharpening. I don't own that particular sharpener but it ranks high in reviews. I have a more expensive automatic sharpener from chef's choice which I used to regrind my sister's knives to a 15 degree edge. I can't recommend it to everyone because it's $200. It was a splurge on my part and not needed. A manual sharpener is all the average person needs. It takes the guess work out of getting the angle right. Again if you have the knives on this list make sure you get a sharpener for 15 degrees or it might be labelled as Asian style.
Eventually you will be off the wonder bread and maybe baking your own. You need a bread knife then to slice in nicely. A bread knife is also handy for cutting cake and other delicate things you don't want to smoosh. That bread knife is solid. You want a knife that will glide through bread without crushing it or tearing it. The key to that is tooth spacing. I think this one is just about perfect.
Other knives are useful in the kitchen. I would get your specialized knives next, such as a carving knife or fillet knife. The above five things I consider core before you get other stuff. You can carve and fillet with a chefs knife. I cook way more than the average person and get away with the above five items. In fact before I would buy specialized knives I would get another chefs knife and another pairing knife. The only other type of knife I own is a santoku style chefs knife which I prefer for chopping vegetables because in school I owned a keep shitty one and got used to the style.
As always do your own research, check the prices on Amazon with camelcamelcamel and check the reviews with a tool like review meta.
My 8" chef's knife is a MUST (I have a set of Wustofs, which are amazing, but I reach for this knife. It's highly recommended on /r/cooking and for good reason!
I don't think you need an immersion blender for many things -- I only have used mine for potato soup and broccoli & cheese soup. I cut a lot of my ingredients by hand and just add them in, but I certainly use my food processor and blender (Cuisinart all the way) a lot to make sauces (hello, home-made salsa -- chuck ingredients in blender, pulse a couple times and serve with chips)!
Also, some other solid investments are good silicone tongs, a firm spatula, a cast iron skillet (/r/cooking can tell you how to care for it [mine is Lodge] -- I make everything in mine, from steak to breakfast), a cast iron dutch oven (also Lodge, I make chili to baked, whole chicken to bread in mine), a wooden spoon for breaking up meats, some cooking scissors, a pearing knife (I use mine just to clean small things, like the icky white bits in peppers), and some cookie sheets (good for cookies but also roasting veggies or making kale chips -- MMM!).
I also recommend reading some food blogs that strike your fancy. I love Pioneer Woman's. It'll inspire you to cook!
Oh, and last thing -- CURL YOUR FINGERS WHEN YOU CUT THINGS. No laying your fingers flat on things unless you want to risk cutting your fingers off! And remember a dull knife is not as safe as a sharp one.
Good luck! I love cooking. I always turn on some Spice Girls (don't judge me) and dance around the kitchen while I cook. :x
Rather than getting him a new set of knives, take a good look at the ones he's got and the ones he uses the most, and pay attention to the shape of the handles. Shun knives are amazing, but a lot of them have perfectly round, smooth handles that work in my hand at all. Try to get something that has a handle of similar shape to what he already has. Then, find something that's different from everything else he has. Does he like to make sushi? He'd probably love a Japanese santoku. Does he fish, or prefer to buy fish whole? A high end fillet knife would probably be great.
When I was shopping for my knives, I only bought a set in a block because it turned out that was cheaper than just buying the three knives I wanted out of the set (yay for holiday sales!). I'm glad now that I did, because I never would have bought the bird's beak paring knife for myself, and it's now one of my favorites. I think most cooks tend to stick with the same 3-ish knives for everything, so get him something pretty and functional that he'd be unlikely to buy for himself. Maybe something like this.
Knife sets are really convenient and fun, but more often than not all the knives don't really get used.
I'm not going to tell you to skip getting one because I don't have much experience with them and I don't want to overreach. However I will tell you that for me, I appreciated being able to pick out each knife on their own.
The one that pulls the most work will be either your chef knife or santoku depending on preference. The standard is 8", but I like my 10" one. You'll want to look for a full tang, and a forged blade instead of stamped. The tang is for stability since it will be one piece, and a forged blade keeps an edge better. For specifically the chefs knife, styles include Japanese and German (and French). Japanese style is thin, sharp, and light. Usually both sides are sharpened at different angles. They can need a little more effort to care for but they are sharp and reliable. German and French are more of the powerhouse, bone chopping types. They are heavier, rugged, and can take a beating. Think samurai sword vs. hunting knives. Americas Test Kitchen gives this knife a good rating, but keep in mind the testers are not the cooks and they use specific metrics. If you understand their testing circumstances it could be a good knife for you. Personally I think it feels like a toy.
Major quality brands beside that are Wusthof, Shun, Henkel, Global, maybe a Bob Kramer if you want to pay for quality and design.
A paring knife is your next used knife (depending on who you ask). These are for smaller tasks, fine knife work, and peeling (although peelers are in fashion now if you aren't in culinary school). Generally around 3.5-4", and basically a mini chef knife. Same as above apply here.
Next a serrated bread knife is useful. I'm not even going to beat around the bush. I really really recommend this one in particular and I'll give you the reasons why: light, durable, sharp as all hell, cheap, perfect, saves African children, cures cancer.
Jimmy John's sandwich shops use these and one of my friends gave me one when they got new ones and I fell in love. Seriously a good knife.
Those three knives make up your base collection, however other things you may need are a slicer, a boning/filet knife, or other specialty specific things.
Lastly learn good maintenance! Never use the dishwasher on a knife, sharpen or get it sharpened regularly (at least once a year), and always use a honing rod!
Let me know if you need anything clarified.
You don't need a set, you only need a few decent knives: a chef's knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife for bread. Maybe a fillet knife but unlikely.
I use this chef's knife, which is high-quality and inexpensive. The Victorinox Fibrox 8-inch also has a very strong cult following. However, you can also easily spend $100-200 for a good German or Japanese knife like Wusthof, Henckels, Global, etc.. The two most important things however are:
Stay at home Dad here. I cook for six every night. Prior to about four years ago the most cooking I did was on the grill. I started with the Betty Crocker Cook book. Literally. Red book in binder format. It has simple comfort food and the recipes are simple. I now have 30+ cookbooks, some better than others. (Giada's are only good for the pictures.) Once I started cooking, I then started watching Alton Brown for other ideas and other techniques, but without a firm base of at least six months of trial and error, it won't help much. Without that, it'd be like watching a Michael Jordan video having never even picked up a basketball and thinking you could play like him. Get used to the environment first.
Start simple. Do a chicken breast and a vegetable from a can. Maybe rice. But note what works and what doesn't. Get a feel for what a "done" chicken breast looks like and feels like. Same with a pork chop. Same with some pasta. Get yourself used to the chemistry and physics of cooking first, then work on more complicated techniques and dishes.
Clean while you cook.
Salt and butter are always your friend. And cheese. If something sucks, add cheese. Good luck!!! Report back please.
TL;DR Just start cooking. Keep it simple, but start cooking.
I don't think it's right to describe the differences in kitchen knives as ergonomic and how well-sharpened the blades are. There are two distinct tiers: stamped blades (stamped out of sheet metal and sharpened) and forged blades.
Cutco knives are stamped steel. I've never seen a stamped blade that isn't flimsy and cheap feeling. It has to be thin enough metal to be stamped out of a sheet. You can sharpen them like he said but forged blades are just head and shoulders above stamped, imo.
Forged blades are much heavier and can be made out of way nicer steel that holds an edge longer. They're harder to sharpen but let professionals do that. Just keep yours honed with a steel. Watch a youtube on how to do that, and take the 10 seconds to do it after every time you use your knife. You will only need to sharpen very rarely.
In addition to agreeing with that commenter about using professional sharpening, I think a professional supply place is a fine idea. Just aim for forged for at least your chef's knife. That's the one that really matters since you can use it for the vast majority of cooking tasks.
My roommate's stamped knife set full of special knives is fine for those special things: cheese, sandwich, paring (mostly), bread (mostly). But I use my wusthof ikon chef's knife for basically all my cooking needs. It can still cut thin transparent tomato slices with almost gravity alone. It just effortlessly and precisely divides whatever food material I'm working with.
I bet any decent forged blade would do similar, but since I only needed one nice knife, I was fine spending like $150 ($138 now it looks like) on it to be sure it cut nice and felt good in my hand. The ikon series has nicely contoured handles: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000YMURSE/
Please post if you find a professional product you end up buying and let us know how it goes!
I LOVE HOMEWARES. This is so exciting! I looked at your wishlist and I think you've nailed it in terms of picking things with good storage. That's really important - things with hidden storage. So the coffee table with drawers is awesome. I have a bed with drawers.
I would get a good chefs knife. This one has great reviews! http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Fibrox-8-Inch-40520-5-2063-20/dp/B000638D32/
And a good cutting board, like this one! Plastic boards breed bacteria, so I always use wooden ones. This one looks great. http://www.amazon.com/Extra-Large-Bamboo-Cutting-Board/dp/B00FQ7ICHU/
And this epic kitchen timer will go perfectly with the R2D2 wastebin on your wishlist!
Good luck! Have fun!
It's possible to buy a knife with a good blade and a good handle, you know. The Victorinox above is like getting a Ford Mustang GT350. It's perfectly capable, but it's not going to compare to Porsche Turbo, Ferrari, or Lambo as far as desirability. The same goes for a plastic phone. But some people want a phone that feels good in the hand and solid and more than just plastic.
So yea, that Victorinox will work. It cuts things and does a good job at it (aka serviceable). But as far as having a NICE knife that does all that, plus feels good in the hand and looks look, then you need to look elsewhere.
Here are two perfectly good knives that have equally sharp blades and are used by professional chefs out there:
At a minimum, if i were to buy the Victorinox knife over again, i would have bought the wood handle version.
Knives are things people to get pretty fetishistic about. In practice, pretty much anything sharp and approximately the right size and shape will work just fine in a home kitchen.
This is my workhorse knife:
It's a good weight, easy to maintain and comfortable in the hand. I use it every day, sometimes a LOT. It makes quick work of whatever I need it to do.
But it's not fancy, and it's not pretty. It looks and feels cheap, because it is. But cheap doesn't mean bad. It's an excellent knife in utilitarian terms.
So to answer your question, you should buy whatever knife…
Do you need a $100+ knife? Absolutely not. But if it would make you happy to own one (including enjoying how it looks) and you will actually use and maintain it, then by all means buy it. Cooking at home should be a fun thing to do, not just a chore you have to slog through. It's entirely okay to own tools that make cooking fun for you, even if those tools aren't strictly worth the money in pure utilitarian terms.
I am far from the most knowledgeable person in the world on knives, but I do read about them quite a bit. Knives are probably the one of the most fundamental tools in a kitchen. The difference that a sharp knife can make when cooking is astronomical. A sharp knife is far safer than a dull knife will be, because it will cut smoothly, and will go pretty much exactly where you point it.
As For the dimples, they will assist you when cutting large pieces of meat, by reducing the amount of meat that sticks to the blade. It will not make much of a difference with garlic, potatoes, and etc.
These are some high quality knives, and they are pretty as fuck as well. They will last you a long ass time.
One thing to take into consideration with chef knives, santoku, and such, you need to try them out before you buy them. Go to a local Williams-Sonoma, or another store that has high quality knives on display, and ask if you can try it. You need to make sure that when you make your cutting motion, that your knuckles will not slam into the board. I have used some very nice Shun knives, that when I would get into my cutting rhythm, I would start punching the cutting board. This is annoying as all fuck, and I couldn’t imagine dealing with this every time I went to prep a meal.
There is also the fact of sharpening. You are about to throw some good money down on a knife, that you want to last you for a long time. You need to learn how to sharpening, which isn’t that hard, or you need to go find yourself a shop that will do it for you. This is probably one of the best guides to sharpening a knife.
As for what you should buy to sharpen your knife:
Washing: DO NOT WASH IN YOUR DISHWASHER, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. If you want to keep this knife for a long time, you need to wash it by hand, with a sponge. The agitation of the water will dull your blades, the prolonged exposure to steam and heat will damage the handles, and holy fuck it will demolish a carbon blade. Seriously, wash it by hand, and if you are truly knife crazy oil it up.
Cutting Board: Do not use a thin plastic cutting board. Get a nice thick plastic one, a Sani Tuff, or go and get a decent quality wooden cutting board. You gotta keep that board well oiled, and do not place it in the dishwasher. Again, there are entire websites devoted to taking care of a cutting board.
HERE THERE BE OPINIONS:
I really dislike Globals, they use a steel known as chromova 18. It is a stainless steel, harder than the Euro style, but softer than the Japanese style. I draw my dislike for it from that. They’re pricey, forged knives, that use a softer steel. They kind of mark a midway point beween Zwilling and Tojiro DP, yet cost more than both in some instances. I also really hate the handles.
If you do not have a lot of experience with knives, then I highly suggest you get yourself a Victorinox 8" chef knife. They are great knives, and will last you a decent amount of time. It will run you 25 dollars, and is worth every penny. This one would work great, and would let you try out a sharp knife, that is made of a good material. Ignore the fact that it says dishwasher safe.
If you have any more questions, please ask away. Also, sorry about the giant wall of text, I am not sure how to format this any better.
I spent nearly 20 years as a cook-then-sous-then-exec in fine dining kitchens. I've bought cheap knives, and I've bought expensive knives. I finally found my sweet spot split between Misono Swedish Carbon and Misono UX10s. I have a few different styles of knives in each, and they each have their ups and downs. The downside to either of those is that they're not exactly cheap (but you can spend way more if you're so inclined).
On the cheap side of things, this series of knives form Victorinox is probably the best value out there. For a home cook, these are absolutely bifl, but they're not exactly sexy.
My recommendation when anyone asks me a question like this is to go for the Mac Professional Series. They're fancy enough to be a little special, but not so special that you're afraid to use them. Full disclosure, I still use a Chef Series Mac 5.5" utility knife. In a professional kitchen, your utility knife gets so much more use than you'd imagine, so having a cheap one without the bolster is nice in case someone drops it in the fryer and kills the temper, or kicks it under the dish station etc. For home, I'd get the nice (pro series) version.
Anyway, for a first investment in nice knives, I'd go for an 8" chef's knife, dimples or not, it makes no real difference, and a 5.5" utility knife. The second addition would be 10-12" carving knife. Of course, a serrated bread knife and a small paring knife are necessary, but that's where those Victorinox knives I linked above are perfect.
I'm sure the bifl crowd here will crucify me for recommending stainless, but unless you're using your knives every day for hours a day, it's way too easy to get lazy and you end up with pitting and rust on all those fancy carbon knives, and that makes you less likely to use them.
For sharpening, get a 1000/6000 grit whetstone. When I was cheffing for a living, I hit the 6000 every day, and the 1000 once a week. Now, I cook dinner maybe 4 times a week, and I hit the 6000 once a month, and the 1000 like once or twice a year. Keeping the knives in cases helps with this. Drawers will kill the edge. Youtube has plenty of tutorials on how to use a whetstone and keep everything straight.
As far as "sharpening" steels go, it's nice having one around if you're doing a ton of knife work and need a quick touch up, but slapping a knife on a steel is not the same as sharpening it, and if you let the edge get truly dull (by hitting the steel instead of sharpening it), you'll have a bear of a time getting the edge true again.
Anyway, if you buy something made by an ancient Japanese craftsman who's older than the volcano he forges in, sure, it'll be cool and have fancy wavy lines. If you buy garbage it'll be garbage. Whatever you do, just know that nothing screams recent culinary school graduate than a Shun santoku.
note: I've written "you" a bunch in here. It's less pretentious than saying "one may sharpen..." and less clumsy than referring to your partner at all times . I hope you'll forgive me.
edit: tl;dr get the Macs
Here's what's in my kitchen: http://i.imgur.com/CAQ3xUv.jpg
Left to right:
The sine qua non, however, is a good sharpening setup. Without it, it's not even worth thinking about getting a kitchen knife. If I were you I'd buy this:
Total price: $105.45. The Fibrox is a great entry level chef's knife, and it would be extremely easy to keep sharp on the Sharpmaker. The Opinel is cheap and effective as a paring knife.
Here's a few basic kitchen supplies that'll make your life a bit easier:
Here is a decent knife for cheap Keeps a great edge and is everything you need for maki and anything else really.
I have learned a few things that really stuck with me over my sushi career.
Everyone does the same thing. The rice is all the same, the cucumber is the same. All of the ingredients are the same. However, it's your attention to detail and small variances in skill that determine the quality of your end product. For example; the rice gets washed of starch always, but what are you looking for? What makes the rice you make have that fluffy nice texture? Are you just washing until the water runs clean or are you checking the saturation of the grains of rice? What level of saturation makes for the best end product?
Sushi requires you to always be moving. Each movement matters, there is no down time. I guess this is more for restaurant work than at home but is crucial to understanding the art. You want to do the most work with the least amount of effort.
Food is subjective. If it's good to you, then it's good food. Find those small details that you like that make your product the way you like it. Make weird stuff, try and taste everything.
Always buy the best products. Always use English cucumbers. Always always use kewpie mayo for your sauces. Always have a sharp knife. Always mix a little kewpie into your sirimi instead of using the sticks.
Just keep making sushi and have fun!
That is a really beautiful knife. I really appreciate the handle.
My first Chef's knife that was a gift to myself when I graduated college was a Victorinox Forschner which I still have. It is nothing special, but it has survived ten years of constant use, and it is close to my heart.
I have recently done a complete sharpen and polish on it. I enjoy maintaining my own tools. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction and pride.
Actually I think yours is better for this kind of thing; it looks like your handle is replaceable, whereas mine is a simple injection molded plastic one which I cannot figure out a way to replace, and it's a bit worn out now.
I have an 8" Shun Ken Onion right now and I love it. It's my first real quality knife so I don't have a ton of other cutlery with which to judge it by, but the balance is awesome on it and it holds an edge really well. I usually hone it with the shun steel ever 2 or 3 times I use it and it's back to it's razor sharp self right after. I would agree with one of the reviews on Amazon that said "I didn't know what sharp was until I got this knife". I think they're set at a 16 degree angle, which is a bit steeper than most knives I believe. Though I think Wusthof does 14 on some of theirs.
I've had a couple of stamped kitchen aid style santoku knives and I've used my sister's Wustof set, but I think my Shun outshines those quite a bit.
If I had a choice I would've gotten a 10" blade. The 8" is great for most every day home cooking, but it would be nice if it was a bit longer for things like breaking down melons and larger items.
I was able to get a crazy good deal on it last year right after new years it was around $90 for the 8" with the bamboo rack. So I would shop around a bit, and if you can wait for holiday sales you can probably get a good deal on whatever knife you decide on.
Virtually any knife can be made sharp, but some will hold their edge better than others. Sharpness is partially about steel quality, and partly about blade angle (Japanese knives are usually sharpened at a more acute angle than, say, German knives, and thus are sharper but dull more quickly).
This Victorinox chef's knife is an awesome value. Durable and good quality, yet very inexpensive. You'll see them in professional kitchens, or knives like them.
Not saying it's the best knife ever, because it's not, but it is quite good for the price. I own it and love it, and I can sharpen it easily.
I think the best advice I ever got on cooking was from director Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Desperado, Spy Kids). Pick 3-4 of your favorite meals and learn how to cook them from recipes or youtube tutorials. Just cook them over and over again. From there at least you will get some basics down.
Speaking of basics, I have really enjoyed Basics with Babbish on youtube. Good Eats with Alton Brown too.
Something that will make the learning process a lot easier is to learn some good knife skills. Buy a bag of onions and get to chopping. If you don't have a good chef knife available, get one of these it will hold you over until you decide you need an upgrade. Good knives make cooking a lot more fun. Once you get the chef knife the other things you should think about getting down the line are a bread knife, paring knife (although I rarely use mine), a good cutting board ( I like my bamboo one).
Other basics to learn according to Anthony Bourdain are:
Most of all have fun! Mess around with different seasonings? My first adventures into cooking was adding different spices to instant ramen noodles during the summer for lunch. You have to eat all your life, you might as well eat well. Plus, the ladies love it!
Let me just say, knowing how to cook in college will help you get laid. I said it.
Now then. Try Jamie Oliver's first book, The Naked Chef It's dated, but it's filled with "high value" recipes -- those that look and taste like they're crazy complicated, but they're not. The asparagus with anchovy butter recipe is amazing and literally has 4 ingredients and literally can be made in the microwave. The Best Roast Chicken recipe is still brought up by my friend. I made it for her once 13 years ago.
Also try Martha Stewart's Everyday Food blog. Minimal ingredients, not a lot of skill necessary, good results.
General recommendations. Follow the recipe to the letter the first time. Buy one good knife and learn how to sharpen it. Volunteer for your local meal-providing nonprofit and help them prep. Invest in some good Rubbermaid food storage because you will have leftovers. Invite someone you like to eat with you and even cook with you.
Here are 4 things that I think will allow you to cook about 90% of everything you see on the internet.
A decent 8" kitchen knife. The Victorinox is a heavy lifter without breaking the bank.
A solid dutch oven. Here I recommend a Lodge, but Le Cruset is fantastic as well. A dutch oven allows you to do tons of one pot meals, braising, frying, soups, sauces, baking bread etc..
A 12" fry pan. This is for proteins, sauteing, all kinds of breakfast applications (eggs, homefries, shakshuka, etc).
A 3 qrt saucier. This one is pretty pricey, but you can get other good, cheaper options if you do a little research. This can double as a pot to boil water, make sauces, curries, and candy. A sauciers smooth sides are much easier to clean and can serve as a good compromise between a saucepan and a saute pan.
I've listed them in order of importance. A knife and a dutch oven can do a ton by themselves. I'd also recommend a pair of kitchen tongs, a handheld fine mesh strainer, and am immersion blender. In fact, I'd try to get those before the fry pan and the saucier, they open a lot of doors for you.
A well fit kitchen is really important. I like to go with a minimalist style and just wash as I go. It keeps the clutter down and makes cooking pretty damn easy. Good luck!
Hmm, a lot of times trouble with cutting things is mostly an equipment issue-- aka, a blunt knife. Is your supermarket an Asian one? They often have really good, sharp knives for not very much money. If not, it may be worth getting something like this. There's a bit of a learning curve, but with a sharp knife you'd improve rapidly!
I'm an amount-eyeballer too, so that makes it easier to give you some of my recipes, haha. This one is a nice alternative to a tomato sauce that doesn't require a lot of chopping and comes together very fast:
Good luck with your pasta voyage!
For something you'll really love and suits what you like best, go down a YouTube rabbit hole and watch a bunch of reviews if you haven't already. You'll find something you want I'm sure, and probably something you want but can't afford.
But if you want cost effective quality, Victorinox fibrox and Dexter seem to be well used with no regrets in the $40 range. Knives can get much better in the idealized sense, but above that is where the practical benefits don't seem so huge compared to just getting away from the knives made for people who don't even care.
America's test kitchen likes this one if I'm not mistaken:
Some day I might have the money to get something like a Kramer but that is even more expensive than the £150 budget.
I love my wusthof classic, £73 here.
But i don't know, i could spend weeks reading and watching videos without ever making a purchase. The wusthof was a gift.
I have a $5 pairing knife that takes an edge well but looses it fast. I have a $25 stamped wusthof that takes an edge well and keeps it pretty good. I just bought my little brothers (2 of them) Misen chefs knives (a kickstarter thing) and they are pretty dang nice.
I can sharpen an axe to where I can shave with it by hand. Showing off is all that is good for. I have used water stones, diamond, the top of a car window, and even a plain ole rock. But once a month or so, I sharpen them with on this.
But every day, I hone them with one of these I bought at goodwill.
My advice to anyone is learn to use and sharpen the tool before geeking out on expensive stuff. Knowledge and practice will bring you a lot more satisfaction. I would rather hear a great guitarist on a crap guitar than a crap guitarist on a great guitar.
America's Test Kitchen, cookbooks or the PBS show (your local library may have the DVD's to check out).
Cook's Country magazines or cookbooks-also very likely your local library will have available to check out.
They both have nearly fool-proof recipes that are pretty basic, everyday American-style recipes with color pictures. Sometimes they do stir-fries or other sort-of ethnic cuisines. Good instruction on WHY you are doing something and points out essential techniques/ingredients/equipment. You will generally have good success with their recipes, which will be satisfying to make, and teaches you how to cook at the same time. Cook's Illustrated magazines/cookbooks are also very good, but they don't contain photos, and tend to be either more complicated recipes, or require things a new cook probably doesn't have--however they are an EXCELLENT source for equipment ratings.
I also like Alton Brown, but don't have any of his books. He explains the science behind cooking and his recipes are very good.
James Kenji Lopez-Alt's The Food Lab is excellent, another "science of cooking" guy. His pancake recipe is my all-time favorite.
Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything books are good, and quite comprehensive, but lack the "why" that the above sources provide.
I do not recommend Pinterest or All Recipes or other online recipe aggregates, they are chock full of bizarre untested recipes that typically utilize "cream of crap" in everything. You will become frustrated with their recipe failures.
This knife is essential: Victorinox Fibrox Straight Edge Chef's Knife, 8-Inch https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008M5U1C2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_wIsFxb1T24ER2
Cooking is one of the most satisfying hobbies! Good luck!
It's made for my hand specifically but frankly it's an incremental improvement over my $150 Wusthofs. So it doesn't make that much a difference. The handle is in New Orleans Saints colors though, so there is that lol
It's super light weight though and has a good 1.5 inches on the Wusthof, the extra length with my hands does actually help when I'm doing a lot of chopping but I've bigger hands. For someone smaller I wager the 8" Wusthof Classic would be perfect, I've used them for years and they last forever. I think I've had one for at least 15 years and it's still as good as day 1. The cheaper ones are NOT the same by the way. Classic all the way, that's their original forging recipe and it shows.
This one specifically. Wait for it to go on sale at some point, it's rare, they've been $150 for over a decade: https://www.amazon.com/Wusthof-Classic-8-Inch-4582-20/dp/B00009ZK08/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=wusthof+classic&qid=1550174388&s=gateway&sr=8-8
Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife (8 inch)
The Fibrox series is the classic chef knife series. Known for good quality and able to keep a good edge for a while. Can't go wrong here. Like other comments have said they also have paring knives and bread knives, all at reasonable prices.
Mercer Culinary M22608 Millennia 8-Inch Chef's Knife
The Mercer Millennia series is great if you're really on a budget. I own one of these but I will say that after about a good 6 months of use it is losing its edge quite a bit (also possibly due to roommates chopping stuff on the hard metal table. I'm a little bitter about it.) Came sharp and will stay sharp with some care.
Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Short Bolster Forged Chef's Knife, 8 Inch
Same company, forged blade. Little nicer, will most likely keep an edge a little longer.
As far as chef knives go, these are some budget picks and probably what most people would recommend unless you want something much nicer! :)
Edit: Also if you are looking for something much nicer, jump down the rabbit hole that is /r/chefknives
It's a steep slope lol
I agree that you should buy the best you can afford, but you don't have to shell out for top of the line knives or any of your kitchen stuff all up front. I have been assembling my kitchen since I left for college years ago and now I am pretty well setup. I initially found a lot of great stuff at thrift stores. Also check Ross/TJ Maxx/Marshalls for deals. People gave me a lot of stuff some I have since replaced, but it was a start. Do get a good knife, you might just start here Amazon. These knives get pretty good reviews on the cooking forums.
My most used cookware is (in order)
I have a boat load more, but this is where I would start. I also prefer cookware without plastic handles so they can be used in the oven.
EDIT: I have no clue why my list items are not coming out with bullets.
Knives are pretty personal. Your best bet is to go to a kitchen store with a good selection and try a few in your (her) hand to see what is comfortable. There are two general styles, stamped and forged: stamped is generally cheaper as it is easier to mass produce. However, if you're only interested in performance and not looks, a decent stamped blade will perform just fine (I use a Victorinox Chef's Knife for most day-to-day cutting tasks).
A full set is generally overkill, all you really need is a decent chef knife or santoku (personal preference, a western chef's knife is a little more versatile), a paring knife and a serrated bread knife. Depending on your eating habits, you may also want a flexible boning knife and a heavy cleaver, but I wouldn't spend a lot on either of these as heavy usage of either will tend to wear these out a bit, to the point where aesthetics you enjoy from a fancier forged blade are somewhat wasted. Any knife beyond this is generally overkill.
Do a little research on materials as well. Most knifes these days are some form of stainless steel alloys of chromium/nickel that give it extra shine/durability/rust resistance. You will also find carbon steel knifes, which hold an edge very well but discolor over time, and ceramic, which are incredibly sharp and light and don't need honing, but must be sent to a specialized sharpener (usually the factory they were created in) to be sharpened once a year or so.
In addition to the knifes, you'll need a steel, which is used to hone the knife. This is different than sharpening in that it doesn't remove an appreciable amount of material from the blade, but is very important to keep your knifes in good condition. Additionally, you'll want to get your knifes sharpened once or twice a year; paying an expert a few bucks per knife is best.
When considering cutting surfaces, wood or soft plastic is it. Never use knives on a stone, glass, ceramic or hard plastic surface, as it can damage the blade. Generally stick to wood for veggies and a softer plastic for meats. A quick sanding and oiling of your cutting block will keep it in good condition for years.
Finally, for storage consider instead individual sheaths for the knifes. Knife blocks are OK; sheathes are just a little safer (no kids crawling up and grabbing a knife handle) and don't suffer the issue of aesthetic mismatches if you don't own an entire matching set.
Yeah I'll just post em here if that's alright. I'll try not to overwhelm you since I know learning new stuff like this there's always SO MUCH to try. Also a lot of slow cooker recipes can have a lot of ingredients, but most are spices that you'll re-use in other recipes. and most ingredients are as simple as "buy this and put it in the pot".
I have this slow cooker, does great, and has a timer (the cheapest models do not). I'm sure if you go a model up you can get wifi stuff. Instant pots are more expensive and basically cook slow cooker meals much faster and have a couple extra features. Basically slow cookers are a little harder to schedule around (most meals require between 4-8 hours of waiting).
I always come back to Masala
You can buy giant gars of preminced garlic, you can buy ginger spice, so basically the only thing you have to do is buy all the ingredients, chop one onion, simmer some things for a few minutes (you can even skip this step the first time if it's overwhelming) then dump everything in a pot. Overall if you like masala / curry there are TONS of recipes online.
Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken is great. If you buy pre-cut broccoli, again no cutting. Do this recipe, but add broccoli at the end - if you like softer broccoli, 1 hr before the end. Harder broccoli, 30 min. The great thing with slow cooker meals is there's a ton of leeway. Overcooking 30 min won't really affect it. If you like more of something, toss it in.
One last one - if you need shredded chicken for salads, take some chicken breasts or thighs, add in 1 tbsp of butter, a little salt and pepper, and cook on the low setting for 6 hrs. Shred it with a fork or cut it up. Nice n juicy. Most recipes are 6-8 hrs on low or 4-6 hrs on high. Either is fine, just whichever setting is more convenient that day.
If you're unfamiliar with cutting veggies, start with these recipes. Then maybe try to find a recipe where you cut one new vegetable (an onion and something else). These recipes are decently healthy but the really healthy ones are when you're willing to chop up a bunch of vegetables, which really doesn't take that long once you know what you're doing. Always check youtube for cutting tips, and a sharp knife makes it a way smoother process! I reccomend this one.
If you try these out and want more lmk!
I'll give you the same standard advice which was given to me:
So there you go, for 60 bucks and change, you'll have a set of knives that's equal to or greater than the stuff most professional cooks are using on the line. If you want, add in a honing steel or ceramic rod to keep them sharp. I would also recommend getting some sort of protectors or holders, not only for your safety, but for the knives' safety. No knife in the world will stay sharp after banging around uncovered in a drawer or sink for a month. And for God's sake, please get a nice, large wood cutting board. Glass, stone, or ceramic boards, or cutting directly on a plate, will ruin your knives' edges in two seconds. Even bamboo and plastic boards can sometimes be too hard, so I recommend real hardwood. Edge grain is fine, end grain is possibly better. Just make sure it's big enough, at least 16" x 20" or so.
You should be able to get all of this for well under $200.
A good knife is always a good idea. That being said, there are knives out there that are cheaper than the one you're looking at. I have the Victorinox Fibrox 8" and I love it. From the first cut I made with it, I knew I had a good knife. It's a solid knife for a home cook. If you still want the santoku style blade, Victorinox also makes one with a Granton blade for about 1/4 the price.
One other point: if you do get a good knife, make sure you have a good place to store it. You don't want to just put it in with the rest of your cooking utensils; it will get all beat up and blunted very quickly. The best option is a heavy wood block with slots to put the knives in. But you can also get something like this. I have one that has slotted foam at the end to stick the knives in. Other maintenance items like a honing steel and a whet stone are good to consider as well.
OK. I had the same living situation when I was in college.
My advice to you
What do you like to eat? One of my favorite go-to meals is as follows:
Chop up 3-4 slices of bacon, cook it until crispy and then remove from the skillet.
Salt and pepper some bone in skin on chicken thighs (cheap!), then cook them skin side down for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside.
Throw in some chopped onions, peppers, whatever seasonins and spices you like (ground cumin, black pepper, oregano are my favorites) and cook until the onions are translucent. Then throw in a whole bunch of chopped greens - collards, kale, whatever. Let that cook down, you may have to keep adding it in batches.
Throw in some chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned doesn't matter. Throw in some chicken broth if you have it, water is OK if you don't. If you want to go Asian-y you could throw in some coconut milk and a touch of soy sauce. Put the chicken back in, simmer for 25-30 minutes to cook the chicken all the way through.
Serve garnished with grated cheese of your liking AND the chopped up crispy bacon bits you reserved from part 1.
Get this knife. It's not my best knife, but dollar for dollar it is. When you have more money you can invest in a nicer one.
Find a knife shop next to you, they can sharpen it for you every once in awhile. My guy charges 1.75 an inch, unless you want to do it yourself.
If you want to make stuff that's cheap and easy and will feed you for awhile, learn to make: chili, japanese style curry, and big rice dishes. I like to make more complex meals, but if I want something simple and easy I'll make one of those 3. Spanish rice is obvious. I like Spanakorizo too, it's even cheaper because you don't have to make the initial investment in spices (You have to have lemon and feta with it, it's mandatory). That rice they have at Chipotle, you can make that very easily, put butter in a pan, then add the rice with some fresh lime juice and cook it a little until the juice is almost gone. Then cook it like normal (you put the right amount of water, bring it to a boil, then simmer covered) with some sugar, butter, and salt. Dump some chopped cilantro in there when it's done. It's delicious.
Japanese curry is awesome, it's maybe 3 bucks for a box of the curry, a couple bucks of vegetables and a cheap meat. It'll feed you 3 big ass dinners.
If you've watched the videos, how are you always readjusting the food? They clearly show it.
I'd get an easier knife if you're slipping though, maybe the Victorinox Fibrox. I'm just a home cook, who's gotten more into cooking the last couple years, but doing prep work and watching videos really helped me.
Besides a sturdier easier to hold knife, maybe look at your cutting board. How big is it? I'm always awkward when it gets small. I just got a custom ~24x22" board and it's frakking heaven.
But if you're constantly readjusting, accept that nothing will be perfect just keep going. I doubt cooks worry about getting the last little slice of something, or the perfect cut every time. Yes, they're better than you and me but probably through repetition. Cooking isn't a slow paced job, my neighbour who's a cook used to always laugh at me about how perfect I would try and get things. I'm more precise now, while caring less[ Edit].
I think what's helped here is that by not being so stressed, but still concerned, I've gotten into a rhythm or flow with cutting things.
As a new chef, here are a few places to start:
To answer your question about what to cook -- cook what you want to eat.
The basics of cooking don't really differ from recipe to recipe. Barring some of the extravagantly delicate recipes, you're going to be using the same skills over and over again. Sometime it's a longer process, but in general you're just taking ingredients, cutting them or combining them into the right shape and size, putting them in the right cooking vessel, applying heat at the right time, and plating.
Others have mentioned eggs, and that's an okay place to start. As I mentioned above, stir frys, tacos, pancakes, and pastas/sauces are all easy and adaptable.
On the lower end, check out victorinox
pretty comfortable to use, fairly sharp and durable, this is the knife I recommend for most situations
learn how to sharpen and maintain it, and you'll be good to go for a while
Once you get some good use out of it, you might want to upgrade to a nicer knife, and this is where you get stuck with a lot of opinions about who is the best
Japanese, european, hybrid
European knives (wusthof, henckle etc) will have more of a wedge shape (thicker at the top, narrower at the edge) and tend to be heavier
Japanese knives in general have a thinner angle than european ones
I personally like hybrid knives
I recommend going somewhere like Sur La Table and asking them if you can try out their knives, find something comfortable (they will all be very very sharp)
also, read this for reference: http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/12/equipment-the-best-chefs-knives-gift-guide.html
get good equipment it makes all the difference, here are your best friends:
ALSO RENTER'S INSURANCE
here's the thing with knives, you can spend as much as you have, (and more) on knives. and everybody has their favorite,
if you just want something that works, and works well, go with knives from victorinox with the fibrox handles, they're comfortable in the hand, the textured grip gives you secure control even if your hands are wet, (unlike some of the prettier smoother handles) and they're recommended by cooks illustrated, under 30$ for a chefs knife that's as good and works as well as 100$ knives that are 'fancier'.
I say, buy the "works well" knife, keep 'em sharp, and spend the hundreds of bucks you'll save on other stuff.
from amazon and cutlery and more (where I got mine.)
they're not 'oooo' pretty, (though there is a simple elegance about them) they don't have wavey patterns from hammering and folding... they just work, and are reliable.
My honest opinion: If you can read, you can cook. Literally. Basic cooking is simply reading instructions and following them. Once your comfortable with how things taste together, timing, and what spices taste like, then you can move on to more advanced dishes.
I think a fun part of learning to cook is gearing up. Since most people here will give you a grocery list, I'll give you a list of helpful items that I use daily.
The knife if a bit on the pricey side, but trust me when I tell you it's worth it. You only need 1 and as long as you hand wash and dry regularly, it can last forever. Sharp knives won't cut you as often as a dull knife that sometimes slips.
I assume you have basic dishware and silverware, so I've only included common cooking items.
Hope this helps! I'll update if I can think of anything else you'll need.
A perfect chef's knife is the first place to start (that's my preference, the Wusthof Ikon Classic 8", $160). Go to a kitchen supply store, or even Bed Bath & Beyond, and test drive some steel - see how comfortable it is in your hand, how balanced it feels. If you want to save money for other things, you can't go wrong with the Victorionx Fibrox 8" chef's knife, at an extremely reasonable $40. The chef's knife is an impossibly versatile tool all on its own, but if you want a smaller knife for detailed work, grab a paring knife from whatever manufacturer you choose for your chef's.
A huge, heavy cutting board ($88). For most of my life, I went with the $20 3-packs of plastic OXO or other cutting boards, ranging from small to extremely small - nothing will slow down your cooking more than an inadequately sized cutting board. Things roll off, you pile up your chopped veg and run out of space, you feel constantly crowded, and you can never carve a whole chicken or roast. Buy a piece of non-slip material (usually used for carpets) ($9), place it under the cutting board when you use it, and it will never slip or slide around - more convenient and safe.
A Thermapen. Expensive - it's $100, but it's the fastest and most accurate kitchen thermometer money can buy. A less expensive alternative would be the Lavatools Javelin at $24 - not quite as good, but a damn sight better than any other digital food thermometer you'll get your hands on. This is essential for cooking any meat, deep frying, baking - it will change your game.
An All-Clad Sauté Pan ($129). Also expensive, but an absolute essential tool for everything from sautéing to braising to deep frying. Do not go cheap with your stainless - you can do cheaper than All-Clad, but even heating, comfort, and build quality are absolutely essential.
An inexpensive but awesome nonstick set($164 for 11 pcs). Alternately, you could get a very versatile 12" TFal Professional Total Nonstick, an impossibly stickless, oven safe, dishwasher safe wunderkind.
A 12" Cast Iron Skillet ($34). These are kind of a pain to take care of, but are invaluable for searing, baking, even serving. It'll last you a lifetime if you take care of it.
cRc standards? Star-K? There are a few, most of it is minor but you should know them and know what applies for you. Also, your community minhag may also dictate some of these things.
For example, some allow using the same dishwasher for meat/dairy since the water isn't yad soledes bo and there is an agent like lye (mentioned in S"A) in use.
>What basics do I need?
Depends on how often you eat various items, I very, very rarely eat meat so I have very few meat items for example.
But I have a large variety of parve items.
Overall you will want separate kli rishonim for meat/dairy/parve but not like 1:1:1, since you will cook different things in them. Also sponges and scrapers and serving utensils.
I would walk through a typical menu for you and see what works, like do you only have a dairy pot for vegetables or other sides and will that come to be a problem when you are making a meat meal?
Since I mainly eat parve I can duplicate a lot of my dairy since it isn't usually an issue. I have an instapot and I have 3 interior pots/liners/steam catchers for Shabbat meals.
You will also want knives for cutting that are parve/dairy/meat this is a fantastic meat knife and is really cheap and all the chef's I know recommend it. It's great for chopping/cutting.
You might also want to check out the books Kosher Kitchen which talks a lot about the details, but your community might be more lenient than that book in some places here and there.
But overall I'd go through and start with thinking about how you want to use your kitchen then apply the rules of kashrut and see if it is an issue.
Also, get some heat resistant color tape, so you can correctly label your items.
At some point, you might also look at if your stove/other items can be kashered for Pesach and if you need like a sperate burner just for Pesach (I have to do this since my place has a glass stove top)
Hello /r/knifeclub !
TL;DR: I got given a knife and it doesn't want to hold an edge, can anyone identify it / the steel. Is it worth keeping and re-profiling or is it trash?
I have googled and I can't find any information on this knife. It was given to me by my other half's mother. I took it to the sharpener and put a nice 18° per side edge on it and within less than a week it was blunted. My ceramic rod did nothing; I grabbed my loupe and looked at the edge and it looks like a god damn mountain range.
I'm not hard on my knives, my regular 8" chefs knife is the excellent but famously soft steeled Victorinox Fibrox and that lasts me a good 2 months between needing maintanace.
I have since taken it to the Worksharp because I didn't want to waste my time re-working it without gathering more information first (new edge picture is the last of the 4, you can see the new edge the Worksharp put on it). It's sharp again for now but I have no idea if it'll last.
Can anyone tell me anything about this knife? Do I need to put a steeper edge on it? the blade is stamped "Japan", I had my fingers crossed that maybe it would be a solid VG-10 blade but that doesn't seem to be the case. I'm happy to sit down and take the time to work the edge into something robust if it's worth it.
Help me /r/knifeclub, you're my only hope.
There are many knives I would recommend. Personally, I swear by my shun ken onion chef's knife, but if you don't feel like spending around $300 for a knife...
wusthof pro has a decent blade for a few bucks
And the CIA Masters Series has a very nice chef's knife for $100. These were the knives they gave us as students at the Culinary Institute of America, some of them are very nice and some are pure shit, the chef knife, slicing knife, paring knife and bread knife from this series are very nice and a great value. If you're looking for good quality, everyday practicality, at an affordable price stick to the wusthof pro series. As my cooks advance through the kitchen, I reward them with knives. The first knife everyone gets is the wusthof pro cook's knife.
It took me 30 minutes to find thisagain, so I hope you enjoy it. Best video of this type I've ever seen, and gives the best way to chop an onion. (Don't do that cut horizontally crap! Good way to cut yourself!)
Also, here is the link I saved for the best all around knife.
And here's the video that convinced me that's the best knife.
We have a few posts linked in the sidebar here, but after reading them myself a few times, I do have a recommendation.
This knife is the standard beginner knife that I always see recommended here. If I were you, I would just buy this one knife. Pay attention while you're cooking with it and you will be able to ask a more specific question.
"I have this knife and I love it, what would be a direct uprage from this knife?"
"I have this knife, but the blade is way too thin and it hurts my hand. What knife is similar, but with a thicker blade?"
You should also pay attention to how well you can do everything you need to with that one knife.
Can you chop an onion with it? Probably.
Can you clean a fish with it? Probably not, but how many fish will you be cleaning in the near future?
I went out and got myself an 8" chef's knife, a boning knife, a bread knife, a paring knife, and so on and so on. I really only use the one chef's knife and I work in a kitchen 6 days a week. If you feel you need a smaller handle, or thinner blade, or shorter knife, or some wild ass mongolian bbq sword, then buy them one at a time.
Be careful on amazon though. Sometimes they will jack the price of a knife up for a month, and then discount it down to what it usually is to try and sell a bunch. These knives are garbage made in china. If you don't want to spend any money, just get whatever from walmart and sharpen the hell out of it.
I keep trying to close out this post, but more keeps coming. Don't go out and spend a few hundred dollars on a knife that you don't know how to take care of. I got this same Vic a few years ago and I still use it. I REALLY want a nice $300 - $400 knife that I can use forever, but I don't feel confident enough yet with my stones to maintain something like that. I'll practice on my $50 knife for a while first.
Start simple with just an 8" chef knife and a stone for maintenance.
Recommend like a MAC Chef Knife or a Victorinox Fibrox (with a honing rod). good for value, robust, forgiving knives which is great for your first time.
For maintenance, Suehiro Cerax 1k or King 1k/6k stone - he'll need to learn how to use the stone, maybe check out Burrfection or other people.
Honing rod is recommended for western knives to maintain sharpness.
Stones is needed to sharpen the knives when they blunt with use.
When you develop more experience or love for knives, then start buying your other stuff like serrated, paring, utility, nakiris, santokus, higher grit stones and whatnot.
check out /r/chefknives
We are not vegetarian, but I do think that plant-based is are a good place for kids to start. we've had a lot of luck with Mollie Katzen's books. The youngest likes Pretend Soup and my daughter likes Honest Pretzels.
Also, while I do think kids should learn how to use a knife, if your kids are like my 4yo who would lose a finger or an eye within 30 seconds, these are great.
This part as a knife enthusiast bothers me a little.
Any knife you buy in your price range is going to benefit immensely from learning sharpening, otherwise it will be a loss for you. Whether you do it yourself or have them professionally sharpened is up to you, but if you have the time and inclination I highly recommend learning to sharpen, as it extends the life of your knife much more. No matter what knife you buy, it will eventually get dull and need to be sharpened.
If you don't feel like learning to sharpen, just get a cheaper nice looking knife, like a victorinox rosewood (or fibrox is cheaper though) or mercer renaissance (best bang for your buck forged steel knife). That way you can have them belt sharpened locally without worrying about the knife being damaged. most sharpeners will use belt sanders which will not be great for the knife, but it is a cheaper knife so no fuss. I would also recommend these knives if you are a beginner with knives.
If you will never sharpen your knives, don't read further.
If you want to go down the rabbit-hole of /r/chefknives, then get a stone. Decent quality sharpening stones begin at around 40 or so bucks. I recommend the king kds 1000/6000 as a good starting point. with a stone, you can get most cheap knives hair shaving sharp, but it requires practice. if you get a stone, get something like a Gesshin 210mm stainless chef knive. The balance, feel, fit and finish are all the best you can get at that price, and is about as high quality a type of knife you should ever go for a first knife.
I personally love my Macs, ive got an 8 year old 8 inch thats been my daily workhorse for the past 4 years, and a 7 1/4in that i picked up for $60 to replace it. I prefer the smaller knife for precision work, and the handling on it is spectacular in my opinion. Well worth the money, i think. I have a Shun elite 8in, and i find that the weight of it can get fairly annoying after a while, which is why i love the light weight of my Macs.
As for the filet knife, ive had both the victorinox and the henkels equivalent (yellow handled one), and found that after a few butchery jobs, the blades really went out quickly. I ended getting a global after using a co workers for a while, and have been really impressed with how well it handles, as well as how long it holds an edge for. I picked up the 6 1/4 inch flexible for about $70, and its been great.
For sharpening stones, id start out with a Messermeister 400/1000 double sided stone. At $20, it fits the budget for a first stone, and its what i teach a lot of my cooks on.
As for a knife roll, Messermeister is definitely a good brand to go with, but id reccomend getting more than 5 pockets. When i was starting out, i grabbed a 8 pocket shun bag because it was the only one the shop had at the time, and i was amazed at how fast i was able to fill it up. I keep more than knives in the pockets; microplane, peeler, thermopen, steel, oyster knife, etc. Just something to consider.
Here are the links to my reccomendations, if you feel like checking them out:
Mac 7 1/4in
Global Filet 6 1/4in
No name 13 pocket bag:
All in, thatll set you back about $190, which isnt too bad for what i think are the beginnings of a good kit.
I second the kitchen knife. It's a game changer and makes meal prep fun, which kind of pays for itself. Victorinox makes a great 8 inch chef's knife in that price range; I personally opted for the Frosts by Mora of Sweden which was around $50 as well.
Highly rated Victorinox 8" chef's knife for less than $40
Same knife with nicer Rosewood handle for $42
Swedish made Frosts by Mora that I opted for based on previous experience with Mora and am very happy with
Edit 2: Here is a pretty good article with some basic care instructions for your quality knives.
Get a knife, a good one. I recommend this one. It's cheap, has a nice edge, and will become the love of your cooking life. Mine sees hard daily use and still cuts beautifully. You may also want to invest in a honing steel to keep the edge in good condition.
Other than a knife, I recommend a few cutting boards and at least one heavy-duty, oven-safe and stovetop-safe pan. Stainless steel or cast iron are both great. Lodge cast iron skillets are about $20 a pop and will last a life time with minimal care.
I've never had a Victorinox, but I really enjoy my Mercer blades. At $30 for the 8" blade styles, they are great beginner knives. Had mine for 4 years now and have never had a complaint.
Couple of the prep cooks at the restaurant I worked at had Mercer sets and also loved them. Great quality for the price.
8" chef knife
Mercer Genesis collection
As everyone is/will be quick to answer, one of the best values out there is the Victorinox Fibrox.
It's not flashy, it's not forged in the blood of peasants, but it works great and does exactly what you want/need it to. I've worked in restaurants and I use a fibrox half the time at home.
The next level I guess would be a Wusthof/Henckels/Global/Shun, which are made a little better, look nicer, and have some personality to them. They are in the price range you mentioned, but there are definite differences to them that are best explained by you trying them out rather than me saying Wusthofs are "rounder" than Henckels, Globals are light and slippery, etc.
After that you start getting into the more high-end stuff, usually $150 and (much) up. My starting point (and one of my favorites) in this would be a Misono UX10.
Of course, everyone's opinions will vary... but not really on the Victorinox. I don't think I've seen anyone NOT like that knife yet. And it's $40 or less.
There are 2 major concerns when buying any knife:
If you're a relative beginner, I'd recommend getting the Victorinox Chef's Knife. It's one of the few cheap knives that holds an edge pretty well. The handle is a bit bulky and contrary to my second point, it's hard to find out of its package to actually hold before buying, but it's comfortable for a wide range of hand sizes. It's a great knife to learn on before investing in something more expensive.
The most important part of owning a knife is maintaining it. This means honing the edge regularly, sharpening as needed, and protecting the edge from banging up against silverware, pots, pans, etc; otherwise, even a $1000 knife will perform terribly.
How much cooking do you do? Do you prefer Japanese or Western knives?
The best bang for your buck is the Victorinox Fibrox knives. America's test kitchen rates them as highly/higher than most $100-200 knives.
If money is no option, I prefer the Misono UX10 series.
There are lots of big brands and differing opinions on what knives to get. I have owned Global, Shun, Misonono, Victorinox, and MAC knives. They all have their positives and negatives. It comes down to what you like and what you are willing to spend.
In terms of what knives you need, a good Chef's knife, a pairing knife and a bread knife is all you need for 90% of daily cutting tasks. If you are just starting out I would get the Victorinox Fibronox series. If you decide you like knives and want something that gets ultra sharp, I would be more than willing to share what my personal preferences are.
The other thing I would invest in is a sharpening system. I prefer DMT diamond plates. They stay flat and will cut through any blade material. Plus they are really fast. Some people love the edge pro system. I haven't used it, but I like the feedback stones give you over other systems. Stay away from cheap automatic grinders, they don't get blades nearly as sharp.
There is a deep rabbit hole when it comes to chef knives and sharpening, in the end it comes down to what you love to use. Search locally and see if there is a chef supply or knife store you can go to see what you like the feel of.
There was a great suggestion earlier in this thread about a Victorinox knife that was recommended by Consumer Reports.
Here are a few that are slightly outside your price range (By about $15) that I wouldn't have any issues with using in my own cooking adventures :). All prices are listed in Canadian dollars.
[Victorinox 8" Chef's knife - $36] (http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-40520-Fibrox-8-Inch-Chefs/dp/B000638D32/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top)
[Kai 6" Santoku - $51.38] (http://www.amazon.ca/Kai-Wasabi-2-Inch-Santoku-Knife/dp/B000YL4NYY/ref=sr_1_7?s=kitchen&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1380663533&amp;sr=1-7&amp;keywords=santoku)
[Calphalon Katana 8" Chef's knife - $59] (http://www.amazon.ca/Kai-Wasabi-2-Inch-Santoku-Knife/dp/B000YL4NYY/ref=sr_1_7?s=kitchen&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1380663533&amp;sr=1-7&amp;keywords=santoku)
[Calphalon Contemporary 8" Chef's knife - $29] (http://www.amazon.ca/Calphalon-Contemporary-8-Inch-Chefs-Knife/dp/B000V6ROPC/ref=sr_1_16?s=kitchen&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1380663579&amp;sr=1-16&amp;keywords=8%22+chef)
For any and all of these, the first thing you'll want to do is go to a store that sells knives, and try a few before you find what you like. Hold them by the handle, and then hold them where the handle ends and meets the blade. Check the balance - When you're holding it by the handle, is the knife weighted evenly, front to back? Is there more weight towards the back or the front? If you were using this for 40 mins-1hr of prepping veggies and meat, would you be comfortable with it? Does the handle fit your hand, does the whole thing feel like a natural extension of your arm when you're chopping, slicing, etc?
Learning to cook for the first time in college, my standard was:
2 pots (1 big, 1 small w/ lids), 2 pans (1 big, 1 small), tupperware (super important!), a spatula, 2 tongs (1 big, 1 small), measuring cups, cutting board, can opener, peeler, oven mitts, colander, dish/kitchen towel, paper towel rolls and holder, baking pan, a chef knife, and a knife sharpener. You can upgrade your kitchen as you improve/explore your cooking venture.
Keep in mind none of this has to be top notch quality when starting out. Most of my kitchen stuff was from Dollar Tree and lasted throughout my 8 years of college and graduate school. I actually still use the same peeler now I think about it lol. Anything Dollar Tree didn't have, thrift stores, garage sales, and HomeGoods clearance like everyone else suggested!
My one suggestion to splurge on is the knife; it will be your best your friend. I LOVE this affordable one from Amazon for $31. Or you can do what I did and buy a decent $10 one from the local Asian store. Both have lasted me many years with good maintenance. Get yourself a cheap knife sharpener and never let the knife get dull to the point of no return. Again, you can get more/better tools as you improve.
Last tip: All the basics you need to learn can be taught by YouTube.
Hope this helps!
If you live near an Asian market or grocery store, you can get a Kiwi brand knife for like $5 that will be razor sharp out of the box. It's a super cheap, very thin blade that's not going to last forever, but if you want something sharp in a pinch, it'll definitely get the job done.
Something like this - https://www.amazon.com/Kiwi-Brand-Stainless-Steel-21/dp/B001FEJ0WO/
Just to make sure you understand, these knives are super cheap for a reason haha, but they are generally very sharp.
When it comes to knives; invest in a few good ones. Learn how to sharpen them. Wash and dry them straight after use, take care of your knives. Good knives are like babies, they will last as long as you take care of them. Go Japanese, take a look at Global. Global's bread knife also does the job pretty fucking well, also good for butchering down some meat when the going gets tough.
If you're feeling like a big boy, go for a 10" Masahiro - this will keep you sorted for all your veggie needs forever and ever. This small peeler from Fiskar is also an underestimated legend in my kitchen.
There are two different approaches that I would recommend, which is better for you would be down to your personality. The option are:
A. a good block of knives
B. two very good knives
If you're a little unsure option A will be pretty good and will last 4-5 years. Example: http://www.amazon.com/Mundial-Series-7-Piece-Knife-Block/dp/B00004RBSV/ref=sr_1_4?s=home-garden&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1409773431&amp;sr=1-4&amp;keywords=mundial+knife+block
If you like good stuff and care for your tools then option B might be the go. With care these should last 20 years and - as noted by /u/icecow many come with free professional sharpening for the life of the knife. Add a smaller very good utility knife and a sharpening steel and you should be right. An example of the higher end: http://www.amazon.com/Wusthof-Classic-8-Inch-Cooks-Knife/dp/B00009ZK08/ref=sr_1_1_m?s=home-garden&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1409773723&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=wusthof+chef+knives
I'll also note that I've bought both of the examples I've used here. Check about the sharpening service before you buy on option B. I know that Wusthof have the free sharpening in Australia, but I don't know about elsewhere. The Mundials are surprisingly good for the price.
Amazon. I know it's a sin to actually order stuff off of teh Interwebs instead of physically going to a store, but you can find almost anything there that would be next to impossible to find in most stores -- and you can usually get then at a discounted cost far less than Williams-Sonoma, plus free shipping with Amazon's "super saver shipping." Some of the things I've ordered from there that simply could not be found in a typical store: Bayou Classic 16-quart cast iron dutch oven, Reddit's favorite Victorinox chef's knife, the Lodge "double dutch" oven combo, and two cast iron items that were far less expensive at Amazon than you'd find at Williams-Sonoma -- the Lodge cast iron wok (purchased with a 2010 Xmas gift card) and the Lodge cast iron pizza pan (purchased with a 2011 Xmas gift card).
This is the knife I learned on and have used every day of my professional culinary Career. I have a knife collection worth a few thousand dollars at this point but the one I use every day and trust to leave around. Let others use. Leave on kitchens knife bar. This one. It's sturdy. The steel is soft enough to be forgiving. Soft enough to learn to sharpen. But hard enough to keep an edge for a while. While you are learning take it to a professional once or twice a year to get a professional edge put back on. You can maintain that edge for months with a proper steel before and after each use. If you have questions you can always DM me I'm a professional chef for 10 years and currently still very much into knives knife skills and sharpening them.
Also I own this particular knife in 5 8 and 11 inches. The 5 is great for smaller projects that still need some heft. The 8 is what I use 90% of the time and the 11 I use pretty much only when like... I need to cut a huge watermelon or huge onions that when cut in half still need a big knife. Or like giant eggplants. You get the point.
You can get a knife professionally sharpened for a few dollars. I usually take our knives to the farmers market, and there's a guy that will do it for $1 per inch of blade. My main knives are in the $150 range, but a talented sharpener can make just about any knife better than it was new. Typically, less expensive knives come with an angle that's too low for easy cutting (especially delicate foods). A good bladesmith can fix this. When freshly sharp (and for a long time after), my 9" chef's knife will easily slice tomatoes without crushing; the knife simply floats through the item.
You won't need to spend $100 to get a solid knife. The Victoronix Fibrox is a nice blade for under $50. I keep that as a backup and for use at the grill/outdoor kitchen.
Once you've had a knife professionally sharpened, you'll wonder why you didn't do it before.
I purchased the Chef's Choice Knife Sharpener 4643. I know that the trendy way to sharpen knives right now is with a set of stones, but I just can't be assed to do that. When my knife dulls, I spend 5-10 minutes using the sharpener and honing the blade. Note that the 3rd notch says "Serrated".
Here are some general recommendations for picking a knife.
I recommend just going to a store like Williams Sonoma, Bed Bath and Beyond or Su La Table and just trying out knives. I know that many of them will have some vegetables around that you can practice on.
I personally prefer a slightly heavier knife because I can rely on gravity to help push a knife down through whatever I'm cooking. I like a wooden grip because the weight helps distribute the weight closer to the center of the knife (the grip point) rather than making it more front heavy, which can be tough on the wrist. This means that I usually avoid plastic grips.
I have a grand total of 5 knives. 95% of my cutting is performed by a relatively large, 7.5" Santoku (essentially a Japanese chef's knife). I have a cheap chef's knife that I use for cutting things that might damage the blade (such as casseroles in a glass dish). Beyond that, I have a Wuhstoff bread knife, a paring knife (for very small cuts and peeling) and a utility knife (when I need to cut smaller items or I'm cutting a small amount of food).
I'm, personally, absolutely in love with the Japanese knives and would totally recommend a Santoku for a first knife, but I also recommend you find the time to try holding it and determine if it's for you. The straight vertical edge next to the handle can be cumbersome to first time users.
Beyond a chef's knife, I recommend holding off until you find yourself needing something else. It also means you can spend a little extra on your main knife rather than buying a set of cheap knives.
Avoid carbon steel knives. They rust easily. Ceramic knives cannot be sharpened with the sharpener I linked above.
I don't know this particular model, but i know the brand well. I work at a EU based knife retailer. Going by my general knowledge of the brand I have this to add: Zwilling runs most of their knives around 58 HRC, which is average on the lower side. That means you would need to sharpen it more frequent than some other options. But it's also easy to sharpen, easy to touch up and very forgiving. Some knives will just chip just by looking at a chicken bone, this is not one of those knives.
Quite frankly, i'm very surprised how low the price is on amazon. It's drop forged, so not really forged, but still. It's not some laser cut plate steel knife. Though no first hand experience with this line by Zwilling, should be super solid.
Very generally speaking most "western" knives have larger curves to the edge which make them more suited to rock chopping and many of them use softer steels which take more abuse but don't get the same kind of edge you can from other steels. Japanese knives can still rock chop but many don't have as hard curves so they don't come up so high off the board for rocking. You probably already have a western style handle; a japanese or wa style handle looks something like this; something uniformly round or octagonal shaped. We'll go ahead and assume you want something stainless and with a blade size around 8inches or 210mm. The knife I linked would be your best starting option if you feel like trying out a wa style handle type, otherwise something like a Tojiro or a Victorinox are great budget chefs knives that are solid recommendations.
of course, but you can still get a nice one for a reasonable price. I would say that something like this is a good one to start with because it is nearly impossible to mess up, even if your roommate/significant other put its into the washing machine or something. The most important thing to look for is that the steel goes all the way through to the heel of the handle, make sure the blade isn't just glued into it. Buying a knife is kind of like buying a pair of shoes though, you should really go into a store and hold one to make sure you like the grip, the weight, and get someone who knows a little more than me to help you pick one out.
If you want the price of the Victorinox but the sturdier forged blade of the Wusthof consider getting a Mercer. It is German steel and it seems to be a good blade. I have a couple of Wusthof chef knives and I have a 10" Victorinox chef's knife and I wish I had known about the Mercer when I bought the Victorinox. I did end up buying the Mercer for my brother this past Christmas and I enjoyed the weight and feel of the knife and so did he. That would be my top recommendation for a good knife for a good price.
I considered myself a beginner not that long ago and three things I found helped a lot were;
I'm not a fan of knife blocks, as 99% of my or anyone elses cooking is just with 3 knives
8 inch chefs knife. I love my Shun, but $160 is a bit much when your roommates will treat it like shit. For a university student a great gift is a Victorianox Fibrox. Great value. If it's destroyed after your 4 years and you've got some disposable income again than invest in one you'll treat right and use for the rest of your life.
Cheap paring knife or 2. I saw them for sale for $1.50 at Real Canadian Superstore the other day.
Cheap but effective bread knife. I got mine when a restaurant was selling off their stuff.
Really, that's all you need. Not 7 knives you'll only use when your chef's knife is dirty.
Here's the perennial recommendation at that price point--https://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Fibrox-Chefs-Knife-8-Inch/dp/B000638D32. It's a great knife for the money--better than the cheap crap most people use, and a good stepping stone for getting into nicer stuff in the future.
Edit: Alternatively, you could both go in on a nicer knife together, with her contribution constituting her gift to you.
If you go a tier or two up, I would highly recommend the gesshin stainless wa gyuto from JKI (I would far more prefer this to the mass market hybrid brands like shun, miyabi, dalstrong, etc.): https://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/products/gesshin-stainless-210mm-wa-gyuto.
Of course, people have different attitudes about gifts, and the idea of splitting something may seem too transactional, or run contrary to her (or your) ideas about gift giving.
We put a chef's knife on our registry as a joke because it was so expensive ($100), but my uncle actually bought it for us. Just had our 10 year anniversary, and it's the only thing we still own from that day. Along with a good sharpener, a good chief's knife can last forever.
I fucking love that knife. It's cuts everything and makes cooking so much more enjoyable.
Edit: This is like the one we ended up with. Apparently different than ours from 10 years ago. Ours has 3 names on the opposite side of the grip and the boxes near "made in Germany" are different than the picture.
this one has pretty good reviews. and you would have enough leftover to buy a sharpener.
Or, Here is a Henckels knife that is only $47.
I have one of these and Love it! but it's a bit pricey on a budget. so maybe next time. get the cheap on now and get something like this later. Mine has lasted me 10 years so far and is still going.
also, to help keep the edge sharp on your knife... Don't put it in the dishwasher! hand wash only dry and put away. also if you cut anything acidic, tomatoes, orange, lemon etc. rinse the blade well and wash as soon as you get a chance. the acid will dull your knife pretty quickly.
If I may, this knife sharpener is inexpensive and we love it. It's saved our knives, and it also gets recommended on /r/kitchenconfidential a lot, too.
I took the Cook's Illustrated "Best Buy" recommendations for all our knives, and can confidently recommend the Victorinox Chef's Knife as a basic, nice chef's knife.
This is the one that I have - Take a look around at some local stores and you're almost certain to find it cheaper than this listing
This one os from their Ikon line. I don't own this one but I've used it and it's really nice as well. The bolster on the Ikon is a little different and the grip is a little more ergonomic supposedly. I didn't really notice too much of a difference.
Another one to check out is Zwilling. I don't know too much about them apart from word of mouth, which has only been positive.
Whichever you go with make sure that if he doesn't have one already to get him a good steel to go with it
There are many premier knife brands out there, most of which cost a fair amount of money. Many people are quick to recommend them, however, I'd suggest a simple Victorinox from Amazon. Although my parents generously bought me a set of Henckels for Christmas, I'm looking to pick up a larger chef's knife and Victorinox has attracted my attention.
The 8" Chef's Knife and 10" Chef's Knife can be had for very reasonable prices and are well-reviewed. A larger chef's knife can allow work with larger materials, while the smaller knife is easier to maneuver and less tiring during long cutting tasks. At work, I opt for one of our 8" knives whenever possible, I just find them so much more comfortable to work with.
If you're looking for a more complete kitchen set, consider buying your chef's knife along with a paring knife, bread knife, fillet and boning knife. Fine edge blades are fucking awful with bread, so the serrated bread knife is as much of an essential as a chef's knife. Paring knives fit small cutting tasks like tourné cuts where a chef's knife would be unwieldy. The fillet and boning knives will allow you to make quick work of whole fish and chickens, the thin flexible blades enabling you to work very close to the bone, wasting as little as possible.
Carefully consider your needs before ordering anything, as you can save an appreciable amount of money by buying your knives together. Alternatively, you may wish to purchase different knives from different companies and buying as a set would actually be undesirable. This is the kind of thing you really only have to buy once if you're willing to do your homework.
I use a dollar store cheese shredder for hash browns too (thats one of the better tools for it), but there are plenty of immersion blenders you can get with a processor attachment for under $30. As for the knife, you only need one, and I have found a good one is well worth having, Mercer or Victorinox(for a little more) both have you covered for good daily use quality at a good price.
I like this one a lot. It's the one I use most often in my kitchen.
This one is also good, though it's not as fancy.
I also like this one due to its ergonomic shape (I have the 6-inch version).
This one is a pretty fantastic value, as well.
As you can see, I like the 8-inch size for general kitchen use. I have a couple 6-inch chef's knives, and a 10-inch and I used to have a 12-inch monster (gave that one away to a vegetarian friend - It was boss as hell for chopping up big veggies).
Those are my suggestions, and they're based on my experience. My top choice is the Wusthof Classic 8-inch, but it's also the most expensive of the ones I've used. The Calphalon Katana is also nice (and is my second choice).
The best chefs knife that I can unreservedly recommend unfortunately isn't one that is going to make your brother go "ohhhh, wow! That's gorgeous!" It's the Victorinox 8" Fibrox. It's a fantastic chef's knife, not just 'for the price' (which is amazing at under $30), but genuinely a great knife. America's Test Kitchen has done multiple chefs knife tests and reviews (one of the most recent is on Youtube here) and their testing and reviews can be trusted.
I sold my set of Shun knives for $500, bought a 1k and 5k Shapton, an Ikazuchi 240, and a bunch of cheap stainless knives for my family to use.
They are also for me to practice sharpening and see if I like a cleaver and Nakiri.
The two kiwi's were $12 from Amazon. They came pretty dull. I've worked the Nakiri up to a reasonable sharpness with three 1k passes and cloth stropping. But it's still not very sharp, barely takes off arm hair.
I've probably done a few hundred passes on the 1k stone for each section of the knife. Burrs form, come off. Still not super sharp. I don't know if these are worth the time.
The victorinox fibrox 8" came pretty sharp. I've done about 3-4 1k sessions of about 100 strokes. It's gotten sharper. I find it somewhat difficult to sharpen.
The chef cleaver is amazing! I love this knife. Out of the box it's super sharp. With one session of 1k and 5k it got even sharper. Very happy. Not sure I yet like the chinese cleaver, it feels very unfamiliar but it's a great knife.
I have watched just about every video imaginable on sharpening and read a lot here. I'll just keep learning but I have a few questions.
My goal with these is to keep a decent edge for a month or longer. I have a shapton 1k and 5k. Is the 1k enough? I've heard it's a coarse (maybe 800) whetstone.
And the the 5k (I've read) is too high for budget stainless sharpening (not polishing, no need for that.) Do I need something in between? The 2k Shapton is affordable. The 3k chosera is expensive but maybe better? Any other suggestions?
If you are looking for good quality and in-expensive I recommend [Victorinox] (http://lifehacker.com/5390285/victorinox-chefs-knife-performs-like-a-100%252B-knife-for-much-less)
. They are what many commercial chefs use in their kitchen as well as butchers for years and years. I work at a cookware store, they are in the sweet spot balance with price and good quality. they are also very reliable and comfortable, I found this on amazon
and it has a great handle which grips even when doused with oil.
Yes. I love these knives- I think they are some of the best valued ones you can buy. If these knives are good enough to use professionally, they are good enough for you (I worked in a small commercial kitchen for 5+ years...) I've got the 8 inch version.
Just recommended the Shun Classic line in the previous post.
These come from a reputable brand, have great quality and made from VGMax steel (basically an improved VG10).
Great entry level Japanese knives and I'm sure she'll love one of these.
ya seriously, don't bring over a grand worth of knives to school.
maybe bring just one, the chef knife, but definitely not the whole set. and i would wait like at least the second month into the semester, after everyone learns about the #1 rule of kitchens, which is "don't touch my knife without asking for permission."
i'd also be wary if you are the only person with a really nice knife, as it is good bait to be stolen, or people could fuck with your knife and break it out of malice or just incompetence. unless one is knowledgeable of knives, one will assume all are equal, and can do anything and everything with it, like trying to cut a butternut squash, or coring an avocado...it would be shitty for a classmate to break your knife by doing something dumb with it, and how would you hold them accountable for breaking a CAD$ 350 ish knife? school ain't gonna do shit about it, just like in the industry.
since all your knives are SG2 steel, with a hrc of 63, you will also need a beater work horse knife to cut really hard stuff like butternut squash. i suggest you get something like victorinox fibrox, a CAD$60 stamped knife, which will get the job done.
another benefit of using something that's not laser sharp is that it forces you to have good technique when cutting, great for when you are really practicing your cuts. this knife can get decently sharp if you use whetstones, but just has shit edge retention.
think of the analogy of getting a honda civic as your first car to learn to drive, as opposed to getting a ferrari.
in continuation of the car analogy, when you start your first job, you better fucking have good knife skills, or you will be clowned day and night. as the "FNG" (fucking new guy/gal), you will earn a lot of respect if you rock a fancy knife and can back it up with the knife skills, but will lose a lot of respect if you can't cut for shit.
don't we all just laugh at all the youtube videos of jackasses trying to stunt with their supercars, only to crash into a light pole 30 seconds later? ya, kinda like that.
In my opinion, the bare minimum of what you need is:
Don't waste money on cheap cookie pans.
A great addition on top of this would be a good cast iron skillet and a cast iron Dutch Oven. I would shop secondhand market for these.
I would avoid aluminum (Non-clad) and non-stick cookware. The aluminum stuff reacts with acidic foods and the non-stick cookware flakes off eventually. Stick to stainless steel for the most bang for your buck.
I think it really comes down to how you grip a knife (do you hold it like a lot of people who actually grab the handle like they're holding a torch, or do you pinch the bolster where it's thicker and balanced). I've had all kinds of expensive knives, but when I bought the Shun Ken Onion chef's knife, I couldn't imagine using anything else. Here's a picture of the knife. Compare that with the Victorinox Fibrox, Henckels, Masamoto, Wusthof, etc. The knife's bolster is what I love about my Shun (thumb and index finger fit perfectly on it).
A 50 dollar knife set will be a huge piece of shit,and 3/4 of them will rarely get used.
Get him (and your self) This knife.
Honest to god it performs as good and often better than knives 3x its cost.
If you do get it, make sure you tell him to hand wash only, and dry immediately. Don't let it sit with food on it, and store it where it wont get banged up by other cutlery. if he has to put it in a drawer, make sure he uses the plastic sleeve it comes with.
Get a quality chef knife if you don’t have one yet and are cooking a lot. I would say if you want a western knife, a BILF one would be the Wustof Classic Ikon. It is a good price and built like a tank but has the balance of a ballerina. Great great value at the price of $170. They also have it packaged with a Wustof Classic Ikon pairing knife for $190 if you need one of those.
Wusthof Classic IKON Cook’s Knife,4596-7/20 8 Inch https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000YMURSE/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_JAYxCbMNSEENH
Wusthof Classic Ikon two piece starter set https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00005MEHP/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_TCYxCbZEWS00F
I am far, far from an expert but I would not recommend the Global for a first chef's knife. Aside from being pricey, the handles aren't for everyone (they look very cool, but being just dimpled metal, they don't really offer much grip especially if the knife is wet). I also own the Victorinox Fibrox/Forschner and love it. Extremely sharp and the handle is great. Also, for the price you don't have to worry too much about messing it up. It's long been recommended by Cook's Illustrated, and in the latest issue they did a large comparo just to see if the Fibrox could still compete, and it's still their #1 pick for inexpensive knives (under $50).
Here is a Shun 8" chefs knife in Damascus for $99.95 & FREE SHIPPING!
It has great ratings, is a very nice looking knife. I agree that Damascus is a great look and they seem to be a bit lighter.
I always recommend these items in these type of threads, they'll get you off to a really good start.
From there I'd get a solid set of pots and pans and/or a dutch oven. A rice cooker also is pretty helpful. I use mine constantly. Good luck!
If you have any stores that sell high end knives (Wustof, Global, Shun, etc) go there and hold them in your hand. Not all handles are the same and you really want to have the knife fit comfortably in your hand.
I posted in another thread similar to this that a knife is like a gun, and you should not take someone's word for what they prefer as a brand. For example the Wustof may be preferable for one but you may get callouses using it.
My first knife was a Global 8 inch and it was awesome. It's under $100 and its very sharp and cool looking. However, using it for hours on end everyday at work I developed a horrible callous (chef's callous) on the inside of my index finger. It hurt like a bitch.
So after some comparison shopping and research I purchased the Ken Onion Series Shun. The way the handle is designed allows you to comfortably hold the knife while also wrapping your thumb and index finger on the blade for more control. I haven't had a callous since I got this knife and I love it.
Of course, if you buy a knife don't forget to buy a honing steel. Make sure to either store the knife in a knife block or wrap it in a towel when you store it. After a bit you'll want to buy a whet stone or if you don't want to sharpen it yourself you can get it done by a pro. How often you need to sharpen depends on how often you use the knife and how well you take care of it. The knife will be scary sharp when you first get it but make sure to learn how to properly use the honing steel otherwise you'll just end up with a very expensive letter opener.
Big fan of the Shun line of knives. They come in about $150 each.
They're great knives that are very comfortable to use. Unfortunately, not everyone likes the same style of knife, and it's a pretty personal choice. I'd recommend either taking your friend to a place that sells high end cutlery, or buying them a gift cert to a place with the expectation that it should be used on a chefs knife.
Checkout the victorinox line. They don’t have a full tang and it’s a fibrox handle but it’s very sharp, feels good in the hand, and it’s easy to sharpen. Plus it’s cheap, I enjoy this knife as much as my Japanese and German steel.
Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife, 8-Inch Chef's FFP https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008M5U1C2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_vZskDbP2G8HNX
The super hardened steel in "professional" knives are much more difficult to keep sharp. They make sense for professionals, because they won't wear away to a nub with heavy use, but unless you're actively using, honing and sharpening your knife for 60 hours per week, they're completely unnecessary.
Here's a perfect starter kit for the home chef:
Don't waste money on expensive sets unless having a butcher block stand on display in your kitchen to impress your guests is something that matters to you. Put your money into a good quality chef knife that's easy to keep sharp and the tools to keep it that way.
If you don't trust me, take it from Anthony Bourdain.
Mercer and wusthov are both fine knives, but if you want the most bang for your buck, you really should buy individually. That doesnt mean you cant get a nice matching set though. Copying and pasting this from a thread a few weeks ago.
>The Victorinox ones are probably the best value around. Thats speaking as someone >who owns several hundred dollars worth of mostly Shun and Mercer knives.
>All you REALLY need is a
>to start with, those will handle about 85% of anything your ever need to do, but if you >want to expand i would get a
>And dont forget a honing steel.
>And MAYBE a pair of shears.
They wont come all together in a nice box, but no reason you couldnt get a nice block too and just wrap the whole thing...
Full knife sets are a scam. You don’t need two different size chef knives and a santoku, you don’t need a serrated paring knife, or any of that crap. You’ll never use them and they’ll just sit there in your knife block, and you will have spent 50% of your money on knives you never touch. Here’s all you need, in your price range:
A henckels 8 inch chef knife - https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00004RFMT/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;amp;qid=1510433354&amp;amp;amp;sr=8-3&amp;amp;amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&amp;amp;amp;keywords=henckels+chef+knife+8&amp;amp;amp;dpPl=1&amp;amp;amp;dpID=31OX1pDMIvL&amp;amp;amp;ref=plSrch. you’ll use this for 90% of the things you cut. Veggies, meat, whatever.
A tojiro bread slicer. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001TPA816/ref=mp_s_a_1_6?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;amp;qid=1510433463&amp;amp;amp;sr=8-6&amp;amp;amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&amp;amp;amp;keywords=bread+knife&amp;amp;amp;dpPl=1&amp;amp;amp;dpID=312P9gZ10AL&amp;amp;amp;ref=plSrch. this thing will eat through crusty breads, tough squashes, pineapples, etc, and you can also use it to cut paper thin tomato slices with those sharp teeth. It’s good quality and cheap, I just bought one myself and love it. I accidentally cut my dish brush and a cloth when washing and drying it the first time. That’s how sharp it is.
A victorinox paring knife. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0019WXPQY/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;amp;qid=1510433648&amp;amp;amp;sr=8-1-spons&amp;amp;amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&amp;amp;amp;keywords=victorinox+paring&amp;amp;amp;psc=1 - for when you need to do fine cutting work
If you have a good reason, you might add a boning knife or something like that, but these 3 knives are all I use 99.9% of the time. The only other thing to add is a sharpener and honing steel to keep them sharp.
If you’re not a professional chef, you can get away with a cheap (decent) knife sharpener like this one - https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00004VWKQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_10?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;amp;qid=1510433817&amp;amp;amp;sr=8-10&amp;amp;amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&amp;amp;amp;keywords=knife+sharpener&amp;amp;amp;dpPl=1&amp;amp;amp;dpID=41bRTplVVXL&amp;amp;amp;ref=plSrch]
You don’t need to spend a bunch of time and money on stones to sharpen your knives properly unless you’re super interested in that sort of thing. Use this sharpener once every few weeks or so and it’ll keep your knives sharp enough to get everything done.
If I were starting a new kitchen from scratch, those are exactly what I’d buy to get started. Treat them well and sharpen them occasionally (except the bread slicer, it’s hard to sharpen but cheap enough to replace every few years when it starts to dull), and they’ll last you a long time.
do you have a chef's knife? this would be a great investment, as you can use it for pretty much everything, including cutting up birds. i have victorinox chef's knives in both 8 and 10 inches. they're widely considered to be the best bang for your buck...
All-Clad is kind of the "Cadillac" of cookware, and a big set costs over $1000. In a highly-regarded test kitchen, this Tramontina set for $135 gets good reviews and sells for a fraction of the price. There are other set configurations and open stock (to buy in pieces) items of the same Tramontina line. I would add an 8- and 10-inch nonstick skillet and you would be set for a long time.
The same reviewers like these Victorinox knives as their second best choice. The first choice is the far more expensive German knives. There are different knife set configurations, even big sets in wood blocks, but my link is to the basics.
You need a knife sharpener. This one works very well and is simple to use, and is inexpensive as well.
You will need a colander set. This is the one I use. Stainless steel, lasts for years, cleans up in the dishwasher.
You will need hot pads, trivets, rubber spatulas (bowl scrapers) cookie sheets, etc. Just think through what you like to cook (or eat) and make a list of what you need for each step. Cookies? Mixing bowl, mixer or big spoon, measuring cups, measuring spoons, cookie sheet and spatula. Spaghetti? Frying pan, spatula, can opener, saucepan, big spoon for stirring pasta sauce, bigger pot to cook the pasta, colander, tongs, hot pads or mitts to protect hands while draining pasta. Just think through the steps and make a list.
Okay here's the score from someone who does a lot of knife work for a living and have used a lot of different knives over the years.
It's how you care for your knife. Not the knife itself, generally.
Not trying to shit on OP at all here, because he likes cool knives and ain't nothing wrong with that, but 99.9% of home cooks will never need a knife like the ones he's got there.
Get a well-reviewed, cheap, high carbon stainless steel chef's knife on Amazon, I'll drop some links here at the end. Carbon steel is strong and tensile and sharpens easily. The only issue, if you could call it that, is that it won't hold an edge as long as higher end knives. But the tradeoff is you get a knife that won't chip or break as easily.
What often happens with amateur cooks is, they buy a solid carbon steel blade, it loses it's edge after a few uses, and the buyer assumes it was another cheap dud.
Learn that honing a blade and sharpening a blade are different. A quick honing takes that "dull" knife back to razer sharp in moments when you know how to do it. Basically honing "resets" the edges, while sharpening grinds down a new edge entirely. Sharpening won't really need to happen more than once a year for home cooks. But I hone my knife before and after every job, if I can.
Here's Gordon Ramsay on how to hone your knife
Always dry your knives off and never put them in the dishwasher or sink to get dinged up. I see people just chuck their knives about or toss them in drawers or ugh knife blocks. Splurge on the blade guard for your particular knife, or make a makeshift one out of duct tape and cardboard (my favorite as it doesn't scratch the knife as some knife holders do).
Here are some links
my personal knife, a whopping $14
a little pricier at $45, but a lifetime piece if cared for well
Victorinox 8 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife which I got for my husband, we needed a better kitchen knife and this one was rated pretty well by america's test kitchen
Chooka rain boots I have thick calves and these rain boots are fantastic, they're a bit wide too so I can wear wooly socks with them.
My Asus laptop
This cat lounger my cats love, especially my chunky one
And my air purifier
Well generally speaking most people don't actually need a butcher's block full of knives. You want a few knives that work very well for multiple purposes.
Personally I use Victorinox knives like this one after being recommended by many people. Amazon reviews speak for themselves. IMO if you are on a budget they are the best balance between low cost and high quality. And yeah $30 for a single knife might still seem like a lot compared to paying $60 for a whole butcher block, but in most cases that one $30 quality knife is going to outwork that entire $60 butcher block. I guarantee if you spend a little extra and get a quality chef, bread and paring knife, you will get far more value out of it than having a whole block of lower quality knives.
I have bought that exact knife as a gift for 3 different people and they all love it. Not like "oh wow what a thoughtful gift", but rather weeks later "dude that knife you got me is awesome". A friend of mine I bought one for just a month or so ago, who had a whole bunch of old shitty dull knives he's had for years, actually said "I feel like I've never used a knife before".
If you want to spend more, check out Wuthof, J.A. Henckels and Mac knives for a step up. I have a full knife set but personally the chef's knife, bread knife and paring knife serve well over 90% of my uses.
Get a honing steel and learn how to use it, also. Get your knives sharpened every year or two and they should last you a very, very long time. Or buy a whetstone if you wanna do it yourself.
Victorinox is a constant favorite of America's Test Kitchens. I have the Chef's knife, Slicing knife, and Pairing set and I really like them. Great prices for great knives. I'll probably eventually get the Steak Knife set and Wavy Bread knife. I posted links to Amazon so you could look at the reviews.
True - But you can buy yourself one of these sharpeners and extend the life of your knife.
I have one going on 8 years (or more) and it's still a go to knife daily. In the past, it had to be sent in for sharpening, now I can do it myself. Great knife (Kyocera OK-100)
Bonus tip - These are great too!
Do NOT touch a girl's laundry unless permission is given.
If you are sharing a bathroom, request that she lets you know when she goes in for her shower, so that you can do whatever quick thing you need to do before the bathroom is occupied for an hour+
Anyways its a common joke, but turns out WD4D and ducktape both came in handy while living at my apartment, which I'm glad I had handy at the time. Basically any emergency response items you should have on you before you need it, since it's a pretty huge inconvenience when you have to go out to get them when you need them right that minute. Plunger, a first aid kit, a bottle of draino, carpet cleaning sprays (get that stuff out asap or you'll stain it and end up losing your deposit), a screw driver kit, hammer, scissors. Almost inclined to say a couple clamps and some glue but that's probably secondary and not exactly necessary for most emergency situations.
For the kitchen, get yourself a pot, pan, cutting board, drying rack, but most important a decent knife. There is an absolute worlds difference between the 12 dollar knives at walmart and a 32 dollar swiss army victorinox knife and you will be infinitely happier that you spent 21 dollars more to never have a problem cutting your food ever again. Should probably pick up a honing steel to use on it, but you can pick that up anywhere for like 5~10 bucks. This is one of the best cheap starter knives out there, so I strongly recommend you get one.
I use my Global 20cm Chefs knife for ... everything. Basically everything. I have tried a few different brands. My knife rack has Wusthof, Henckel and a few other (cheaper) ones. I go to the Global every time.
This is very subjective. My other knives are also very good, I just prefer the Global. It's light and quite thin, holds an edge better than the others. It suits me well. IMO that's 99% of what people are saying when they tell you one knife is better than another of comparable price, that it suits them well.
See if you can borrow a few knives from friends and work with them for a bit and see what you like.
I like the America's Test Kitchen shows and picked up the chef's knife because of their glowing review of it and inexpensive price:
Victorinox Fibrox Chef's Knife is great.
I liked it so much that I purchased the santoku and a few paring knives.
small paring knives
The paring knives seem to go dull more quickly than I would like though, but I might have really high expectations for my knives.
I also personally like the santoku knife a lot and it might be my favorite.
To keep all of them extremely sharp I use this whetstone in fine/course.
If I only got to pick one of them it would be the whetstone; hands down the best thing to have in your kitchen and will last a long time.
Cook's Illustrated has a lot of reviews of kitchen items, including knives. I have the magazine somewhere, and they chose one of the Victorinox Chef's Knives as their best value - performed almost as well as the higher-end knives but only $30 (at the time). I believe it's this one that's currently $40 on Amazon. The link above goes directly to their summary of their chef's knife criteria/testing, though unfortunately you need to subscribe to get full access to the website etc. etc. They do have a very thorough description of what they look for in a knife, and might help you in your general "What should I look for in a knife" question.
I've heard from multiple places that the average user only really needs 3 knives: a chef's knife, a paring knife, and a bread knife. I think bread knives are pretty hard to mess up - I just bought a bagel knife from my local superstore and called it a day. My current set of knives is actually a set of Kiwi knives that are very nice and sharp, but were really cheap at my local Asian store. I have this for my chef's knife (bought for $4 + tax) and this for my paring knife (bought for $2 + tax). They've served me well so far, and like I said, they're nice and sharp (though my paring knife has dulled since my roommate ran it through the dishwasher :( ). The only thing I dislike about them is that they're on the thin side. While I wouldn't call them flimsy, I am a bit afraid to use my Kiwi knives on something more difficult, like cutting up a pineapple. They do great on my veggies, though. If you have an Asian supermarket near you, maybe check if they have them?
Cholesterol you eat has very, very, very little bearing on your blood serum levels. Bad-cholesterol levels are tied to genetics and inflammation. Good news! Eat all the eggs you want. Bad news! Stress contributes to inflammation.
How much longer are you going to be in this situation? Would it be worth it to pick up a cheapish chef's knife and a dutch oven? Because my-oh-my what you can do with a dutch oven on a stovetop is amazing and I am just full of recipes.
Also, these caffiene stir sticks have been getting popular at my local college.
I can't do much to help you, but if you want some recipes I can help out a bit with the stovetop cooking. (In the interest of transparency, some of these recipes are from my own blog.) As far as the smell goes . . . fuck it, the crab hates you anyway so just make like a duck and let her roll off your back.
Seafood Stew - I say dutch oven for this, but you can totally use a regular pot.
If you've got a broiler in the oven that works Eggs in Prugatory is a favorite of mine.
If you're feeling up to making dumplings, I have a recipe for pierogies that is pure comfort food.
And I could go on about eggs the way that Forest Gump's buddy did about shrimp.
Someone else made this recommendation so here is my two sense on the same knife.. this knife is AMAZING and will easily do everything you could ask for and more with a great price, I hope it works for you like it has for me.
Wusthof Pro Cook's Knife, 8-Inch https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008GRUNOC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_iWWYAbKRZX22H
After many years of working with what I thought were decent knives in my home kitchen (major European brand) knives, even sharpening them, they weren't up to some of the tasks and dulled quickly. Over time they degraded and weren't first quality although I paid a pretty penny for them at the time.
Spend some time researching and a bit more money for a first quality chef's knife and paring knife. It will last you your lifetime.
I finally settled on this for a chef's knife: its the best of both worlds, imo.
There are a lot of considerations like type and treatment of steel, angle of the blade, balance and heaviness. Many of the Japanese knives are very thin and brittle, so their use as chef's knives require a lot of skill and care. This particular one is more 'European style' while incorporating the steel grade and angle qualities that maintain sharpness. It stands up to the heavier tasks well, like cutting through winter squash, and zips through chopping of onions or slicing softer fruits and vegetables well. There are many other brands of course.
and this for a paring knife:
Here is where the Japanese blades shine. Super sharp and thin blades are ideal for paring. Again there are many other brands, these were just my choice.
Knives like these are incredibly sharp and stay that way. I've really hurt myself switching over from dullish knives to these. I got these until my skills improved. They are great. I don't use them as much anymore, but still do for particular tasks.
Hopefully this gives you a little food for thought.
jeez, it's a good knife for the money but let's not pretend it's what it's not. it's a good entry level knife and that's what it's designed for. at the $100 dollar range you're going up against good consumer knives (not saying the global is better because global handles suck).
it doesn't hold an edge as long, it's weighted poorly and the blade is stamped.
this will be better in *almost every way, also someone suggested the tojiro which is good too.
Global knives are a really good bet
They're good quality steel with a double ground japanese edge (unlike some japanese knives that are only ground on one side). They hold up really well, and the entire knife is a single piece of steel so it will never get loose in the handle or the setting. I really like them, and they're pretty popular with chefs too apparently; it was a chef that first alerted me to them in the first place.
How to wash a knife safely.
Don't get a set. Sets are designed to get you paying for knives you'll never use. I recommend starting with a chef's knife and a paring knife. The chef knife is your workhorse, you'll use it for almost everything. The paring knife is traditionally used for peeling and detail work, but just think of it as what you reach for when the job is too small for the chef knife. If you bake bread or buy unsliced loaves of it, you'll probably also want a bread knife.
Victorinox Fibrox knives are great knives for a new cook and an excellent value for the money. Here's their chef's knife, their paring knife, and their bread knife. That leaves you with enough money to buy a block and stay under $100. I like the wall mounted magnetic ones with a wooden face like this one myself, but there are plenty of other options if that's not what you want.
You don't need a set at all. Buy one chef's knife, a paring knife, and maybe a bread knife--and they don't have to be from the same brand. Buy one that feels good in your hand. You can try Wusthof and Shun at Williams-Sonoma.
None of them are that amazing if you don't keep them sharp anyway.
If you want to save money, get this one for now, and only upgrade for a good reason:
I am the owner of the /r/ATKGear subreddit which posts past winners for kitchen gear and ingredient taste tests from the show America's Test Kitchen. Here is a list of all gear winners.
But if I had to pick one item it would definitely be the Victorinox Fibrox 8-inch Chef's Knife. I have been happy with mine for two years now and it is always the one knife I reach for when there is some slicing to do.
I have nothing to do with amazon.com nor any retailer there - feel free to shop around for one elsewhere :)
Good, sharp knives dont have to be expensive.
Slightly more expensive steel: https://www.amazon.com/Global-G-2-inch-Chefs-Knife/dp/B00005OL44/
Ceramic is suuuuper insanely sharp and holds an edge for a very, very, long time if treated properly. It is however possible to break the blade with a sharp impact or drop. Not really feasible to sharpen at home. Kyocera does offer free lifetime sharpening if you pay shipping though.
Steel is nice because it's easy to sharpen at home with a little practice. I actually really enjoy sharpening my steel knives now that i am comfortable with the process. It's very zen. You'll just need a decent water or oilstone and some patience to learn.
Here's some good options for Victorinox pairing knives
Here's a Victorinox Classic 8" Chef's Knife as well
I'd suggest look around in a store/hold a few to get what feels right in your hand. What feels best in someone else's hand is going to feel much different in yours depending on the size of your hands.
sure, happy to help. one more note-- IMO - this is about the best kitchen knife maker you can get for the money, a favorite of professional chefs
Cook's Illustrated recommended this one as their best value: http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-40520-Fibrox-8-Inch-Chefs/dp/B000638D32
I have the 10-inch version and love it. I only have four knives: that one, a paring knife, bread knife, and fileting knife. I probably use the chef's knife 6 days a week and am only finding I need to sharpen it now after about 2 years of use.
I believe the rule of thumb for chef's knives is that you should use the largest one you feel comfortable with.
Lol I know Ill probably get downvotes for that link... but the fastest vegetable cutter I have ever worked with uses this knife. He has $150 knives and everything between... but he loves his kiwi lol. I think we can get them locally for $5 from an asian market.
That being said, I recently dropped $150 on a bunka because I was happy to have that sort of knife in my roll.
If you'd like a steak knife set as well, I'd suggest getting a couple of workhorse chefs knives, maybe a paring knife and a peeler, and a set of steak knives. Wusthoff, Shun, Global, etc are awesome but as you said, they're pricey. A great everyday use knife is the Victorinox chefs. You'll see other people recommend this knife to you as this thread gets older. I think it's ~40 on Amazon.
Ah, Cutco knives don't have a standard edge, they have some ridiculous edge that you can't sharpen yourself. It is essentially a serrated edge, which are usually made for a specific hand.
Seriously, toss that away and get yourself a normal chef's knife. The Victoronix Fibrox is inexpensive and highly praised. I bet you will be much happier.
Any better than that and you are looking in the $100-$150 range for a nice chefs knife.
If these don't work for you, then it is a knife skills issue. Find someone who can teach you proper technique and you will probably enjoy cooking more.
Stainless steel tri-ply pans, well reviewed by Cook's Illustrated and many bloggers:
Victorinox Chef's knife. Cheap, and again very well reviewed by Cook's Illustrated and many bloggers:
Victorinox serrated knife:
Victorinox paring knife:
Cheap and well reviewed knife sharpener:
To round that out: a cheap non-stick pan (they wear out, don't sink money into this), some silicone spatulas, Pyrex bakeware, and maybe a cast iron or mineral steel skillet.
You can see a theme with my recommendations. You can have very high quality kitchen stuff, without breaking the bank.
Best of luck :)
I work in a kitchen and I prefer stamped knives for basic prep stuff, because they are lighter, fatigue your hand less and you can work fast with them. Forged knives definitely have more heft to them and better balance, so they work well for cuts where you roll the blade down front to back and more heavy duty cutting, like meat. I use one of these in the kitchen, it's cheap and woks great, we have a sharpening stone and it's easy to get any knife razor sharp.
I'm a huge Kenji fan myself. I've cooked nearly half of the Food Lab book, and dozens of his recipes from the website, great stuff!
My thoughts on gifts
Lavatools PT12 Javelin
A Nice carbon steel wok
A good Dutch Oven
A torch for searing, or Creme Brulee
An awesome knife
Another awesome, but cheaper and well rounded knife
The list could go on, and on, and on....just some thoughts though.
The victorinox fibrox or the ja henckels international are both 50$ or less. Both of good steel and will hold an edge.
J.A. HENCKELS INTERNATIONAL 31161-201 CLASSIC Chef's Knife, 8 Inch, Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004RFMT/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_PgFIDb5198GNF
Not all steel will hold a edge OP. If it’s not properly hardened and heat treated like many cheap knives you will sharpen endlessly and not get results.
50$ will get you good knife with good steel but it won’t be a super steel. This is the price point where a home chief can get performance to last. Higher end is nice but not needed.
I have a Victorinox Cutlery 9-Inch Wavy Edge Bread Knife and a Victorinox 8 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef's and absolutely love them both. My brother, who is a chef, was impressed with both. He typically uses Global knives, which start at around $150 and go much higher.
With the chef's knife, I make sure to use a sharpener like this one every other time I pull it out (just rub it together 3 or 4 times each side) to keep the edge nice and straight. It actually can cut through tomatoes with minimal effort. Almost as good as the bread knife!
I don't really ever do precise work because I'm lazy so I've not found the need for a pairing knife. But I can see it being essential.
I recommend buying a single quality chef's knife and a pairing knife for finer work.
Expensive pick (the one I use):
Also consider ceramic if you don't want to sharpen:
You will want a serrated bread knife as well.
whatever you do, don't buy ridged knives that saw through foods (ginzu, etc). the knife should simply glide through most food effortlessly without sawing.
Don't buy a full set, as you should be able to get by with just two. These are tools and the more you keep your use to just the knives you have, the more adept you will become with them.
Go into a fine cooking store and put a few knives in your hand to see what feels natural.