Why Knives Should Stay Sharp
Have you ever watched one of the many cooking shows on TV and wished you could cook like that? It looks pretty impressive to have half a dozen pots bubbling away on the stove, and not a single one threatening to overflow while the chef whizzes through six onions, ten tomatoes, and a brace of chickens. Okay, well, that might be a bit of exaggeration, but those TV chefs make cooking look so easy sometimes that it can be incredibly frustrating to step into the kitchen and take your best shot at whatever dish you just watched them prepare. Don’t let those feelings get to you!
To begin with, those TV chefs have something you probably don’t: professional training from a culinary school or fine-dining kitchen. They’ve spent years honing their craft, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach a comparable level if you take the time to learn the skills and practice. The other big difference between a professional chef and a home cook? They know how much impact the right equipment can make, and they take the time to get what they need. This means the right pot or pan based on what is being cooked, specialized tools or equipment as needed, and, most importantly, the best kitchen knives. One of the very first lessons most chefs learn is the kitchen is proper knife skills, which includes not just how to use their knives, but how to choose and care for them properly.
Knives Make a Difference
How many times have you started part of your meal in a pot on the stove and gone to chop something, only to have the pot boil over because the chopping takes too long? When your knives aren’t sufficient, this can happen easily. One way to avoid this scenario is to take the time to slice, chop, and dice everything before you begin cooking—it’s what chefs are taught to do. Mise en place is the French culinary term for ingredient preparation before you begin cooking. Literally, it translates to “putting in place,” but an easier way to remember it is to always get your “mess in place” before you start cooking.
If you’re concerned about all that mise en place work taking too long, well, it’s probably time we had a chat about your knives. The best kitchen knives should be well-honed, with a sharp edge. The sharper the edge, the easier it will be to slice, dice, and prepare all your ingredients quickly so you can move on to the actual cooking portion of the recipe. Think about the last time you had to cut something difficult like a butternut squash, for example. The thick skin and flesh of the gourd make it tough to get into, and the size compounds the struggle to cut it into manageable portions. If your knife isn’t sharp, it’s going to have a tough time getting into the squash at all. Once you finally get through the thick skin and flesh of the squash, the problems don’t stop. A dull knife will make it a great deal more difficult to cut straight lines. A properly sharpened knife will reduce the amount of struggle you have to get through tough ingredients, and will help you cut straight and guide your knife more easily to where you want it to go.
Being able to control your knife is important—and we don’t just mean remembering to put it down before you wave your hands around to gesture. Anyone who has spent a fair amount of time cooking has probably been cut a time or two. Despite what you might assume, a sharper knife is actually much safer than a dull one. First, a sharp knife will lead to a clean cut, rather than a jagged one, so it is less likely to do major damage and will usually heal more quickly. More importantly, a sharp knife is safer because you won’t struggle to use it. When you go to slice a tomato with a dull knife, it is more likely to slide off that smooth skin than it is to puncture the tomato. The harder to push with the dull knife, the more likely it is to slide off, and the more chance you have of sending a knife straight into the fingers holding that tomato steady. A sharp knife with a keen edge will take a lot less force to cut into the skin, which means less possibility of the knife going into your fingers.
The Right Tools
Choosing quality kitchen knives can make a big difference in your cooking experience. When you no longer have to struggle to cut every ingredient, your preparations will go more quickly and you’re more likely to keep up with everything you’re cooking. However, it’s important to know yourself. If you know you aren’t going to take the time to regularly sharpen all your knives, invest in a no-sharpening knife, like the variety we make here at Easy Cut. We want our knives to be easy to use and help your kitchen success. The double scallop edge will help you cut straight every time, and the 10 degree angle of the knife’s edge means you won’t need to exert much pressure to slice much of anything. Experience the difference a no-sharpening knife can have on your culinary experiences; shop the best serrated knife options online with Easy Cut knives!