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Kitchen Knives

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					Kitchen Knives

          A.C. Ferguson
Kitchen Knives

Chef's Knife
A high-quality chef's knife will be indispensable for chopping vegetables. Considering that this is the most frequent task
in a vegetarian kitchen, a chef's knife is ideal. Don't scrimp on your chef's knife; choose the highest quality you can
afford, because you really will notice a difference. High-carbon stainless steel is considered by most to be the material of
choice. The knife should have a full tang (the part of the blade that extends into the handle). This adds balance to the
knife. Make sure the knife is comfortable to hold, whether that means an ergonomic grip or just one that seems to fit your
hand well. A high-quality chef's knife will last you many, many years with only a little maintenance. I love my 8-inch
chef's knife, but some may prefer a 9- or 10-inch knife.

What to Look For
The best chef’s knives are forged (rather than stamped) from high-carbon stainless steel. They can take and hold a sharp
edge and recover from bending without breaking.

The handle should be constructed from a durable and sanitary material like plastic, rubber, stainless steel or impregnated

A full tang indicates strength and balance in a traditional forged knife.

The blade should be the right length for the task at hand. Consider having at least two, a large and a small. When the
time arrives that you want to purchase a chef’s knife, Mr. Ferguson recommends purchasing a 6- or 8-inch blade, and a
9- or 10-inch blade.

More Information

A chef’s knife is a vital piece of equipment used for chopping and mincing. It is made of four parts: blade, bolster, tang
and handle, all designed to support the blade's impact on the chopping surface. One-piece construction, in which the
same blank of metal is used to make the blade, the bolster and the tang, is traditionally the strongest.

This tool is used so frequently that we think it's worthwhile to invest as much as you can afford, for it will last a lifetime
if properly cared for.

A.C. Ferguson HFN                                                                                                                2
Kitchen Knives

A chef’s knife blade is rigid and tapers evenly, with a smooth curve on a broad blade that ranges from 5" to 14" lengths.
It’s helpful to have at least two different sizes, a small and a large to tackle various tasks. Don’t be afraid to handle a
seemingly big, heavy chef’s knife—its weight helps you do the job, and its length means fewer pauses to bring foods
back to the central spot where you are doing the chopping.

The best metal for a chef’s knife is high carbon stainless steel. It will take a sharp edge and hold it, meaning it can be
sharpened easily but won’t dull too quickly. It won’t stain, pit, rust or interact with foods. It recovers from bending
without breaking and with proper care and sharpening will last a lifetime.

Some cooks remain devoted to traditional carbon-steel knives, which sharpen more easily than harder high-carbon
stainless steel. Keep in mind that they may also rust and react unpleasantly with food if not properly cared for.

The bolster, between the handle and the back of the blade, helps keep your fingers from riding up on the blade. It is the
thickest part of the blade and tells you the width of the original blank of metal used for a forged knife---thicker is better.
The absence of a bolster means that the knife has been stamped from a sheet of metal rather than forged.

The tang is the part of the blade that extends past the bolster and forms part of the handle. A full tang is the same length
as the handle and is often visible sandwiched between the two capping handle covers. A rattail tang is, as its name
implies, long and skinny. It extends the full length of the handle but is only a fraction of the width. A part, or half tang is
as wide as a full tang but extends only partially into the handle.

Many fine chef’s knives have a full tang. A full tang balances the weight of the knife between the long heavy blade and
the handle to assist the rocking motion of chopping. But it is not completely accurate to say that a tang should be visible
within the handle. A molded polypropylene handle may conceal the tang. Other manufacturers, like the Japanese
company Global, achieve proper balance without a traditional tang by filling the handle with metal.

Handles are made of natural and impregnated woods, plastics, synthetic-rubber compounds, or stainless steel and vary in
their degree of durability. Natural rosewood remains the most popular for its beauty and strong resistance to splitting and
cracking. (However, no wood should ever be left soaking in water.) If you’re looking for the most durable and sanitary
selection, opt for plastic, rubber, or stainless steel.

Tube-like “snaps” called rivets secure a handle cap to its tang. Their heads should be completely smooth and flush with
the surface of the handle so you cannot feel them. Some knives use handle caps that are glued to their half-tangs; they
usually loosen with washing and should be avoided. If there is a wooden handle and even a part tang, you should be able
to see that tang and two or three rivets.

A.C. Ferguson HFN                                                                                                                3
Kitchen Knives

Paring Knife
A paring knife is good for peeling and trimming vegetables, and even cutting fruit. As with a chef's knife, a high-quality
model will last longer and make for a better cutting experience. Again, find one that's comfortable to hold.

What to Look For

A standard paring knife looks like a small version of a chef’s knife, with the same slightly curved cutting edge.
The blade is 2 3/4- to 4-inches long.

The best paring knives are forged (rather than stamped) from high-carbon stainless steel. They can take and
hold a sharp edge and recover from bending without breaking.

A paring knife may be used for chopping, but is not primarily an impact tool. Use it to cut, peel, shape or
decorate foods held in the other hand.

The handle should be constructed from a durable and sanitary material like plastic, rubber, stainless steel or
impregnated wood.

More Information

Standard paring knives, sometimes called spearpoint parers, have the same curved, or tapered, cutting edge as a chef’s
knife. Although the shape is similar, a paring knife has a different purpose. It may be used for light chopping or slicing,
particularly of small items like garlic or parsley, but it is not an impact tool.

A paring knife functions like an extension of your hand, for cutting or peeling food that is held in your other hand. You
can use it to peel an apple or to shape or decorate ingredients such as turnips or mushroom caps, to scoop out potato
eyes, and to trim green beans or Brussels sprouts.

A.C. Ferguson HFN                                                                                                             4
Kitchen Knives

The best paring knives have high-carbon stainless steel blades, which hold a sharp edge and resist rusting. The blade
should be 2 3/4- to 4-inches long. Some manufacturers mislabel larger knives as parers--if the blade is longer than 5-
inches it should be called a utility knife.

Paring knives are used so frequently that you’ll find it handy to have a few of them. You might be tempted to choose
inexpensive ones in order to save money. That’s a mistake. Cheap knives are usually stamped from a single sheet of
metal. The blades are thin and hard and quickly become dull. Because the blade is lighter, the tool is back-heavy and
requires more forward pressure to cut. But stamped blades are acceptable for simple tasks like eyeing potatoes.

A forged knife begins as a single rough bar of red-hot metal. The bar is hammered into a shaped die to make the blade
and the tang, which will form part of the knife’s handle. This one-piece construction makes an extremely strong knife
with a heavy blade that can withstand strenuous cutting and slicing tasks. A forged paring knife makes paring and
peeling tasks easier because it is well balanced.

Beside the common spearpoint parer, there are specialized blades designed for a single purpose:

        Fluting Parer -- Barely 3-inches long and shaped like a short, stout isosceles triangle, it brings the hand into
         the closest cutting contact with the food. Use it to score or flute mushroom caps or other precise garnishing

        Bird’s Beak Parer -- The arched back and cutting edge looks like a heron's bill. It is used to trim small
         spherical vegetables like baby beets and Brussels sprouts.

        Miniature Boning Knife -- The short S-shaped blade is used to bone small birds like quail or trim barbecued

        Sheep’s Foot Parer -- Called a sheep's foot because the profile of the tip resembles an animal’s hoof, it's a fine
         peeling and paring tool, though not for garnishing, which requires a finer tip.

        Clip Point Parer -- The gentle, upwardly curved cutting edge paired with a dropped spine creates a longer,
         slimmer tip that makes small deep cuts. Ideal for eyeing potatoes and removing bruises from apples and pears.
         Many clip-point parers are stamped, rather than forged.

Because a paring knife functions like an extension of your hand, it should have a comfortable, well-secured handle.
Handles are made of natural and impregnated woods, plastics, synthetic-rubber compounds, or stainless steel and vary in
their degree of durability. Natural rosewood remains the most popular for its beauty and resistance to splitting and
cracking. If you’re looking for the most durable and sanitary selection, opt for plastic, rubber, or stainless steel.

Keep your knives’ edges as sharp as possible. Resharpen them every time you use them. Dull blades are not only
difficult to use, they are dangerous. More cutting accidents occur with blunt blades than with sharp ones because of the
added pressure used to bear down on the food. This is especially true of paring knives because, most often, the food you
cut, peel or trim is in your hand, not on a cutting board.

A.C. Ferguson HFN                                                                                                           5
Kitchen Knives

Bread Knife
A bread knife is very useful for slicing bread, be it sourdough from a bakery, freshly baked banana bread, or Saturday
morning bagels. Bread knives have a serrated edge that allows you to cut easily -- meaning no more squished bread! If
you don't eat much bread, or buy pre-sliced bread, you may not consider this a necessity, or may consider buying a less-
expensive knife.

What to Look For
A serrated knife is used to slice through food that is hard on the outside and soft on the inside.

The blade of a serrated bread knife should be 8- to 10-inches long so it can slice across a large loaf in one stroke.

Blades 5- to 6-inches long are intended to cut tomatoes or other fruits and vegetables. Tomato knives feature a two-
pronged tip.

Best-quality serrated knives are forged, but less expensive stamped blades are also acceptable.

More Information

Serrated knives feature either a broad-set scallop edge or a somewhat toothier “piranha” edge. Only one side of the knife
is ground down to produce a very thin, sharp edge, which will create the cleanest, most narrow path while cutting.

The blade of a bread knife should be long enough to cut across a large loaf of bread in one stroke. It can bite though a
loaf’s hard crust, then rip though the softer crumb without crushing it. An 8-inch blade is the minimum length you
should consider, but a 9- or 10-inch blade can tackle the largest boule of sourdough and slice a standard 9-inch sponge
cake into layers.

An adjustable bread knife features a cutting guide to make identically thick or thin slices for sandwiches or canapés.
Keep in mind that many adjustable knives are designed for right-handed cooks.

A.C. Ferguson HFN                                                                                                          6
Kitchen Knives

Serrated knives with shorter blades cut fruits and vegetables. They can slice lemons and limes without squeezing out a
drop of juice. You’ll also find them handy to zip through Kaiser rolls and baguettes, slice sausage and julienne bell
peppers. They’re especially good for tomatoes, where the resistant skin must be pierced without crushing the tender flesh
beneath. The two-pronged tip of many tomato knives can be used as a fork to move the slices to a plate.

Materials and Construction
A serrated knife is one of the few basic knives that doesn’t need a forged blade with a full tang. It will never be used for
the impact chopping that makes forged construction necessary in a chef’s knife. Since a serrated knife slips through
relatively soft foods a stamped blade made of high-carbon stainless steel is acceptable.

Serrated knives may have straight or offset handles. An offset handle raises your hand so that there’s no chance of
knocking your knuckles on the underlying cutting board. An innovative bread knife from OXO takes this concept one
step further. It features an upwardly set handle inspired by the serrated knife’s ancestor, the wood saw. This handle
prompts a natural hand position for cutting on both push and pull strokes--and it’s impossible to bang your knuckles.

Tomato Knife
This knife is useful for more than just tomatoes. In my house, we use ours to cut fruits and sometimes vegetables; the
serrated edge on this smaller knife (generally about 5 inches long) makes it perfect for clean, even slicing.

A.C. Ferguson HFN                                                                                                              7
Kitchen Knives

Carving Knives and Forks
Carving knives and fork sets are very useful for slicing meats, be it a cedar planked pork roast, smoked salmon or
prosciutto ham. The carving blades can be rigid or flexible depending on the type of meat being carved. The ability to
bend slightly is essential when slicing drier flesh like turkey or chicken. Knives with the most flexible blades are meant
for the dense, dry tissue of cured or smoked foods like smoked salmon or prosciutto ham.

What to Look For
Carving knives are meant for slicing cooked meats, poultry or fish. A blade that is at least 8 inches long is the most

Knives with rigid blades are used to slice hot juicy roasted meats. More flexible blades are for poultry. The most flexible
blades are for slicing smoked and cured fish and ham.

Knives with a pointed tip are designed to free meat from the bone. Round-tipped knives are best for boned meats and

Carving knife blades should have smooth or bevelled edges.

Carving forks are designed to hold food steady for slicing. The prongs may be curved or straight, depending on the
intended use.

More Information

A.C. Ferguson HFN                                                                                                            8
Kitchen Knives

Carving knives are designed to slice through cooked meats, poultry and fish: a rib roast of beef, a stuffed loin of pork, a
leg of lamb, roasted chicken or turkey, cured ham or salmon, to name a few. The blades are usually 8- to 12-inches long
because they must be able to carve across large cuts in one sweep, to produce an attractive slice for serving. Shorter
slicing knives are terrific for smaller filet roasts, tenderloins and grilled meats such as hanger steaks.

Carving knife blades vary in their width, shape of the tip, flexibility and edge, depending on the food to be carved. You
might select a rigid blade with a rounded tip for large boneless roasts, a moderately flexible, pointed blade for poultry
and a narrow, flexible blade with a beveled edge for a side of smoked fish.

Generally speaking, wider blades are used for large, hot roasts, because it takes a heftier blade to cut through the meat.
Narrower blades are more suited to drier, compactly textured smoked hams or cured salmon.

Knives with sharp, pointed tips are meant for cutting bone-in meats like grilled T-bone steaks and roasted pork shoulder.
The tip is used to penetrate and free the meat surrounding the bone. Round-tipped knife blades are designed to slice large
boneless meats and fish: a cured, boneless ham or side of smoked salmon.

Rigid blades cut across hot, moist meats -- a flexible blade might slip and ruin the slice, or even worse, cause injury. The
ability to bend slightly is essential when slicing drier flesh like turkey or chicken; the knives with the most flexible
blades are meant for the dense, dry tissue of cured or smoked foods like smoked salmon or prosciutto ham.

Knife blades may have smooth, serrated or beveled edges. In general, deeply serrated blades are not appropriate for
carving because they tend to rip rather than cut the meat. A sharp, smooth edge will yield cleaner slices. A beveled blade,
called a Granton edge, features a series of ovals ground into one or both sides of the blade to produce the thinnest
possible edge. This configuration creates air pockets during slicing and prevents the meat from sticking to the blade
producing paper-thin slices of richly flavored meats and fish.

Carving Forks
Carving forks are designed to hold meat steady for carving or slicing. They also keep the carver’s hand a safe distance
from the knife and the hot food. The sharp tines should not pierce the roast being carved. Puncturing the meat will let the
natural fluids escape. The fork should press down on the meat, not into it.

Typically, carving forks have two tines or prongs. The prongs may be straight or curved. Thinner cuts of meat such as
flank steak, butterflied leg of lamb or barbecued ribs are better held with the longer surface area of unbent prongs.

But large roasts like turkey or a loin with a naturally rounded shape require curved prongs. The curved shape is useful for
other tasks besides carving: it provides the leverage to lift a pot roast from the pot. Consider whether you will be carving
a Thanksgiving turkey or a flat steak before you make a purchase.

Material and Construction
As with all good cutlery, look for carving knives and forks made from high-carbon stainless steel. Best-quality slicing
knives and forks are forged, but many acceptable knives are stamped. Stamped blades are more flexible than forged
blades. The handle should be constructed from a durable and sanitary material like plastic, rubber, stainless steel or
impregnated wood. The measurement given by the manufacturer indicates the length of the tines or the length of the

A.C. Ferguson HFN                                                                                                             9
Kitchen Knives

Carving Sets
Many carving sets feature an 8" slicing knife paired with a straight-pronged carving fork. These are all-purpose tools that
can carve a roast chicken and slice a large steak, but they may not be ideal for every carving task.

Comfortable to hold and razor-sharp, the versatile 6" Cleaver by J.A. Henckels cuts through bone as easily as it chops
vegetables. Use the flat sides to tenderize meat or crush garlic, and the butt end as a pestle to pulverize seeds or other
ingredients. Part of the fine German cutlery manufacturer's Five Star collection, it features the company's FRIODUR ice-
hardened stainless steel blade, crafted to hold its precise edge for a long time. The safe, ergonomically designed
polypropylene handle has no sharp corners, to minimize the strain on your hand.

A.C. Ferguson HFN                                                                                                       10
Kitchen Knives

Cheese Knives
                    The first Global knife was designed in 1985 by Komin Yamada
                    who was commissioned to develop a superior, revolutionary
                    knife made with the best materials and employing the most
                    modern design concepts. Given an almost unlimited budget,
                    he created an award-winning knife that ultimately appealed to
                    both the professional and at-home chefs. Made from the finest
                    stainless steel available anywhere (Molybdenum/vanadium),
                    this Cheese Knife has a remarkably sharp blade - one that's
                    been ice-tempered and hardened to meet stringent standards.
                    It's serrated for cutting through medium hard and soft cheeses
                    while leaving the slice intact. Cut-outs in blade allow the
                    cheese to release easier from the knife and the forked tip adds
                    a dual purpose, allowing you to serve once cheese is sliced.
                    The knife is carefully weighted to ensure perfect balance as
                    you work with it in your kitchen. The smooth contours and
                    seamless construction prevent food and dirt particles from
                    collecting on the knife - the ultimate in good kitchen hygiene.
                    Made by Edgecraft, this Cheese Knife Set is the perfect
                    accompaniment to a cheese board platter for pre-dinner
                    cheese plates or for afternoon wine and cheese parties. The
                    two knives are designed to handle any type of cheese. The
                    bell-shaped wide blade will cut effortlessly through crumbly
                    bleu cheese, firm and semi-soft cheeses. Slice wedges from
                    round or cube for easy pairing with crackers. The heart-
                    shaped pointed blade will slice or chip off morsels off aged
                    hard cheeses, such as Parmesan or Romano. Also works well
                    to separate tough rinds from edible cheese bits and for
                    spreading soft cheeses. Each knife has a heavy duty stainless
                    steel blade and full-length tang for added balance and control,
                    and is double riveted for lasting durability.
                    Throwing a wine and cheese party? Having another cheese
                    craving? Any cheese gourmet will want to have this Cheese
                    Knife close at hand when the moment strikes. Made by
                    Henckels, it's a sleek accompaniment to any cheese platter
                    where you're serving Asiago, Caerphilly, Gruyere, Swiss,
                    Tillamook Cheddar or any other kind that requires a slightly
                    firm touch. The 5.5-in. knife has an almost cleaver-style,
                    precision-honed narrow blade that features different size
                    holes, allowing it to slice complete, even slices with ease. Fits
                    comfortably in your hand, and has a matte finish that will add a
                    touch of style to any party platter or snack tray. Exceptional
                    design and quality make this a wonderful addition to any
                    cheese collector's accoutrements.
                    Wusthof's Cheese Set includes two instruments for cutting a
                    number of cheeses - the perfect accessories for your next
                    cocktail party. Included in the set is a 4.75-in. long cheese
                    knife for cutting wedges of Gruyère and Gouda; the etched
                    sides deter semi-soft cheeses from sticking, and the stepped
                    handle elevates your hand as you slice downward. Paired with
                    it is the classic cutter that slices your cheeses into thin, square

A.C. Ferguson HFN                                                                         11
Kitchen Knives

Asian Cutlery
Three Japanese specialty knives are designed with specific foods in mind. The deba is used to filet fish and has a broad,
almost triangular blade. The usuba, with its long, shallow, rectangular cleaver-like blade, is for chopping vegetables. A
yanagi has a long, very slim pointed blade and is used for slicing raw fish. While these single purpose knives are
prominent in professional Japanese kitchens, an all-purpose knife with a long, medium width blade called the santoku
appears in virtually every other kitchen in the country.

What to Look For
The Chinese cleaver is an all-purpose cutting tool. The rectangular blade should be made of high carbon stainless steel.

Choose a relatively light cleaver with a thin blade for mincing and slicing vegetables and a large heavy one for chopping
through bones.

There are three kinds of specialty Japanese knives, each for a different purpose, plus an all-purpose knife called a
santoku. Professional knives are usually ground only on one side to cut faster and more cleanly.

More Information

Asian cooks have always valued the look, as well as the flavor of food. For centuries they have heeded the words of
Confucius, who said that one “must not eat what has been crookedly cut.” In Asia, the cutting tools used to prepare foods
are designed with this philosophical concept in mind.

Chinese Cleavers
In China, the cleaver was developed as an all-purpose cutting device. A standard cleaver has a rectangular blade with a
straight cutting edge intended to cut vegetables or boneless meats. The ends of the blade are often rounded up to help the
blade rock back and forth when it is used for mincing. The top edge is dull and sometimes used as a meat pounder, while
the broad side of the blade will smash coins of ginger and help scoop up cut ingredients.

A.C. Ferguson HFN                                                                                                       12
Kitchen Knives

In the traditional Chinese kitchen, cleavers are classified by weight, but cleavers sold in North America often list only
blade dimensions. A standard cleaver is usually about 8" by 3 1/2". Narrow rectangular lightweight blades intended for
peeling or fine mincing are about 2" wide. A large, heavyweight cleaver may also be useful for separating chicken parts.

Generally speaking, the best Chinese cleavers have blades made of high carbon stainless steel. Wood, rubber and plastic
handles are more slip proof than metals ones; be sure metal handles are ridged in some way, to support your grip.

Traditional Japanese Knives
Three Japanese specialty knives are designed with specific foods in mind. The deba is used to filet fish and has a broad,
almost triangular blade. The usuba, with its long, shallow, rectangular cleaver-like blade, is for chopping vegetables. A
yanagi has a long, very slim pointed blade and is used for slicing raw fish. While these single purpose knives are
prominent in professional Japanese kitchens, an all-purpose knife with a long, medium width blade called the santoku
appears in virtually every other kitchen in the country.

Many Japanese knives are ground on one side only (usually the right side for right handed use, though left handed knives
can be ordered). While Western knives are sharpened on both sides of the blade, Japanese experts contend a single-edged
blade cuts more quickly and cleanly. Western manufacturers offer santoku that are ground on both sides and suitable for
both right- and left-handed cooks.

Asian cutlerers introduced new materials and new manufacturing techniques to the American market. Ceramic blades
from Kyocera, Japan’s largest producer of industrial ceramics, are manufactured like porcelain, through a high-
temperature, long firing process that creates a dense, durable material that is amazingly sharp. But unlike porcelain,
which can shatter if dropped, 90% of the impurities that make porcelain brittle are taken out. If dropped, the blade can
chip depending upon the angle at which it lands, but it can be repaired or replaced by the company.

Knives from the Japanese company Global are forged from molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel, an alloy that can hold
a razor-sharp edge. Global achieves proper balance without a Western-style tang and bolster by precisely weighting the
handle with metal.

Knife Block or Sheaths
Once you have some good knives, you'll need a place to store
them. A knife block keeps your knives safely stored but within
easy reach on a counter or work surface. If you don't want your
knives out on a counter, you can buy sheaths for them, available
in kitchen stores, and keep them in a drawer.

Sets may come with storage systems, usually in the form of a
wood or glass block with inserts for each knife. Wood blocks are
fine, assuming you have plenty of counter space and know each
knife by its handle or by the slot it is in. Wood blocks are also
very stable. With a glass or clear plastic block, it is easy to see the
blade and pull out the right one. But you might want to consider a
set without a block, so you can store the knives on a magnetic
rack attached to a wall or the inside of a cabinet, or in plastic
sheaths that you place inside a drawer. Never keep knives in a
drawer without some form of protection; the blades will become nicked and dull.

A.C. Ferguson HFN                                                                                                          13
Kitchen Knives

Knife Sharpener or Steel
Once you have good-quality knives, you'll want to keep them sharp and straight. Using a knife sharpener on a regular
basis is the best way to maintain your knives. Good knives, with proper care, will last a lifetime and are a wonderful
investment for your vegetarian kitchen.

Proper Use and Care of Knives
Knowing how to use a knife safely and efficiently will greatly reduce the amount of time you spend preparing vegetables
for meals. In this article, you'll find information on basic safety, cleaning, sharpening, and storage of knives.

Buying a good-quality chef's knife is a great investment; it will make a huge difference in your cooking, and it will last
for many, many years if you take good care of it. If you don't already have a good knife, consider this one of your most
important purchases.

Use a wood or plastic cutting board. Don't cut on metal, stone, or ceramic, as they can damage your knife. To keep the
cutting board from slipping on the counter, place a wet paper towel under the cutting board.

Use your dominant hand to hold the knife handle; use your other hand to hold the vegetable (or whatever you're cutting).
When holding a vegetable, you should always have your hand in the "bear claw" position, with fingertips bent inward
toward your palm, to reduce the risk of cutting yourself.

The basic cutting motion is a fluid down-and-forward motion.

1.   Always cut away from your body and other people.

2.   Always use the "bear claw" position to keep your fingertips away from the knife blade.

3.   When setting a knife on a table or counter, always face the blade down, toward the table or counter.

4.   Don't hand a knife to another person; instead, place the knife (blade down) on a table or counter, and have the other
     person pick up the knife.

5.   When walking with a knife, hold it firmly by the handle, point facing the floor, with your arm at your side.

6.   Don't ever try to catch a falling knife! Step back and keep your hands and feet out of the way.

7.   Don't use a knife for anything other than cutting food.

8.   Don't wear open-toed shoes when using a knife.

9.   Don't leave a knife on the edge of a table or counter.

A.C. Ferguson HFN                                                                                                            14
Kitchen Knives

A sharp knife is safer than a dull one. Dull knives cause people to put more effort into cutting, and may also encourage
unsafe cutting positions, both of which increase your chance of hurting yourself. Keep your knife sharp!

The following are the two types of sharpening methods used for straight blades (serrated can only be resharpened
professionally and rarely need to be):

Honing (almost with each use):
Easy, quick: Draw the blade towards you holding it just a little bit at an angle against a Butcher's Steel five or six times,
working from the bolster to the tip of the blade.

Resharpening (twice a year or so):
Can be done professionally or at home with a wetstone, water or oil. Draw the blade across a wetstone similar to honing,
keeping an even 20° angle throughout the swing (for a chef's knife). After sharpening a knife, wipe the blade off to
remove any metal particles.

When shopping for a knife, look for one made of high-carbon stainless steel.

Wash with warm water and soap and dry right away (carbon-steel blades will rust). Avoid putting fine cutlery in the
dishwasher because the heat and high temperature changes will affect the elasticity of the metal, and therefore its ability
to take and hold a sharp edge. It is okay to use scouring powder to remove stains. Using steel wool will affect the knife

Store your knives properly. They can be stored on a counter or work surface in a wooden block or rack made to hold
knives to protect each knife from cutting or scratching other knives.. If you don't have space on your counter, or prefer
not to have your knives out, you can put each knife into a sheath (these are protective covers, made of plastic or leather,
sold in kitchen stores) and store them in a drawer.

A.C. Ferguson HFN                                                                                                           15

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