After a major disaster and the loss of electric power, many of you would find that you will have a much greater dependence on knives. Today let’s talk about kitchen knives. Do you have a good set? Today our meat comes from the store already cut up. When was the last time you had a whole chicken and had to cut it up? How about a deer’s hindquarter or even a small animal like a squirrel?
When you are cooking without all the modern conveniences, having a good set of kitchen knives will make your life a lot easier. Now because I am a bit of a knife fanatic, my wife has knives for every occasion. You can get by with a lot less than what I am suggesting, but having them all is the best option.
When it comes to choosing kitchen knives there are several things to look for.
Personally I would only buy knives that are made in the US or Europe, avoid any Knives made in China.
The blade, should resist dulling and hold a very sharp edge. The best knives are fully forged as a single piece of good steel that includes the blade, bolster and tang.
The bolster is the part of the knife between the blade and the handle. A good knife will have bolsters that are shaped for its function. For instance, a boning knife will have a bolster designed to keep your hand from slipping foreword onto the blade and being cut.
The tang is the extension of the bolster that is inside the handle. The best tang extends the full length of the handle. The tang, bolster and blade should be one piece of steel.
Handles can be made of wood or various synthetic materials. I have both, but like a handle that is slip resistant.
A good knife is well balanced, comfortable and holds an edge. There are many different styles of knives on the market, spend a bit of time determining which fit your hands and style of cooking. I recommend that you should have the following knives in your kitchen.
A paring knife, this small knife is used for peeling, trimming and cutting garnishes.
Utility knives are an all-purpose knife used for slicing, trimming and small chopping jobs. It is normally larger than a paring knife and is smaller than a slicer.
A chef’s knife used for chopping food on a cutting board. It is designed so the blade can be rocked from tip to heel for the least tiring cutting motion.
A boning knife is used to remove skin and cut meat from bones and separate the meat into portions for storing or cooking.
A carving knife is designed for cutting slices of meat, poultry and fish steaks.
A serrated bread knife makes cutting your homemade bread a lot easier.
A cleaver is used to de-bone or butcher larger cuts of meat where more weight and less precision is needed. See this post on cleavers What You Need to Butcher a Large Animal
A steel to help keep your knives sharp.
Now this may seem like a lot of knives and it is, but when you are dependent on them for everyday use, you will be glad you have them.