Cooking Cutlery – Essential Tools For Any Well Equipped Kitchen
A good set of cooking cutlery is a must when creating a well equipped kitchen. Although it may seem that you can use one knife for every task, this isn’t really true, and although it costs more to have a variety of cooking cutlery in the kitchen than just to have one knife and using it for every task, it is not really appropriate to try and use one knife for everything. So, to make cooking as efficient as possible it is best to have cutlery that fits the task.
Although there are a variety of cooking cutlery made of different materials, the best knives are made of high carbon steel, which resists corrosion and maintains its sharpness longer.
What is some kitchen cutlery that the well prepared cook should have?
The honing steel often called the sharpening steel or butcher’s steel is a must for any set of kitchen knives. This tool is a long thing rod of textured carbon steel with a handle, used to straighten out the rough edges of knives. The honing steel is often called a sharpening steel; however, this is a misconception, since this tool doesn’t sharpen knives, it merely straightens out the edges and rough spots that are acquired on the knives through use.
Here is a nice video on how to use a honing steel from ehow.com
Using Honing Steel to Sharpen Kitchen Knives —powered by eHow.com
The chef’s knife is also often called the cook’s knife or French knife, and is a multipurpose knife with a blade measuring around 8-14 inches, with a sturdy handle and a tapered blade. This knife is generally used for mincing, chopping, dicing, and slicing.
The Santoku is the Japanese version of the chef’s knife with a stout flat edged blade with indentations along its length making it an excellent all-purpose knife for slicing, mincing, dicing, and cubing all types of foods. The indentations of the Santoku prevent wet or sticky foods from clinging to the blade.
The carving knife has a long sturdy blade 8-10 inches long with a pointed or curved tip. These knives are used for slicing meat such as roasts or turkeys. There are wider versions of this knife that are best for slicing large roast beef or hams. Thinner versions of this knife are better for slicing delicate poultry meats such as chicken or turkey, meats which are more easily shredded and destroyed if not handled carefully.
The serrated knife also called the bread knife has as its name implies a serrated or scalloped blade, the 8 inch length is the most versatile, but there are other lengths as well. This knife is used for slicing breads such as hard crusty breads or biscotti, cakes such as soft spongy angel food cake, and other delicate foods such as tomatoes.
The utility knife generally has a 6 inch thin blade and is used to slice small soft food items, such as fruits, cheeses, cakes, bars, and sandwiches.
The boning knife has a slim 6-8 inch curved blade and is used to cut as its name implies meat away from the bone of poultry, beef, pork or fish.
The paring knife has a short blade 2-4 inches in length and is used for slicing small foods, mincing, and peeling.
These are general purpose scissors made specifically for use in the kitchen, that often have heavy duty blades that are toothed and handles that sometimes contain bottle and jar openers. This versatile scissor is used to cut fresh herbs, parchment paper for pastry or cut through the joints of poultry such as chicken.
This large, heavy, nearly rectangular knife is used to cut through the bone of meats as well as the meat itself, and can also be used to pound meats.
For other useful information about cooking cutlery click on the link to ehow.com
For some great sections on cooking cutlery, some great references are:
• The Taste of Home Cookbook – All New Edition from Taste of Home Books, Reiman Media Group
• The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book, Edited by Susan Westmoreland, Hearst Books, New York
• Betty Crocker Cookbook – New Edition, by Wiley Publishing, Inc.
• The Food Encyclopedia by Jacques L. Rolland and Carol Sherman with other contributors
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