How's everything going in the past few weeks?
In here, it's been intense and full of happenings, of work, and it's brought a few changes to my routine.
Among other things, knifes have much to do with new habits in my kitchen.
It's worth it telling that my knowledge in this subject is quite limited, everything I know comes from blogs and/or books, besides all of my "vast" experience.
This post might be helpful for those who are newbies just like myself.
I had bought a chef's knife a long time ago, but I did not use it much. I had also bought a paring knife, a small one. They are nothing spectacular, but I consider them pretty decent tools.
Then one day, reading the kitchn, I realized they were blunt. Of course it had to do with the fact that I changed my serving cutlery:
I always had the habit of cooking using the serving knifes, the serrated ones, and I never thought there was something to complain about them, except when trying to cut squashes.
So, when I sent away the old cutlery set and started using the new cute ones, I understood it was impossible to cook using them.
Anyway, I found a little shop in my neighborhood and had them both sharpened. I swear to you my life changed.
To a great extent, what I had thought was my inability to do julienne and brunoise cuts was actually the lack of a decent knife. It took a while and some training to learn the right movement (using the wrist and sliding the blade through the board without lifting the blade's tip from it), but I am now a lot more agile, and preparing food has become quicker.
Another important point is that sharp knifes are much safer than blunt knifes.
Why? - you ask me.
And I say: because a sharp knife leads to a straight movement, taking less pressure, and therefore diminishing the chance of slippage. It's that simple.
That's why it is important to keep the knifes sharp when they come back from the professional sharpener.
I don't yet have the ability to explain that in detail, but there is a lot of information in the internet, and I have put a few links at the end of the post.
About the paring knife, it is extremely useful to peel anything. If it's nicely sharp, you will cut away less of the vegetable's flesh when peeling/ trimming (for example, the leaves in a bunch of carrots), making a better use of food.
It is good to remember it takes a lot of practice to become skilled with knifes. Really.
Last week I thought to myself "I already got the hang of it, now I'll try to be fast and see it works".
Turns out I cut off a piece of my index finger in the hand that was holding the food. No drama, but it's best to avoid accidents.
So here are a few useful links:
- Knife skills, Jamie Oliver.
- Knife skills, the kitchn.
- How to keep your knifes sharp at home, the kitchn.
- Basic summary of hands gesture while cutting, gastronomismo (in Portuguese).
And to finish this talk, don't forget that the cutting board is also an essential tool for it. If you don't have a large and well structured board, you can't properly use a nice chef's knife, because your movements will be limited.
It's best to invest in a fairly large board, one that's not too cheap.
I'm saying that because I bought one of those and in less than 6 months of use the wood has given in and broken in half. Be sure to invest in products that will last long.