You only need 3 knives – that’s it!
Once you’ve experienced the wonder of a good knife, you’ll never look back! It makes kitchen prep sooo much easier and enjoyable. I travel with my own knife in its own wooden box… literally. But here’s the thing about knives – quality is more important than quantity! People spend exorbitant amounts of money on 10-piece knife sets, but that’s going about it the wrong way. Can you really tell the difference between the 8cm paring knife, the 11cm utility knife, the 13cm cooks knife and the 14cm vegetable knife? You only need three – that’s it. And two can be super cheap. But the third, splash out and get something top of the line, it’s worth it.
1. Paring knife
This one is going to cost you around $10 – that’s it. This is your trusty little knife for quick jobs and delicate work such as hulling strawberries. You are looking for an 8 to 12cm blade - I prefer a 12cm serrated knife (this one), but it’s personal preference. You might even go crazy and invest in two.
2. Bread knife
You are looking for a long, serrated blade - my pick is 23cm, but anywhere from 20cm upwards is fine. This is not the knife to splash out on – it’s literally just for cutting bread. $50 is all it needs. To get the perfect slice this is the knife I use.
3. Cook’s / Chef’s knife
Now this is where things get serious. This is the knife to invest in! A great cook’s knife will be able to handle everything the kitchen throws at it from meat to veggies and everything in between. If you need a serrated knife to cut tomatoes or peaches, or find yourself ‘butchering’ meat (excuse the pun!), then your cook’s knife needs sharpening (or upgrading!). I recommend looking for a forged cook’s knife between 20 and 23cm long. Length will depend on personal preference as well weight and also grip – I suggest holding a variety to gauge what suits you best. Forged knifes are generally more expensive than stamped knives (you’ll be looking at around $200), however in my opinion they are far superior, holding a sharper edge for much longer and being sturdier. Take care of them and they really will last a lifetime, so it’s a good investment. Hand wash only (no dishwashers!) and professionally sharpen every 3-5 years.
That’s it! That’s all you need. And probably cheaper than your average knife block.
Sure if you do more specialized cooking you might want a filleting knife or a meat cleaver, but for most of us the above three will do. I also recommend a good sharp peeler (I use this one) and a good pair of kitchen shears.
Happy cooking xx