AndyTalk: Errant Knifery
Choosing a knife
- I'm not a fan of sets. The average person needs two good knives - a chef's knife and a paring knife. Most of the knives in a set are never used. If you want more knives add a Santoku-style chef's knife; the slightly rounded edge of these Asian-style blades rocks back and forth with ease when chopping. The knife in the bolster picture above is a Santoku. I also like thin cleavers for slicing. If you have aspirations of turning chickens into filets and other small parts get a boning knife. That's it. I have at least 50 knives and I use a chef's knife 80% of the time.
- Carbon Steel. You want a knife hard enough to hold an edge but not so hard that it's impossible to sharpen. Knives that never need sharpening can't be sharpened.
- Full Tang. This has nothing to do with powdered OJ. The tang is the continuation of the metal into the handle. A full tang extends to the end of the handle. When the metal runs the length of the knife balance is usually good.
Finally, if you want a quick knife lesson I just posted a lesson on YouTube. The best way not to cut yourself is to master the art of slice and dice.