If you’re thinking about getting a high quality knife, especially making an investment into a handcrafted one, how many do you really need? If I can only get one, which one, and why?
Aric Geesaman – Bladesmith Owner/Operator of Ash Blaeds, shares how ONE knife may be all you need. Here’s more, as told by Aric:
o The real answer: I find people adjust to use the best knife they have for as many tasks as possible. So the key is to get the size of knife you are most comfortable with, know your knife’s limitations (materials, design, geometry), know your way around your produce, and keep your knife sharp!
o That said, here are the pieces I’d focus on first:
Chef knife – This knife, we all know, can do 90%+ of what needs to be done with food prep. Chopping, slicing, mincing, butchering – all of these things are what this knife was developed to do, with minor variations in their efficiency depending on design.
Larger chefs in the 8-10+” range give you a lot of extra leverage, but can be a little unwieldy when it comes to some specific, delicate tasks
So you may find a petite chef (this generally includes knives like a santoku), one in the 6-7″ range is just perfect for all around use. I make more of these for home cooks than anything.
Utility/Petty – Honestly, one of the most used knives in my kitchen. It fills all the gaps between chef and paring, and has a huge overlap between the two. Depending on its size and design, it can do about 90% of what a chef knife can do, and about 90% of what a paring knife can do.
I call this a Chicken Soup knife – It’s perfect for one onion, 3 carrots, 3 ribs of celery, mincing garlic and herbs, and can break down a whole bird in a jiffy. It may not be the right knife or cutting 25 lbs of potatoes, but for making a meal for a family, its just right.
Paring Knife – Almost all the women in my life (Mom, Step Mom, and Grandmothers both still with us and now gone) use a paring knife for almost everything in the kitchen. It’s like the inverse of a chef knife to them. Sure, they’ll grab their chef knife to break down a squash or cut up a water melon, but almost everything else gets done with the paring.
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