Monday, April 25, 2011

Weapon of Choice: Knives

Like most cooks, I've got lots of knives. But if forced to, I could easily get by with just three. Pictured above are the three knives I would take with me if I were going to live on a desert island for a year.

My "go-to" knife for 95% of my cutting and slicing is the middle knife. It is an 8" Shun Santoku Classic Hollow-Ground Chef's Knife. It is the best feeling knife I have ever held. It's perfectly balanced, weighs 7.8 ounces and it works better than every other knife I have tried. The hollow indentations (kullens) reduce drag, allowing me to slice incredibly thin and what I slice does not stick to the blade. The Pakkawood handle is shaped like a "D" sits flat against my palm but is rounded under the joints in my fingers for a really sure grip. If someone put a gun to my head and said you only get one knife, this is the one I would choose. Every time.

The next knife I use most often is the bottom one. It is a 6" Shun Classic Utility Knife. While I only use it for about 4% of my cutting and slicing, it really excels at fine cuts of vegetables. I can take a regular clove of garlic and slice it into ten paper-thin slices with this knife. Typical of the Shun knives, it has perfect balance and holds an edge forever. The Pakkawood handle also has a "D" shape for an exceptionally good grip. It's a featherweight, tipping the scale at only 2+ ounces.

The knife on top is my big boy, an 11" Zwilling J.A. Henckels Chef's Knife. This is the knife I use for butchering, de-boning chicken and cleaving through lobster shells before grilling. Not many people perform these kinds of cutting tasks today, so it can be hard to source a knife like this. This monster weighs in at nearly 11 ounces and it's all business.

My knives are all hand washed, they never see a dishwasher. This goes a long way toward preserving the fine wood handles and helps the blades hold their edge. To keep my knives sharp, I use the Chef's Choice Edge Select Pro Electric Sharpener pictured below. Go here to see it in action: . I purchased all three of these knives at Willams Sonoma:

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