The Eight Fingered Chef

8fingerThe 8 Fingered Chef

 

Here’s something a little different for you. We had a reader submit a short story called “The 8 Fingered Chef” and asked if we would publish it, so here it is – hope you enjoy!

 

Daniel walked into the kitchen where Henry was standing at the counter. It was Daniel’s first day on the job, and the kitchen manager had already warned Danny about Henry and his affinity for kitchen knives.

Henry ruled the roost; he was the oldest cook in the kitchen and had been there for a long time training young chefs in safety and with good reason. Henry looked up from his continuous chopping and stopped briefly to point at an electric knife sharpener set up in one corner.
“Go on and get that sharpener and get them knives hanging there on the wall. Sharpen ‘em up for us and we’ll get started.” Henry didn’t say anything else, and resumed his chopping. Daniel got the knives off the wall and grabbed the sharpener.

“What’s the point in all of this?” Daniel asked. Henry straightened up. “Knife safety starts with a good sharp knife. If ya use less force, ya won’t get hurt.”
Daniel diligently sharpened the knives carefully, and while he was putting them away, he knocked one onto the floor. Scrambling to catch it, Henry shouted at him “Don’t try to catch that knife, you bumblin’ fool, let it fall!”

Daniel was unhappy with the way he was being trained and treated, but Henry was old, so Daniel let it go. When it was time for Henry to start teaching Danny some cutting techniques, he yelled at Daniel again and again.
“Boy, keep them fingers curled in! Don’t put that in the palm of your hand! Get a grip on that knife boy!”

Daniel had finally had enough. “What the heck is your problem old man? You act like I’m going to cut my fingers off.” Daniel used the knife to enunciate his point, and Henry arced his knife in the air,and stabbed it into the wooden cutting board. He raised his left hand, where he was missing the tip of his index finger and had just a stump above the knuckle for the middle finger.
“I lost this one using a dull knife to cut vegetables,” he said, holding up his index finger. He curled the rest of his hand in a rude gesture, lifting his stumpy middle finger for emphasis.

“And I lost this one because I decided that I was going to catch a meat cleaver that was falling to the ground.”
Daniel swallowed hard and went back to work. He did not ask any more questions and he did exactly as Henry said. The moral of the story? Be safe when working with kitchen knives, and don’t tick off the 8 fingered chef!

 

Editor’s Note: The moral of this story, clearly, is knife safety. Visit our page all about Knife sharpening and knife safety tips to learn more.

Knives Professionals Use

knives professionals useAll You Wanted Know About The Knives Professionals Use.

It is the winter season, and everyone is shying away from their outdoor grills and moving into the kitchen, and many are wondering what knives professionals use.

Here you will find the secret you need to professionalize your kitchen, by using knives professionals use.

You might watch several popular chefs cooking on the television and you might stop to wonder how they do it.

The key point to note is that it is not only important for you to pay attention to the techniques and cooking instructions they use but also the knives professionals use.

A chef and his/her knives are a team in the kitchen. Knives professionals use are ideal for chopping fruits and vegetables, mincing and slicing in the kitchen.

The shape and size of the knife is determined by the purpose it will be used for. Although some may believe that a multipurpose knife can do all the work, this is definitely not recommended by top chefs.

Let us look at Jamie Oliver, one of the most famous and significant chefs on television today. Many have copied his cooking style and are also using the knives recommended by him.

Wusthof is one of the preferred knife brand used by Oliver,and is one of the many knives professionals use. They are made from refined German steel and these knives require little or no sharpening.

Richardson Sheffield brand is also used and recommended by Oliver, and are some of the most prestigious and desirable knives on the market today. The secrets are the design of the handles which provides easy control of the knife and the thin sharp steel blades that are perfect for chopping.

Rachel Ray is also one of the most prestigious chefs on television today. This is a lady of style who has complete control of her kitchen.

Ray is famous for her Santoku knife that is perfect for chopping and slicing but required adequate techniques and control of the knife. The beauty about this knife if that it is fully affordable, unlike other knives professionals use that range from $150 or more, Santoku can be purchase for $70.

Other popular knives professionals use includes those manufactured by Chicago Cutlery, Kershaw and kin, Korin, Henckels and Masamota. The trick is to find out which knife does the job better.

Check out the following links for more knives professionals use, and start cooking like a pro today!

Thanks for reading my post.

Buying Kitchen Knives

buying kitchen knives

Everything you ever wanted to know about buying kitchen knives.

 

Before you go out and spend money on a new chef knife, it is important to remember that there’s more to buying kitchen knives than just a sharp edge and good looks.

Bolster, handle, tang and blade:This is how chef knives are made.

Before buying kitchen knives, consider the following crucial points:

  • Bolster  This is the thick piece of metal between the handle and the blade, particularly found on french style knives. It acts as the shield between the sharp cutting edge and your fingers. It adds to the balance of the knife, and is a crucial safety element.  Not all styles of knives have bolsters, nor do they need them.
  • Handle Another important factor to consider when buying kitchen knives is the handle. Oftentimes, handle choice can be a very personal thing.  Do you prefer the Rosewood Handle or something synthetic? Do you like a straight handle or a more ergonomic design?  A wooden handled knife requires a little more care than a poly-urethane handle, but they tend to look better. Synthetic handles won’t crack, but can be cumbersome for those with smaller hands.  Wooden handles are naturally warm, but are limited in shape for obvious reasons.  Look around and find a handle that suits you.
  • Tang The tang of the blade is the continuation of metal that for all intents and purposes should extend throughout the length of the handle.  When buying kitchen knives, look for a knife that has a full tang.  The tang is crucial to knife balance, weight and stability. Be prepared to spend money on a knife with full tang as this knife will last you a long, long time.
  • Blade Another important factor to consider when buying chef knives is blade shape and style.  Different blades are for different purposes. you wouldn’t peel a potato with an 8 inch blade, and it is next to impossible to chop 8 ounces of parsley with a 2.5 inch paring knife.  Choose the right blade for the right task.
  • Construction There are 2 types of blade production and one is more expensive than the other.  When buying kitchen knives, consider whether your blade is stamped or forged.  If it is stamped, it is cut out of a sheet of stainless steel, and if it is forged, it is made in much the same way of the old world masters.  Stamped blades are less expensive than forged, but let’s face it, you really can’t beat a forged blade.

Blade Material

Before buying kitchen knives, it is important to also familiarize yourself with the common types of blade materials, and decide for yourself which blade material is right for you.

There are typically 3 types of blade material (a)High Carbon Steel (b) High Carbon Stainless Steel and (c)ceramic.

  • High Carbon Steel-These knife blades take a better edge, are easier to maintain and are more flexible, but over time will tarnish. They do require a certain degree of upkeep like wiping them after you use them and cleaning them after cutting acidic foods, like onions.
  • High Carbon Stainless Steel-The difference between this and HCS (high carbon steel) blades is the amount of chromium, which needs to be at around 13% in order for the blade to be rust-proof and stain proof.  Some of the best knives in the world are made of either of these materials. F.Dick, Henckel and Forschner produce fine quality High Carbon stainless steel knives, and when buying kitchen knives these are the ones most often purchased.
  • Ceramic-These are relatively new and and are light and extremely sharp. Unfortunately, you cannot sharpen them, and if you drop them on the floor, you run the risk of breaking them. Fortunately, there is no chance of corrosion, and they usually have a strong warranty.

Types Of Blades

-Chefs Knife  These come in , 8 and 10 inch sizes usually, and are usually a personal preference.  A smaller blade is ideal for someone with smaller hands, and people with larger hands tend to go for the larger blades. If you are buying kitchen knives, note the size of your hand. You might spend $50 to $200 if you are buying kitchen knives.

-Boning and Filet Knives These vary in size from 5 inches to 7 inches, and also vary in shape and rigidity.  If you are doing your own butchering, these knives are a must.  If you are doing larger meat cutting, you may want to look into a larger, more rigid blade.  Poultry will require a smaller, more flexible blade. These can range in price from $30 to $80.

-Specialty Blades  Blades such as Cleavers, carving knives, serrated knives and Asain vegetable knives such as the Shun Santoku knives have there place, but you need to decide before buying kitchen knives if these knives are right for you.

-Paring Knives Paring knives are very handy and versatile, and can be used for a variety of small tasks, like peeling and garnishing. These knives can have a straight blade or a curved blade and can cost anywhere from $10 to $ 30.

Knife Care
-Clean your knives after you use them.
-Store your knives in a knife block. Do not throw sharp knives into a drawer.
-Keep your knives out of the dishwasher. This protects the handle and the edge, and it protects your fingers when you aren’t paying attention.
-Maintain a good edge with a ceramic stick or a steel.
-Learn basic knife skills.

Sharp Advice
When buying kitchen knives, remember: buy the best knives you can afford, and plan on using them for the rest of your life. Knife design has evolved over hundreds of years. If there’s a flashy new kid on the block, ask yourself if the new design will stand up over time. Will it be comfortable? Is it necessary? All of these are great points to consider when buying kitchen knives.

If you plan on buying kitchen knives, it is important to consider the above points, and check out the great selection of kitchen knives that amazon.com has to offer.

The Best Cutlery For The Money

the best cutlery for the moneyThe Best Cutlery For The Money

Picking The Best Cutlery For The Money

It’s not uncommon for someone to look for the best cutlery for the money if they’re really into cooking and hosting company for meals, but on the other side of the coin, many folks are looking for the best deal to get the cheapest cutlery, and are perhaps not as concerned with overall quality. These two often-contrary points of view leave a lot of room in the middle for people who wants good quality cutlery, but don’t want to spend a fortune on it.

Chances are that when you’re seeking out the best cutlery for the money, you don’t mind spending a bit more than the bare-minimum, but you also don’t need all the bells-and-whistles that can cost extra. This webpage is going to take a look at some tips you can use to get the great quality cutlery for your kitchen and dining room, but we’re going to do it from a thrifty point of view by teaching you how to find the best prices, too.

We’ll start with the high-end department stores and we’ll work our way down in terms of where you’ll normally find the best deals. Keep in mind that even while using these frugal tips to get great quality stuff for less money, there is still that same balance in play between price and quality, we’re just trying to stick a thumb on the scale and balance things a little more in our favor.

The first place you’re likely to think of checking for fancy cutlery is a high-end department store, in their household section. You aren’t going to find any deals here, but sometimes after big holidays, you can find some well-priced clearance items. Be careful, and don’t just buy the cutlery based off of brand alone, because sometimes these stores will carry items made by well-respected brands that seem like good deals, however they’re actually lower-end than something you may find at a more reasonably priced store, and that you’re just paying for the name in that case. Even quality brands make some duds, so go by how it looks and feels moreso than who’s name is on it. It’s rare to find a great deal in these types of stores, however you will if you keep a diligent eye on the clearance sections. Is it worth the effort? That’s up to you to decide, but we’ve gotten this one out of the way first because it’s probably not your best bet, but it’s still worth mentioning – if for no other reason than to offer a heads up to consumers!

Discount and outlet stores are the next option to consider, think of places like Target, Walmart, Winners, etc. You’ll find better prices at these stores than the high-end stores, and in a lot of cases quite similar quality stuff, however it may not always be as fancy. If is likely your best bet if you’re looking to purchase new cutlery, in terms of getting fair quality for your money and then some. You will find many top brand names, as well as store-brands and discount names, but don’t always let the price fool you because there are some good deals to be had, but you should also be weary of paying more just for a brand name.

Now is when we start to get a bit more creative, because you can find some great deals on used cutlery. This is where you will find the best cutlery for the money if you have a keen eye. The best places to find used, high-quality cutlery for cheap are garage sales and thrift stores. It’s not uncommon to find complete cutlery sets for a fraction of what you would pay in the other places we’ve talked about in this article. You’ll find all sorts of cutlery in various conditions, so it’s really up to you to take a look and see how things are. Another variation of this is to look online for people selling used cutlery sets, on sites like eBay or Craigslist.

When it comes down to it, the more willing you are to spend some time and go hunting, the more likely you are to find the best cutlery for the money! Hopefully this article has helped to shine some light on the topic of finding the best cutlery for the money, whether you’re looking to spend $10, $500 or more.

If you are looking for the best cutlery for the money, check out Amazon! They have a great selection of quality chef cutlery, and some will argue that what they have is indeed the best cutlery for the money

Check them out today!

Best Chef Knives 2013

best chef knives 2013Best Chef Knives 2013

A lot of exciting things have happened so far in 2013, and some of them have even been in the kitchen! Do you remember the best meal that you cooked this year? The joy of putting together a nice, delicious meal is hard to match for anyone who enjoys cooking. There are little things we can do to make cooking more enjoyable, such as keeping the kitchen tidy with lots of counter space, or having a dishwasher to help with cleanup, and using premium quality ingredients to cook with. There are also some bigger things that we can do to enhance the experience, for example upgrading our appliances, and using the best kitchen knives within your budget. There are new knives, and pricing models, coming out every year, here’s a look at some of the best chef knives 2013 has to offer.

Choosing The Best Chef Knives 2013

When selecting a knife, we think user reviews are very important. The highest reviewed knife on Amazon is currently a Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Cook’s Knife. In our eyes, having so many 5-star reviews from people who have bought this knife means a lot. It’s not a cheap knife, coming in at slightly over $100, but this is the type of knife that gets passed down decades later. If you have the choice between a few cheaper knives and one like this, we recommend going with one like this. The 8 inch blade makes it a versatile, solid “everyday” kind of knife that can also handle the more demanding tasks.

Don’t want to shell out over $100 for a knife yet? The good news is that you don’t have to. The 2nd highest rated knife on Amazon is currently only about $30, it’s a 10-inch Victorinox knife. This brand didn’t make it into the top 5 of the Reader’s Choice Awards that we mentioned in this article, however they’re known for making decent quality and affordable products and in our opinion is one of the best chef knives 2013 will have.

When you’re shopping for knives online, many stores will give you the option to soft the results by price or by rating. Sorting it by rating and looking at the prices of the top 5 or 10 knives will give you a god, rounded look at what’s available. You’ll see some cheap knives getting great reviews, because people will often cut them a bit of slack since they were less expensive, so 5 star reviews on a $200 knife doesn’t mean it’s the same quality as a $15 knife with 5 star reviews. Just something to keep in mind!

The qualities that make the best chef knives 2013 stand out are the same as any other year. People are looking for quality, they’re looking for fair prices and they’re looking for brands that they’ve come to know and trust over the years. We believe these traits of Best Chef Knives 2012 will carry through to 2014 and beyond.

Kitchen Knife Reviews 2013

kitchen knife reviews 2013Kitchen Knife Reviews 2013 – What To Check out

With the new year , we’re starting to see the Kitchen Knife Reviews 2013 start to roll in. Were there any new names making a splash in 2012? We’ll take a look at some of the reviews and roundups from around the web to help you put the past year in perspective when it comes to kitchen knives, chefs knives and what’s what in the kitchen.

CookingEquipment.About.Com had their yearly 2012 Reader’s Choice Awards recently where they selected the best kitchen cutlery brand. Looking at the results, we see Cutco in the top position. Cutco is often sold at parties, much like Tupperware, and this model has given them a lot of success. You can also find their knives for sale via their website. What sets Cutco above other similar knives is the fact that they offer a lifetime guarantee.

Some other brands that got an honorable mention from the Reader’s Choice Awards are Wusthof, Chicago Cutlery, J.A Henckel and Rachel Ray (by Furi). You may recognize some of these, perhaps not others, but they’re all worth looking into. Rachel Ray has made quite a name for herself, and her kitchen products are often decent quality at an affordable price. Not necessarily made for chefs in busy restaurants, but certainly good enough to get the job done at home.

We recommend using amazon to order knives if you know pretty well what you want, because they often have the best prices. If you are brand new to this, it’s not a bad idea to either start with something a little bit less expensive, or to try out the knife in-store first just to make sure it feels comfortable and well balanced in your hand. This won’t matter a whole lot, however, until you’ve gotten proper knife technique down. It’s a bit of a myth that you need to spend a lot to get a great knife, but quality does cost money, and kitchen knife reviews 2013 will help you decide which knife is best for you.

Imagine an amazing guitar player playing an old, beaten up acoustic. He or she is still going to be able to make some beautiful music with that guitar. It’s more about the person using the knife than the knife itself, but if you’re just starting out then a bad knife will hold you back.

Kitchen Knife Reviews 2013 are well-summarized by this year’s Reader’s Choice Awards, and hearing from other chefs means a lot. It’s important to look up reviews before making a major purchase, and for a lot of chefs their knife is certainly a major purchase. Hopefully this article has shined a bit of light on the process.

 

Good Quality Chef Knives-Spotting The Difference

good quality chef knives

How To Find Good Quality Chef Knives

Cooking doesn’t have to be hard, in fact it should be fun, but a lot of kitchens are missing a crucial tool. Before you worry about your recipes, your ingredients, or cleaning up – you need to think about getting some good quality chef knives for your kitchen.

You may hear the words chef knives and become intimidated, thinking that they belong in fancy restaurants and not in your own kitchen, but guess what? Whether you’re preparing a sausage and broccoli rabe torta, or cutting the crust off of your kid’s sandwiches, you’re the chef in your own kitchen and you should have the right tools,including good quality chef knives, at your disposal!

Why is it so important to have good quality chef knives? Because otherwise it’s such a nuisance to try to cut things when you have the wrong knife. Your food will end up looking sloppy since you aren’t getting good cuts, and it’s also not as safe. If your knife is dull or not well kept, you greatly increase the risk of having it slip onto your fingers, or at the very least an added feeling of frustration.

Different chefs will have different criteria on which knives to use, perhaps, but there are some general things to look for that are important across the board. A good quality chef knife will take into account the following criteria:

  • Balance
  • Material
  • Warranty

Balance is very important and it’s not something that you can really get a feel for over the internet, so it’s a good idea to check out some knives in person even if you’re planning to order online. The reason people choose to order good quality chef knives online is because the price is often lower, meaning you can get much higher quality knives for your investment than you may find in-store. If you’re picky about how a knife feels, scoping them out in person is your best bet.

Good quality chef knives will often be forged from steel. There are different ways to manufacture knives, and there’s a big difference between knives which are simply “pressed” out from a roll of metal, versus the ones which are actually forged. If the chefs knives you’re looking at are surprisingly inexpensive, chances are they’re pressed steel and won’t carry the same balance or overall quality but that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t good quality chef knives just the same.

When you’re investing in a set of good quality chef knives, it is important to see what kind of warranty they offer. Does the manufacturer stand behind their product for the entire life of the product, or are you only covered for a year or two?  A company making good quality chef knives will often have no problem backing up their knives with a great guarantee or warranty.

 

 

Knife Sharpening-A Brief Introduction

knife sharpeningknife sharpeningknife sharpeningKnife Sharpening Is An Art Form-Learn About It Here!

Even the sharpest, highest quality knives will eventually start to lose their edge. After months of service  in the kitchen, knives will gradually start to become less and less sharp. A dull knife is very frustrating, and dangerous too. Since this can happen slowly over time, we don’t always notice as our knives become dull. This article is going to offer up some general advice when it comes to knife sharpening.

Do you have a few old knives sitting at the back of the drawer, so dull they can’t even cut a tomato? Using proper knife sharpening techniques, you can grind some new life into your old knives. We’re focusing primarily on kitchen and chef’s knives, however a lot of the tips and techniques here will also apply to other types of knives. We’ll be going over some basic do’s and don’ts regarding knife sharpening. A sharp knife is essential if you’re serious about cooking and food preparation, it really makes a huge difference.

There are a lot of different gadgets and tools for sharpening knives, however most people prefer a standard knife sharpening block. They often come with either two or three sides, the three sided ones are a bit more expensive usually, it’s really up to you. If you can afford the more expensive one, go for it, but if you can’t it is not going to make or break your knife sharpening experience. Each side will have a different surface, which helps to properly sharpen your chefs knives.

Generally, some of the gimmicky knife sharpening gadgets of the past haven’t been all that great. Either they’re not very effective, or in some of the worst cases they’re actually damaging to the knife. The good old fashioned method of knife sharpening prevails as the best, when you do it by hand you have the most control which can be good and bad – depending on your experience level. But don’t worry, it’s a very fun skill to acquire and it’s not too difficult to get started with knife sharpening. On top of that, it’s a rewarding feeling when you sharpen your own knives.

Truly, sharpening a knife is as much of an art as it is a trade. You can read basic tips about it all day, but the best thing to do is to practice. Here’s a don’t when it comes to knife sharpening. With a lot of things, it’s easier to learn by actually doing it. Or rather, you may not completely understand the directions until you’ve tried it yourself. That being said, you won’t want to learn to sharpen a knife using your very best knife, because it is possible to damage your blade when you don’t really know what you’re doing. Some people who are new to knife sharpening will practice on older knives, or even buy a few from garage sales or second hand stores to use as they improve their skills.

Proper care of your tools is essential in everything, and your knives are no exception. If you take good care of them, respect them, and keep them sharp and clean, a good set of knives can last you an entire lifetime, and even be passed down too. When you take pride in your tools and care for them properly, they’ll simply serve you better.





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New Addition to my Family of Knives

imageThis is the latest addition to my arsenal of culinary cutlery.  The F.Dick 1905 series 10 inch chef knife.  I have been wanting one of these for about 3 years now, and I finally purchased one.  It is truly an extraordinary knife, with unbeatable out of the box sharpness, and amazing styling.

Without a doubt, it is one of the best knives I own the crown jewel of my collection.  If you are in the market for a fine piece of culinary craftsmanship, then wrap your hand around the handle of this little beauty.

The Best Chef Cutlery-Period!

best chef cutleryThis is the Best Chef Cutlery-Period!

The Best Chef Cutlery for professionals can’t be found in hardware stores, or grocery stores or through info-commercials.  These knives, this particular chef cutlery is not built to last. They never have been, and never will be. The just can’t hold up to the rigors of the world of the professional chef.  Sure, the ads will tell you that it can saw a steel hammer then go on to cleanly slice a tomato, but really, how often do we need to cut a hammer?

If you are in the market for the best chef cutlery, then look no further than this chef cutlery blog.  In the pages of this site you will find all sorts of useful information on chef knives, quality chef cutlery reviews, and useful cooking tips from a professional chef.  One who knows the best chef cutlery for your money, one who has field tested each of the knives listed in this website. Knives like Victorinox, Henckel and F.Dick, knives that are chosen by professionals for there quality and durability, the best chef cutlery-period!

If you are just starting out in this world, and you are looking for the best chef cutlery for your budget, I would suggest checking out the Victorinox 40520 Fibrox 8-Inch Chef’s Knife brand of chef knives.  These knives are nicely weighted and have good stainless steel blade that can hold an edge for sometime.  This is a tough little knife and can stand up to anything you can throw at it.  It can even withstand a trip through the dishwasher, not something that I would recommend, but it is your choice.  It is an inexpensive knife, and like I stated earlier, it is the best chef cutlery for the price.

The next knife to consider is another knife by Victorinox. They feature quality stainless steel blades, and  beautiful Rosewood handles, full tang and 3 rivets in the handle for support. They are, in my opinion, quality chef cutlery, but I do not recommend putting these knives through the dishwasher.

J.A Henckel knives are known the world over and have been the choice of many European and North American chefs for many years.  You can find these knives in a variety of styles and price ranges.  If you are going to choose the Henckel line of chef knives, I would recommend that you choose the 4 Star line.  It has a highly durable stainless steel  blade and a comfortable urethane handle and full tang.  The blade itself is not comfortable for long periods of prep, but once the blade is sharp, it will maintain it’s sharpness for sometime.

Even with all the above mentioned knives, the best chef cutlery period is for me the F.Dick 1905 series.  This is by far the best knife I have ever worked with. Quality steel, comfortable grip and blade spine, unsurpassed out of the box sharpness make this knife the best chef cutlery-period!

It all boils down to your choice. If you like the knife, use it.  These reviews are solely the opinions and experiences of the chef.  If you want to try them out for yourself, you can find them on amazon.com

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