Choosing The Right Knives For Your Cooking


It can be tough choosing the right knives for your cooking adventures. There are so many different varieties of knives out there that it’s easy to get lost in the confusion. I’m no stranger to the kitchen, so I understand how important having the right knife is. Today I’m sharing with you some tips on how to choose the right cooking knives for every recipe.

Set of cooking knives in a kitchen

Photo by Danilo Rios

After many years of cooking dishes in my kitchen in London for my family and for my blog, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks to choose the right and best knives. I know just how big of a difference having the right knife makes. While it is important to seek the best quality, which often comes with a high price tag, it is not always about how much money you spend. It is also about choosing the right knife for each ingredient.

You can be an expert chef or just a home cook novice. Either way, having a good knife can make your time in the kitchen a wonderful experience. More than that, however, it can make cooking effortless and even more of a joy than it already is.
Michel Roux Jr with a paring knife at Cactus Kitchen in London

Choosing The Right Knives For Your Cooking

How To Choose A Cooking Knife

The first choice to make in the kitchen is what to cook (and find the best recipe!). The second hardest choice is deciding on the best cooking knife. As any experienced cook will tell you, there’s a knife for every situation. That also means that there are a lot of knives that are overkill or just not worth the hassle of using. Being new or just inexperienced, however, can make it hard to separate the good knives from the bad. Luckily, there are a few good guidelines you can follow to make choosing a knife a much simpler process. As it turns out, many of the best knives all have a few things in common.

A knife with a lot of versatility, for example, is a lot more useful to have than a knife that can only be used in a couple of ways. Good knives can be expensive so it’s a good idea to get the most bang for your buck. This is one of the reasons why the Chef’s Knife is considered a fundamental kitchen knife that every cook should have. It gives you options that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. The Chef’s Knife, however, isn’t the only cooking knife you should have in your kitchen.

Man chopping vegetables at a kitchen counter

Photo by Jason Briscoe

3 Cooking Knives Every Cook Should Have

When I’m in the kitchen, there are only three knives I make sure to always have on hand:

  • a Paring Knife, a perfect choice when it comes to delicate cutting. Its small size gives you excellent precision when it comes to delicate items like fruits or vegetables;
  • a Chef’s Knife, the most versatile knife of all. It can do anything you need. If I could only have one knife, it would be this one. Cutting meat, dicing garlic, and chopping vegetables… there are very few tasks that can’t be done with it;
  • a Bread Knife, which thanks to the serrated edge, it’s easy to find situations where no other knife can do the job. You don’t even have to love bread to find a use for this knife in your kitchen.

The Best Knife To Have In The Kitchen

If it isn’t already obvious, the Chef’s Knife is overall the one knife that every cook should have. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look at other knives, however. A good paring knife, for example, can prove to be just as helpful as any Chef’s Knife. In fact, a paring knife actually makes for the perfect complement to the bulky Chef’s Knife. Because a paring knife is small, it’s easy to do delicate work that would prove difficult with anything bigger. Some foods, like fish, are actually easier to work with using a paring knife than they would be otherwise.

Woman chopping fresh herbs with a Chef's knife

Photo by Alyson McPhee

Depending on the type of food you work with most often, other styles of knives may also be useful to have. A cleaver, for example, is great to have if you expect to be working with a lot of thick meats with large bones. A cheese knife should never miss from your cheese board.

When it comes to choosing a knife, your kitchen situation is just as important to take into account as versatility. You can have the most stylish kitchen designs in the world, but what is the point if you don’t have the right tools and appliances to cook with?

Kitchen counter with cheese knives

Photo by kevin laminto

The Difference A Cooking Knife Makes

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, it’s hard to ignore the power that a good knife can give you. Food that you hate to work with can quickly become your favorite with the right knife. Kitchen tasks that you hate can be finished fast and with ease. Sure, it can sometimes be difficult or expensive to find that perfect knife. But trust me, it’s an investment and well worth the effort.

Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post.

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