Quality matters when it comes to the tools you use to prepare meals in your kitchen. When choosing tools for your very first kitchen it is important to realize that the quality of the pieces you are purchasing is far more important than the quantity of pieces. Let’s talk about kitchen knives as an example of where quality really matters over the number of pieces owned.
Quality knives can be purchase in sets. Block set kitchen knives are incredibly popular. The problem with purchasing a complete set all at one time is that it is pricey and requires a substantial financial commitment. It also comes with the prospect that you are purchasing pieces that you won’t necessarily find useful in your cooking. One way around both of these obstacles is to purchase an empty knife block and take your time filling it with quality pieces that you are sure to use. This saves you from dishing out a lot of money right away as well as purchasing items you won’t necessarily use in your meal preparations.
Another benefit of growing your knife set is that it allows you to experiment with different brands. If you are like me I like certain brand name knives for certain jobs. There are several stores that now allow you to come in and test out different knife brands before you purchase. Before I purchase anything for my kitchen that requires a substantial outlay of funds I try to test the product.
Start with the essentials. Purchase a knife block and a chef’s knife. I would choose a chef’s knife as it is an all-around easy knife to use. Another knife I would look into getting sooner than later is a paring knife. This knife is perfect for all the small jobs in the kitchen. A Utility knife and bread knife would be my third and fourth choices. To be honest, before I bought a bread knife, which isn’t essential to the cooking process, I would purchase a few paring knives. During meal preparations I can go easily use four paring knives. This way I don’t have to worry about washing them in between projects.
When looking at choosing kitchen knives make sure you purchase a knife with a superior blade. The best material for kitchen knife blades is carbon steel, ceramic and titanium in that order. All of these materials hold a sharp edge over a period of time. Ceramic knives are incredibly sharp and easy to clean although a bit fragile. Carbon steel is incredibly durable and withstands a lot of use and abuse however can turn colors over time. Titanium is a great material but often a bit tougher on the pocket book. There will be advantages and disadvantages to all material used in knives. I do prefer ceramic for paring knives as they do the delicate work wonderfully but when slicing through a big chuck of meat I would take carbon steel every time.
Getting a great set of kitchen knives comes with patience and perseverance. You truly don’t have to have ever knife to get started. You will find growing your kitchen knife collection turns into a hobby of sorts.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
When deciding upon the best survival knife there are arguments that can be made for several different styles of knives as well as brands. The discussions are likely to become heated and intense as outdoor enthusiastic are passionate when it comes to their tools. There are several hundred survival knives to choose from. Countless hours of research have gone into the issue regarding the best survival knife. Numerous reviews have been read. The conclusion, the best survival knife for you depends on what you are looking for.
Each knife is unique and as such has viable pros and cons that come along with owning it. Each person has a characteristic unlike that of another so we will never agree on which one is “the best” for everyone. There are however, some important characteristics to look for that create a survival knife that will become an everlasting family heirloom.
When it comes to purchasing a knife for survival purposes you have two choices in blade styles; fixed blade and folding blade. I would never recommend a folding knife blade to a true survivalist. Folding knives have improved over the years however are not as well built or resilient as a genuine fixed blade knife. When choosing a fixed blade knife look for a full tang instead of a partial tang. The difference is that in a full tang the blade metal extends the full length of the knife into the grip-portion of the handle. A partial tang, in my opinion, does not offer the strength or stability that a full tang survival piece can.
Another significant portion of the knife that needs to be considered is the steel in which the blade is made. This could be the most debated part of the knife as well. Knives can be manufactured out of variety of steels or combinations of such. When looking for a long-lasting knife for survival purposes the best option for the blade, in my opinion, is a combination of stainless steel and carbon steel. Carbon steel allows for the knife blade to stay sharper longer as well as being incredibly durable while stainless steel looks sleek and is a non-corroding, rust resistant material.
A considerable feature when it comes to purchasing a true piece meant for survival you will want something with some girth. A thick blade is a must have when it comes to finding the perfect survival piece. When you are out in the back country living off the land you need a knife that will slice, hack, split, bone, skin and save your life. You should be looking for a blade that is at least an eighth of an inch thick. A knife being used to save your life should be made in such a manner that failure is not an option. If the blade fails it could mean your life.
The last piece of advice I will give you on the topic is to purchase a brand name knife from a reputable outdoor gear company. Brand names in knives are plentiful. Outdoor knife suppliers range from brands such as Ka-Bar, Cold-Steel, Buck and Becker just to name a few.