Whether you're just getting started or you've been BBQ'ing for awhile, there comes a time when you need to evaluate the knives you're using. After all, they're a pretty important tool for the BBQ chef. I spent the first few years just using whatever fell to hand in the kitchen. But a few years ago, my wife presented me with a nice set of knives for Christmas. The difference has been night and day.
So here are a few things to consider if you're in the market for knives.
- Consider the type of blade and the maintenance. Some blades are harder to sharpen and some require professional sharpening, like serrated blades.
- Like buying shoes, you need to try it on. Pick it up and feel how it fits your hand.
- Buy individual knives rather than a set and buy the best knife you can afford. Buying a set is certainly acceptable, but you may find that there are knives in the set that you don't use much.
And here are the knives that I'd recommend you start with.
The Chef's Knife - This is a good all purpose knife that can be used for dicing, mincing, and slicing. Just be sure to buy one that's comfortable in your hand and not too long.
A utility knife. This knife is longer than a pairing knife and used for miscellaneous cutting. Typicaly these knives have blades in the 4-6" range.
The pairing knife. A short knife typically used for peeling or coring vegetables and smaller food items. These knives typically are 3-5" long with a straight, sharp edge.
The only other knife that I'd add to get started is a serrated knife for slicing. Unfortunatley mine is MIA, but that's a whole other blog post.
Sharpening Steel - Sharp knives are the most useful, so make sure you have a sharpening steel or some other tool to keep a good edge on whatever knife you use.
Remember, even when the world is at peace, a gentleman still keeps a blade by his side.