Mandy's Marvelous Meals

Recipes, tips, tricks, and my journey into cooking fabulous food!

Sharp as a Knife!!

on May 15, 2012

So I really wanted to mention in my Mom’s Day post…but forgot (not sure how that occurred since I’m obsessed!) that even though I am not a mom myself, My Mom showed up at my house with a gift for me…a set of new knives. She claims it is an early birthday present…sure Mom!!! *Wink Wink*.

My new knife set! Quality knives at a semi-affordable price!

I am so thrilled to have these knives. They are awesome!! My mom has them herself and I’ve been coveting them for a while now. There is nothing like a good knife….even if you can’t afford the whole set at once it is important to have at least one good chef’s knife.

A few years ago I asked Mom to get me a knife set for Christmas. I chose a Kitchenaid set that again wasn’t top of the line but didn’t seem like a “cheap set” either. Plus, I figured since it was Kitchenaid, which is typically a good brand that I’d be ok. The first few weeks I was so excited because they worked great…but then they started to get dull really fast…I’m talking I’d have to sharpen not just before I started but in between chopping and cutting. I was careful to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and wash the knives by hand and dry them right away, but after only a few months they began to get rust spots both on the blades and the handles. So basically they turned out to be a pile of crap!!

Kitchen Aid Knife Set….this sucks!!!! Do not get these knives!

But Mom saved the day and got me the upgrade that I wanted!!

Thanks mom! (I promise not to cut myself the first time I use them like I did with the Mandolin Slicer!!) 🙂

So if you are just starting out with cooking and don’t have a good knife or set of knives…you should definitely add it to your wish list or save up for it. You will not believe how this will improve your cooking. My chopping, cutting, slicing skills have improved just from having good knives…of course I am getting more and more practice but with my old crappy knives, I couldn’t get a good technique down because I was too busy “sawing” away just trying to make a cut. Not to mention I can do it a lot quicker.

Here are few things to remember when you are ready to make a knife purchase:

  • Do your research…read online reviews!! Had I done this I would’ve probably saved myself the heartache of my first set of knives which were a huge disappointment. Also, look at all different brands and types of knives to see what will be the best to fit your own needs.
  • Stay away from cheap knives….Again, I tried to save mom some money and go for a cheaper set of knives (I believe they were around $80.00) but she ended up having to spend more only 2 years later. If you’re just an amateur at home cook you probably don’t need to spend $600 on  a set but don’t be afraid to go for the $200 or $300 one. Think of it as an investment!
  • Ask your friends/family…do you have friends or families who cook? Do you know any actual chefs or cooks? Get their opinion! Like I said, my mom already had the set she just got me and so I’ve had the opportunity to use them quite a few times. I’ve also been able to see that she’s had them for a few years and they’ve remained in good condition! So the next time you are at your neighbor’s for a dinner party…ask about their knives! Ask to try them out! Of course…do it tactifully…you don’t want them to think you’re some kind of serial killer in training! Yikes!
  • Start with at least a Chef’s Knife…the Chef’s Knife is the most used and versatile knife of all the knives in the set. After I gave up on my knife set I went out and purchased a good quality Chef’s Knife and this was enough to get me back on track.

And finally, once you do purchase your knife set make sure you know what each knife is best used for and use it for its intended purpose. Your set should come with a description of each knife and what the knife is meant to cut. This will help the longevity of your knives…as well as probably save you a few injuries! 🙂

Now get to chopping!!!

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