Chef Tim Says...

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Dr. Tim Says...

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Chef Tim Says....

Your Most Important Kitchen Tools: Knives (Part 4)

The last in this series of columns about knives is the easiest for me to write. It concerns care. There are a few simple points.

1. Having a knife block is good, but the point of having one (if you'll excuse the pun) is to protect the blade from being knicked or gouged by another kitchen tool. If you are going to keep your knife in a drawer, place it in a small bin of its own.

2. Wash your knife carefully in warm soapy water and rinse it clean. Don’t clean your knife in the dishwasher no matter what the maker of the knife may say (or the manufacturer of the dishwasher, for that matter).

3. Keep your knife sharp. The best way for you to do this is to go on and buy a good sharpener when you purchase your knives. You can find countless types of manual sharpeners and over the years I have tried them all. I feel that there’s only one alternative, however – the Chef’s Choice electric knife sharpener.

I have had a Model 120 for years now and it may be the single best investment that I have ever made for my kitchen (besides my knives).

This is their top of the line model and has three sharpening wheels. They make great models that are slightly less expensive with only two wheels. The difference is that the extra wheel on the Model 120 is used rarely for grinding the surface of very dull or pitted knives. If you buy a two wheel sharpener when you purchase your knives, this won’t be as important to you.

The best part is that you can use the sharpener any time and it’s so easy you will want to. Having a so-sharp knife that will slide through a tomato and let you cut slices as thin as you wish is a great joy. There’s the old adage that dull knives are more dangerous because of the chance that you might slip because of having to use more pressure when slicing. This may or may not be true, but there is simply nothing more time saving than a well honed knife.

Dr. Gourmet
December 15, 2005