So here’s the deal: Dull knives are the biggest kitchen hazards – more so than hot oil or an open flame. I’ve been to the kitchens of so many relatives and friends, and their knives are so dull that it is extremely hard to chop. No wonder then that people hate cooking – if it takes you 40 minutes to merely chop all your vegetables and then cook – you are bound to be annoyed.
I’ve been wanting to write this since some time now.
Chopping, I believe, is a sensual routine. The glide of the sharp blade that slices almost effortlessly through the flesh of the vegetable/meat and creates almost perfect cubes or slivers of a previously intact product is quite an experience. Speed just comes with experience and the knowledge of how to hold the knife and vegetable.
A dull knife is pretty much of no use to anyone – it doesn’t cut through properly, and tends to slip more than it cuts. This proves more dangerous for the user since the pressure and the slipping of the knife together can cut you deeper. Moreover, while using squishy vegetables like tomatoes and brinjal, a dull knife can squeeze the vegetable ruining both its structure and releasing the juices onto the board. This can prevent your dish from tasting its best. The same applies to herbs. Herbs are extremely delicate ingredients. Chopping them with dull knives only serves one purpose – to crush them and release their colour and flavour prematurely.
Most people use simple small knives that we all get in the market. But a chef’s knife is the ideal kind. A little bigger than the usual variety, comfortable to hold, with a strong, slightly heavy handle, is the best knife to have. You can use a steel to hone the blade once in a while; and a sharpener to ensure that the knife is its sharpest.
I personally used the usual market variety knives when I first started off cooking – but at that time, I didn’t know any better. Then, my husband gifted me a set of chef’s knives on a birthday and I was over the moon. I researched on how to use, sharpen and maintain them and now, I cannot do without a razor sharp knife.
So, go on, if you are a regular cook, go buy a good chef’s knife and feel the difference.