Get Sharp: Knife 101

Every kitchen should have the following:

Chef’s knife (8-10 inch) for chopping, slicing and dicing.(I like a Santoku)
Serrated knife (8-10 inch) for bread, squash, roasts -and chocolate!
Paring knife (3-4 inch) for peeling, coring and small slicing jobs
Boning knife for boning meats – and for peeling melons!
Kitchen shears
Sharpening steel

What to look for:
Comfort: how does it feel in your hand? Is the handle comfortable? Does it have a secure grip? Does the knife feel balanced? Is it light weight enough to prevent tiring on big jobs.
Construction: Is the bolster deep enough to protect your fingers when cutting?
Quality: like anything, buy the best you can afford. A good knife can last forever if it’s properly cared for.

How to clean:
Hand wash in hot soapy water. Don’t put them in the dishwasher. The dishwasher can warp the knife and damage the handle. Wash and dry each knife separately.

How to store:
Store knives in a block or an in-drawer knife rack. A knife sheath can be used, too.
(Don’t buy a pre-filled block. Buy your knives one at a time, making sure each is comfortable for you.

How to sharpen:
Even a good knife will lose some of its sharpness with time. However, sharpening a knife is easy if you have a steel. (Note- it’s not necessary to do this with great speed. You can place the tip of the steel on a kitchen towel for steadiness if preferred)
Place the knife blade against the tip of the sharpening steel at a 20 degree angle
Pull the knife down and across the steel, in a slight arc.
Repeat on the back of the steel to sharpen the other side of the blade.
Repeat five to ten times, alternating the left and right side of the blade.

Knife Safety:
NEVER catch a falling knife! Step back and watch it fall.
NEVER leave a knife in a sink of soapy water or in a sink of dishes, where it can unwittingly be grabbed by the blade. (NEVER cover a knife left on a counter with a towel, either)
Keep knives sharp. A sharp knife requires less pressure to cut, which means you’re less likely to get cut. A cut from a dull knife is far worse than a cut from a sharp one.
Always hold the knife firmly and cut away from the body.
Always use a cutting board.

^ Back to Top

Search & Browse

View AllMost RecentTechnique

Spatchcocked Chicken (or Chicken Under Bricks)
Pickled Red Onions
Homemade Ricotta

Creamy Four-Cheese Macaroni from The Great Cook by James Briscone
Kitchen Organization: Mise en Place
Short Rib Cholent from Chef Peter Berley's The Flexitarian Table

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
Better together: Pairing tips
Michael Ruhlman talks Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing

Overstuffed Portobello Mushrooms from HELLO TASTE, GOODBYE GUILT!
Preserving the Harvest & Putting your Herbs to Bed with Rita Heikenfeld
Like Buttah: Compound Butter

Refrigerator Raspberry Jam
Final Flourishes: Small finishes that make everyday dishes excellent
Get Sharp: Knife 101

Crispy Oven Fried Fish Fingers
Pasta Carbonara
Brown Sugar Apple Pie

Irish Stew
Ginger Berry Flip from The Liquid Muse, Natalie Bovis
Grilled Figs with Honey Mascarpone

Romesco with grilled asparagus, fish and ramps from Smart Chefs Stay Slim byAllison Adato
Katie Workman's One-Skillet Cheesy Beef and Macaroni
Inspired Idea: Ice Cream Balls

A little dicey: What recipes mean by "dice"
Slow Cooker Cassoulet from Michelle Scicolone's The French Slow Cooker
Simple Asian Meals: Tofu Noodle Salad with a Spicy Tahini Dressing

Chewy Peanut Butter-Caramel Bars
Ricotta-filled Crepes with Berries
Chocolate Cherry Cake Roll

Easy Pinwheel Danish
Roasted Salmon with Pernod Sauce from Wini Moranville
Lemon Ginger Marmalade

Ice Bowls
Raspberry-Chipotle Brownies with Chocolate Ganache
Sesame Noodle Chicken Salad

Deluxe Triple-Chocolate Cookies
Kung Pao Chicken
French Fries

Peanut Butter and Jam Muffins
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking: Ciabatta
Shrimp Cavatelli with Tomato Concasse, Braised Fennel, and Clam Nage

O is for Oatmeal
Cookie Baking 101
Pam Anderson's Master Formula for Perfect Savory Scones

Cinnamon Rolls
Sugar Pumpkin Chutney in a Paper Pumpkin Cage
Turkey 101

Basic Sear-Roasted Pork Tenderloin and All about Roasting with Molly Stevens
Leek and Potato Soup from Soup Glorious Soup by Annie Bell
Chocolate Peppermint Pattie Cups

Jeni Briton of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
Simmering Pork Shoulder
Pie Crust tips and favorite Pumpkin Pie recipes

Grilled Chiles Rellenos stuffed with Queso Oaxaca, Mushrooms, and Sweet Potato
Homemade Gyros
7 Steps to Sensational Stew

Crispy Orange Beef with Green Rice
Take Time to Chill: Freezing Tips with Certified Angus Beef
Cranberry Almond Crumb Muffins

Prime Rib on the Grill
Anna Boiardi's Leaving-home Penne Rigate with Broccoli
Rita Heikenfeld's Gremolata

Budget Friendly Foods
Grilling for a crowd with Chef Michael Ollier
Tagliata al Rosmarino (Steak with Rosemary)

Creamy Lemon Cherry Cheesecake
Lemony Grilled Halibut
Grilled Ribeye Steak with Classic Steak Butter

Braised Beef Brisket
Cooking a great steak
Strip Steaks with Three Pepper Rub

Stephanie O'Dea on Crockpot Cookery
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies from the Cake Mix Doctor
Stir Frying: Mandarin Shrimp and Vegetables

Chocolate Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
How to toast nuts
Pie Crust 101

Classic Lemon Meringue Pie
Summer's Classic Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
Freezing 101

Inspired Idea: "Blue Ice"
Chinese New Year Tradition: Dumplings and Whole Chicken
Cookie tips from Krystina Castella

Mushroom Potatoes
Double Decadence Chocolate Cake
Oven dried Cherry Tomatoes

Brewing Tea
Low Salt Seasoning Ideas
Strawberry Cheesecake with Walnut Crust
^ Back to Top

Leave a Comment

^ Back to Top


  • Recipe to Share?

    Got a special recipe you can't keep under your chef's hat? It's OK, your secret is safe with us — and all our readers.
    Share With Us  
  • Don't Be A Stranger

    Amy is all about being social. Take this opportunity to connect with her on Facebook, share ideas and enjoy free tips.
    Connect With Amy >
  • Where's Amy?

    Wondering what Amy is up to? Take a look at her calendar for all upcoming events.
    View Her Calendar >
  • Dole Spring Mix 167 x 334

  • Gold Star Chili