GET A BLOODY GOOD KNIFE!
I cannot bang on enough about how important it is to have a good quality sharp knife. For me this is my most used & important bit of kit in the kitchen.
It doesn't need to be super expensive. The main thing is that it is comfy to use & you feel at home using it. I used £30-£40 knives for my first 20 years of professional cooking, but I really looked after them (more on that later)!
Do not choose a knife because it has a large price label or looks the part. Does it feel natural in your hand? Does it feel nimble? Does it feel easy to use? - Then it is the knife for you!
Do you have pressure points? Does the handle feel too big for your hand or maybe too small? Do you feel the blade is too big to control? Is the handle a weird shape? Then this is not the knife for you!
KEEP IT SHARP - Or its going to hurt!
As well as a decent knife, get yourself a knife sharpener and make sure you use it. Knives often scare people & folks think it's safer for the knife to be blunt. It’s not!
The more blunt the knife is, the more pressure you will put on it when chopping & that is when you will cut yourself really badly.
You have 3 choices for keeping a sharp knife:
Classic steel, you will need to feel confident to use the steel to keep the edge on the knife, only one person can really sharpen the knife or the edge will keep changing.
A pull through knife sharpener - Anyone can use, you will always have the same edge, you will potentially get more blade wear.
If the other 2 suggestions are a bit daunting, cheat & buy a serrated pastry knife, it will always be sharp, its not as easy to chop with though, its more for slicing but you can get used to it & at least you will have a proper sharp knife!
Don’t put knifes in the dishwasher; this will make them blunt quicker.
Get a knife magnet or a knife block, don't put knives in a drawer with other utensils, this will help keep the blade sharp & avoid accidental cuts while searching the drawer.
KNIVES - The essential little list plus other knives that are handy to have!
If you are looking to expand your set this is my second most used knife & I use it all the time. Brilliant for slicing tomatoes, peeling & It's also a great knife for using as a steak knife at the dinner table too, plus its super great value for money!
They are also great for kids to use (supervised obviously)
Get a decent chopping board that is really solid. I use a big heavy wooden one at home and I love it. Put a wet J cloth underneath the board to stop it moving around while you are chopping.