If you want to become a better home cook then you need to know how to use a knife. Cooking instructor Brian Adornetto says, “There’s a reason every (professional) culinary school in the world starts with knife skills. Students have to learn how to properly and uniformly cut ingredients, otherwise food will not cook evenly.” Also, choosing the wrong knife can damage food, even causing it to split or bruise.

Choosing the right knife gives food the right texture and accomplishes tasks more efficiently. Using the correct knife will give you speed, control,confidence and provide safety in the kitchen – all traits you need to improve your cooking skills.

What Type Of Knives Do You Need?

Most chefs agree there’s no need for home cooks to spend a fortune on a complete, top of the line knife set.  Instead, spend your money on three to four high-quality knives.  Most home cooks can accomplish what they need with four knives: chef’s knife (the largest size you can comfortably handle), a boning knife, serrated utility knife or bread knife, and a cleaver.

The chef’s knife is the one you’ll use the most so before purchasing make sure it feels comfortable in your hand. While you don’t need the most expensive knives you’ll want higher-end, quality knives. Cheaper knives dull quickly and result in more injuries. Why? Because when cutting with a dull knife, you need to apply more force. If you slip, the additional force could lead to a more severe injury.

And while you can easily make do with just several knives, if you find yourself repeating specific tasks over and over, it will be worth your while to invest in an additional knife just for that purpose, such as carving, fruit or paring knives. You will also need a good knife sharpener to keep the blades in prime condition.

Knife Material

Knives come in a variety of materials such as high carbon stainless steel or high-end stainless steel. The high carbon knifes are less expensive but are prone to rusting. While the high-end stainless steel knives are considered better than the high carbon knives, they can be really expensive and some cost over a hundred dollars each.  Avoid purchasing low-end stainless steel because they dull quickly.

How to Store Knives

If you keep your knives in a drawer they can bump together and ruin the edges. Most chefs like to keep them on the wall using magnetic strips or in a wooden knife block close to where the food is prepared.

Having good tools makes doing any job easier. Out of all the tools in the kitchen, the knife is the most important. Choosing the right knife for the job will simplifying your cooking. Spending money on a high-quality knife is a good investment since it can last a lifetime for the amateur cook and can be sharpened in less than a minute.