Kitchen Knives: What to Buy and How to Cut

One way to get healthy and save money is to eat at home. But to be consistent, you’ve got to realistic. If dinner takes too long to prepare every night, you’re not going to do it. To be realistic, you’ve got to be able to get in and out of the kitchen quickly.

I’ve been fortunate to be able to work in several commercial kitchens where I was forced to learn how to move quickly in the kitchen. Those tricks and that sense of urgency sure has helped me in my daily cooking life. It can get pretty intense if you see me working…but because I can get in and out of the kitchen quickly, cooking at home doesn’t have negative connotations like it used to.

That means I can forgo Taco Hell just a little easier.

You might think knife skills are for the advanced chef, but I believe it’s the absolute first skill you should learn. In my one and only culinary basics class (Soups & Sauces), knife skills was the first thing we spent time on–and a LOT of time on. It’s important.

Eating fresh foods sometimes takes a lot of chopping. So to take the chore out of chopping, you’ve gotta learn how to be quick with a knife.

I’ll tell you more about this later, but your cutting board is sometimes just as important as your knife. For the sake of everything good and holy in this world, please don’t use a glass cutting board. If you give me a dull serrated knife and a glass cutting board at your house, I am LEAVING. That’s got to be someone’s task in hell. Go for wood or bamboo, and if you have to, plastic.

Like I briefly mentioned in the video, knives can range from $8-$800 and up. Don’t let that be an excuse not to learn knife skills. I had a crappy little orange knife for years that I got at Ross for like $8.50 and it worked just fine. More information to come later about knife sharpening.

The nice thing about knife skills is that, well, it’s a skill! You’ll always be learning and improving. There’s something to be said for practicing a skill just about every single day. And if you’re not chopping every day, you’re probably not using enough fresh fruits & vegetables.

Speaking of which, if you’d like to practice, here’s how to properly cut an onion.


About Ande Truman

Ande has made mistakes in the kitchen since she could reach the countertop. From a restaurant head cook, to cooking meals for friends, to her own solo plate, experimenting & learning drives her. She’s also a freelance graphic & web designer, photo/videographer, guitar player and wanderlust-er. In her spare time, she works a full-time 8 to 5 cubicle job. She’s the creator of Broke & Healthy.

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Categories: Cooking Techniques, Home Life

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  1. […] For most of you, an 8″ chef’s knife is what you ought to be using for 99% of all your cutting. I used a crappy $8 orange chef’s knife for 2 years and it worked just fine, so you don’t need a fancy knife, but here’s a good one to start with if you need it. No matter what, make sure your knife is sharped and make sure you know how to hold it and use it. […]