Welcome to our fifteenth Podcast at Recipe This and welcome to our latest cooking tips Podcast.
You can listen to the Podcast on the link above, read all about it below or click to download the ebook version on the banner above.
What Is Featured In This Podcast?
Introduction – in this section I will be sharing with you my experience with using knives.
The Ultimate Knives Guide – what you need to know about using knives and how to make the most out of them for both your own safety and so that you can chop up your food much quicker.
Podcast Sponsor – This Podcast is sponsored by Lantana and their amazing knife sharpener. It is a great way to stay safe in the kitchen and this little gadget is so modern!
Understanding Knife Safety – it is important that you learn how to be safe when using a knife so that you don’t cut yourself and so that you don’t risk a serious accident in the kitchen. This section explains how!
Links & Resources Mentioned In Cooking Tips FM 015:
Today I wanted to talk to you about using knives in the kitchen and how to make the best use of your knives. I remember when I was growing up because there was not that much cooking going on there really wasn’t that many knives available.
I remember one for peeling the vegetables with, one for chopping up the cheese and I don’t really remember any beyond that. There was also this weird looking electrical one that was very 80’s and was for carving the roast dinner meat at the table.
Everyone had the electric carving knife and it was for the man to show off his knife skills to the guests while everyone was sat around the dinner table on a Sunday afternoon.
I never used the electric one but always loved the other two. There was no peeler around and I was the worst potato peeler with a knife that you had ever seen. It was a case of doing a giant potato and peeling it ready for chips and losing ½ the potato as I did it. I would get shouted at for that and clearly I was never allowed near the carrots! It actually feels weird saying that and that there was a life before the trusted peeler!
With the cheese knife I absolutely loved that. It was perfect for chopping cheese or bread with and even better for chopping up bacon.
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But when I look back there was never any thought to knife safety and I don’t recall anyone (other than a chef) ever owning a knife sharpener. Eventually the knife died and it would go in the bin and another one would be bought.
But now we are in the modern world and what was in the kitchen in the 1980s is so different as to what you have now. We now have knife sharpeners, different coloured chopping boards, huge knife ranges, good quality knife holders and so much more. It makes cooking so much easier and nowadays there is no excuse for chopping your fingers with the knife. Not that we will ever totally stop this as I think we all get side tracked in the kitchen every now and again.
I have cut myself about twice in the last three years so I must be improving!
The Ultimate Knives Guide
There are so many knives out there that is hard to know what you need and what is just a waste of your money. I am very frugal so I always think of need over want. But I also think about value for money and how long a product is going to last.
For example I would never buy a knife from a pound shop just because I know it will have fallen to pieces after a fortnight. I would also avoid buying clothes from shops that are ultra cheap and that will not stand the test of time.
Where as some people I know will spend £5 on a new dressing gown I will spend £40 on mine and know that it will still be in great condition 10 years later. Well that’s not strictly true as I have my grandads amazing wool dressing gown and it must be at least 12 years old and still looks new. I believe he paid £45 for it in 2003 or some time around then.
The same can be said for knives. We invested in our knife set some time ago and have it topped up with some nice supermarket ones that we actually got on a coupon system and they are amazing and really do the trick!
But what knives do you actually need. Well that’s the big question and these are the ones you should invest in:
The Traditional Cooks Knife – this knife is perfect for traditional chopping, dicing, slicing and mincing. This is the exact type of knife that I use for chopping up my onions, my cauliflower, mincing up my garlic. Also because of its rocking motion it is PERFECT for chopping soft things such as hard boiled eggs and avocados.
The Utility Knife – this is another favourite and is another of your kitchen knives that has multiple uses. We use ours for cutting up crusty French bread, tomatoes and cooked meats. It also has a narrow blade making it perfect for warm bread.
The Kitchen Knife – this is probably better known as your traditional fruit and vegetables knife. We use ours for any of the traditional fruit and veg that we need chopping up and will be our most used knife in the kitchen.
Slicing Knife – the slicing knife is rather long and is often associated with carving up your meat on your Sunday dinner. We use ours for slicing our roast pork the most.
Boning Knife – when we talked on our blog a while ago about how to chop up a chicken this was the kind of knife we were talking about using. This is because due to its amazing blade it is really good at going through or near bones. When you want to move bones from things then I would say “use this”. Not everyone owns one of these in their kitchen because a lot of people have a fear of chopping up meat in this way. But we should all try and make an effort as we can save a small fortune. This kind of knife is also great for dicing up heavy duty food such as when you dice up a pumpkin or a pineapple.
The Cleaver – the cleaver is for when you have something that is so heavy duty that you need something with some serious weight behind it. This is what Dominic uses when he is chopping up ribs before I cook them in the slow cooker. And he does it so fast (thanks to the knife) that blink and you’ll miss it.
The Bread Knife – This is the traditional big bread knife. I use mine for everyday bread and also for cheese. It is perfect for getting through those really big blocks of cheese and many people often refer to this knife as the cheese knife.
Of course there are many other knives and the vegetable chopping sort get used a lot so sometimes it can help to have a few of those ones. But you don’t need more of a range than those above!
I have only mentioned 7 knives above and in reality there is a lot more. But I am talking here about knives that are essential to your kitchen and so that you can buy what you really need. Unless you get more knives with a knife set this is as many as I would buy.
The Podcast Sponsor
When I first met Dominic he actually owned a professional set of knives that he used in his career as a chef. I thought they were amazing as they came in so many different sizes and I had no idea what to do with each of them. He also had this huge knife sharpener too for when the knives got too blunt and you needed to sharpen up your knives so that they looked just like they did when you first bought them.
That is why I am so pleased to be working with Lantana Home and their professional modern knife sharpener. Before even though we had a knife sharpener it was huge and kept on a high up cupboard. I would then deligate the job to Dominic and often it would be a case of forgetting and working with blunt knives.
Yet with this one, it is an easy to reach drawer and it is so easy I can actually do it myself!
At the end of the Podcast we will be sharing with you how to enter our September 2016 giveaway and have the chance to win one. It is certainly worth hanging around for that is for sure!
Understanding Knife Safety
Next you have to be thinking about knife safety. And not just knife safety but staying safe in the kitchen. When I met Dominic he certainly opened my eyes to kitchen safety and how as someone that hardly could cook, should know automatically.
These are the principles he first taught me in the kitchen:
Chicken is lethal in the kitchen – there is a lot of bacteria on uncooked chicken and if you touch raw chicken you must not touch anything else and wash your hands straight after. You also must never mix raw meat with cooked meat. I am just surprised that I never had any bad stomach incidents before he came around.
You need a sharp knife – blunt knives are responsible for the majority of cuts when in the kitchen. We actually caught our son (on more than one occasion) trying to chop cheddar cheese with a butter knife. I am just surprised that he still has all his fingers.
Raw vs cooked in the fridge – not only do you need to make sure that chicken is kept safe but a lot of other food as well. Raw meat should be kept at the bottom and away from everything else. Then at the top you need to keep your cooked meats and cheeses.
Keep your fridge and freezer at the correct temperatures – it is amazing how many people don’t make sure their fridge and freezer is cool. You don’t want meat in the freezer accidentally defrosting and then being frosted up again. Also don’t overload your fridge or freezer and avoid going in it all the time which is when they become too hot.
Don’t pretend to be Gordon Ramsay – With a lot of ameteur chefs they watch the likes of Gordon Ramsay chopping an onion super fast and want to re-achieve this at home. The result is that they cut their fingers and are then put off cooking in the long term. Remember they didn’t start out being able to chop an onion that fast it came with lots of experience and usually having to chop a bag of onions everyday and slowly improving their skill.
Never mix chopping boards – Now you can buy different coloured chopping boards such as red for raw meat, white for fish, yellow for dairy and brown or green for your vegetables. Even though you don’t have to buy all these boards remember to clean your board in between and not to chop them off the same board.
That’s A Wrap
Thanks for listening to our Podcast and don’t forget to take part in our giveaway where you can have the opportunity to win a free knife sharpener and an Amazon.co.uk gift certificate.
You can sign up by going to RecipeThis.com and heading to the marketplace where we share the latest giveaway events with you! Or you can download the PDF of the Podcast transcript to access the live link.
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