An Expert Guide to choose The Best Kitchen Knives

Every great craftsman knows that importance of using not only the right tools – but the best quality tools for creating a masterpiece. Whether it be an artist and his choice of brushes, a sculptor who has the finest chisel, or the chef who has the best kitchen knives to bring his or her culinary creations to life. It is also true that to create the finest dishes at home – one must take special care to mimic as closely as possible the operation of the finest kitchens.
As any chef knows – every dish begins in the prep kitchen – and knives that do the preparation of the ingredients. Vegetables are sliced, diced and cubed with the right knife for the job – often called a chefs knife.
The finest cuts of meat are trimmed to exact specification in the prep kitchen but require a different knife than do the vegetables – most use a filleting knife – while smaller knives like paring knives are best for delicate jobs including peeling and fine cuts.

Regardless of your culinary task, our goal with this special website is to guide you through the selection and use of the right knife for which ever task you may demand of it. We will discuss the best brands of knives, the best value and of course the best knives for each job. We will also tackle how to sharpen your knives and care for them. So let’s get started…

What Makes a Great Kitchen Knife ?

Every chef has a different opinion on what makes a knife their favorite – the main common denominator though is the feel of the knife in one’s hand. It is an extension of the hand and arm – and the knife must do exactly as the user commands it to. There are a multitude of considerations to choosing the perfect kitchen knife including

  • Knife Weight
  • Balance
  • Blade Material
  • Blade Length
  • Blade Thickness
  • Thickness of the Handle
  • Shape of the Handle
  • Length of the Knife Handle.

Let’s start with the weight and balance of the knife

Most quality knives are heavier in weight than their cheaper, non gourmet cousins. A typical chef’s knife from Walmart weighs about half what a quality knife is going to weight – but don’t get fooled into thinking just because the knife is heavier that it is of better quality. In larger knifes such as Chef’s knives, what you really want to achieve is balance between the weight of the handle and blade which should balance where the two meet. This is less important in a utility or paring knife, but balance is a key factor for bigger jobs. The actual weight factor can be a personal choice as well – I prefer a heavier knife that requires less effort when cutting vegetables such as large roots ( potatoes / yams etc ) as well as for slicing carrots which can be very tough depending on the thickness and age of the carrot.

Blade Material and Thickness

The next critical factor is the material the knife is made out of – and in particular the blade itself. The top chef’s knives are typically made out of either what is called Japanese Steel, or German Steel. Every manufacturer uses different steel alloys in the forging of the blade – but the main differences in the two variations are that best japanese knives in the world are usually thinner and are much sharper thanks to their blade angle of 16 to 18 degrees. German steel is usually thicker and sharpened to a 22 degree angle making them more resiliant to abuse than their thinner Japanese cousins which can lose their sharpness quicker or become damage if dropped and can also be prone to breaking the tip off.

Blade Lenght

There is some debate among Chefs ( well lots of debate ) as to how many knifes a chef even needs. In my opinion, there is no right or wrong answer. A simple kitchen that focuses on prepping dishes of similar nature will have a reduced need for knife variety than a more complicated menu that has extensive prep needs. The starting point though for any chef is a high quality chefs knife with a blade of 10 inches, a utility knife with a blade of around 6.5 inches and a filleting knife typically of 8 to 10 inches and a paring knife with a 3 to 4 inch blade. Old School Chefs may argue you only need a 10 inch chef knife and a 6.5 inch utility knife – but that is ridiculous as there is no black or white answer.

An exquisite example of a heirloom chef’s knife is this masterpiece from Shun produced in the Japanese city of Seki – the ancient home of Samurai Sword making. Featuring a hand crafted hammered Tsuchime 8 inch blade as well as a pakkawood hand carved handle. The blade is made of VG 10 Japanese Steel with a 16 degree edge.

The Handle

As important as the blade is to a knife – the handle is of equal importance. How the knife fits into your hand will determine how it performs and obviously a woman with small hands will have a different preference than a man with large hands who is able to wrap is fingers around a much thicker shaft. The contour of the handle also is important – and the grip itself plays an important role.

My name is David Nolen and I am a Red Seal Chef with more than 30 years fine dining cooking. Over this time, I’ve owned and operated some of the finest restaurants in the world. I’m a fanatic about using the right tools to get the job done and when it comes to kitchen knives – there is a big difference between a knife from your local department store and a true chef quality knife. In this article, I’ll help you figure out the best kitchen knife for you.

6 Tips of Purchasing & Using an Electric Blanket

electric-blanketsWinter nights can be extremely cold making you freeze without some extra heat. If you would like to warm yourself without having to use your thermostat, an electric blanket is a good option. Before purchasing one, you need have perfect knowledge about the options available as well as the safety precautions. There are many things you need to know about electric blankets. One thing is that you deserve the best and safest! You should consider the following when purchasing the best electric blanket.

  1. Consider the fabric
    The material used to make electric blankets determines their safety and comfort. Polyester microfiber or fleece are the commonly used materials. Polyester again? Well, let the term “polyester” not scare you away. Polyester blankets are usually plush and super soft. The blankets made of acrylic are not cozy enough. Cotton is worse because it is more flammable. Polyester is certainly the best option.
  2. What are the heat setting options?
    The best electric blanket is the one that has multiple settings that allow you to regulate the heat to what is comfortable for you. If you have a sleeping partner, get the one that has dual heating and two remotes for both of you to adjust the temperatures to your liking.
  3. Check the length of the cord
    These blankets come in different cable lengths. Be sure to buy the one that can reach your bed after plugging it. You know the distance of your bed from your socket, right?
  4. Take the safety precautions
    An electric blanket is not used as an ordinary blanket. Avoid crumpling or folding the blanket but ensure that it always lays flat whenever you are using it. Never place anything on top of the blanket. Objects like books, phones, pillows or even other blankets should never find any place on top of an electric blanket. These precautions are important to avoid trapping excess heat that can damage the coils of the blanket. It is obvious that you should never leave the blanket on when you are not using it. Getting the one that has auto turn-off is a great idea because you may forget to turn it off.
  5. Check whether the blanket is washable or not
    How could these blankets be washed yet they are electric? The word ‘electric’ is not always synonymous to ‘never wash’. Most electric blankets can be machine washed for maximum care. Before buying the blanket, check whether it is safe to wash it using a machine. When washing it, follow all the instructions and remember to remove the cord, remotes and any other attachment.
  6. Know when to replace it
    An electric blanket can last for as long as ten years as far as you take good care of it and use it properly. You know that it is time to replace it when it stops distributing heat evenly. You should also replace it when it starts fading in some spots as this points to internal burning.

The Benefits of Owning a Deep Fryer

deep fryer

Deep fryers are common in homes especially because homemakers, celebrity chefs recommend them and they are popular in wedding registry lists. Compared to using a pan with hot oil, the fryers are fast, accurate and most importantly they are safe to use in homes. Also, you find them easy to clean and they are environmentally friendly because one can reuse the cooking oil.

  1. Safety measures
    Fryers are enclosed as a main feature which makes them safe to use in homes because the cooking oil is kept intact and it cannot splash on the user, child or even a pet. Splashing can cause serious burns and spills can cause fatal falls. Hot cooking oil can be used and disposed easily when using a fryer.
  2. Cleanliness
    With a fryer minimal splashing of oil can happen therefore less spills and the environment is clean throughout the cooking. Also, the clean up after cooking is reduced because fewer dishes are used.
  3. Environmentally friendly and pocket friendly
    There are rules in regards to used cooking oil disposal, making it difficult to dispose oil at will. Cooking oil cannot be poured down the drain or flushed in the toilet as these can lead to problems with sewage and major pipe blockage. A fryer is environmentally friendly because you get to reuse the oil and pocket friendly because you reduce the number of times you add new cooking oil.
  4. Quality & Accuracy
    Deep fryers have automatic settings which ensure the desired and required fry of foods is achieved. With simple settings foods such as meat is well cooked achieving the required taste while maintaining the safety measures. Foods get to cook evenly.
  5. Speed
    Deep frying is a fast method of cooking in comparison with other methods. They offer convenience when one needs to prepare fast meals for example for unexpected guests. Fryers range in size and so some big professional fryers can prepare a large bird wholly and thoroughly in under one hour.
  6. Food and oil choice for healthy living
    Having a fryer at home gives you the pleasure of choosing which oil you will use for frying. Also, you get to choose different recipes to make and the kind of taste you can have on the foods. One has a choice of healthier recipes which can suit everybody especially in cases of people who are allergic to some foods and oils.
  7. Different sizes
    Fryers are readily available but in different sizes according to one’s preference. Bigger sizes have large capacities of food while there are small ones such as Rival Cool Touch which can hold small capacities for single serving.

You should consider adding a deep fryer to your household because it will not require a large investment and it will save you the time and money among other benefits.

Tips on Finding a Healthy Mattress

People are more conscious on healthy living in every area of life including a mattress. People do not want to expose themselves to harmful gasses because there is an increase in toxic gas emission. For improved sleep a healthy mattress is important. A good mattress ensures good comfortable relaxing time which will solve healthy issues. When comfortably resting the body gets time to rejuvenate itself thereby healing itself in the process. This is why no enough emphases can be made on the importance of a good rest which means a good comfortable mattress and a warm comforter.

choose-mattress

Tip 1: A good mattress should provide support and comfort in a balanced mode. The benefits of the firm and soft mattresses are a never ending debate. Experts however say that a medium firm mattress which is soft provides better sleep. A good mattress should support some crucial parts of the body such as the lush and hips areas. This relieves you of backache and pressure sores.

It is recommended to test a mattress before buying. Ask to lie on the mattress for some minutes to feel its comfort. Some mattress stores offer a 30 day period trial on the comfort of the mattress. After the trial period and the mattress does not meet your satisfaction you can exchange the mattress topper to get the comfort level you want.

Tip 2: Some beds has some harmful chemicals incorporated in them, these chemicals include antimony and arsenic. These chemicals react when they come in contact with household germs and bacteria producing toxic gasses.

Fire –retardant has these toxic chemicals because the materials used are cheaper. Fire retardant materials are such as wool makes the affordable.

Tip 3: Be on the lookout for a mattress with breathability. Breathable mattresses increases comfort while reducing the chances of mildew and molds growing on the mattress, because it allows air circulation. A mattress with open-cell structure or Omalon offer air circulation in the bed and offer comfort.

Tip 4: When choosing take up a natural or organic mattress. Not all natural mattresses and organic mattresses can be 100% free of any chemical ingredients but they better because of less chemical ingredients in them. A material such as soy foam is sturdier and safer for you and the material is more durable. Keep Reading

How To Use An Electric Meat Grinder

meat grinderWhenever you have the blessings of the technology, you need not to think much how and when your heavy task will be finished.  Because the modern technology and its gadgets have conquered our time and troubles also. Like, when the meat grinder arrived, the meat lovers accepted it as a piece of fortune. Because of this, one side, they can eat the amount of meat how much they wish, and another side, they also need not to waste too much time for this purpose. So, the electric meat grinder is the best indeed.

The first advantage of the electric meat grinder is, it can grind or process a lot amount of meat without a second. But if  you were going to proceed it with the help of a butcher or through the manual way, then it would certainly take much and would be costly also. However, if you once buy a meat grinder, then you will not need to be tensed too much  about the future cost. Moreover, a person also need not to be much skilled to operate a meat grinder. Because it is easily managed and designed.

There are several kinds of meat grinder can be found in the market place. You can easily take one of them according to your budget and requirements. Plastic, Aluminium based meat grinders are mostly popular. They can be also varied by their brand and other qualities.  So, check them thoroughly before you pay money for it. However, it is advised that, as you are not going to buy an electric meat grinder for the several times a year, then you should obviously buy the best one without thinking much about the money. Because the best product can save you from wasting money for the same product in the near future.

If you are a meat lover or a freelance cook, lover, then the electric meat grinder is definitely a great as well as the a vital element of your kitchen. Moreover, you need not to keep engaged in processing the meat for a long time. Just on the switch of the electric meat grinder and then you can also continue your other tasks too. Then both of your work will be finished within the estimated duration and a huge amount of time can be saved easily.

However,  you can easily grind a lot of meat by the electric meat grinder and then prepare a lot of delicious items also.  Sausage, meatballs, and so other mouth watering dishes easily can be made. But first of all the germs free fact should be occurring. Before and after, the meat grinder should be cleaned properly with the necessary element. And yes also, as it is an electric device, the safety equipment also should be maintained properly while using it. So, if all of the facts are okay, then you are ready to use the electric meat grinder and also for the recipe that you wished to prepare.

6 Safety Tips for Using a Router Table

router table

A router table is a woodworking power tool that enables you to make sophisticated and defined designs and edges such as mortise and tenant joints as well as scroll patterns. However, like all machines you have to exercise a level of caution, as these are powerful tools that can cause some grave injuries. Below are 6 handy tips you should keep in mind while using a router table in order to avoid any serious accidents. Keep Reading