On the Use of Knives in the Kitchen

Professional chefs almost to a man staunchly prefer knives that have carbon blades to those made of stainless steel. This is because a carbon blade will take a keener edge and, for the professional, is easy to sharpen.

For general home use, however, a set of fine stainless-steel knives is recommended for several reasons. There is the obvious reason, of course, that they do not rust or oxidize, nor do they react so quickly to acids. Onions and lemons, limes, and other citrus fruit can be sliced for hours with a stainless-steel blade without discoloration. A carbon blade, affected by oxidation or acid, will discolor the onion or fruit and will to a degree affect the flavor.

But remember, whatever kind of kind of knife you use, it should be kept sharpened either by taking it to a professional knife grinder or sharpening it at home with a “sharpening steel” or an electric knife sharpener. A dull knife is frequently more dangerous in the hands of a cook than a sharp one.

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