It's time to replace the set of Chicago Cutlery knives my wife and I received for our wedding almost 25 years ago. They are serviceable with monthly sharpening, which I do with a machine. (Please, no judging.)
A couple years back, we needed a new bread knife and went to Williams-Sonoma and bought a Shun Edo heavy bread knife, which pretty much blew us away. No idea how I'd ever sharpen it without sending off to Shun's service, but it doesn't seem close to needing it.
Anyway, this has opened our eyes to the fact that there are incredible knives out there, and we want to invest in new ones that are relatively low maintenance, look great, cut even better, and will last us for as long as we keep cooking.
My wife is vegetarian, and I am a BBQ and stir-fry fan, so we cook just about everything. We're not even close to experts, and my wife is far better than me. However, we recognize the difference in good knives, and are willing to invest significantly in stellar ones that we will get better with over time. So, I'd like help figuring out a few things:
- I'm happy to learn more on my own about how I should be using my knives in the first place, just to better understand the terminology people use when describing knife parts, types, and usage. Recommended places to go for that? Preferably web sites that are free and easy to access, but if there's an essential book I'd consider it.
- I know there are lots of differences in the knives themselves--type of steel/material, thickness, handles, shapes, and so forth. So far in reading through these forums I don't know enough to understand the recommendations people are making to each other, and would like to be able to. Best source for that?
- We're going to need a whole set of knives. Up to now I was tempted to just go get a whole block of those Shun Edo knives on sale for $1000 and be done, but I realize I could perhaps do better understanding what I was looking for first, and then choosing appropriately. Once I have a better idea of what I need, where's the best place to evaluate sets, rather than just individual chef knives, for example?
While I want to buy the right thing for a good price, I'll admit to being a snob. I tend to over-buy based on third party judgments of quality. And I do want them to look nice in the kitchen. But the thing I'm willing to pay the big bucks for is ultra-sharp, low-maintenance knives that feel great and will work even better when we get better at using them (which we hope to do). Yes, I'm willing to hand-sharpen if that's the way to go. Especially if I don't have to do it every single month.
Thanks for any input you can all provide in getting me up to snuff.