I find myself in a situation where I have no kitchen knives save a motley assortment from my “Bachelor 1.0” days, all of unknown provenance. My guess is that they’ve come from the dozen or so housemates I’d had over the years. I hear that the young people, like these two, might refer to them as “janky”. The knives have been kept in a drawer for years (the good ones lived in a proper knife block). The photo above shows the sharpest of the bunch, based on some experimental onion-slicing.
While cleaning out the kitchen, I found this modern-art-looking-thingy. It’s a knife sharpener, and like the knives, it too is of unknown provenance. I ran the santoku-ish knife (in the topmost photo, it’s the one closest to the lower right-hand corner) through it a half dozen times and it seemed to do a better job at slicing onions. Of course, this may just be a placebo effect and I may have made the knife even more worthless. Time will tell.
I can easily go out and buy a new set of knives, but I plan on making do with the janky set for as long as I can. In fact, The Current Situation is such that there’s a lot of household stuff that I need to replace, but I’m resisting the urge to make a beeline for the store. My reasoning is as follows:
- Holding off on replacing those household items buys me time to do a little research. I can read reviews, shop around, and as you’ll see in just a moment, call on the collective smarts of my readers.
- Holding off also buys me time to find out what things I used to have that I don’t really need. Whatever I need will become glaringly obvious through its absence and I’ll buy it. Whatever I don’t need will neither be missed nor bought.
Gentle Readers, I’d love to tap your collective smarts: do you have any recommendations for knife sets? I’m no chef by any stretch of the imagination, but I cook a lot. I work from home a fair bit, so not only do I prepare dinners at home, I also find myself in my own kitchen for lunch. While I’m not aiming to buy an expensive set, I know better than to go cheap.
I did a quick check of the Costco Canada site and found these two sets that were in the neighbourhood of what I wanted to spend. The first is this ten-piece Henckel set, which sells at Costco for CDN$200:
Here’s what’s in this set:
- 23-slot birchwood knife block
- Vegetable knife: 7.6 cm (3 in.)
- Paring knife: 10.2 cm (4 in.)
- Utility knife: 12.7 cm (5 in.)
- Santoku knife (with Granton edge): 17.8 cm (7 in.)
- Carving knife: 20 cm (8 in.)
- Chef’s knife: 20 cm (8 in.)
- Bread knife: 20 cm (8 in.)
- Sharpening steel: 23 cm (9 in.)
- Kitchen shears
The second is this nine-piece Sanelli set, which also sells at Costco for CDN$200:
Here’s what’s in this set:
- 1 oak wood block
- 1 flexible fillet knife: 19.7 cm (7.75 in.)
- 1 narrow boning knife: 15.9 cm (6.25 in.)
- 1 roast knife: 24.1 cm (9.5 in.)
- 1 bread knife: 24.1 cm (9.5 in.)
- 1 japanese knife: 17.8 cm (7 in.)
- 1 paring knife: 10.2 cm (4 in.)
- 1 Edgemaker®
- 1 Castor peeler
Do either of these sets make sense? Are there better sets at the same price? Is it a fool’s dream to hope to get the right knife set for me at the the CDN$200 price point? Should I forget sets, go to a “proper” kitchen store and perhaps build a set, spending more and building a set a knife or two at a time?
Let me know what you think (especially if you’re a chef or very avid home cook) in the comments!