In a world seemingly dominated by Thermomix and Kitchenaid you could be forgiven for believing key food prep tools have to have an electrical plug! In fact, the most important tools in any kitchen are still professional kitchen knives! Used over and over again each day for tasks such as dicing, slicing, chopping, crushing, mincing, spreading and carving this one tool remains the prime investment for any kitchen.
I had a wonderful interview on my 88.9FM Hills Radio show this week with Karina Kealy from Zwilling JA Henckels, and I learnt a few interesting facts about knives. For example, there is a difference between Japanese knives and European knives because of traditional food preparation. Japanese knives are angled at 19-degrees and require sharpening more often than the 30-degree angled European knives. Who knew?
I also learnt key criteria for buying a knife, your lifetime food prep tool;
1. ensure it fits comfortably in your hand
2. ensure the knife cuts effortlessly and retains its sharpness for an extended period are the key criteria when selecting your lifetime food prep tool
However, there is an art to creating the perfect knife! Zwilling JA Henckels has used its 280 year history of being at the forefront of kitchen knives – and collaborated with leading Italian designer and architect Matteo Thun – to produce the latest in a long line of award-winning kitchen knives aimed at professional and hobby chefs.
Pro was released in Germany earlier this year and is described by Zwilling as a classic of the future. At first glance the Pro appears similar to traditional premium kitchen knives but once picked up the knife’s ergonomics become immediately apparent. The gently rounded handle guides the user’s fingers intuitively to the correct position while the seamless transition of handle to blade ensures complete comfort while cutting.
The balance of the knife is also important so I asked Karina about a rumour I had heard; that you could balance a quality knife on your finger (not with the pointed end, obviously). Karina says “yes”, that a well-balanced knife will balance on your finger as the handle and blade should be the same weight. This led me to another question; if an ergonomic handle is made from, essentially, a plastic composite then wouldn’t the blade have to be light too?
True. In fact, Zwilling JA Henckels professional kitchen knives are manufactured using a unique composite that includes stainless steel making them highly efficient but lightweight slicing machines.
The Pro blade itself is the highest form of pure technology. Each blade features precision Sigmaforce forging and has been Friodur ice-hardened for extra strength and flexibility. State-of-the-art grinding technology produces a wedge-shaped blade that provides optimum geometry and stability. Finally, hand finishing of the two-stage V-Edge creates a sharpness that really lasts.
More importantly the traditional blade shape has been revised – the tip of the chef’s knife, for example, has a more pronounced curve to enhance rocking chopping while the paring knives have been given a more multifunctional form to aid a wide range of tasks. The bread knife has also been revisited with an interplay of large and small serrations to guarantee efficient cutting with an extra-long blade to enhance functionality.
The result? Safer, faster, effortless cutting for both professional and hobby chefs.
Karina also had tips such as quickly cleaning off knives when working with citrus and acidic ingredients as they can stain or pit knives.
My interview with Karina will be up on this website soon as a podcast. So subscribe to Don’t Call Me Penny and you’ll know first when it’s posted.
In the meantime, there are seven professional kitchen knives in the Zwilling JA Henckels Pro range and all are available at David Jones stores nationally. RRPs are:
Zwilling Pro Carving Knife – $219.00
Zwilling Pro Chef’s Knife – $279.95
Zwilling Pro Paring Knife – $119.95
Zwilling Pro Santoku Knife with Hollow Edge – $289.95
Zwilling Pro Bread Knife – $219.95
Zwilling Pro Utility Knife – $149.95
Zwilling Pro Wide Blade Chef’s Knife – $229.95
Do you have a favourite kitchen knife? Would you like more tips for maintaining your professional kitchen knives? If so, please post a question here and I’ll ask Katrina Kealy to answer it for you.
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