Guns for shows, knives for pro

Several weeks ago my good friend Clare taught me to debone a chicken, and the most important thing I learned during that lesson is that it is essential to have a decent knife.

You can’t debone a chicken with anything you’ve already got lying around in your drawer unless you’re a chef with a good set of knives or your mother is a chef and she bought you a set for your 21st and she still comes over regularly to sharpen them for you.  I meet neither of these criteria so for that lesson I borrowed one of Clare’s knives.

Clare and I were going to blog the deboning of the chicken for the HerCanberra website (she’s a contributor) but there were more than 100 step-by-step photos so now we’re thinking we might do a video instead… stay tuned.

My Dad is a champion knife-sharpener and some of my earliest memories are of him sharpening mum’s knives for her in the kitchen when I was growing up.  I learned to cut herbs and slice tomatoes and fillet fish using sharp knives in my mother’s kitchen.

When PJ and I got married we received a knife block with some pretty good knives, but fifteen years later they’ve been well and truly superceded by new and improved knife technology.  A few years ago I bought one good Australian-made Furi knife for PJ for Christmas and that kept me going for a while but after Clare’s chicken deboning lesson I came to the realisation that my kit needs updating.  Clare also came to that realisation and look what she and her husband Anthony got me for my 40th:

This is a boning knife.  It’s bloody sharp.  It’s a Kasumi which, according to the box, is a VG-10 Super Stainless Steel High Carbon 32 Layers Fine Stainless Steel Made in Seki, Japan.  I tried it out on a tomato.  I’m not even kidding, the tomato fell apart into five perfect slices just as I was sliding this thing out of its box.  This is a very, very special knife and I’m not nearly well enough qualified to use it.  But I’ll try.

Clare’s informed opinion that my knife collection needed updating was all it took to get me onto Peter’s of Kensington online to order a new set.  I couldn’t help myself.  Besides, they were on sale: $225 down from $599.  With a free sharpener.

These are Furi knives.  Like I said, I’ve got one of them (it’s a great big knife called the East/West Knife – it’s great for chopping vegetables) so I know they’re good.  Clare’s advice was to go to the store and ‘try them out’ which means to see how they feel in your hand – the weight, the balance, the shape etc are all important.  I use a Furi serrated knife at work to chop through enormous foccacia rolls and I’m pretty happy with it, so I took a chance and ordered the whole block.  But yes, it’s good advice to go and see how they feel.

So anyway the point of this entire post is to inspire you to buy yourself a decent knife, or maybe a whole set of knives.  Cooking is so much more pleasurable if you are using good quality equipment and it all starts with an excellent – and very sharp – knife.You’re more likely to chop off a finger using a blunt knife, by the way.  Blunt knives slip against the carrot rather than slice right into it, and it’s the slipping that’ll get your finger.

PS Who got the movie reference in the title?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *