Monday, May 7, 2012

Gluten Free Cooking Tips #1 -- Buy a Good Knife

In celebration of May being National Celiac Disease Awareness Month, I hope you will join me the next two weeks as I share some of my favorite gluten free cooking tips with you every day Monday - Friday. This is part of a series hosted by Linda of The Gluten Free Homemaker. At the end of this post and every post for the next ten weekdays, you'll find links to the other bloggers included in this series. Make sure to also read the details of the giveway, you have the chance to win a prize on every blog participating in this two week series! 

Cooking Tip #1 
Buy a high quality knife -- learn how to use it and take care of it! 

Having a high quality chef’s knife to prepare fresh food is essential to healthy, gluten free cooking. A high quality knife will be an investment, but if properly cared for can last a lifetime.

I have a small assortment of quality knives that I use. I have one small Wustof paring knife, 2 large J. A. Henckels chef’s knives, and 4 Cutco knives. Many chefs and home cooks alike will argue over which company makes the best knives, but I think you simply have to find the knife that works best for you.

My husband prefers to use the Henckel chef’s knife when he is helping to prepare meals. The knife has a large handle, is heavy, and fits well in his hand. I prefer the Cutco knives that we have (A small santuko knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife). They fit my hands better ergonomically and are lighter than the Henckels knives.

If you have the opportunity, actually go to a specialty kitchen store like Bed, Bath, and Beyond or Williams Sonoma so that you can physically handle the knife and get the feel of it in your hand. You will know by holding the knife in position which brand will work best for you. You can learn basic cutting, chopping, and dicing skills by simply googling “culinary knife skills” or “kitchen knife techniques.” You will find dozens of youtube videos and blog tutorials on how to properly use your high quality knives.

My favorite 5" Petite Santuko Knife from Cutco

Here are a few links that I have found helpful in learning more about knife skills and taking proper care of your knives:

 ● The Anatomy of a Chef’s Knife
 ● How To Use a Chef’s Knife
 ● How to Chop an Onion
 ● Basic Knife Skills
 ● How to Care for your Kitchen Knives

Reader’s Tip of the Day: “A good 7" or 8" chef's knife, plus a knife skills class if needed. Best investment for cooking.” -- Sally J. Parrott, author of Aprovechar

Please visit each topic in "10 Days of Gluten Free"
From: May 7th - May 18th

10 Days Gluten Free GIVEAWAY!
Included with this awesome series is a giveaway on each blog once the two weeks are over! I will be giving away a brand new copy of Carol Fenster's cookbook, "100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes." This is one of my FAVORITE gluten free cookbooks with an awesome collection of Carol's absolute best recipes.

The Giveaway Nitty Gritty: 
  • This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents 18 and older. 
  • You are allowed one entry per "10 Days of Gluten Free" blog post for a total of 10 entries on this blog. 
  • Enter by leaving a comment (WITH an email address to contact you) on this post (and other 10 Days of GF posts). 
  • The giveaway begins May 7, 2012 and ends at 11:59 pm eastern time on May 18, 2012. 
  • No purchase is necessary. 
  • Odds of winning are based on the number of entries. 
  • The winner will be randomly chosen and will be contacted by email. 
  • The winner will have 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen
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  1. Great information!

  2. Always good to know what is important in the kitchen. Knives are #1 after the right kind of food. Thanks for posting this.

  3. Glad to get another take on the best knives. It is something we use all the time and cheapo just doesn't cut it...hahahaha. Get it?

  4. Great info...I am all for good knives, I definitely use them enough, I've learned to be picky about them. :) pauladecaria(at)

  5. Thanks for the great suggestions on how to get a great knife for the kitchen. I am not entering the giveaway, but so happy to have "met you" through this event.

  6. Love this suggestion and totally agree that a good knife makes working in the kitchen so much more enjoyable.

  7. Love my knives, love them even more when E is doing the chopping for me.
    I have Carol's book so please don't enter me!

  8. Hi Carrie,

    I found you through my good friends Tessa and Laura! I saw ginger and lemon and was like, woe, my favorite two ingredients. :-) Love your blog and I look forward to reading through your recipes.

    And I can't agree more about the knife. I finally bought myself a new knife (after so many years - 10 to be exact) and it makes all the difference in the world. It took me several tries to find the perfect one, but what a difference! Off to check out your knife suggestion!

    This is such a great series. Always love learning new tips and meeting new bloggers!

    Be Well,

  9. I think this is a great tip, but have to admit that my knife collection is not all high quality. I do not have a good chef's knife, but I do have a large santoku knife that I really like. Thanks for participating in the blog hop, Carrie!

  10. I have many of knives, but I only really use two of them. They are my most important tools in the kitchen! Now I just need some tutorials...I need them, as the scars of my thumbs can attest!

  11. it will be super good to win this giveaway!!!
    i am

  12. good article, I have a nice knife set. I just need to get them sharpened!

  13. I LOVE my $1 Pampered Chef paring knives, but I do know what you mean about having a good knife - it makes a huge difference!

  14. I've had knives that cost $100 and I've had knives that cost $1. I've found that it's a 50-50 shot whether or not it's a good knife until you actually use it at home for all of the needs that you have. I'm currently in love with a chef's knife from the dollar store. My Victorinix is sitting idle in the drawer.

  15. I am new to GF eating. I cook from scratch everyday and this recipe book giveaway would be so helpful as I convert my current recipes and learn how to bake GF. Thanks

  16. a carol fenster cookbook would be a great resource in the kitchen-thanks for the opportunity!

  17. I really need a good knife. Thanks for all the resources. Becky.

  18. i never really thought about the knife... now that you have me thinking, i AM picky about which knife i use. hmm. thank you a ton!

  19. Thanks so much- it's so kind of you to share your knowledge, especially when it takes a lot of time from you to do so!

  20. I agree about having a good knife.

  21. Bonnie BellistonMay 8, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    I have been wanting some new knives but didn't know what was good. Thanks for the info.

  22. Thanks for the info! I need some new knives, too! Thanks also for entering me in the giveaway.

  23. WOnderful blog, enjoy the details and care you take puttin it all togethe. So true about finding the right tool to complete the task.

  24. I've been wondering about the ceramic knives. I need a new chef knife and thought I might try one of those. melisa (at) toadinaboat (dot) com

  25. Nothing like a good sharp knife! You can really cut yourself with a dull one!
    What a great giveaway. Thanks,

  26. I really do need better knives. Maybe I can ask Santa for xmas...

  27. Thanks for the knife resource links! :) Not too long ago there was a basic knife skills class at the Whole Foods near me, and I was going to go... but backed out because nobody wanted to go with me. I should have just went! Lol. Then I could have showed off all of my newly-acquired knifey skills. ;)

    - Esther

    email: inkypaper1 (at) (dot) com

  28. I don't have a quality knife. Have never wanted to invest in one but probably should.

  29. I am pretty dangerous with knives. Really need to view some of the tutorials you mentioned.