Quality matters when it comes to the tools you use to prepare meals in your kitchen.  When choosing tools for your very first kitchen it is important to realize that the quality of the pieces you are purchasing is far more important than the quantity of pieces.  Let’s talk about kitchen knives as an example of where quality really matters over the number of pieces owned.

Quality knives can be purchase in sets.  Block set kitchen knives are incredibly popular.  The problem with purchasing a complete set all at one time is that it is pricey and requires a substantial financial commitment.  It also comes with the prospect that you are purchasing pieces that you won’t necessarily find useful in your cooking.  One way around both of these obstacles is to purchase an empty knife block and take your time filling it with quality pieces that you are sure to use.  This saves you from dishing out a lot of money right away as well as purchasing items you won’t necessarily use in your meal preparations.

Another benefit of growing your knife set is that it allows you to experiment with different brands.  If you are like me I like certain brand name knives for certain jobs.  There are several stores that now allow you to come in and test out different knife brands before you purchase.  Before I purchase anything for my kitchen that requires a substantial outlay of funds I try to test the product.

Start with the essentials.  Purchase a knife block and a chef’s knife.  I would choose a chef’s knife as it is an all-around easy knife to use.  Another knife I would look into getting sooner than later is a paring knife.   This knife is perfect for all the small jobs in the kitchen.  A Utility knife and bread knife would be my third and fourth choices.  To be honest, before I bought a bread knife, which isn’t essential to the cooking process, I would purchase a few paring knives.  During meal preparations I can go easily use four paring knives.  This way I don’t have to worry about washing them in between projects.

When looking at choosing kitchen knives make sure you purchase a knife with a superior blade.  The best material for kitchen knife blades is carbon steel, ceramic and titanium in that order.  All of these materials hold a sharp edge over a period of time.  Ceramic knives are incredibly sharp and easy to clean although a bit fragile.  Carbon steel is incredibly durable and withstands a lot of use and abuse however can turn colors over time.  Titanium is a great material but often a bit tougher on the pocket book.  There will be advantages and disadvantages to all material used in knives.  I do prefer ceramic for paring knives as they do the delicate work wonderfully but when slicing through a big chuck of meat I would take carbon steel every time.

Getting a great set of kitchen knives comes with patience and perseverance.  You truly don’t have to have ever knife to get started.  You will find growing your kitchen knife collection turns into a hobby of sorts.