Whether you're a novice cook or a serious professional, it's important to have a good set of knives. A basic knife set should include the following: carving knife, chef's knife, paring knife, serrated knife and mid-size utility knife. A knife holder and sharpening steel should also be included.
Here are some tips to help keep knives in good condition and preserve their sharpness:
Store knives in a slotted wooden block or on a magnetic strip. Knives stored loose in a kitchen gadget drawer are subject to abuse and may become dull or nicked.
Use cutting boards made of wood or plastic. Avoid cutting on ceramic, glass, marble or metal surfaces as these can dull a knife's sharp edge.
Avoid cutting through bones and frozen foods.
Don't use a knife to scrape chopped food off a cutting board. It's best to use a cutting board scraper made especially for this purpose.
Wash knives by hand, not in the dishwasher.