Make the Cut – A Quick Guide to Cutting Boards

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Make the Cut – A Quick Guide to Cutting Boards

Most kitchens would have at least one cutting board for food preparation work. When choosing a cutting board, the main considerations are its impact on knives and food safety. The perfect cutting board goes beyond the materials used as other factors count, too:

1) Materials

*Please take note that when oiling your boards, do not use cooking oil as it will develop an odour over time. Get food-grade mineral oil from a wood craft store instead.

2) Size

The size of the board you are getting should be taken into consideration with the countertop and storage space available. A general rule of thumb is to get a cutting board as big as possible so you will have more space to work with when prepping. More importantly, you should be able to clean your board properly in the sink. Choose a board that can fit at least half of its surface into the sink so you can rinse with hot water easily or soak in soapy warm water (especially plastic boards).

3) Thickness of the board

Try getting a board that is sturdy enough but not too heavy for yourself. A flexible cutting mat is also useful for prepping vegetables as the mat can be used as a funnel to pour the prepared ingredients without missing a single piece.

4) Why is it important to have at least 2 cutting boards?

It is necessary to have two cutting boards; one for cutting food that can be eaten raw like fruits and vegetables and the other for cutting raw meat, poultry and fish. This prevents cross-contamination where some food items may contain salmonella or E.coli since most food items are not sterile. Only after proper cooking can we eliminate the risk of food contamination. If you intend to carve cooked meat, a separate cutting board is strongly advised.

5) Any recommendations for a good cutting board?

Epicurean (USA) offers a range of cutting boards which uses eco-friendly recycled high density polyethylene from post-consumer recycled plastic milk jugs. These plastic boards have a higher tensile strength than regular boards due to its chemical structure. Another worthy contender is the traditional range from Epicurean, which uses organic fibres that are layered and pressed together with a food-safe resin, creating a highly durable, sturdy and knife-friendly surface.

Epicurean® Non-Slip Cutting Boards

NON-SLIP SERIES Wood Fibre Cutting Board

Epicurean® Non-Slip Cutting Boards are perfect for smooth, damp food preparation areas and for people who want their cutting boards to stay put. Non-slip silicone corners elevate these boards off of the countertop and hold them in place to prevent them from slipping under the knife. Like all of our cutting surfaces, Non-Slip Cutting Boards are dishwasher safe. The non-slip corners are removable for easy cleanup and greater versatility.


• Non-slip silicone corners
• Dishwasher
• Eco-friendly – made using materials with low carbon footprint
• Knife-friendly – will not dull knives
• Heat-resistant to 176°C

All About Flatware

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All About Flatware

Flatware refers to table utensils such as knives, forks and spoons. They usually come in matching sets which can enhance the ambience of parties or simple family gatherings. Since flatware is typically used on a daily basis, it might be worthwhile to invest in quality ones.  With a dizzying array of flatware choices available on the market, arriving at the right purchase decision might be daunting.

Here are some tips to consider when making your purchase:

1) Material & Maintenance
The type of metal used will determine the longevity and amount of maintenance required of your flatware.

Stainless steel: Best for everyday use as it is considerably easy to maintain and hardy enough for constant washing. The ratio of the stainless steel matters with the most common being 18/10 and 18/0. The top number refers to the percentage of chromium in the metal while the lower number refers to the percentage of nickel present. Chromium increases strength and stainless properties while nickel creates a soft, silvery sheen and fortifies the rust-resistance.

Sterling Silver: For a more prestigious and rustic dining experience, sterling silver would be an ideal choice. This alloy is made up of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent other metals that can increase durability or anti-corrosive properties.

Silver and Gold plating: Silver and gold are electroplated onto the metal, usually stainless steel to give a luxurious look while increasing the brightness and tarnish resistance. Avoid using harsh chemical detergents as it will affect the coating in the long run.

Copper rose and Titanium plating: This is done through ion-plating, a physical vapour deposition process. The advantage this process has over conventional electroplating is that flatwares have a higher durability, wear-resistance and colour brightness. Minimal care is required for maintaining this material.

2) Weight Matters
Flatware comes in different weight class as well: mainly medium weight, heavy weight, extra heavy weight and European style. Prices tend to increase proportionately to the weight.

Medium: Usually found in cafeterias and coffeeshops, it is economical and thus easily replaceable.

Heavy: More durable and overall of better quality than medium weight flatware, this class of flatware is the most common for casual dining establishments and households. It has a long life-span but is possible to be bent by hand.

Extra Heavy: Considered the premium of its class, this range is generally seen in fine-dining restaurants.

European Style: This class is three times heavier and bigger than traditional weight class flatware. Commonly seen in high end establishments and is perfect for formal serving.

3) Types of Flatware


Conceptualised and designed for a refined dining experience, SAFICO is an exceptional collection of stylish stainless steel flatware, holloware and service ware.

This affordable elegance features distinctive 18/10 stainless steel construction that ensures durability without compromising its high quality polish and shine. Patterns range from simple sophistication to intricate textures. All items are commercial dishwasher safe.

Grate the Right Way: Guide to Buying Graters

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Grate the Right Way: Guide to Buying Graters

A grater is a utensil with sharp perforations for shredding foods like vegetables or cheese. Since its invention in 1540s, it has gradually become an indispensable kitchen tool . Graters generally come in different grating blade sizes and designs; this might be slightly tricky when choosing the right one for your kitchen.

Here are some tips for your consideration:

1) What is the purpose of your grater?
Some graters are multi-functional, such as the Box grater, which has 4 different grating surfaces while others usually have one flat surface. Depending on your needs, get a simple flat grater if you require mostly grating an ingredient of the same fineness. For cooking enthusiasts, a multi-purpose version can be handy to tackle the varying fineness of different ingredients.

2) What are the different types of graters I can choose from?
Multi-sided: as the name suggests, this type of grater has multiple blade surfaces. It usually comes with a fine, coarse and ribbon grater along with a slicer and is one of the more versatile graters around.

Flat: The easiest to store and most common, this is the easiest grater to handle and sits easily on any bowl to grate over. Ideal for grating small quantities of food, you can also save time by grating over a larger plate to increase the grating surface.

Rotary Table: Designed primarily for grating cheese at the dining table, the rotary table functions like a mini processor. The ingredient is put into the integral drum and grated by turning a handle, allowing minimal contact with your hands. These graters often come with an interchangeable drum that allows for slicing and shredding as well as grating, thus making them a multi-functional tool. The rotary table can also be used for grating nuts, chocolates and vegetables as well.

Microplane: This grater stands out for their super sharp stainless steel teeth. You can choose from superfine (zest, spices), fine (zest, cheese, veggies), medium (coarse zest, cheese, veggies) and coarse (cheese, veggies). Microplane graters  produce one of the finest textures compared to other graters.

3) Safety matters
Grating food requires as much caution as cutting meat and vegetables. To be safe, ensure that the grater you select has a protective cover or a grating guard. Some graters have rubber stoppers at the base or edges  to reduce unnecessary slipping.

4) Material
Most graters are made of stainless steel as they are often in contact with moisture. Stainless steel is chosen for its anti-corrosive property which is important when in contact with food and this metal is also relatively hard, which means longer shelf life for your equipment. Avoid graters made from tin as they are likely to rust in the long run.

5) Does brand matter?
A reputable brand such as Microplane is popular with consumers for its ease of use, stability and ease of cleaning. A good grater should be able to grate soft and hard items easily, leaving minimal wastage. Microplane graters are chemically created, producing razor-sharp grating surfaces that ensure an ease of use for a prolonged period of time. Most reputable graters come with ergonomic features which help reduce the pressure needed when using the grater. Selecting a good brand ensures that your grater can last for years to come and a safer prepping environment.

4-Sided Box Grater

The Microplane® 4-Sided Box Grater features the new Ultra Coarse blade and two of the most popular, Microplane® grating blades: Fine/Zester and Medium Ribbon, – along with an additional fourth Slicer blade. So far this product has been designated Fine Cooking’s Best Overall Box Grater. In January 2009 it took top honors in the Kitchen Hand Tools category of the 2009 Housewares Design Awards.

• Four-sided grater has ultra coarse, fine, medium ribbon, and slicer sides.
• Ergonomic, soft grip handle
• Easy to clean, fine blade removes for easy access
• Materials: Blades made of surgical grade stainless steel. Plastic body. Rubber Feet
• Blades made in USA. Assembled in Mexico
• Cover Included
• Weight 567 g

Essential Bakeware – A Beginner’s Guide

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Essential Bakeware – A Beginner’s Guide

Baking is a specialized skill in the kitchen. It encompasses cooking and science with precision being the key aspect. Having the correct bakeware will not only be appreciated by experienced bakers but make baking easier for beginners as well. Manufacturers are constantly coming up with new designs featuring the latest technology which can bring convenience and novelty to your kitchen. However, any baker would agree that starting with the basic tools is important as you get to learn skills that technology sometimes cannot 1) Multi-purpose mixing bowl

1) Multi-purpose mixing bowl
A mixing bowl usually features a non-slip base so that you do not have to constantly grip the bowl when mixing the ingredients. The bowl is also thicker than a normal bowl to accommodate the whisking and hand mixers’ beating. If the mixing bowl is oven-safe, baking cakes in it is possible as well.

2) Measuring kit
Measuring Cups: A point to note is that measuring liquid and weighing dry items require different measuring cups. Try to get a liquid measuring cup made of heat-resistant material as you might need to measure hot liquids at times.

Measuring spoons: For measuring small amounts like baking soda or salt.

Kitchen Scale: For measuring larger amounts of dry ingredients like flour.

Baking thermometer: Accurate temperature is also crucial especially for pies and cakes which is why having a baking thermometer is useful. This thermometer measures the core temperature of the baked goods rather than assuming from the temperature of the oven.

3) Hand mixer
This handy equipment can mix cake mixtures, whip heavy cream, beat eggs and much more. Unlike stand-mixers, you can mix your ingredients immediately in the bowl that other ingredients are already in without transferring it to the designated mix bowl. For greater convenience, get a hand mixer with a beater and kneader attachments so that kneading dough for bread or pizza will be a breeze.

4) Hand tools
Spatulas: A must for mixing or scraping the sides of the mixing bowl and frosting cakes. Materials for spatulas can range from plastic, metal to silicone.

Wooden spoon: Another indispensable item for stirring hot mixtures or scraping non-stick surfaces. A new alternative would be silicone spoons which can do the same thing but require less maintenance.

Cookie cutters: These are handy for cutting cookie dough, cutting cakes for serving or decorating pie crusts.

Rolling pin:  A necessary hand tool for rolling out pie or cookie dough evenly. Try to get a simple one without the handles to prevent your knuckles getting imprinted in the dough when the dough is much bigger than the length of the rolling pin.

Flour sifter: This is a crucial tool if you want an airy texture to your cakes. The sifter prevents clumping of the dry ingredients and ensures equal distribution of all the ingredients. Sifting can also be a form of decoration; such as when dusting icing sugar, cocoa powder or cinnamon sugar mixes over cakes and cupcakes.

Oven Mitt: Usually made from thick cloth material but newer ranges are made of silicone which is much more heat resistant.

5) Baking pans
For starters, have at least two round cake pans for baking a double-layer cake and standard 14”×16” aluminium tray for baking cookies. Also have a square cake pan for baking brownies and a rectangular one for sheet cakes. Loaf pans are not necessary unless you intend to bake bread often. A muffin pan can also double for making cupcakes.

For cake pans, there are mainly 3 kinds of tins; the standard pan, loose-bottom pan and the springform pan. Loose-bottom pans are usually for cakes that do not come in halves, thus requiring a deeper tin. The loose bottom is for easier release as you can push the cake upwards and out of the tin. Springform pans on the other hand, have a spring-loaded clip at the side of the tin which expands the tin for easier release of cakes that are delicate like cheesecakes.
The table below shows a breakdown of the features of the different materials:

6) Cooling rack
To cool your baked goods properly, air must circulate under and over it. This prevents over-cooking the end product while it is resting outside the oven and producing dry baked goods. Cooling racks are usually made from metal.

Tilt and Mix Bowls with Lid, Set of 3

From cake batter and cookie dough to tossed salads, pancake and waffle mixes, and more, this set of three mixing bowls offers the home cook a professional way to prepare ingredients. The set includes bowls in 1-liter, 1-3/5-liter, and 3-liter capacities, each of which features gleaming stainless-steel construction that work well for both wet and dry ingredients. Custom-designed by DKB Household and celebrity-chef Jamie Oliver, the three-piece set of dishwasher-safe bowls measures approximately 12 by 11-2/5 by 5-2/5 inches and nest neatly together for compact storage.


  • Durable stainless steel bowl with anti-slip rubber detail on base
  • 45 degree flat spot on base for comfortable use while whisking
  • Etched measuring levels for easy measuring
  • Pouring spout
  • 1 litre, 1.6 litre & 3 litre capacity
  • Dishwasher safe
Measuring Spoons

The Jamie Oliver Measuring Spoons features six handy measuring spoons that stack neatly together for compact storage. Measurements range from a pinch/0.6ml to 1 tbsp/15ml. Designed by DKB household and Jamie Oliver. DKB household is known for innovation and quality and Jamie Oliver is one of the world’s best-loved chefs.


  • Set of 6 measuring spoons
  • Clips to keep spoons together in the kitchen drawer
  • Spoon 1: 1 tablespoon (15ml)
  • Spoon 2: ½ teaspoon (2.5ml)
  • Spoon 3: 1 dessertspoon (10ml)
  • Spoon 4: ¼ teaspoon (1.25ml)
  • Spoon 5: 1 teaspoon (5ml)
  • Spoon 6: “a pinch” (0.6ml)
  • Quick and easy measuring tool
  • Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
Electronic Wet ‘N’ Dry Kitchen Scale

Weigh ingredients with ease with the Jamie Oliver Electronic Add n Weigh Platform Scale. This digital scale is great because you can weigh different ingredients in the same bowl thanks to its add n weigh function. Capable of measuring up to 3.25kg with easy to read and large digital display. The unit is easy to use and has a compact design, so when you’re all done cooking it packs away for easy storage.


  • Liquid measuring function
  • Add ‘n’ weigh capability
  • Select metric or imperial measurements
  • Large, easy to read digital display
  • Stainless steel weighing platform for use without bowl
  • Stainless steel bowl with pouring lip
  • Bowl fits snugly over base for easy storage
  • Maximum weight 5kg/11lbs
  • Dishwasher-safe bowl for easy cleaning
  • Requires 2 x AAA batteries (not included)
Baker’s Offset Spatula

This Baker’s Offset Spatula from Atlantic Chef makes it so much easier to apply a smooth frosting to the sides and top of a cake, with an even layer of filling. The long, flexible blade with its rounded end ensures maximum control.


  • Perfect tool for applying frosting to the sides and top of a cake
  • Offset spatula blade gives a better control and ample clearance to frost all sides of cake
  • Constructed from heavy duty stainless steel
  • Comfortable plastic grip handle
  • Available in other sizes
PRO FORM Leak-Proof Springform Pan

This Pro Form 7 inch Leak-Proof Springform Pan from Nordic Ware is a wonderful addition to any kitchen. With its non-stick coating, it allows for easy-release and effortless clean up. Designed for cheesecakes and other desserts, the smooth locking mechanism and tight seal make this pan simple to use. Reliable and long lasting.


  • 7 Inch Leak-Proof Springform Pan
  • 7-cup capacity
  • Leak-proof tight seal prevents messy spills
  • Non-stick coating for easy food release and cleanup
  • Hand wash with mild detergent
  • Smooth locking mechanism

Taking care of your Carbon Steel Cookware

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Taking care of your Carbon Steel Cookware


1. Clean the frying pan with very hot water and wipe it. Pour one centimeter of oil in the pan and heat it for 5 minutes.
2. Next, remove the oil and wipe your pan with paper towels.

Note: The more the pan is used, the better its performance. The darker it becomes, the better it is for natural non-stick properties.

Heat a small amount of fat in the frying pan, and once the pan is good and hot, sear the food for about 45 seconds on each side before reducing the heat to complete cooking. Do not leave food in the pan after cooking.


1. Wash the frying pan with very hot water and a sponge. Wipe dry.
2. Purify the pan from time to time : heat up cooking salt over high heat for 1 min 30 seconds and wipe with a kitchen paper. The salt helps to suppress the residue and odour from previous cooking.
3. Oil with a paper towel and put away in a dry place.

Do not leave your pan to soak. if food sticks to the pan, use a green sponge to remove it. Never put in a dishwasher as the pan may rust if the use conditions of the dishwasher aren’t respected. If rust forms, just scrub the pan with a hard brush to remove it.

To Grill or not to Grill – The Quick Guide to Choosing the Perfect Grill

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To Grill or not to Grill – The Quick Guide to Choosing the Perfect Grill

Having a kitchen grill means you have another cooking option and it can also act as a second oven when needed. What makes a grill stand out is its ability to infuse distinct smokey flavours into food. There are many types of grills in the market; from electric, charcoal, gas to many more.

Here are some tips for you to consider when selecting a grill for your home.

  1. What fuel is used
    There are four main kinds of fuel; charcoal, gas, wood pellets and electric.
    Charcoal: This is probably the most traditional form of grilling. Despite needing some time to heat up and having to clean up afterwards, charcoal produces a unique flavour which some claim as the most authentic and the best.
    Gas: Just like a conventional stove, gas heats up quickly and requires little clean up. Meats like chicken and fish will be grilled perfectly but for beef steaks that require a high level of heat, it will require a gas stove with a sear or infrared burner.
    Wood pellet: This is the best for smoking foods as the taste is more delicate and not as strong compared to using a charcoal grill. However, the temperature of such a fuel is relatively low compared to the others which make searing meat a problem at times.
    Electric: With an electrical outlet, you can start grilling. This is the only grill with no distinct smoky flavour since it does not come into contact with combustion. Overall, a handy equipment for modern apartments where minimal smoke is preferred.
  2. Temperature control
    This is the key to successful grilling. It is advisable to have at least two zones on the grill; one for high-heat cooking and the other for slower and lower-heat cooking. For  a charcoal grill, the charcoal can be pushed to the side to allow two different temperatures on the grill. A gas grill usually has two burners; one can be turned high and another, low. A pellet grill takes home the trophy for temperature control as they usually have a digital thermostat control and some newer ones even have ports for inserting meat thermometers.
  3. What materials are there in the market?
    The best grills are usually made from cast iron, enamel bonded steel, cast aluminium and stainless steel. Cast iron will rust easily if not well maintained and enamel will start rusting if it is chipped. Stainless steel will be a good choice for easy maintenance but easily shows grease and water spots which some might not fancy. Take note of the thickness of the stainless steel as well as some might be too thin to retain heat. Steel and cast aluminium is a better option if you prefer less maintenance and lower cost as well.
  4. What is the appropriate size?
    This depends on the purpose of the grill, which can be for commercial or domestic use. Look out for the primary cooking surface area as it is the main cooking grate.  Some manufacturers will only label the total cooking area which sometimes includes the warming rack suspended about the grill, which is redundant to your grilling. It is usually measured by square inches. Remember that overcrowding a grill can lead to food not cooking properly. It is recommended to leave a gap of an inch between steaks and other food items.
  5. Open-type or contact type of grill?
    An open-type grill is the one we typically see where food is placed on top of the grill, and cooks from the bottom. A newer form of grill would be the contact grill where food gets sandwiched between two ridged plates and cooked top and bottom simultaneously. The contact grill can act as a sandwich machine on top of being a grill. It is considered smoke-free and takes less time to cook since food is cooked from top and bottom. The only downside is that you cannot get the authentic smoke flavour and cooking the different rarity of steaks might require some practice since heat will come from both sides.
Griddler® by Cusinart

The Cuisinart® Griddler® makes “multi-functional” an understatement! With five separate cooking options, it can handle everything from pancakes to sausages, grilled cheese to steaks, hamburgers and panini. A floating cover and one set of reversible plates that snap in and out turn the Griddler® into a Contact Grill, a Panini Press, a Full Grill, a Full Griddle, or Half Grill/Half Griddle. Dual temperature controls ensure everything is perfectly cooked!


  • Base and Cover: Solid construction with stainless steel self-adjusting cover
  • Panini-Style Handle: Sturdy cast-metal handle adjusts cover to accommodate thickness of food
  • Removable and Reversible Cooking Plates: Nonstick and dishwasher safe for easy cleanup
  • Grill Side: Perfect for grilling steak, burgers, chicken, and vegetables
  • Griddle Side: Prepare flawless pancakes, eggs, bacon, and seared scallops
  • Controls: Indicator lights signal Power On and Ready to Cook
  • Selector: Choose the Grill/Panini or Griddle function
  • Grill/Panini: Adjust temperature from “warm” to “sear”
  • Griddle: Adjust temperature form 93°C to 218°C
  • Drip Tray: Collects grease and removes from base for easy cleanup (dishwasher safe)
  • Cleaning/Scraping Tool: Helps clean grill and griddle plates after cooking
  • Plate Release Buttons: Push in to release and remove cooking plates
  • Hinge Release Lever: Allows the cover to extend back for cooking in the flat position

More Types of Knives

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More Types of Knives

Turning knife

A type of utility knife that is used for many of the same tasks as the traditional paring knife. The Turning knife (also known as a bird’s beak knife) has a shorter blade than a paring knife with a blade that is typically 5 – 7 cm long. It is designed to curve upward on both the cutting edge and the top edge. Turning knives may also be used to slice soft fruits such as nectarines, plums or peaches and for peeling skins or blemishes from a variety of fruits and vegetables. It is commonly used in food presentation techniques such as making tournée (or tourné) cuts in carrots, potatoes or squash.  It is also used for cutting decorative garnishes such as rosettes in radishes or fluted mushrooms.

Filleting knife

A knife consisting of a thin flexible blade (typically 15 – 27 cm long) that is used for filleting fish. The narrow blade enables the knife to move cleanly along the backbones of the fish, in and around areas adjacent to bones, and to evenly slice along the skin, removing it easily from the flesh.

Carving/Slicing knife

This knife is used to cut slices of cooked or smoked meat, poultry and fish. There are many varieties of slicing knives, which vary in blade width, blade length, flexibility, pointed to rounded tips, and type of cutting edge. The construction of the knife depends on its use. Frequently the terms slicing knife and carving knife are used interchangeably, but the carving knife is actually a variation of the slicing knife.

Boning knife

A boning knife has a thin short blade, typically 12 – 15 cm long, used to remove the main bone within a cut of meat, such as a ham or a beef roast. A boning knife will typically have a long narrow blade for ease of manipulation around the bones. The blade is rigid and proportioned to the size of the bones being removed. Bigger cuts of meat require a larger and more rigid blade that is not too flexible to prevent injury from the blade bending too easily. Smaller cuts of meat can be trimmed and boned using a smaller and less rigid blade.

Santoku knife

A type of knife commonly used to prepare ingredients for Asian food dishes. This knife is very similar to a chef’s knife with a wide blade that has a long straight edge curving up slightly at the end. The main difference is that the santoku knife has a wider blade that is thinner, shorter in length, and curves up very gradually at the end providing a straighter cutting edge. With its thinner blade, the santoku knife can cut smoothly and more precisely through dense vegetables compared to other knives with thicker-width blades which tend to give more resistance when in use. Usually made from high-carbon stainless steel, stainless steel, ceramic, or titanium, santoku knives are precision-made to be well balanced and well formed for ease of handling and greater control.


A knife with a wide rigid blade that is approximately 15 cm in length and tapers to a sharp cutting edge. This tool is used to shred, chop, pound, or crush food ingredients and materials. The blade of the cleaver is thick, somewhat heavy and well balanced with a bevelled cutting edge. The bevelled blade allows for ease of chopping through vegetables or hard materials, such as bones. The flat blunt side of the blade can be used to pulverize meat. If the handle is flat on the end, it may be used to crush seeds, garlic or other similar ingredients. A hole is typically provided on the top end of the blade for easy hanging on storage racks.

Mincing knife

Mincing knives can be used to mince or cut food into smaller bits for seasoning sauces, soups, salads, and other dishes. They can be either single or double-bladed to cut a variety of foods into very small pieces. Another version of a mincing tool is the rolling mincer or rotary mincer. This utensil consists of numerous circular blades, close together and mounted on a handle, enabling the user to roll the tool back and forth over the herb as the blades do the mincing.

Oyster knife

An oyster knife is a short-bladed, dull knife designed to shuck oysters. The tip is flat and pointed enough to penetrate the tightly closed hinge of an oyster shell, but rounded enough on the tip that it doesn’t cut into the oyster’s flesh. When shucking an oyster, the knife is usually pointed toward the hand that holds the oyster as you’re trying to pry open the shell with the knife. A round shield is built into the handle to protect the hand from the sharp edges of the shell. It also serves as a spot to place the thumb for a firmer grip when holding both the oyster and the knife.

Types of Blade and Cutting Edges

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Types of Blade and Cutting Edges

Blade Edges

Hollow ground edge: A hollow ground blade is a knife blade that has been ground down to create a characteristic concave and bevelled edge along the cutting edge of the knife. This effect is accomplished by starting the grind below the midpoint of the knife, creating a small wedge with concave sides that are extremely sharp and very easy to care for. Many mass-produced knives are made with such blades, as they are easily created in a factory environment and consumers like knives that can be readily sharpened. Excellent for slicing due to its sharp edge, it is however less suited for chopping activities since the higher impact of the chopping action dulls or may chip the thinner blade.

Tapered ground edge: Typically Asian in design and made with a harder steel so that the blade can take on a longer, thinner and sharper edge.  The blade is manufactured from a single sheet of metal and has been ground on one side or two sides of the surface so that it tapers smoothly from the spine to the cutting edge without creating a bevel. These blades will require less frequent but more thorough sharpening. Unlike the hollow ground blade that has a either a bevelled or fluted edge, the tapered ground blade is a more stable knife blade due to the rigid structure of a finely tapered, sheet of metal. Thus, the tapered ground blade is made to withstand more cutting action as it cuts cleanly through a variety of foods and food textures when slicing or chopping.

Bevelled edge: The blade is tapered from the back of the knife then bevelled on the edge and ground to an angle of 20-25°.  The sharp edge and tapering blade helps the knife to chop easily through food. This type of edge is often seen in European knives.

Cutting Edges

Straight edges: This is most commonly found on preparation knives.  A straight edge is ideal for chopping and slicing through food.

Fluted edges: The dimples create both a thinner blade and little air pockets between the blade and the food, this helps to slice through food more easily. Fluted blades are particularly useful as slicing and carving knives especially for cold meats and smoked salmon.

Serrated edges: Tears through food and are ideal for certain tasks.  A bread knife always has a serrated or scalloped blade that can cut more easily through the crust. Smaller knives with a serrated edge make it easy to slice on hard skins such as those of cucumbers, tomatoes and lemons.

Scalloped edges: Similar to an enlarged serration as the points have clearly defined crescents separating them.  The points will cut through a hard, outer crust or skin. These knives can be used for the same foods as serrated knives and they are also suitable for slicing cold meats. Both serrated and scalloped edge knives are difficult to sharpen. However, they retain their edge for a long time.

How are knives made?

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How are knives made?

There are two basic methods that are used to manufacture blades: Stamping and Forging. Forged blades are known to produce better quality knives. However, it also depends on the usage.

Stamped blades

Manufactured through cutting out from a flat sheet of steel and then ground, tempered, polished and sharpened. Stamped blades are thinner than forged blades and have a tendency of making the knife handle feel heavy and off-balance. They are easier to sharpen than forged blades and also easier to recognize because they do not have a bolster. While a knife with a forged blade is generally considered superior to those with a stamped blade, there are some knives made from stamped blades that offer an equally impressive performance. A stamped blade knife also typically cost less than one with a forged blade.

Forged blades 

The blade is moulded by one piece of steel, meaning that the blade and tang are all in one piece. A hot piece of steel is pressed into a blade mould and then hammered into shape. The blade goes through different processes that enhances its flexibility and hardness. The blade is sculpted into shape, which typically includes a bolster. The forged blade is generally thicker than a blade that has been stamped. The thickness of the blade and the bolster of the forged blade add strength and balance to the knife. Not all forged blades have a bolster but generally a forged blade can be recognized by the presence of a bolster.

What are knives made of?

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What are knives made of?

The blade of a knife can be made from materials such as high carbon steel, stainless steel, high carbon stainless steel, titanium, ceramic and plastic.

Chef Knife by Jamie Oliver (Retail Price: $54.40)

High carbon steel

One of the oldest materials used for producing knives, carbon steel blades are tough, can be very sharp and retain their sharp edge well. However, carbon steel is brittle which means that it can easily break under pressure. It is also susceptible to discolouration when exposed to acidic elements like citrus fruits and tomatoes. Discolouration and rusting can be minimised by coating the knife with flavour-free vegetable oil before storage. To maintain its performance, a light polish using fine grit steel wool or sandpaper from time to time will be sufficient.

Stainless steel

This alloy of iron is made up of chromium, nickel and carbon. The ratio of chromium and nickel generally defines the quality of the stainless steel. The most common ratio would be 18% chromium and 10% nickel. Chromium contributes to rust resistance and shine while nickel gives it toughness. The edge created under factory conditions may be very sharp but it might be difficult to maintain and restore in a domestic kitchen.

High carbon stainless steel

The optimum combination of the best qualities from stainless steel and carbon steel. This blade has the toughness of carbon steel and the additional chromium makes it resistant to rusting and discolouration. Although slightly harder to sharpen compared to carbon steel, high carbon stainless steel are commonly used in high-quality kitchen knives.


This is the sturdiest material available for knife manufacture and holds a superb edge for the longest time. Zirconium oxide, a component used in ceramic, is second only to diamonds when it comes to sturdiness. However, it is also brittle and thus vulnerable to chipping and breaking. As such, it is more suited for slicing tasks rather than chopping.  Given that the edge of the ceramic blade is thinner than the edge of a steel one, cutting through items will be much easier. Once the blades have dulled, they must be sharpened by a professional using a diamond sharpener.


The main purpose of using plastic blades is to prevent discolouration of vegetables and other ingredients from the blade of a knife. Usually serrated and not very sharp, some use of force is required when slicing.