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Chef Rolly Ancha Tutorial Cooking Class

BAKING BLIND - A process of cooking pie crusts and pastry shells before adding the fillings, sometimes referred to as "baking empty" or "cooking empty." Some pie fillings, quiche ingredients, or other similar added foods may not take as much time to cook as the crust or as the pie or a tart, so the crust is baked before the filling is added to give the crust an even consistency and a golden brown appearance. Some fillings can make the crust soggy if they are added to a raw crust, or some ingredients may curdle if baked with the crust, and there are many fillings that do not require any cooking. Precooking a crust can also help in controlling any shrinking that may occur during the baking process. Prior to blind baking the shell, pie weights should be placed around the bottom of the formed shell to keep it from puffing up, curling or the sides from crumbling inward. The shell should then be covered with foil or parchment paper to keep the weights from baking into the dough. The pie weights can consist of commercially produced strings of linked steel beads or household supplies of dry beans, rice, or pennies that are commonly used for the same purpose as manufactured pie weights. The weights and foil or paper are removed approximately 5 minutes before the baking time is finished to allow for the bottom and the crust to fully finish baking. BEATING - In cooking, the term refers to the act of mixing or stirring ingredients rapidly until they are blended. For example, egg whites can be beaten until they are light and airy and the volume has increased.

BLENDING - The process of combining two or more ingredients together so that they lose their individual characteristics and become smooth and uniform. For example, cake batter is the result of dry and liquid ingredients that are blended together in a uniform mixture. CRIMPING - The process of pressing together the side and top crusts of a pie, usually by pinching the pastry together in a fluted pattern. The crimped, outer edge is thicker than any other part of the crust so it helps to hold the filling inside the pie. DREDGING - The process of pulling foods through dry ingredients to coat them before cooking. Flour is the most common dredge used, but other ingredients can be used as well. For example, chicken pieces can be dredged through flour, herbs, spices, or breadcrumbs so the pieces achieve a browned, crispy coating after being cooked. Fish fillets, boneless poultry, pork cutlets, and veal cutlets are some of the foods that are often dredged in dry ingredients before cooking. There are several reasons for dredging: the coating applied to the food acts as a barrier that keeps the food from sticking to the pan as it cooks; it enables the exterior of the food to become crisp and darken evenly without burning; and it prevents the food from becoming tough-textured. Dredging should occur just before cooking. The coated food should not remain sitting too long before cooking, which could make the coating soggy, preventing the food from cooking effectively.

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The dry ingredients should be placed on a food mat or in a shallow pan, which makes the dredging process easier. The food should first be lightly dried before dredging. All of the dry ingredients can be mixed together and then the food can be dredged through the mixture. An alternative method is to first apply any seasonings, such as salt, pepper, herbs, or spices to the food and then dredge the food in flour. This procedure enables each piece of food to be prepared with the desired amount of seasoning, rather than relying on the seasoning to be evenly distributed in the coating mixture. The food should be dredged through the flour on all sides, providing an even coating over the entire piece of food. It is important not to heavily coat the food, but simply apply a light, even coating that will insure that the food achieves a golden brown appearance and a tasty coating when cooked. FOLDING IN - The process of blending a light ingredient, such as beaten egg whites, into a heavier ingredient by lifting from underneath with a spatula or spoon In order to fold ingredients properly, the heavier ingredient is placed at the bottom of a bowl and the lighter above. A motion commonly used to fold the ingredients involves starting at one side of the bowl, moving downward and then across the bottom to the opposite side, enabling the ingredients on top to be brought down into and replacing the ingredients on the bottom. The bowl is then rotated a quarter turn and the motion is repeated. It is important not to completely blend the ingredients together. For example, if beaten egg whites are blended too thoroughly, the egg whites will lose their volume. GLAZING - 1) Refers to a flavourful coating that forms on food as it is cooked. The glaze may be the result of basting food with a liquid, such as a meat stock, during the cooking process. 2) A glaze may also refer to foods that are coated with substances to give them a more substantial coating, such as a covering of chocolate. Glazes can also be created to make food items more aesthetically pleasing such as adding an egg wash to some baked goods to produce a shiny, golden brown glaze. 3) The application of a coating to pottery cooking pots in order to seal the suface, providing a shiny appearance to the texture. Glazed or unglazed pottery sold in the U.S. requires a label showing it is lead-free. To test if a pot is lead-free, purchase commercial products that can be swabbed onto the surface to check for the presence of lead.

Honey Glaze

White Frosting Glaze

Glazing a Ham

Chef Rolly Ancha Tutorial Cooking Class

GRATING - The process of transforming solid, firm food items into small pieces by rubbing the item against a grating instrument. A grater is a hand held metal device that contains numerous raised slots of varying sizes that cut food items into small pieces as the food is being rubbed across the surface of the grater. A food processor can also be used to grate foods and it may be preferred for food items that are difficult to grate on a manual grater. GRINDING - The process of breaking solid food items into smaller particles. Special equipment is available to grind different types of food such as a meat grinder for meat, a coffee grinder for coffee beans, a pepper mill for grinding peppercorns, and a food processor, which is used to grind many different types of food.

Coffee Grinder Electric Meat Grinder

Pepper Mill Food Processor

KNEADING - A method of mixing pliable dough by stretching, folding and pushing in order to form gluten in the flour. The gluten is required for proper bread rising, as it forms elastic strands that keep the gases in the dough enabling the dough to rise. Kneading is generally performed by hand, but can be accomplished by electric mixers and food processors that have the proper attachments.

Chef Rolly Ancha Tutorial Cooking Class

MARINATING - The soaking of food, such as meat, vegetables, or fish, in a flavored liquid for the purpose of flavoring and tenderizing foods before cooking. A proper marinade should contain an acidic ingredient, such as vinegar or wine; an oil, such as olive or canola; and seasonings, such as herbs and spices. Citrus fruit juices may be substituted for the vinegar or wine to provide the acidic ingredient that is necessary to soften the fibers of the food. During the marinating process, the food is refrigerated in a covered container constructed of materials that will not react with the acidic ingredients. Ceramic, glass, or plastic containers are the best choices. Metal containers, such as aluminum, should not be used because the acidic ingredients of the marinade will react with the metal. After the food as been marinated, the marinade should be discarded and should never be reused for other purposes. PUNCHING DOWN - To deflate fully risen dough by using your fist to press down in the center of the dough, forcing the air out before shaping it. SCORING -To make shallow cuts in the surface of meat, fish, bread or cakes. The scoring has several purposes, such as decorating the food, tenderizing, to aid in the absorption of flavor when marinating, and to allow fat to drain from meat while cooking. Cakes are scored to indicate where the cake should be cut without actually cutting it. STRAINING - To remove undesirable particles from a liquid, to separate liquid from other solids or to seperate various contents from other contents such as removing smaller particles from larger particles. When a food item is Strained, the contents are poured through a sieve, a perforated utensil or a fine-meshed cheesecloth. Metal Strainer SIFTING - The preparation procedure of passing a dry ingredient such as flour or sugar through a mesh bottom sieve. This process combines air with the ingredient being Sifted, making it lighter and more uniform in texture, which improves the baking or food preparation process. When Sifting, there are various utensils that can be used to assist with the process. Various types of sieves work to Sift ingredients however, the typical Sifters that provide the best results include drum sieves or small trigger activated Sifters. A trigger activated Sifter holds contents to be Sifted while the hand activated trigger rotates a Sifting mechanism which pushes the contents through a sieve screen to the preparation surface below.

Chef Rolly Ancha Tutorial Cooking Class

TENDERIZING - A process to reduce the toughness of meat fibers in a cut of meat. Tenderizing breaks down the meat fibers and softens the meat, making it easier to chew and more palatable. Tenderizing can occur before meat is sold, during a preparation process, or while it is cooking. Some of the methods used are aging processes, marinating the meat in acid-based substances, using commercial meat tenderizers or by cooking the meat very slowly. Meat can also be tenderized with the use of meat mallets or meat utensils that are typically made of steel or similar alloys. The tenderizing tools resemble a hammer-like handled utensil and are made with a flat or point-protruding surface that can be pounded into the meat to break apart the meat fibers. . Tenderizer tools and Tenderizer Powder

TRUSSING - To tie meat or poultry with a string, which may be woven through the bird parts by using a needle threaded with the string, in order to create a more compact shape to the food being prepared. Typically, the wings and legs of poultry are tied or trussed securely against the body to enable a more compact shape for the bird to be evenly cooked. Trussing utensils may also include skewers or pins that are used instead of string to hold the bird parts together. .

WHISKING - means to stir rapidly with a utensil made of looped wires (a whisk). This beats air into the dish and makes it lighter. The process of using a whisk to blend ingredients together or to incorporate air into ingredients to increase their volume.

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BAKING - making bread or cake or pastry etc. ; cooking by dry heat in an oven BASTING - a technique for moistening the surface of roasting meat, roasted chicken or other roasted items, with pan drippings, stock, butter or some other liquid. In addition to preserving moisture, basting adds flavor to the surface of the meat. Basting is usually accomplished by using a basting spoon or basting brush (compare prices) to apply the liquid to the meat. Some chefs prefer not to baste, because it requires opening the door of the oven each time, which lowers the oven temperature and interferes with cooking. BLANCHING - The process of briefly cooking food in boiling water or steam and then immersing the food in ice cold water or frozen storage to stop the cooking process. Blanching brings out the color in vegetables and helps to maintain their nutritional value, which can be lost with overcooking. Blanching is also useful for loosening the skins of fruits and vegetables so that the skins can be removed easily. When blanched, food is heated to a temperature that is sufficient to decrease any enzyme activity that is occurring and effectively reducing the flavor or texture of the food.

Blanch in Boiling Water

Ice Water Bath

BOILING - Cooking with complete immersion of food in water in high temperature BRAISING - A method of cooking in which food is first seared in oil or fat using an open pan and is then slowly cooked in a small quantity of liquid with the pan covered. It is important that the cooking vessel is equipped with a tight fitting lid so that the liquid does not evaporate. Braising is a process that maintains the natural juices and flavors of the food while tenderizing the ingredients. BROILING - A method of cooking using direct heat, which is much like grilling except that the heat source is over the food instead of under it. Unlike methods that use cooking oils, such as frying or sauteing, Broiling uses a broiler pan and the heat source in the broiler to produce a crispy outer surface while still allowing the interior to reach a required degree of doneness as well as retain juices without drying out. If a broiler pan is not available, use a wire baking rack that is placed within a pan that can catch the drippings. It would be wise to line the pan with aluminum foil to assist with the cleanup following the broiling. This type of cooking is best for cuts of meat that are thin and lean such as fish, meat chops, poultry cutlets, and other similar items. However, if the cut is so lean that the lack of fat results in a decrease of flavor, the food can often be improved with the use of a glaze, a food paste or a marinade. Broiler Pan

Chef Rolly Ancha Tutorial Cooking Class

FRYING -to cook in a pan or on a griddle over direct heat, usually in fat or oil. PAN-FRYING - A method of cooking that involves that use a heavy pan containing a small amount of fat that is used for cooking foods over moderate heat The fat which helps to prevent the fried food from sticking to the pan, is heated until it is very hot before food is added to the pan. This procedure is undertaken to quickly seal in juices in the food as the fried crust encloses and keeps the inner meat moist. Food is generally cooked until brown on one side, then turned over so it can be cooked until brown on the other side. SHALLOW-FAT FRYING - The cooking of food in a small amount of fat or oil in a shallow pre-heated pan, or on a metal surface, at a high temperature. DEEP-FAT FRYING - The process of "dry" cooking food totally covered in hot cooking fat or oil. This process produces evenly cooked food with a golden, crisp surface on the outside. While the moisture on the inside of the food which acts to repel the oil is heated and boils, the food steam cooks, making it moist and tender. The temperature of the oil is important in order to achieve the best results. If the oil is not hot enough, the food cooks too long and may absorb some of the oil or it may not be cooked in the proper amount of time. If the oil is too hot the oil may penetrate the food and become absorbed into the food. Also, the food may burn as the water is forced out of the food, making it dry and oily. The best temperature for the oil is 350F to 375F, depending on the temperature of the food being fried and the amount being cooked. Some of the foods commonly cooked by deep frying include, pastries such as doughnuts, fish, shellfish, vegetables, meat, and poultry. POACHING - To cook a food, such as eggs, fish or meat in a liquid that has been heated to just below the boiling point so the liquid is barely moving while the food is being cooked. Typically, as temperature setting that simmers the liquid is sufficient. A small amount of liquid is added to a pan containing the food so that the food being poached is fully covered with the liquid but not much more than only a slight covering. Liquids such as water, food stock or syrups can be used to Poach foods to produce a more tender textured result. In addition, the food being poached adds or infuses the liquid with flavors from the food, which can then be used to make other food dishes, such as stew or soup by adding additional ingredients which may include pasta or vegetables. Common foods that are poached include fish, meat, poultry, and eggs. When poaching eggs and fish, adding a little vinegar or lemon juice to the liquid will help keep them firm. SIMMERING - Cooking with complete immersion in water but below boiling point STEAMING - Cooking with the food placed over steam from boiling water ROASTING - is a cooking method that is typically reserved for superior cuts of meat like beef tenderloins, rib roasts, loins of pork and so on. Whole poultry is frequently roasted, too, but this can be tricky as breast meat is drier and cooks faster than leg meat SAUTING - Complete or partial cooking of food but food does not change colour. Cooking is done with low heat, little fat and with the juice of the food STEWING - Complete cooking of food in an equal mixture of oil and water STIR-FRYING - Partial or complete cooking with fat and at a high temperature for a short time

Chef Rolly Ancha Tutorial Cooking Class

WHISK A kitchen instrument manufactured with a series of thin metal wires, each formed into a loop so both ends of the wires attach to a handle. The loops, which are placed in slightly different directions from each other, form a rounded bulb shape. Whisks are used to blend ingredients together quickly or to incorporate air into ingredients such as egg whites or heavy cream in order to increase the volume of the mixture. There are a variety of different types, shapes and sizes of whisks available depending on the requirements for their use. Some of the most common whisks include: Ball, Round Baloon, Oval Baloon, Coil, Flat End, Flat, French, Piano, Twirl, Whisk with a ball, Dough, Beverage, Twig, and Thermometer whisk. Typically made of stainless steel or hardened plastic, many whisks are available in small or large sizes, with some containing electronic sensors. Electronic sensors that measure statistics such as the temperature of ingredients is of value to many food preparers as they mix foods such as custards, chocolates, or meringues that require whisking the mixtures at specific temperatures. A utensil similar to a whisk known as a whip is often used that is basically a larger version of a whisk. Whisks range in size from 6 to 24 inches in length while a whip ranges in size from 24 to 60 inches in length.

Double Balloon Whisk - Round Ball Whisk

Plastic Whisk

Whisk With Ball

Balloon Whisk - Round

Balloon Whisk - Oval

French Whisk Coil Whisk

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Flat End or Sausepan Whisk

Dough Whisk

Beverage Whisk Flat Whisk

Piano Whisk

Thermometer Whisk

Small Piano Whisk Birch Twig Whisk

Twirl Whisk KNIVES Here is a list of different types of knives and their uses. So open your kitchen drawer and see if you have these knives.

Chef Rolly Ancha Tutorial Cooking Class

Paring knife - Every kitchen should have a paring knife. A multipurpose knife used for small jobs such as topping and tailing vegetables, removing skins from onions and preparing small fruits. Turning knife You wont always find these in home kitchen but an essential if you are making a unique style presentation. A turning knife has a very small curved blade designed to turn vegetables into a barrel shape for presentation purposes. Filleting knife a filleting knife has a medium-length blade that is narrow and flexible so it can bend while running along the bone structure of fish, particularly flat fish. Boning knife - A boning knife has a short to medium blade that is pointed at the end. It should be strong and rigid, not flexible like a filleting knife. The point is designed to get close to bones and cut away the meat. General chefs knife This is my favourite knife. It is a multi-purpose knife. It can be used on many different commodities such as vegetables, fruits, meat and poultry. The knife can be used across a variety of cutting techniques, including chopping, dicing shredding and slicing. Palette knife I dont know why it is call a knife but this knife is not designed for cutting purposes. It is blunt but flexible, it is used for manoeuvring around tricky situations. For example: it is used to turn items over during the cooking process for example sauted potatoes. It is also used for lifting food from the pan to plate. The second use is spreading, for example butter to bread, cream to a cake. A palette knife is usually fairly long, although they vary quite a lot in length and is flexible so it can get underneath food items. .Carving knife - it has a long, thin blade, the knife should be very sharp to ensure neat, accurate and efficient cutting. It usually comes with a carving fork which is larger and stronger than a standard fork. It is designed to support the meats while they are being carved. Serrated knife - This knife comes with serrated edges are designed to slice certain foods like bread or vegetables with firm skins such as tomatoes and capsicums. Serrated knife have a long thin blade to assist in the sawing type motion required when slicing. POTATO MASHER A kitchen utensil used to puree potatoes after they are cooked or to puree other soft foods for making food dishes requiring a smooth textured ingredient. Potato mashers are typically made of stainless steel or nylon and are available in a variety of different styles, all working


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equally well. When making mashed potato dishes, mashed sweet potatoes, or to puree ingredients to make baby food, a sturdy masher makes the preparation process very easy.

DEEP-FRYER A type of kitchen utensil that can be used to heat cooking oils (fats) so foods can be completely covered in hot oil to be fry cooked, also referred to as "deep fat fried". Deep Fryers, which may be known as Deep Fat Fryers or Flash Fryers, are built for home use and commercial use, the difference typically being size and features. Home fryers are smaller in size with smaller oil capacity chambers and are built to fry less amounts of food so individual portions or servings for only a few can be fried. Commercial varieties will often contain larger capacity oil chambers for greater amounts of food. Deep Fryers may consist simply of a deep walled pot made from cast iron, black steel or stainless steel that are used on stovetops. These pots at times have fry baskets that fit within the pot to hold the contents being fried while other pots may simply use nest baskets or slotted spoons to place and remove foods from oil chambers/pots as they cook. In addition to stovetop fryers, many smaller Deep Fryers are built as electrical appliances so the cooking can be accomplished on a countertop. Larger electrical Deep Fryers also are made for both home or commercial use. The larger units may be self contained countertop units with one or two removable fry baskets or larger versions for more heavy-duty frying tasks such as for use in restaurants. Countertop Fryers have electrical components built into the unit that control the temperature and allow for different settings for various types of food. Digital temperature controls are common with adjustable thermostats that keep the temperature maintained. The Deep Fryer may also be built with zoned temperature controls to keep the heat consistent throughout all areas of the Fryer. Temperature controls may have ranges that begin at 300F and almost reach 400F or more at the upper end. For home use, the cooking oil in many Deep Fryers will heat to over 300F within 10 minutes. With the ability to maintain lower temperatures, some Deep Fryers can be used as fondue pots where the temperature setting requires keeping contents only melted and not cooked. When selecting, consider the value of the Fryer holding larger amounts of oil so as food with a cooler temperature than the oil is added, the heat of the oil is not reduced as rapidily as it is with smaller amounts of oil. By decreasing the drop in temperature from the food that is added, the Fryer can be recover faster to decrease the cooking time. Also, a larger capacity allows for fewer batches to be fried. Other features that are of value to consider in Deep Fryers is the oil drainage system with the Fryer. Some models have containers and draining systems making the removal of the hot oil safer and easier so it can be drained through an outlet into a storage container rather than requiring the tilting of the cooking chamber or oil pot to drain the oil. Deep Fryer
Utensils Bird's Nest Fry Basket to make Asian Nests for foods


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STIR-FRYING PAN - A round, deep pan that may have straight sides with a slightly rounded base or more commonly a round base that slopes out and upward. Used for cooking of numerous ingredients that may be prepared on a stovetop or at the dining table, stir fry pans are available with several different sized handle lengths that can be selected to match the cooking process. Stir-fry pans allow heat to be well distributed across the base while the sloping sides make it easier to stir and turn ingredients as they cook. Pans made of steel that have flat-bottomed bases with long handles are ideal when cooking ingredients at high temperatures. The Asian pan referred to as a "wok" is one traditional type of stir-fry pan while other versions are often available with bases and sides that are thicker in substance, not as curved, nor as deep as the wok pan. Cooks, who are able to toss the ingredients in the pan upward and prevent oils from splattering while cooking, prefer the lighter weight and rounded base of the wok. In many instances the wok pan may work best over open flames rather than electric stoves. Stir fry pans are often used to prepare and quickly sear multiple ingredients that go well together including various meats and vegetables mixed with sauces. Although skillets and fry pans may at times be used for preparing stir-fried foods, it is the actual stir fry pan that is the best tool for cooking food in a small quantity of oil and for retaining the colors and textures of the various ingredients.

CUTTING BOARD A hard surfaced kitchen tool that is generally made of wood, wood laminate, composites, or plastic materials and is used as a surface for cutting, slicing, chopping, or mincing food products. Wood, composite materials and plastic (polypropylene, polyethylene, polyacrylic, and polystyrene) Boards come in a wide variety of thicknesses, shapes and sizes to fit a variety of different preparation and storage needs. Some Cutting Boards contain a groove around the entire surface of the Board, which allows food juices to be retained so they don't spill onto the adjacent surfaces. Wooden Cutting Boards must be thoroughly washed after food has been prepared on the board, since wood has a tendency to retain food particles or absorb moisture that can cause bacteria growth resulting in Salmonella and E. coli. illnesses if not removed. Colored plastic Cutting Boards are commonly made of a poly substance that is soft and not damaging to knives as well as washable and dishwasher safe for thorough cleaning. However, like wood, bacteria can also grow on plastic. Therefore, the most important rule is to always clean the Board thoroughly after each item of raw meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, and other foods have been placed on the Board so they do not cross contaminate another item. Wooden Cutting Boards will have a tendency to become dry and crack as they age. Periodic use of a food-safe or food-grade mineral oil available at drug stores, helps to restore the Cutting Board. The oil can be rubbed into the wood to lengthen the life of the board and assist with keeping the board from drying out after repeated washings with water and solvents. It is often suggested that the mineral oil be warmed first by placing the bottle containing the oil in a bowl filled with warm water. Allow the oil to warm to the water temperature and then moisten a soft cloth with the oil and rub it onto the board. After the oil has remained on the Cutting Board for 4 to 6 hours, wipe off the excess oil and allow the Board to cure overnight before using. Several procedures that will assist with the safe use of Cutting Boards include the following: Consider using separate boards for each different food category being prepared, such as meats and seafood while using other Boards for vegetables and fruits that are not being cooked.


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When preparing food on one side of a Cutting Board, don't turn the board over to use the reverse side to prepare new ingredients, thinking that the other side may be clean and free of contaminates. Most often the reverse side will not be clean. Always clean the surface and sides of the Board after foods have been prepared on the Cutting Board by using a combination of hot water and a soapy cleaning solution. Rinse the Board thoroughly. It is also advisable to periodically sanitize the Board with a cleaning solution made from a teaspoon of bleach or undiluted white vinegar added to a quart of water. Apply the sanitizer solution liberally, allowing it to completely drench the Board and then air dry or wipe dry. Boards can also be cleaned deeper by placing plastic boards in dishwashers as other utensils are being cleaned. Wooden Cutting Boards can be placed in a microwave oven for 5 minutes. As the Cutting Board ages and begins to develop deeper score marks that can hold bacteria, it is a good practice to discard the old Board. Bacteria can remain in the cracks or crevices of these boards, despite a thorough cleaning, so it is important to realize when to replace Boards that show excessive wear from knife marks.

Poly Cutting Board

Herb Mincing Board

Wood Cutting Board Curved Cutting Board

Bar Cutting Board

Antimicrobial Cutting Board


Bakeware Pan Sizes When you are preparing to create a recipe that requires the use of bakeware, you should first determine whether you have the proper size pan. There are many different types of bakeware, such as, round pans, square pans, rectangle pans, tube pans, bundt pans, jelly roll pans, loaf pans, springform pans, roasting pans, and casseroles. Your recipe will suggest that you use a certain size and type of pan. If you do not have the pan requested, you can generally substitute a similar size pan without any problem. The information below will help you make the appropriate substitution.

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Select a pan that is as close to the same size as the pan the recipe indicated to use. The pan should have approximately the same volume capacity and when filled, the ingredients should be close to the same depth as they would be in the original size pan. To find the surface of a pan use the equations below:

If the pan is close in size and volume to the original, the cooking temperatures and times should not have to be adjusted. When measuring a pan, measure from inside edge to inside edge so that you are not including the thickness of the sides in your measurement. Measure the depth by placing the ruler inside the pan and measuring from the bottom up to within inch of the top edge. If the pan has slanted sides, be sure to keep the ruler straight and do not slant when measuring. Measure volume by filling the pan with water and then pouring the water into a measuring cup to measure how much water is in the pan, or you can also measure the water as you pour it into the pan. Be careful substituting a pan when the recipe indicates that a tube pan should be used, such as an angel food cake pan or a bundt pan. Generally the recipe requires this type of pan so the heat is distributed properly. This is necessary for the food to get to its proper doneness. If you select a glass bakeware dish or a dark, non-stick pan, reduce the oven temperature by 25F. If selecting a pan that results in the depth of the ingredients to be thinner, reduce the cooking time by 10 to 15 minutes. If the depth of the ingredients is thicker, increase the cooking time by 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to use the visual indicators to test for the proper doneness. If a casserole dish has to be substituted for a different size when making a savory dish, use the same guidelines as for baked goods. Use a dish that holds close to the same volume and if you substitute one that will affect the depth of the ingredients, adjust the cooking times to use less time for thinner depths and more time for thicker depths. Keep in mind, when selecting a substitution according to the pan's volume , that you need to allow room for expansion of certain foods as they cook. Certain types of food need more room for expansion than others. Fill the pan as directed by the instructions on the recipe. If you select a pan that has a comparable volume to the original size suggested by the recipe, it should allow the necessary room for expansion.

Bakeware Materials Bakeware can be found made from several different materials. Each can have a different effect on the outcome of your baked goods. A dark colored surface on the bakeware will cause the food to brown more easily because it absorbs the heat of the oven. An aluminum pan conducts heat evenly but its shiny surface reflects the heat, resulting in food that does not brown well. Types of Bakeware There are many different types of bakeware available for baking a variety of baked goods. Some types are essential in producing the desired end product and some bakeware can be used for several purposes. Bakeware can be found made of many types of material, such as tinned steel, stainless steel, glass, silicone and stone. The type of material the pan is made from can have an affect on the cooking times or temperatures, requiring that they be adjusted. See Bakeware Materials above to find out which materials may affect the cooking times or temperatures. Shown below are several types of bakeware with a description and common use for each. Baking Dish A flat pan with straight sides that are or taller, which is used for baking food in the oven. There are many sizes and depths available, but the most common sizes is 9 x 13 x 2 inches. Other common sizes include: square pans 8 x 8 inches in size or rectangular pans that are 7 x 11 inches, 10 x 15 inches, and 12 x 18 inches by 1 or 2 inches in depth. Baking pans are used to hold runny batters, such as cake batter and thick solid masses of food, such as savory hot dish recipes. The foods are placed in the pan and the baked in the oven. Baking pans are available in a variety of sizes, materials, surface

Glass Baking Dish


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textures, and colors. Typical foods that are prepared in baking pans include: cakes, brownies, bars, cornbreads, lasagna, egg dishes, cobblers, potato dishes, meats, poultry, and fish.

Stoneware Baking Dish Baking Sheet A flat pan or sheet of metal that is used to bake products that are thick or stiff enough to stand on their own, such as cookies, freestanding breads, biscuits, pastries, and meringues. Baking sheets, which are also referred to as cookie sheets, consist of a metal sheet that is flat with one or both of the short ends containing a slightly turned up lip that is used to aid in handling the sheets. Baking pans with inch sides all around are often referred to as baking sheets or cookie sheets also. They can be used in the same manner as a flat baking sheet but they can also be used for baking runny batters.

Flat Baking Sheet

Baking Sheet with Sides Bread Pan (Loaf Pan) A baking pan, rectangular in shape and deep walled, that is used to bake a single loaf of bread. Bread pans are typically made from aluminum, steel, glass, pottery, or stoneware. They are produced to make a semi-crisp crust with an evenly textured crumb, however not all pans are effective in doing so. Bread pans range in size from 5 to 14 inches in length and 3 to 5 inches in width, with a 2 1/2 to 4 inch sidewall. A standard one pound loaf pan is 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches in size. Smaller sized pans work well for making gift or dessert loaves that can be cooked in less time. The larger loaf pans are also often used to bake meat loaf. Bread pans are also referred to as loaf pans. Lo-Fat Loaf Pan - A loaf pan made as two separate pans, one fitting within and above the bottom or base pan. The insert piece allows grease to drip to the lower pan and away from the food. This pan is typically used for a dish such as meat loaf but the bottom pan can be used on its own for baking bread.

Standard Bread Pans

Lo-Fat Loaf Pans


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Pan A type of pan or mold with fluted sides that is used to form the base of the traditional French bread known as Brioche. When making Brioche, a French dough is prepared with a light yeast and portionally larger amounts of butter and eggs. It is baked using a Brioche pan or mold to form the alternating columns on the base of the bread.

Bundt Pan

A heavy-walled baking pan formed with a decorative indented curvature and a hollow tube in the center. The heavier walled construction and hollow center tube allows cake batters to rise and bake more uniformly, creating a golden crust on the outside of the cake. After the ingredients are baked, the pan is turned over so the firm cake falls out onto a plate or counter, producing a decoratively shaped cake. This pan is generally used for baking coffee cakes and sweet cakes, referred to as bundt cakes. A baking pan commonly found in every kitchen. Cake pans can be round, square, or rectangular and are available in several sizes. Probably the most popular is the 9 x 13 x 2 inch rectangular cake pan that is used to bake cakes, bars, and savory dishes, such as lasagna. Standard square cake pans are 8 or 9 inches wide and 1 inches in depth. Round cake pans are used to make layer cakes and are generally found in 8 or 9-inch diameters and are 1 inches in depth.

Cake Pan

Rectangular Cake Pan

Square Cake Pan

Round Cake Pan Doughnut Pan A pan that is constructed similar to a muffin tin except that the cups have a rounded bottom and a stem that comes up in the center of each cup to create the hole in the doughnut. The pan helps produce a lower calorie doughnut because they are baked rather than fried in oil. The doughnuts can be eaten plain or glazed, frosted, or rolled in powdered sugar. The pan is typically constructed of metal or silicone non-stick materials and is available in 6 or 12 cup sizes. It is also found spelled


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as Donut Pan. Flan Pan A shallow pan that has shallow sides that are generally fluted to provide a decorative edge to the item being baked. They are available in different materials, such as tinned steel, steel with non-stick coating and ceramic. The fluted sides of the flan pans are slightly slanted and some varieties have a loose bottom. They are available in a range of sizes between 6 and 12 inches in diameter, and they are also available in a single serving size, which range in size from 3 3/4 to 4 3/4 inches in diameter. The flan pans are used to make flans and other dishes, such as tarts, cobblers, and quiches. The small individual flan pans are used to make single serving cakes, cobblers, breads, and tarts. the flan pan is also referred to as a Maryann Pan. A type of metal or aluminum pan that is 16 to 20 inches in length and formed with a curved base so that long lengths of dough can be laid horizontally in them to be baked into baguettes. Some pans are double or tripleformed for several loaves to be baked at once. If made of metal, the pan may have numerous small holes that are perforated throughout the metal to allow steam to escape while the bread is baking in order to assist in making the crust a deeper brown in color and crispier in texture that is familiar to traditional French crust. The pan is available constructed with non-sticking metal surfaces as well as porus clay stoneware. A large rectangular shaped baking pan with shallow sides, which generally have a rolled rim. The most common size is 10 x 15 inches but larger sizes are available, such as 12 x 17 inches and 13 x 18 inches. They have shallow sides that are 3/4 to 1 inch deep. They are found made from a variety of materials, such as aluminum, stainless steel, or steel. Many have a nonstick surface. It is designed to bake a thin cake that is coated with a layer of jelly and then rolled up into what is known as a jelly roll. It is commonly used for baking sheet cakes, cookies and pastries. A type of pan used for baking muffins. The pan typically will have 6 or 12 individual round pockets or holders connected to the tin and formed in the shape of a muffin. The muffin batter is poured into the individual pockets and as the muffin bakes, a top forms over the pocket while the base of the muffin is baked in the shape of the cup. Muffin tins are also often used to bake cupcakes. The tins are commonly available in 3 sizes ranging from those that bake a small or miniature muffin that is 1 to 2 inches in diameter, standard muffins that are 2 3/4 inches and large muffins approximately 4 inches in diameter. Individual muffin cups made from silicone are also available for baking individual cupcakes and muffins. Muffin tins may also be referred to as muffin pans.

French Bread Pan

Jelly Roll Pan

Muffin Tin

Non-Stick Muffin Tin


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Silicone Muffin Cups Muffin Top Pan A muffin tin that has shallow cups that are approximately 1/2" deep. If you prefer the crusty top of the muffin, this pan will produce basically just the top of the muffin. Its shallow cups allow the top to bake up brown and crusty while eliminating the finer crumb bottom. It is available in 6 cup or 12 cup pans. This pan can also be used to bake single serving toaster cakes and individual buns. It is sometimes referred to as a bun pan. A round baking dish with shallow slanted sides that are 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep. The pie plate is available in several sizes. The most common sizes being 8, 9 and 10 inch diameters. They can be found made from many different materials, such as aluminum, glass, stoneware, ceramic, and tinned steel. Pie plates are used to bake single crust and double crust pies. They are also available in a deep dish variety that has slanted sides that are 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep and range from 9 to 11 inches in diameter. The deep dish pie plate is most often used to bake a savory dish. A pie plate is also referred to as a pie tin.

Pie Plate

Aluminum Pie Plate

Glass Pie Plate Popover Pan A baking pan or baking utensil as it may also be referred, specifically designed to hold popover batter so the popover, as it bakes, can rise up into a large, airy pastry-like shape. Larger than traditional muffin tins, the popover pan will typically be made with individual cups joined by wire racks that are constructed to hold the batter and keep the baked contents away from touching the adjacent popovers as they enlarge when baked. The cup expands outward from the base as it moves up to the top of each cup where a lip is formed. The lip seperates the base and the head of the baked popover so the base is uniform in shape and the head is allowed to bake into an irregular, puffy shaped popover, as the baked batter "pops" up and over the cup. Popover pans generally are available in several sizes, both giant and small. The number of cups included in each pan may be 4 or 6. Smaller pans may hold as many as 8 or 10 cups for individual popovers.


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Shortbread Pan

Constructed of a heavy cast iron or a coated aluminum surface, this type of pan is made for baking shortbread cookies. Typically made with a non-stick surface, the Shortbread pan is filled with the rich, buttery flavored dough that is baked into a tender but crumbly texture for cookies and dessert crusts. Made to produce the traditional shape that is pressed into decorative molds and baked until solid, a Shortbread Pan is contoured with square or round pattern designs that include ridges so the biscuit-like cookies can be broken apart evenly after cooking. This type of pan can bake not only shortbread cookies and biscuits, but also cakes, dessert bars, and various pan breads such as cornbread. A round pan, with tall, straight sides that are removable. They can be found made of a variety of materials, such as tinned steel, steel, stainless steel, and carbon steel. Many have non-stick surfaces. They range in size from 8 to 12 inches in diameter with high sides of 2 1/2 to 3 inches. The most common size is a 9 or 9 1/2 inch diameter. The removable sides aid in removing cakes that would otherwise be difficult to remove, such as cheesecakes and tortes. When purchasing a springform pan, be sure the sides and base fit accurately together for a tight fit. Pan A round or oblong shallow pan with smooth or fluted sides and a removable bottom. The pan is constructed with a removable bottom so the baked tart can be pushed up out of the pan, allowing the contents to be removed easily and cleanly, while retaining the shape created by the fluted sides. Tart pans, which are manfactured with non-stick surfaces, are available in various sizes so tarts can be served as individual round servings or as pie-shaped servings. The small pans for individual round servings range in size from 3 to 5 inches in diameter while the larger pans for pie-shape servings commonly range in size from 9 and 11 inches in diameter. A deep baking pan that has a hollow tube in the center, which allows for more uniform baking. A tube pan is used for baking cakes such as angel food and sponge cake. The pan holds the ingredients and after being baked, the pan is turned over so the firm cake that has been formed into the decorative shape of the pan, falls out onto a plate or counter to be prepared for serving. Tube pans can be made as a single piece of metal or as two pieces of metal consisting of a side and a flat round bottom that is removable. Also referred to as an angel food cake pan


Pan Tart

Tube Pan

Single Piece Construction


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Pan with Removable Bottom

COOKWARE consists of different types of pots and pans that are used for specific purposes. Some of the pieces of cookware can be substituted for a type you may not have and still accomplish the type of cooking you need to perform. Pots and pans are available in different sizes and made of different types of material. Some materials are better than others when used for specific cooking methods. When selecting the cookware for your kitchen, you should take the following points into consideration: Budget - How much can you afford to spend on the pots and pans you purchase? You should purchase the best quality that you can afford. It will be well worth it in the long run. Otherwise, you will find yourself replacing them in a short time. Cooking Habits - How much will you be cooking? Do you eat out a lot and buy convenience food or do you like to prepare meals from scratch? Will you be entertaining a lot? Cuisine - Will you be making a lot of pasta, soups, or stir-fries? There are special pots and pans that assist in preparing these types of food. Quantity - Will you be cooking for 1, 2 or several? Having the right size cookware will be important when preparing your food. Cookware Materials Cookware is made from many different materials. Understanding the differences will assist you in making the best choice for your needs. Some of the most common cookware materials are shown below with a description and pan care instructions for each. Aluminum cookware is fairly inexpensive in comparison to cookware made from other materials. Aluminum is lightweight but fairly strong. It is a good conductor of heat and does not easily distort when exposed to high temperatures. Aluminum works well for sauting and frying foods because if its heat responsiveness. The drawback of aluminum is that it reacts to acidic and alkaline foods, causing it to corrode and affect the taste of the food being cook. Aluminum is generally used as a core heat conductor, or coated with stainless steel or an anodized coating to protect the food.


Inside Coated with Stainless Steel Pan Care: To care for aluminum cookware, wash the pans with hot soapy water. Avoid washing the cookware in hard water because it tends to darken the aluminum. To remove stains, use a cream of tarter


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and water paste. Anodized Aluminum This is aluminum that has been given a special finish to protect it from corrosion. It is a good conductor of heat and the special finish makes it stick-resistant. It is a good choice of material to look for in pots and pans for most any type of cooking. Pots and pans made from anodized aluminum are not dishwasher safe and can be dark in color, making it hard to see slight color changes in the food being cooked.

Pan Care: To care for anodized aluminum pans, do not cook foods that are highly acidic or alkaline in them because they have a tendency to cause pitting in the coating. They should be washed by hand in hot soapy water rather than in a dishwasher where the strong detergent would damage the surface of the cookware. To avoid scratching the finish, do not use abrasive materials on the surface of anodized aluminum cookware. Cast Iron Cast iron cookware is inexpensive to moderately priced. It is fairly heavy and conducts heat evenly. It heats slowly but once it is hot it holds the heat well. This makes it good for deep frying and slowcooking. It can be used on top of the stove and in the oven. Drawbacks to cast iron are that it rusts, stains and becomes pitted when exposed to air, moisture and certain foods.

Pan Care: To care for cast iron cookware, do not wash in soapy water but try wiping clean with a paper towel. Run hot water over stuck on food to help loosen and remove. After your cast iron pot has been washed it should be dried thoroughly. To prevent the pan from rusting, rid it of any excess moisture by setting it on the stove over high heat until all moisture has evaporated and coat with oil before storing. Lined Copper Copper is one of the more expensive materials used to make pots and pans. It conducts heat evenly and is very responsive to heat. It heats up quickly and will also cool down quickly when removed from the heat, preventing sauts and delicate foods from burning and becoming overdone. Because copper distributes heat so evenly and efficiently, it is the best choice for frying and sauting, but it is also a good choice for many other cooking methods. One problem with copper is that it interacts with everything it comes in contact with. Moisture in the air causes it to form a film on it that is poisonous and salty food causes a chemical reaction that can make food have a metallic taste. To make the copper pots and pans safe to use, they are lined with tin, silver or stainless steel to protect any surface that would come in contact with any food. Because copper reacts to everything it touches, it needs to be polished regularly to keep its bright copper shine.

Pan Care: To care for copper cookware, hand wash with hot soapy water and avoid using abrasive materials to clean. Use copper polish to keep copper from tarnishing and free from white spots. The


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interior should be re-tinned every couple of years, depending on usage. Non-Stick These pots and pans have had a coating applied to them that prevents food from sticking and makes clean up easier. The non-stick surface is really an advantage when cooking some foods, such as omelettes, and when reheating sticky foods, such as rice. It also reduces the amount of fat that is normally required when cooking. The non-stick surface is less efficient when using certain cooking methods, such as sauting, because the coating interferes with the transfer of heat from the underlying pan.

Pan Care: To care for non-stick cookware, use hot soapy water and avoid using abrasive pads or powders. If food does stick to the pan, soak in hot water to loosen stuck on food. A nylon scouring pad, nylon scraper, or nonabrasive cleaner can also be used to help remove stuck on food. Do not wash in a dishwasher. Also protect the non-stick surface by only using wooden, plastic, or coated utensils when cooking. Porcelain Porcelain enamel is applied as a coating only on pots and pans made of other material, such as cast iron or aluminum. It prevents them from corroding or reacting with the food being cooked. A pan coated with porcelain on the inside cannot be used for sauting or frying but will work as a saucepan and can be used in the oven.


Cast Iron Coated with Porcelain Enamel Pan Care: To care for porcelain enamel cookware, wash with hot soapy water. For stuck on food, soak in hot water to loosen. A nylon scouring pad, nylon scraper, or nonabrasive cleaner can also be used to help remove stuck on food. Porcelain enamel can be cleaned occasionally in the dishwasher unless it has a nonstick interior surface. Limit the use of a dishwasher to avoid the strong detergent dulling the enamel surface. Stainless Steel Stainless steel cookware is moderately priced. It is the most versatile material to use because it keeps its bright shine and has good tensile strength, preventing it from denting easily. Stainless steel is a good material for any type of pan because it does not corrode and does not react with alkaline or acidic materials. The one problem with stainless steel is that it does not conduct heat well. To combat this problem, pots and pans made from stainless steel have should have a thick aluminum or copper core in the bottom of the pan to help conduct heat more evenly and make the pan more responsive to heat. In the better quality pans, the aluminum or copper core also runs up the sides.


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You may find a stainless steel pan with an aluminum or copper plate on the bottom but if the plate is not thick enough, it will not do an efficient job of conducting heat evenly. Pan Care: To care for stainless steel cookware, wash with hot soapy water. A nylon scouring pad or nylon scraper can be used to remove stuck on food. There are stainless steel cleaners that can also be used to remove stains and bring a shine back to the cookware. Stainless steel cookware can be washed in the dishwasher but the high temperatures in the drying process can cause the water spots. To avoid water spots, remove the pan from the dishwasher before it is dry and wipe with a soft cloth. Tempered Glass Available as flameproof and ovenproof glassware. Both types of glassware hold heat well but are not heat responsive. The flameproof glassware, which is fairly expensive, can be used in the microwave, on the stovetop and in the oven. It heats unevenly, resulting in hot spots that cause food to stick. Ovenproof glassware can be used in the microwave and in the oven, but if used on the stovetop, it must be used with a diffuser.

Pan Care: To care for tempered glass, wash in hot soapy water and soak to loosen stuck on food. Do not use metal scrapers or abrasive powders to remove stuck on food. Tempered glass cookware is dishwasher safe. Types of Pots and Pans There are many types of pots and pans available for different cooking methods. Many of the types can be used for more than one method. Shown below are some of the different types and a brief description of each. Braiser Pan A round or oval-shaped pan with two staycool handles and heavy domed cover. This is a heavyweight pan made of anodized aluminum or stainless steel. Both types of material contain an aluminum or copper core layer in the middle that runs all across the bottom and up the sides, which spreads heat evenly through the pan. Braising pans can be used on the stovetop and in the oven. It is important that the cooking vessel has a tight fitting lid so that the liquid does not evaporate. They are available in depths ranging from 2 to 3 inches and in various sizes ranging from 10 to 13 inches in diameter or 2 quarts to 6 quarts. This pan could also be used as a casserole pan. Cookware is used to broil foods in the oven such as steaks, roasts, or various cuts of meat, poultry and vegetables. It is typically constructed of stainless steel or heavy gauge steel with a black porcelain enamel. Broiler Pans consist of two sections, a low walled pan section and an upper cooking surface that is the broiler plate lid. The cooking surface or lid, which contains open slits and

Broiler Pan


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small holes, holds the food as it broils while the pan below catches the drippings. Since the lid has only minimal openings, it keeps the hot grease and drippings contained within the pan so they don't flare up and burn the bottom of the food as it broils. Also known as a broiler roaster, oven roaster or oven broiling pan. Casserole A round or oval pan with steep sides, which ranges in size from 2 quarts to 12 quarts. The casserole pan can be found made from many different materials. It is available made from the same high quality materials as a saucepan or you may find it made from glass, ceramic or earthenware. It may have a cover but many times the cover is not used when cooking the food in a casserole. Depending on the material it is made from, it may be used on the stove top but is generally used in the oven. It is used for cooking one-dish meals and the meal is served at the table in the casserole pan. Pan A medium depth pan that generally has flared or rounded sides but is sometimes found with straight sides. It has a flat bottom and wide mouth, which accelerates the evaporation of liquids. A chef's pan most often will have a long handle and a tight fitting cover. It is made of a metal with a thick ground base that allows temperature changes to occur rapidly as the level of the heat applied to it changes, either increasing or decreasing for the best heat conduction. Chef's pans are available in a variety of sizes such as 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 quart. The height of the sides make it easier for sauting, frying or steaming greater amounts of foods, allowing sufficient space for turning and stirring of the contents. Chef's pans are very similar to saucier pans and either pan can be used interchangeably. Made in the shape of a wide-walled pan or a skillet, this roasting utensil is designed specifically for heating the large, brown shell variety of chestnuts over a stove or heat source such as fire, gas or hot coals. Roasting chestnuts over an open fire is best accomplished with a longer handled roasting pan or basket made from steel wires like a steel cooking basket, while the deep-walled or skillet-like pan is best for coals, gas or electric heat. Formed with large-sized holes in the bottom, the Chestnut Pan allows the heat to have greater exposure to directly heating the chestnuts in


Chestnut Pan


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a shell as they cook. Double Boiler A double boiler consists of two pans where one sits inside of the other. The bottom pan is slightly larger so the top pan can fit inside. The bottom pan contains hot water and the top pan holds the ingredients that are being cooked. This type of pan is used when making delicate sauces that have a tendency to separate if cooked on direct heat. Double boiler are often made from stainless steel but can also be found made from other materials, such as enameled steel, aluminum, and glass. Oven A round or oval, heavyweight pot with a domed cover. A Dutch oven has steep sides that range in depth from 2 to 4 3/4 inches and range in size from 2 quarts to 6 quarts. You will find them made from stainless steel, anodized aluminum and cast iron. They are used for pot-roasting, stewing, braising, boiling pasta and making soup. They can be used on the stovetop and in the oven. Dutch ovens are a popular cookware item used when camping. Some cast iron models have legs, making it easy to set the pot over coals or a campfire. A type of cookware that consists of a pot with a heat source such as a portable cooking fuel or an electrical heating element placed directly below the pot that is used for a food preparation process known as fondues. The pot may be filled with cooking oil, wine, cheese, chocolate, or other ingredients depending on the food to be prepared. The heat source melts or fully warms the contents so that food can be dipped into the pot and either cooked or coated with its contents. Typical foods that are dipped in fondue pots are small pieces of toast, bread, meat, fruits, or vegetables. They are dipped into the contents of the fondue pot and eaten as an appetizer or as part of a meal. The word fondue is a French term meaning "to melt." / Skillet A frying pan has a flat bottom with short sides that are flared or sloped, which makes it easier to toss and turn food with a spatula. The pan should be made of heavyweight material that is responsive to heat, such as lined copper, stainless steel with a copper or aluminum core, anodized aluminum or cast iron. There are also frying pans available with non-stick surfaces. It is used for frying foods but can also be used for sauting.


Fondue Pot

Electric Fondue Pot




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Frying pans are available in several sizes, such as 6 ", 7", 8", 9" 10", 11", 12", and 14". They are available in depths of 1 " to 3" and generally come with a cover. Glass Baking Pan A baking pan made from tempered glass. The glass may be flameproof or ovenproof and are available in square and rectangular shapes of various sizes. The flameproof glassware, which is fairly expensive, can be used in the microwave, on the stovetop and in the oven. Ovenproof glassware can be used in the microwave and in the oven, but if used on the stovetop. The glass baking dish is used to bake fish, meats, casseroles, vegetable dishes, breads, cakes and other desserts. A type of bakeware that is used to make the traditional French food dish that is prepared with a brown crispy top crust. The dish is most often a shallow sided container that is oval in shape, however, it can also be round with sides that are deeper than the oval shaped pan. Made from aluminum, steel cast iron or stoneware, the Gratin Pan allows the food to cook evenly and in the same amount of time as it takes the crust to brown. Often made as a casserole, a potato dish or a vegetable dish, a gratin is browned under a broiler oven to produce the golden tan crust that represents the key element of this food. Gratin is also known as au gratin. A flat pan with a long handle constructed of materials that conduct heat well, such as cast iron or aluminum, many of which have a non-stick surface and exterior for ease of cleanup. Built to cook foods with a minimal amount of oil, most all Griddles are manufactured with a small lip around the edge that keeps fat retained in the pan as it warms and begins to run. Griddles, which are designed to be placed over stovetop burners, are available in different shapes and sizes. There are one-burner griddles with a round or square shape and there are rectangular griddles that are formed to be placed over two burners. Many of the Griddles made of heavy gauge steel are designed with metals that distribute heat well so the cookware heats evenly across the entire surface. Also known as stovetop grills since they accomplish many of the smaller tasks of an outdoor grill, Griddles work well for cooking or grilling items such as pancakes, eggs, bacon, hamburger patties,

Gratin pan


Square Griddle Pan

Two Burner Griddle Pan


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small amounts of meat, and grilling vegetables or fruits. Grill Pan A heavy metal pan that consists of ridges spaced evenly across the bottom that closely simulate the grilling process when cooking various meats and foods. They are available with shallow sides and with deeper sides similar to a frying pan. The ridges raise the food off the bottom surface of the pan, which helps prevent the food from steaming as it cooks. The ridges also serve as a method for allowing the fat contained in some foods to drain away from the food and collect in the spaces between the raised ridges. Many grill pans are made from cast iron. Cast iron needs to be seasoned but there are manufacturers who produce enamel surfaced and factory seasoned cast iron grill pans. Cast iron pans are also heavy and the handles get extremely hot, making them hard to handle. Even though cast iron is bulky, it is still the best material for a grill pan because of its ability to retain heat and to heat evenly. They are available in round, square, and rectangular shapes and range in size from 9 to 12 inches. There are also double burner sizes available. Constructed like a traditional loaf pan, this type of pan is made to allow fat and drippings to be removed as the loaf bakes. They are made as two separate pans, one fitting within and above the bottom or base pan. As the food bakes in the upper pan which contains numerous holes, the grease and fat drops to the bottom pan positioned beneath the upper pan. The removal of the drippings may produce a slightly drier result as the meat cooks, but it does eliminate meat sitting in grease and fat as it bakes. Also referred to as Lo-Fat Loaf Pans. Pan An omelette pan is basically the same as a frying pan. It is available made from the same type of material as frying pans and is generally shaped the same. An omelette pan with a non-stick surface is beneficial when making omelettes because it allows the eggs to release from the pan, making them easier to turn or flip. The omelette pan is also available in an oval shaped pan that is generally 10 to 12 inches long. The oval pan works well for cooking foods such as omelettes, fish filets, and shell steaks. The most common sizes for round pans are 8, 10, and 12 inches.

Flat Iron Grill Pan

Skillet Grill Pan

Meatloaf Pan



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Paella Pan

A cooking vessel that is used to prepare the famous Spanish rice dish, paella. The pan is a large diameter, shallow skillet-like pan that may be made from cast iron, enameled metal, or brushed aluminum. Some pans may have higher sides resulting in a deeper pan, but the traditional pans are approximately 14 to 16 inches in diameter and have the appearance of a medium to large skillet with a shallow depth. Most paella pans have handles on either side. Pan A rectangular shaped pan with low sides, which allows the heat from the oven to expose the entire surface of the meat to create a browned exterior. The pan is generally used with a rack to prevent the meat from sitting in its own juices and stewing instead of browning. See Roasting Racks. There are several sizes available. Select a size that allows approximately 2 inches between the side of the pan and the meat. Also, be sure that there is at least 2 inches of space between the outside of the pan and the sides of the oven so that there will be proper air circulation. The roasting pans are available made from several different materials, such as stainless steel, stainless steel with an aluminum or copper core, aluminum with non-stick surfaces, anodized aluminum, lined copper and granite. Pans with High Cover An oval shaped pan with deep sides and a large domed cover. It generally has a flat rack included on the bottom of the pan. They are available in several sizes and material, such as granite, anodized aluminum, and stainless steel. The meat is cooked with the cover on, which acts as an oven in an oven, resulting in the meat cooking more quickly and in a moister environment. This results in moist, tender meat. The deep-sided roasting pan, generally without the cover, is also used for casseroles. A round pot with high straight sides and a flat bottom that is used for several purposes, such as cooking vegetables, heating soup, and making sauces. The standard saucepan has straight sides but there are other styles available that are used for special purposes. A saucepan known as a Windsor has sides that flare out and another known as a saucier has sides that are rounded. They are used to provide more exposed surface to speed up reducing a





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sauce by allowing more evaporation and they make it easier to stir and whisk food out of the corners. Saucepans are made of a sturdy material that is heat responsive, such as lined copper or stainless steel with an aluminum or copper core or bottom plate. They are available in several sizes. A small saucepan holds 1 to 1 quarts, a medium holds 2 quarts, and a large saucepan holds at 3 or more quarts. Most saucepans come with a snug fitting cover. Sauting Pan A pan very similar to the frying pan, only it has short, straight sides. It has a heavy gauge bottom and is made from a material that is heat responsive, such as lined copper, stainless steel with a copper or aluminum core, or anodized aluminum. It is used for sauting foods but can also be used for frying foods. The pan should have a long handle and it generally comes with a cover. Some of the larger models have a loop handle opposite the long handle that is used to assist in lifting the pan. The saut pan is available in various sizes, ranging from 6" to 16" in diameter, and 2 " to 3 " in depth. Pan An round, lidded pan with small handles that is often used to saut or braise a variety of foods. With short to medium height outward sloping sides, a sauteuse pan is a utensil for cooking casseroles, stews, and pasta dishes as well as meat and poultry dishes. Common in European households, this pan has a small curved handle on each side instead of a single straight handle and is typically available in sizes ranging from 2.5 quarts to 7 quarts. Pan A round, deep pan that may have straight sides with a slightly rounded base or more commonly a round base that slopes out and upward. Stir fry pans are available with several different sized handle lengths that can be selected to match the cooking process. The pan allows heat to be well distributed across the base while the sloping sides make it easier to stir and turn ingredients as they cook. The Asian pan referred to as a "wok" is one traditional type of stir-fry pan while other versions are often available with bases and sides that are thicker in substance, not as curved, nor as deep as the wok pan. Stir fry pans are often used to prepare and quickly sear multiple ingredients that go well together including various meats and




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vegetables mixed with sauces. The stir fry pan is good for cooking food in a small quantity of oil and for retaining the colors and textures of the various ingredients. A deep, straight-sided pot that is taller than it is wide. It has two, securely attached, loop handles that are big enough to easily allow the use of potholders or oven mitts. It is used for simmering large amount of liquid, such as stock, soup and stews, but also works well for thick soups, chili and for boiling pasta. The pot does not need to be made of anodized aluminum or copper to promote responsive heat reaction but should have a heavy bottom to protect against burning and scorching. Stockpots are available in sizes ranging from 6 quarts to 20 quarts and generally include a cover. 10, 12 and 14 quarts are standard sizes that will satisfy many uses. You will find stockpots made of several different materials, such as stainless steel, aluminum, anodized aluminum, copper, and non-stick materials. Pasta Insert: A perforated insert that fits inside a stockpot. The insert acts as a colander for draining pasta and is generally made of stainless steel. A bowl shaped pan that is used to quickly cook food over high heat. It is available with a rounded or flat bottom. The traditional type wok has a rounded bottom and is used over a flamed heat source, such as a gas burner. The flat bottom wok was designed to use on an electric burner or a ceramic stovetop but can also be used on a gas stove. The rounded woks come with a ring that should be placed over the flames to hold the woks steady. Woks are available made from various materials, such as carbon steel, cast iron, stainless steal with aluminum inner layers, and metal with a non-stick coating applied. Cast steel and cast iron woks must be seasoned before they are used for the first time. Some varieties of woks have one long handle, some have two short handles and others have a long handle on one side and a short one on the opposite side. The wok is approximately 4 inches deep and can be 12 to 16 inches in diameter. The wok is most often used for stir-frying but can also be used for sauting, steaming, deep-frying,


Pasta Insert


Roasting Racks - There are various types of racks available and they are generally made from stainless steel or a non-stick coated metal, which makes clean up a lot easier. You may want to have


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a couple of the different types because some racks work better for different uses. Be sure it is big enough and sturdy enough to hold the piece of meat you will be cooking and that it fits into your roasting pan. When placed in the oven, there should be at least a 2" space between the meat and the top of the oven. A brief description of the most common type of racks is shown below. Flat Racks: A simple rack that lays flat in the bottom of the roasting pan. It is available in a rectangular or oval shape and is made of thin wires running parallel to each other the length of the rack. It will have a couple of wires running at a right angle to help support the parallel wires. It does not work well for poultry because the legs and wings have a tendency to fall through the wires. Nonadjustable V-racks: Made of vshaped pieces of metal that are attached to a frame that has handles on it. This rack works well to cradle the roast or bird and hold it in place, but because the metal bars are generally so far apart, the wings and legs of a bird fall through. This makes it difficult to turn the bird if necessary or to remove it from the rack without tearing the wings and legs. Adjustable V-racks: This V-rack has two sides made of thin wires attached to a base. The sides can be adjusted to change the width of the V that they form. This allows you to better fit the rack to the meat you are placing on it. A problem may occur if you have to turn the roast or bird on the rack because the rack has a tendency to collapse. Vertical Racks: This type of rack has vertical prongs that are attached to a round base. The prongs are inserted in the cavity of the bird and it is cooked looking as if it is standing up. The wire prongs inserted into the bird help to speed up the cooking time by conducting heat into the bird. Roasting the bird in this manner also provides a crispier skin but it also makes more of a mess in the oven because you have fat splattering in all directions. The other problem with this rack is that it can only be used on chickens or other birds of that size. Basket Racks: A U-shaped piece of perforated metal that has a handle on each end. The rack resembles a basket. The Ushaped rack cradles the meat and when used for a chicken, it holds the wings and legs next to the body. It produces the crispiest skin on a chicken due to its ability to conduct heat. It is sometimes referred


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to as a cradle roasting rack. This rack only works for small birds and roasts that are 5 pounds or smaller. Microwave Cookware - Cookware for the microwave is different than other cookware. Most cookware that is used on the stovetop or in the oven cannot be used in a microwave oven. Microwave cookware is generally made from glass, ceramic or plastic and not all glass, ceramic and plastic containers are microwave safe. If a container is not microwave save it can heat up in the microwave and become a safety hazard. Most plastics work well in the microwave oven but not all. If their label indicates that they are able to withstand boiling water and if it states that they are dishwasher safe, they should be able to withstand the heat from the microwave. Glassware for the microwave should be heat-resistant. Non-heat-resistant glass cannot withstand the high and uneven heat from the microwave. Ceramic cookware should be unglazed. Glazed ceramic absorbs the microwave energy too quickly, which can cause it to break or become heated to a high temperature. The best style of microwave cookware to use is a dish that has shallow sides and is round or oval in shape. There are microwave cookware sets available that contain different size and shape containers that are suitable for the microwave. Note: To test a dish or container to see if it is microwave safe, fill a 1-cup glass measuring cup with water and place it next to the dish or container in the microwave. Start the microwave on high power and run for 1 minute. After a minute, check the water and the container you are testing. The water should be hot but if the container is also hot, it is not microwave safe.

Cookware Sets - You can purchase prepackage sets of cookware where the different pieces have been selected for you. You can generally gain some cost savings when buying the pieces in a set over buying them separately but be careful that all the pieces are pots and pans that you will use. It should include a saucepan and lid, a frying pan, and a stockpot. A roasting pan would be another worthwhile piece in the set. Sets are available in different size groupings. If purchasing a set, select the best one possible for the amount you have allocated by paying close attention to the quality of the pieces and to what pieces you are getting in the set. If the set has several pieces that you will hardly ever use, it may make more sense to purchase one of higher quality that has fewer pieces that are all commonly used. You will also want to select a set that is made from a material that is versatile enough to use for different cooking methods. Stainless steel with a copper or aluminum core or bottom plate would be good choice. Anodized aluminum cookware would also be a versatile choice. If a cookware set will not give you the essential pieces for most of your cooking needs, consider buying separate pieces of basic pans you need to start. There are four basic pans shown below that will satisfy the majority of your cooking needs. Saucepan - Purchase a 2 qt. saucepan, which can be used for making sauces, reheating soups, pasta, and rice. A stainless steel pan with an aluminum base, which would be moderately priced, is a good choice for this pan. Frying Pan / Skillet - A 12 inch pan would be a good size to be used for several purposes, such as frying meats, potatoes, pancakes and eggs, and can also be used for stir-frying, sauting and making one dish meals on the stovetop. It should be purchased with a cover and be made out of stainless steel with a copper or aluminum core, or a non-stick aluminum pan with a non-stick coating would provide a pan with easier clean up and one that required the use of less fat. Roasting Pan - A roasting pan, which should be purchased with a rack, can be used for roasting meat and poultry. It can also be used to make one-dish meals that bake in the oven, such as lasagna. An aluminum pan with a non-stick coating would provide a pan that is lightweight, heats evenly, and is easy to clean up. Stockpot - An 8 to 12 quart size pot would be a good standard range of size to provide a pot that can be used for many purposes, such as making stock or soup, boiling long strands of pasta, cooking sweet corn, and boiling seafood. For a moderately priced pot, select a stainless steel pot with an aluminum base, which will provide you with a pot that will conduct heat evenly.


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Reminder- Knife Safety Knives are particularly dangerous pieces of equipment if used incorrectly, however they are essential item for anyone working in the kitchen. Here are some reminders : Always place a knife on the bench to give to another person, rather that pass it by hand to the person. Never hold knives in the air or hold them with fingers overlapping the cutting zone. Don't use the knife as a screwdriver or can opener. Don't wave a knife around, point with it or turn around with it in your hand. Place on the bench and then turn to talk to others. Never transport food on the blade of a knife. Never leave knives in sinks or under items. Blades are a hazards when not in a visual range. Always keep the knives separate and individually contained, wrapped or held with the point of the knives secured, this includes in your toolbox or even in the picnic basket. Never hide knives under anything. To choose a knife that is of good quality and best fits your needs, you need a basic knowledge of the various parts and construction of a knife. It is also beneficial to be familiar with the varieties of knives that are available. The information below should be helpful in selecting and maintaining your knives. Knife Construction Parts of a Knife


The tip of the knife is at the opposite end of the handle and is pointed, sharp and fairly thin. It is typically pointed but there are some knives with ends that are cut off straight, rounded or at a slant. The tip is used for cutting small items, cutting food into thin strips, and carving. It is also used for making incisions, such as would be used when making a slit in the side of pork chops or chicken breasts where stuffing would be added. Edge The cutting edge is the bottom edge of the blade that runs from the heel to the tip of the blade. It is very sharp and can be straight cut or serrated. The cutting edge is used to slice, cut or chop food items both large and small, with the middle of the blade being used most often. The blade edges are available with different grinds, which have different purposes. See Blade Cutting Edges for the different grinds that are available.



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Spine or Back

The spine is the edge opposite the cutting edge on the blade. It is thicker than the cutting edge and adds strength to the blade. It has a smooth, blunt edge to allow the user to grip it with thumb and forefinger or to be able to apply pressure with fingers or the palm of a hand to add control to the task being performed. The heel is approximately the last two inches of the blade's cutting edge at the opposite end from the tip. It is used for cutting thick or coarse items that require extra pressure or strength. It assists in making faster more efficient cuts when the task calls for it.



A bolster is a thick piece of metal (collar or shank) that is at the end of the blade, just before the handle. It generally runs the full length from the spine of the blade down to the cutting edge. The bolster, along with the tang, gives the knife balance, which provides for better control of the knife when cutting. It also provides a place for fingers to be placed for comfort and also provides protection from the blade. The bolster is an indication that the blade was formed using the forged process rather than being stamped. The handle is the part of the knife that holds the blade. The tang of the blade extends down in the handle to attach the blade to the handle. The tang is riveted into the handle or is sometimes enclosed in a plastic or metal handle. It is important to get a good feel of the handle before purchasing a knife to be sure it fits your hand properly. If it is too big or small, it can result in inefficient use and can cause tired and aching hands. The tang is the part of the knife blade that extends into the handle. The better quality knives have a full tang that runs the entire length of the handle. It is sandwiched in between the outside layers of the




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handle and generally contains several holes where it is riveted to the handle for durability. The tang takes the same shape as the handle and can generally be seen on both edges. A full tang is best for adding strength and balance to the knife but there are also some good quality knives whose tang only runs part way into the handle. Molded handles contain a pointed rat tail tang, which is a long narrow shaft that is completely contained in the handle with which it forms a bond. This type of tang adds balance and strength to the knife but also provides for a little lighter weight knife.


The butt end of the knife is at the opposite end of the tip. If the knife has a full tang it is where the tang ends. Sometimes the butt of the knife is used to tenderize or grind ingredients so it is important that the butt is of stable construction.


Rivets Metal rivets are used to secure the tang to the handle of the knife. To prevent irritation to the hand, the rivets should be completely smooth and lie flush with the surface of the handle. In addition, this will help prevent debris and microorganisms from collecting in the spaces between the handle and the rivets.

Blade Manufacturing There are basically two methods that are used to manufacture blades. The blades are either forged or stamped. It is felt that the forging process produces a better quality blade. The two processes are explained below. Forged Knife Blades In manufacturing a forged blade, a hot piece of steel is pressed into a blade mold and then hammered into shape. The blade goes through different processes that enhance its flexibility and hardness. The blade is machined 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 presents of a bolster. Forged blades create better quality knives and are more expensive than stamped blade knives. In manufacturing a stamped blade, the blade is cut out of a flat sheet of steel. The blade is then ground,

Stamped Knife Blades


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tempered, polished and sharpened. Stamped blades are thinner and flatter than forged blades and will have a tendency to make the knife handle feel heavy and off balance. They are easier to sharpen than forged blades and easy to recognize because they do not have a bolster. A knife with a forged blade is thought to be better quality than a knife with a stamped blade but there are also some good quality knives with stamped blades. A stamped blade knife will generally be less expensive than a forged blade knife. Knife Blade Materials The material a knife blade is made from will affect the durability and maintenance of the knife. Factors to consider when determining if the blade material will suit your needs are how the knife will be used, how easy it is to sharpen, how well it keeps a sharp edge, and how susceptible is it to corrosion. The information below should help in understanding the qualities of the most common blade materials available. High-Carbon Steel - Carbon Steel has been used in the making of blades for many years. Carbon steel blades are tough, can be very sharp, retain their sharp edge fairly well, and sharpen with little effort. They have a tendency to be brittle and can break under stress. Carbon steel blades discolor when they come in contact with foods that are high in acid, such as tomatoes and citrus fruit. The discoloration does not affect the quality of the knife. With proper care, discoloration and rusting of the blade can be avoided and it can be treated if it does occur. Wash and dry thoroughly after use. If the blade rusts, scour to remove rust and continue to use. A light polishing with fine grit steel wool or sandpaper can also be used to remove the stains and rust from the blade. Tip: When storing knives with carbon steel blades, lightly coat the blades with flavor free vegetable oil to help prevent discoloration and rust. High-Carbon Stainless Steel - A combination of the best attributes of carbon steel and stainless steel blades. They contain enough carbon to give them the toughness and ability to hold an edge, although not quite as well as high-carbons steel, and they contain enough chromium to make them stain and rust resistant, although they can discolor or rust under extreme conditions. High-carbon stainless steel blades are slightly harder to sharpen than high-carbon steel but they have become the most popular blade material used for high quality kitchen knives. Stainless Steel - Unlike high-carbon steel, stainless steel blades are highly resistant to discoloring or rusting, but if not cared for properly, they can stain. If over exposed to salt water, hard water, or acidic material such as, lemon juice or vinegar, it may discolor or rust. Dry thoroughly after washing to prevent discoloring and if the knife does discolor or rust, clean with a stainless steel cleaner or a light abrasive powder. Although the stainless steel blades have the ability to hold a sharp edge slightly longer, the stainless steel is so hard that it cannot be produced with as sharp an edge as highcarbon steel. When they dull, they are much harder to sharpen than the high-carbon steel. Titanium - Titanium blades are made from a mold of titanium and carbides. The carbides allow the blade to be heat treated, which produces a very strong and durable blade. When compared to steel, titanium is lighter, more wear resistant, corrosion resistant, holds its edge longer, and is fairly easy to sharpen. The titanium blade is more flexible than steel, making them a good choice for tasks such as boning and filleting. Beware that titanium coated or edged knife blades will not have the same qualities as knives that have blades made totally of titanium. The titanium coating on the cutting edge of the blade will be lost after sharpening several times. Ceramic - Ceramic blades are made of zirconium oxide and aluminum oxide. Zirconium oxide is the second hardest material available next to diamonds. It is very hard but is also brittle and can chip or break. The edge of a ceramic blade is much thinner than steel, which makes cutting through items much easier. Because the ceramic blades are brittle they must be used with caution. They should be used for slicing rather than chopping. Although they are much more brittle than steel knives, they tend to hold their edge up to 10 times longer. Once the blades have dulled, they must be sharpened by a professional with a diamond sharpener.


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Plastic - Plastic blades are used with the primary goal of preventing vegetables and such from becoming discolored from the blade of a knife. Plastic blades generally serrated and are not very sharp, requiring some force when cutting. Blade Cutting Edges Hollow Ground Knife blades with a concave beveled edge created by starting midway or lower from the top of the blade and grinding or tapering each side of the blade thinner toward the bottom or cutting edge by grinding an inward curvature. As the blade is ground the slight curve (concave) grind creates the "hollow" area referenced in the name of the blade edge. Produced with either a fluted pattern or a beveled pattern, a hollow grind provides a very thin and exceptionally sharp edge that can be easily sharpened when necessary. It is a type of blade that is excellent for slicing due to the sharp edge, but not for chopping activities since the higher impact of the chopping action dulls or may chip the thinner blade. A term used to describe a knife blade that most often contains evenly spaced vertical indentations or "hollows" that have been ground out of the thickness of the steel blade. Often confused with the term "hollow ground blade," which references more of a tapered grind with a thinner cutting edge running the entire length of the blade, the hollow-edged blade is quite different with its evenly spaced indentations running the length of the blade. The hollow edge blade is also known as a Granton blade. A Santoku knife is an example of one type of utensil that is commonly produced with a hollow edge or Granton edge by many knife manufacturers. The purpose of the hollow edge or Granton-style blade is to assist with keeping particles from sticking to the knife edge as it chops small bits of food. It is also a friction reducer to provide less drag when chopping, which enables easier and faster motion. The opposite of a hollow-ground blade, this type of knife blade rounds outward instead of inward such as a hollow grind. Commonly used for larger blades such as cleavers and axes, the Convex Grind provides a rounded cutting surface on the bottom cutting edge of the blade rather than a straight edge or a flat grind. It is similar to the flat ground "V" cut except rounded rather than straight or flat ground. Durable in structure, the Convex Ground Blade can be used for chopping and cutting activities required for thicker textured items such as meats, bones, and fibrous foods. The blade of a knife that decreases in size from

Hollow Edge

Convex Ground Blade

Taper Ground


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Thicker at Spin Edge

Tapers to a Thinner Cutting Edge

the handle to the tip and from the spine to the cutting 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. Often referred to as a fully tapered blade when ground from top to bottom, the taper grind can also be produced as a partially tapered grind. The partially tapered grind starts midway down the blade and extends to the cutting edge, becoming more like a flat grind or flat ground blade. Unlike the hollow ground blade that has a either a beveled or fluted edge, the taper ground blade is a more stable knife blade due to the rigid structure of a finely tapered, sheet of metal. Thus, the taper 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. The type of blade with a straight "V" cut ground into the steel edge. Varying in depth, the flat ground blade can be made with only a very slight "V" cut or a longer cut that tapers slightly from higher up on the blade and extends downward toward the cutting edge. Knives with a flat grind can be used for cutting as well as chopping activities since the blade is generally very stable. This type of blade has a grind that is made on only one side of the blade, which creates an edge that looks like the blade of a chisel and thus the origin of its name. While one side of the blade remains flat surfaced, the other side of the chisel ground blade is cut at an angle. When the blade is viewed from the tip back, it looks like half of a "V" ground blade. Most often used for making blades of chisels, axes, and swords, this grind is also used on some knives but it is not as common as the flat grind or "V" grind.

Flat Ground

Chisel Ground

Angle Ground Side

Flat Surface Side - Not Ground Straight Edge A knife blade that is straight along the cutting edge or straight and slightly curved. In contrast, blades that contain serrations such as serrated blades or indentations such as hollow edge blades are not considered to be straight-edged blades. Blade edges, such as hollow ground, taper ground, flat ground, convex ground, and chisel ground blades are all considered straight edge


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blades. Blades with a straight edge are best for cutting foods that are either soft or firm, such as fruits, vegetables and meats. Serrated Edge A sharp-edged blade with saw-like notches or teeth formed on the cutting edge of the blade that enable it to slice cleanly through foods without damaging delicate or soft textures, such as bread or pie crusts. Serrated edge knives can be found with pointed teeth or rounded teeth on the cutting edge. The rounded serrated edge knife is sometimes referred to as scalloped or wavy. The rounded serrated edge is a little less abrasive than the serrated edge with pointed teeth, but may not work as well when cutting through the top crust of certain breads. It may have a tendency to slip when first cutting through the crust. The serrated cutting edge works well for slicing bread, soft fruits (peaches), soft vegetables (tomatoes), and food dishes such as pies, quiches, sandwiches, and pizza. Some knives made for specific functions will have serrations on both edges of the blade such as double-sided serrated blades formed into grapefruit knives that are used to section fruits and vegetables. Serrated blades require less maintenance for sharpening than straight-edged blades however, they do become dull after long periods of use. The serrated edges are harder to sharpen typically need to be sharpened by a professional. Therefore, to lengthen the life of the blade, wash serrated knives by hand so that dishwater detergent, which is harmful to the sharp edge of the blade, does not affect the quality of the cutting edge. Blades built to handle hardened objects such as frozen foods. They are formed with an alternating blade construction containing sets of double-toothed blade extensions separated by curved and serrated blade surfaces. Made from a rigid steel, a saw and raker blade can withstand very cold temperatures and the heavier than normal cutting pressure required to cut through ice hard substances, such as frozen foods. The forward and backward motion required for cutting hardened objects will cause flexible blades to bend or quiver which is eliminated by using a rigid, saw and raker type blade, since the raker helps to keep the blade in the track created by the cutting edge.

Pointed Serrated Edge

Rounded Serrated Edge

Saw and Raker

Knife Handle Materials Knife handles are generally made of wood, plastic, metal or a combination of wood and plastic. Some pros and cons of different types of handle materials are shown below.


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Wood Handle

Hardwoods with tight grains are best for making wood handles. Rosewood, Brazilian Ironwood, and Ebony are woods that work well for making knife handles. Wood handles provide an excellent grip, but requires more maintenance than a plastic or stainless steel handle. It is thought that wood handled knives absorb microorganisms and are not as sanitary as knives with handles made of other materials. Tip: Never allow wood handled knives to soak in water and rub the wood occasionally with mineral oil. Wood Handles Infused with Plastic

A combination of the best attributes of wood handles and molded plastic handles. They have an excellent grip but do not require the maintenance all wood handles require. They are also not as porous as wood handled knives, preventing the absorption of microorganisms. Molded Plastic or Composition

Molded plastic handles are much easier to care for than wooden handles. They will not absorb debris and microorganisms and are easily cleaned. It is argued that handles made with molded plastics become brittle over time, causing them to break and that they can become slippery if hands are wet, making them harder to handle. Stainless Steel

Metal handled knives last longer and add weight to the knife. There are arguments made that stainless steel handles are slippery if hands become damp, making them harder to handle. As with the plastic handles, stainless steel will not absorb debris and microorganisms and are easily cleaned.


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Knife Varieties The following descriptions and images of different varieties of knives are general examples only. Although the basics of each knife style is the same, different manufacturers have different design variations for each type of knife. Bird's Beak Knife (Tourne Knife)

Considered to be a type of utility knife that is used for many of the same tasks as the traditional paring knife. The bird's beak knife, which is also known as a "tourne" knife, has a shorter blade than a paring knife with a blade that is typically 2 to 3 inch long. It is designed to curve upward on both the cutting edge and the top edge. The bird's beak knife is commonly used to make a type of cut referred to as the tourne cut in vegetables such as carrots, potatoes or squash. This cut is performed for purposes of food presentation. This cut is also known as a tourne or tourn cut. Bird's beak 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 a knife that is also used for cutting decorative garnishes such as rosettes in radishes or fluted mushrooms. Boning Knife A knife with a thin short blade, typically 5 or 6 inches 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 bones. The blade is rigid and proportioned to the size of the bones being removed. Bigger cuts of meat require a larger more rigid blade that is not too flexible to prevent injury from the blade bending too easily. Smaller meat cuts can be trimmed and boned using a smaller less rigid blade. Knife A small knife with a blunt edge blade that is used to apply spreads, such as butter, peanut butter, and cream cheese, on bread or dinner rolls. Butter knives will generally be the same pattern as the flatware set they come with but there are also many individual butter knives available with patterns that range from very plain to very ornate.


Ceramic Knife

A knife with a blade made from zirconium oxide, also referred to as ceramic zirconia, a very durable and hard substance that is only slightly softer than the hardness of diamonds. With a blade harder than steel, knives made from industrial ceramic do not easily dull and will maintain an exceptionally sharp edge before being required to be sharpened. Industrial ceramic, which is made by heating the base materials to exceptionally high temperatures, results in a substance that has a high degree of purity. This eliminates most of the impurities that make ceramic materials brittle. Ceramic knives are excellent for slicing through a variety of foods, making thin slices an easy task,


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however, use on harder materials, such as bones and hard textured foods may result in chipped or broken blades. This is due to the hard and rigid blade materials of the ceramic blades that are not as flexible as more common metals. Also, if the blade hits or is dropped accidentally on a hard tile floor, it may chip part of the blade but will not shatter it. Factory repair of the blade is an option if the blade becomes damaged. Ceramic knives will not need sharpening as often as other metal knives, but will require that the person doing the sharpening be qualified to sharpen ceramic materials. Cheese Knife A kitchen utensil that is thinly shaped to cut easily through soft or hard textured cheese. Bladed cheese knives are typically manufactured with narrow-blades or short wide blades. Quite often, the narrow-bladed version will have a forked tip that is used as a lifter for pieces of cheese as they are cut. This knife may also be referred to as a forked-tip utility knife, which is used as a bar knife for cutting through citrus fruits or spearing garnishes, such as pickles, onions or maraschino cherries, for drinks as may be required. Wider or heavier bladed knives are generally produced to accompany a cheese plate containing uncut cheese. Since cheese begins to harden as it is exposed to air, cheese is often kept whole when placed on plates or trays requiring the cheese to be cut as it is served. Shorter knives work well for this purpose, enabling the person cutting to slice through soft to firm textured cheeses.

Chef's Knife

Traditional Chef's Knife

Mini Chef's Knife

Also called a cook's knife, this knife is an all purpose kitchen knife that is used for most types of chopping, dicing, mincing, and slicing. Chef's knives come in various lengths of 6, 8, 10, and 12 inches. The smaller sized knives are typically referred to as mini chef's knives while the longer lengths are known as traditional chef's knives. The heft, weight and balance of this knife allow it to be used for heavy duty work with thicker cuts of vegetables, fruits and meats. The length of the knife you purchase is significant. The longer the knife, the heavier and more difficult it will be to handle. Small handed cooks should choose shorter blades while large handed cooks will prefer longer blades. Chestnut Knife A kitchen utensil that is used to score the chestnut prior to roasting. By carving a line, a cross or an "X" into the shell of the unroasted nut, it allows it to breathe during roasting and to resist exploding as the steam builds up. The chestnut knife is short shafted in order to keep the cut confined to the shell without going too deeply to pierce the inner skin. After the chestnuts are done roasting, the knife


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can then be used to open the shell to remove the meat. To remove the nut, make a single score/cut fully around the middle of the shell. The nut may stick to the skin, but should be adequately separated to remove the nut easily. Clam Knife A kitchen utensil that is used to pry open the hard shell of a clam or an oyster in order to remove the meat. Typically, the knife will have a beveled edged blade that can be inserted into the tightly closed shell, twisting the blade to pry the shell apart. The sharp edge of the knife is used to cut the clam muscles from the shell. Some knives will have a notch in the blade, which is used to keep the shell open to remove the meat. A knife with a wide rigid blade that is approximately 6 inches in length and tapers to a sharp cutting edge. This tool is used to chop, shred, pound, or crush food ingredients and materials. The blade of the cleaver is thick, somewhat heavy and well balanced with a beveled cutting edge. The beveled 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 to allow for ease of hanging this tool when storing.


Deli Knife

Designed for thick sandwiches, this knife is made to cut easily and quickly through a variety of sandwich ingredients. The deli knife is manufactured with a carbon steel, offset blade allowing for ease of slicing and handling. The offset blade keeps the hand holding the knife, up and away from cutting boards or counters as the blade is pushed downward through thicker than average sandwiches. The offset makes the knife handling easier to control and better positioned as the full length of the blade can be positioned so it is horizontally parallel with the cutting surface. Deli knives are available in several different lengths, the most common being 8 inches. Since the blade contains rounded serration, it easily releases resistance as it cuts through foods, resulting in less food being pulled out and away from the thicker, deli-style sandwiches. Devein Knife A kitchen utensil that is used to remove the large vein that runs down the length of a shrimp. A fork can be inserted in the back of the shrimp to pull out the vein or a deveining knife can be used to cut a slit down the length of the shrimp.


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This tool is inserted at one end of the shrimp and then pushed up through the entire body to remove the vein and the shell at the same time.

Filet Knife

A knife consisting of a thin flexible blade, typically 6 to 11 inches long, used for filleting fish. The narrow blade enables the knife to cleanly move 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. Frozen Food

Built to cut through hard to semi-hard substances, this utensil is manufactured for specialty tasks. A common cutting blade used for this type of knife is the saw-and-racker tooth which may be called a saw- toothed blade or a coarse saw tooth blade. A saw-toothed blade has tiny but coarse teeth that are closely aligned and formed to cut through materials such as metal surfaces. Typically, the Frozen Food Knife blade is made of a rigid steel that can withstand very cold temperatures and the heavier than normal cutting pressure required to cut through ice hard substances, such as frozen foods. Simple tasks such as cutting apart a small carton of frozen peas can be easily accomplished with this knife or harder tasks of cutting larger blocks of frozen vegetables and breads can be undertaken with a knife built to cut frozen foods. Grapefruit Knife

A kitchen utensil that is made for ease of cutting the meat of the fruit away from the grapefruit skin when preparing a half grapefruit for serving. There are several varieties of this tool available, either single or double bladed, each containing at least one serrated blade. The dual bladed knives have serrated blades on each end of the handle. The curved blade on one end is used for cutting the meat away from the outer skin. The second blade may consist of two closely aligned parallel blades or one blade with a slit in the center, each used to cut between the linings that separate the inner meat into sections. The grapefruit knife effectively separates the meat sections of grapefruits better than the average kitchen knife. Lettuce Knife A plastic serrated edge knife that is designed to slice lettuce without causing the edges of the


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lettuce to turn brown. When cutting lettuce with a metal knife, the edges of the lettuce will turn a light rusty brown after it is stored for a short time. The plastic lettuce knife is efficient at slicing the lettuce and eliminates the edges from turning brown. Mincing Knife

Single Bladed Mincing Knife

Double Bladed Mincing Knife

A knife that can be used to mince or cut food into smaller bits for seasoning sauces, soups, salads, and other dishes. Mincing knives can be either single or double bladed to cut a variety of foods into very small pieces. A mincing knife is also referred to as a Mezzaluna, Mezzaluna chopper or Mezzaluna knife. Another version of a mincing tool is the rolling mincer or rotary mincer. This utensil consists of numerous circular blades, close together 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 A kitchen utensil that is used to pry open the hard shell of an oyster or clam in order to remove the meat. Typically, the knife will have a short, very strong, sharp, beveled blade that is inserted into the tightly closed shell and twisted to pry the shell apart. The blade is then used to cut through the muscle and oyster membrane. A round shield is built into the handle in order to protect the hand from the sharp edges of the shell if the hand would slip while trying t pry open the shell. It also serves as a spot to place the thumb for a firmer grip when holding both the oyster and the knife. Traditionally, this utensil is a small knife with a straight, sharp blade that is generally three to five inches long. Its thin, narrow blade is tapers to a point at the tip. It is easy to handle and works well for peeling and coring foods or mincing and cutting small items. Working with small bits of food or small ingredients, such as shallots, garlic or fresh herbs, can easily be accomplished with this knife.

Paring Knife

Roast Beef Knife


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A knife with a long slender blade that is used for cutting thin slices of meat from roast beef, roast pork and ham. The knife has a long blade so it can easily cut across a large roast. The roast beef knife is available in different lengths, such as 10", 12" and 14" blades. They are also available with different blade edges. They can be found with a straight edge, wavy edge, or hollow edge. They are designed so that the meat will cut smoothly and not be torn as it is being sliced. Sandwich Knife

A sharp-bladed kitchen utensil used to slice through a medium amount of food ingredients "sandwiched" between two slices of bread. Similar in use to a deli knife, the sandwich knife is shorter in length with a shorter blade depth in order to easily cut through smaller to medium-sized sandwiches. Sandwich knives will typically be made from stainless steel with a serrated blade that works best for slicing bread, soft fruits, soft vegetables, and food dishes such as pies, quiches, and sandwiches. Available in sizes from 6 to 12 inches, the sandwich knife is designed to handle small to medium-sized sandwiches with the small to medium blade sizes and larger sandwiches with the larger blade sizes. 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 in thickness, shorter in length, and curves up very gradually at the end providing a straighter cutting edge. Constructed of high-carbon stainless steel, stainless steel, ceramic, or titanium, this knife will typically be expensive to purchase, since it is precision made to be well balanced and well formed for ease of handling and greater control. With a thinner blade than a chef's knife, the santoku can cut smoothly and more precisely through dense vegetables, which may have a tendency to provide more resistance when using thicker width blades. Versions of this knife are manufactured with either a standard-edged blade or a hollow ground edge, also known as a granton edge. The purpose of the granton style blade is to assist with keeping particles from sticking to the knife edge as it chops small bits of food as well as a friction reducer to provide less drag when chopping, which enables easier and faster motion. Santoku knives are used for chopping, dicing, and slicing foods into narrow or fine pieces so they can be added as ingredients to enhance the look or flavors of the various foods being prepared. This knife also works well for butterflying boneless chicken breasts, providing a manageability and ease of


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handling for the cutting required to butterfly poultry. Sashimi Knife

A traditional Japanese knife used for preparing a variety of foods quickly and with ease. Exceptionally sharp-edged, the Sashimi knife typically has a hollow-ground blade that is 16 to 18 inches in length. The sharp cutting edge on the Sashimi knife is very thin, providing a blade that can be easily sharpened. Excellent for slicing but not for chopping, the blade of the Sashimi knife is generally not made for the higher impact of the chopping action that dulls or may chip the blade on this type of knife. Slicing or dicing vegetables, fruits, meats and fish are common tasks handled well with this type of knife. Serrated Knife

A knife with a sharp edge that has saw-like notches or teeth. The blade of a serrated knife is 5 to 10 inches long. Serrated knives are difficult to sharpen; therefore many chefs spend less on a serrated knife and buy new more often. A serrated knife with a long blade is used to slice through food that is hard on the outside and soft on the inside, such as slicing through the hard crusts of bread. A serrated knife with a short, thin blade is intended for slicing fruits and vegetables. Slicing / Carving Knife A knife 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 variety of slicing knife. Some common slicing knives are shown below.

Carving Knife - Generally made of a fairly thin blade that is at least 8 inches long and has little flexibility. The blade has a pointed tip designed to aid in cutting meat away from the bone. The carving knife works well to slice hot meats such as roast beef and roast pork. Often the carving knife comes with a carving fork that is used to anchor the meat while carving.


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Meat and Fish Slicers - Knives designed for slicing meat, such as poultry, ham, and fish. They have a long narrow blade that is more flexible than a carving knife and generally at least 10 inches long so it will reach across a large ham or roast. They will range in flexibility depending on the type of meat being cut. A slicer used for ham and fish would have a more flexible blade than a knife used for slicing poultry. The slicer can have a pointed tip, used to cut in around a bone or it can have a rounded tip for slicing boneless meat or fish.

General Purpose Slicer - Includes various types and sizes of slicers. They range from 6 to 9 inches in length and their size makes them easy to handle for cutting and slicing smaller cuts of meat. A general purpose slicer can also be used to slice some fruits and vegetables.

Electric Knife - There are also electric knives available, which are used for slicing, carving and cutting. The electric knife consists of two very sharp, thin blades that move independently in a back and forth motion to slice or carve through many different types of food. Steak Knife A knife used for cutting main courses such as steak and chicken. The knife usually has a blade that is 4 to 6 inches long and varies in thickness. Depending on the manufacturer, the blade may or may not be serrated. Since serrated knives cannot be sharpened, they require less sharpening maintenance than the straight-edged blade, but eventually the serrated edge becomes dull and requires replacement. To lengthen the life of the serrated blade, do not wash the in the dishwasher. The dishwasher detergent will dull the blade.


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Knife A serrated edged knife used to slice food that has a tough exterior and a softer middle, such as tomatoes or salami. This knife is similar to a bread knife only smaller. It is used for tasks that a bread knife would be too large and awkward to use.

Utility Knife

A small lightweight knife used for miscellaneous light cutting. It has a blade that is 4 to 7 inches long, which is slightly larger than a paring knife. This utensil can cut food items that are too large for a paring knife but too small for a chef's knife, such as cucumbers, larger apples, smaller squash, and other mid-sized items. Similar to the paring knife, this knife works well for herbs, shallots, fruits, vegetables, and larger pieces of garlic. Utility knives are available with a straight-edge blade or a serrated blade. Serrated blades will typically require fewer sharpenings than straight-edged blades. However, they do become dull over time, so it is best to hand wash the blade to eliminate harsh dishwasher detergents from dulling the blade. Choosing the Right Knife There are several things to consider when you are going to purchase knives, such as price, functionality, maintenance, and comfort. When purchasing knives, always purchase the best quality you can afford. Good quality knives will make the task of using them more efficient and they will last much longer than less expensive knives. When choosing knives, consider the tips below to ensure that you purchase the right knife for you. Tips for Choosing the Right Knife:

Purchase individual knives rather than selecting a set. If you do select a set, consider what types of knives are included because many times sets will include some knives that you will not use often. It may be hard to find a set where all the knives have the right fit for you. You may be better off purchasing fewer knives and selecting those of better quality that will fit your needs better. Your first set of knives should include the four following items: chef's knife, pairing knife, utility knife and a serrated/bread knife. These knives should take care of most of the basic cutting task. Add more specialized knives as your budget allows. Before purchasing a knife, be sure to understand its features to ensure it will perform the tasks desired. Be sure to pick up the knife and see how it feels in your hand. It should be comfortable to grasp and it should feel balanced. Be sure it is well weighted. A heavy knife will require less effort when slicing and chopping. Consider the type of blade and blade edge the knife has and the care and maintenance involved. Some blades will need sharpening more often than others and some will need professional sharpening because of the type of blade edge they have. See Knife Bladesand Blade Cutting Edges.

Maintaining and Storing Knives

To extend the lifetime of your knives, wash them by hand. Knives that are washed in the dishwasher are exposed to harsh detergents, which will dull the cutting edge and they are exposed to intense and varied temperatures that can affect the temper of the steel. Damage


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is also likely to occur to the sharp edge of a knife if allowed to be knocked around by other items in a dishwasher. Wipe knives clean immediately after use to prevent the discoloration of the blade. This practice will also help to prevent foods from hardening onto the blade, allowing for easier cleaning. When washing in a sink of warm soapy water, do not place the knife in the sink with other items. This will avoid injury to the person washing the knife and it will avoid damage to the blade from the other items. Do not allow the knife to soak in the water. This will prevent damage to the blade and handle. Wash and dry immediately.

Tip: Safely clean knives by laying the blade on a flat surface and wipe one side with a wet cloth, then turn and wipe the other side. Always use hot, soapy water to clean a knife that has been used to cut poultry, meat, or fish.

If available, store knives in a wooden or polyethylene knife block. If one is not available, store knives in a sheath or, at a minimum, store the knives away from other utensils to prevent damage to the sharp edges. Make sure knives are kept sharp. A dull knife requires more effort when using and the more effort that is used, the more chance the blade can slip and cause injury. To test the sharpness of a blade, pull the blade lightly over a tomato. The blade should make a clean cut through the skin with little effort. Another method of testing the sharpness of a blade is to take a sheet of paper and try to cut strips from it by slicing with the knife. The knife should cut smoothly through the paper without resistance. Use a wood or polyethylene cutting board. Wood and polyethylene cutting boards create less resistance to the knife edge than ceramic, metal, or plastic cutting boards.

Tip: To prevent contamination, wash cutting boards with hot soapy water immediately after use. Periodically, cutting boards should be sanitized by spraying the surface with a solution of bleach and water, letting it stand for a short time, then wiping it with a clean cloth. Sharpening Knives Tools for Sharpening Knives Sharpening Stone A finishing tool that is used to sharpen steel blades of knives and cutting utensils. Most often rectangular in shape, the sharpening stone may be 1/2 to several inches in thickness. There are several different varieties available that are made of a variety of natural and man-made materials. They are available in coarse, medium and fine grit. The coarser the grit the more steel is removed when sharpening. Some stones are available that are double-sided with a coarse grit on one side and a finer grit on the other side. This allows only having to have one stone for sharpening knives. Most stones are used with oil or water to aid in sharpening. The lubricant helps remove the swarf (metal dust), which is created when sharpening the


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blade edge, from the pores of the stone. Most stones can also be used without the lubricant if desired.

Sharpening Steel

A tool generally made of steel, which is used to realign the knife's edge in-between sharpenings. Often the knife's edge will bend or roll slightly from normal use. Running it across the steel will straighten the edge and the knife will be sharp again. It is also used after a knife is sharpened on a stone to remove the debris and any irregularities that may be left on the blade edge. The tool can also be glass, ceramic, or diamond-impregnated metal. V-Shaped Knife Sharpener

Single Stage Sharpener

Two Stage Sharpener

A convenient tool that can be used to sharpen a knife when a person is not comfortable with using a sharpening stone or steel. The tool's casing holds two steel rods coated with diamond abrasive or rods made from tungsten carbide that are positioned to form a V-shape that is at a 20 angle for sharpening. There are many different varieties available, which vary in how they are used. Some varieties contain two stages of sharpening. One stage is coarser and is used for the first stage of sharpening. The second stage has a finer grind for finishing the sharpening process. The knife's edge is pulled across the rods when sharpening. Four to six draws of the blade is usually sufficient to keep the blade well honed. A guard is commonly attached to the sharpener so hands are kept safely away from the knife blades. Electric Knife Sharpener Electric knife sharpening units contain sharpening wheels or stones that offer a quick alternative for sharpening knives. They have a guide that holds the knife at the perfect angle for sharpening. The sharpening wheels or stones are generally made out of sapphirite, ceramic, or are diamond plated. The blade is drawn through the guided slots a couple of times and the blade is sharpened. Some models have 2 or 3 stages of sharpening. The first stage is the coarser grind and then it is finished through a finer grind and honing. Be aware that using an electric sharpener on a knife that has a bolster will not allow you to sharpen the heel of the blade. You will not be able to run the


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entire blade through the sharpener without damaging the heel of the knife. If it does not have a bolster it should run through without any problems. When using an electric sharpener, be sure to pay close attention to what you are doing because the sharpener will have a tendency to grind more of the blade away than desired. Knife Sharpening Most knives will need sharpening after three to five months of normal usage. In-between sharpening times the knife may need to be steeled to maintain the sharp edge on the blade. There are several methods and techniques that can be used for sharpening knives. Shown below is one method using a sharpening stone and steel. Using the Sharpening Stone To prepare the stone, a light weight lubricating oil or water is applied to assist in the sharpening of the blade. Apply to a medium grit stone or the coarser side of the stone if it is a two sided stone. The stone can also be used dry if preferred.

Hold the knife firmly by placing the handle in your hand with your index finger on top of the blade and your thumb on the spine. The blade should be facing away from you. Place the fingers of your other hand along the length of the blade.

Place the edge of the knife on the stone so it is angled at the same bevel as the edge of the knife, which should be approximately a 20 angle. The sharp edge should be facing away from you. Start at the tip and grind in a counterclockwise motion as if you are cutting a fine sliver off the surface of the stone.

Continue to lightly rotate in this circular motion on the stone while gradually moving the length of the blade across the stone, keeping pressure consistent as you go.


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Grind until you have gone along the entire length of the blade edge. As the knife edge is being sharpened, a slight ridge will form along the edge on the side that is not being sharpened. This ridge is an indication that the blade is ready to have the other side sharpened.

To detect the ridge, run your fingernail off the edge of the side of the blade that has not been sharpened yet and if your fingernail catches at the edge, the blade is ready to have the other side sharpened. Be sure to check for the ridge in several locations along the length of the blade to be sure the entire edge has been sharpened properly. If there is a spot that does not have the ridge, go back and sharpen that area again.

Once the first side has been sharpened properly, turn the knife over so the blade edge is facing towards you. Hold the knife in the same manner as when sharpening the first side. Now the hand holding the handle will have the forefinger on the spine and the thumb will be on the blade.

Begin grinding at the tip in a counterclockwise direction in the same manner as before. Carefully apply consistent pressure as you work across the blade.


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When you have finished grinding the second side, check again for the ridge to have been formed. If the ridge has not been formed in sections of the blade edge, continue to grind in those areas until the ridge has formed.

Using a fine grit stone, grind the blade edge using the same basic method used with the coarser grit stone. Make 4 or 5 counterclockwise strokes across the stone and then turn the blade over and make 4 or 5 strokes on the other side of the blade edge. Continue to alternate back and forth in this manner until the blade edge is polished and razor sharp.

To test for sharpness, never run your finger along the edge of the blade. Instead try a couple of other test that will verify sharpness. One is to pull the blade lightly over a tomato and if the blade is sharp it should slice through the skin with little effort.

Another test is to hold the end of a piece of paper in one hand and try cutting strips from the other end using the newly sharpened knife. You should be able to easily cut strips from the piece of paper without snagging or tearing the paper as the knife cuts through.


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When you are done sharpening the blade, be sure to wash the stone with hot soapy water and a brush to remove all debris from grinding. Allow the stone to dry completely before storing.

Using the Sharpening Steel The steel is used to remove the debris left on the blade edge after sharpening. It is also used in-between sharpenings to straighten the edge of the blade, which will restore its sharpness. Begin by holding the steel vertically and placing its end on a cutting board, which will help protect the work area. Holding the handle of the steel firmly in one hand and the handle of the knife in the other hand, place the blade edge at an angle equal to the bevel of the sharpened edge. This should place the blade at approximately a 20 angle away from the steel. Start with the heel of the blade at the top of the steel with the tip pointed slightly upward.

Maintaining the correct angle, use light pressure to pull the blade down the steel. As the blade moves down the steel, pull the blade back towards you so the middle of the blade is drawn over the middle of the steel.


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Continue to pull back and down the steel holding the blade at the proper angle with consistent pressure. The full swipe of the blade should end with the tip of the knife at the bottom of the steel.

Repeat the same process on the other side of the blade. Alternating from one side to the other, make about 4 swipes on each side of the blade. This should be enough to remove any debris left from sharpening or straighten damaged edges. Clean the blade before using.

Remember that keeping your knives sharpened will make using them easier and more efficient. It is also safer to have a sharp knife than to have it dull when trying to use it. A dull knife often results in the blade slipping off items you are trying to cut, presenting more of a chance of causing an accidental cut.