Last week, I had an amazing day with the ZWILLING J.A. Henckels and Staub product knowledge team learning about Henckels knives at the beautiful Miele Experience Centre in Vaughan ahead of the big Henckels Sale at Kitchen Stuff Plus.
Along with the Kitchen Stuff Plus team, we saw close-up product demonstrations by five chefs and a Henckels manager — all while preparing our own delicious lunch using Henckels knives!
My favourite part was learning some food prep secrets from the chefs while trying out the different knives and cookware. I was on the team that made Tomato Bruschetta and Grilled Ratatouille Crostini and I very quickly realized that having the right knife, sharpened, could easily save me about 20 minutes a meal!
Here are some of the insider tips and tricks that I learned:
Pro tip #1 – The knives you ~really~ need
The three most useful knives in any kitchen are a paring knife, a chef’s knife (can be a 6, 10, or 12 inch blade), and a bread knife.
Pro tip #2 – Sharpening matters
Buy the finest sharpener and sharpen your knives often. This way, your Henckels knives are always in top condition and you don’t need to move to a course sharpener!
Pro tip #3 – Forged vs. stamped knives
Henckels knives are available in forged or stamped options. A forged knife is heated and shaped out of one piece of steel, whereas a stamped knife is cut out of a piece of steel and attached to a handle.
Forged knives are heavier, thicker, and more durable and are the choice of people who cook a lot. Stamped knives are thinner and typically have a lower price point. Both knives work very well – it’s a matter of preference and affordability.
Pro tip #4 – The best way to hold your knife
To hold a knife, pinch it with your thumb and pointer finger at the bolster, the junction where the blade meets the handle. If you keep your pointer finger on top of the blade, the knife may get warped and won’t cut as evenly. Wrap your other fingers around the bottom of the handle.
Pro tip #5 – Let the knife do the cooking!
Sharp knives, and the right knife for the right job, can make cooking so much more pleasant and efficient. We also learned about the Henckels Miyabi line of Japanese knives, the blades of which are thinner and allow for more precise cuts in preparing items like sushi and delicate fish.
Pro tip #6 – Know your knife’s power
Use a rocking motion when using a knife, versus lifting it off the cutting board and banging it back down. The power of a knife is in the bottom half, near the tip.
Pro tip #7 – Easier ways to chop veggies
When chopping vegetables, think in terms of stages: cut into small pieces, then cut those pieces into even smaller pieces until you reach the desired sizes. Chop your vegetables down to a size that feels comfortable for you to bite into – let that be your guide!
Pro tip #8 – Tricks for avoiding dull blades
To avoid dulling a knife’s blade, flip the knife around and use the other side for scraping food items into a pot or container.
Pro tip #9 – Year-round grilling anyone?
The Staub cast iron pans, that come in beautiful dark, rich shades, are ideal for grilling food because they can be heated to high temperatures and brushed with a minimal amount of oil. It’s like having an indoor barbecue!
Pro tip #10 – A unique gift made to last
Cookware and knives are thoughtful gifts for the cooks in your life. Here are some items that I would love to get for the upcoming holidays (hint to my husband and friends):
The newly launched ZWILLING NOW S 6-piece knife block set comes in three fun colours: Granada, Blueberry, or Lime colours; you can also buy any of the knives separately.
The Henckels Pro Bread Knife with the special Zwilling 15 edge is designed to cut through bread more precisely and effortlessly.
The rocking Santoku knife, with a straighter blade and a lower tip, is the standard in preparing Asian cuisine. It’s akin to the Chef’s knife in Western cooking.
I hope you find these tips helpful in making meal preparation go faster and smoother! Check out your local Kitchen Stuff Plus and the online site for promotional pricing on Henckels knives, now through April 22, and get your shopping done early.
How do you #cookwithZWILLING?
We’d love to see how you #cookwithZWILLING! Share with us on Instagram @KSPStuff!
Want to start your Henckels collection? Head over to one of our locations or shop online during our semi-annual ZWILLING J.A. Henckels sale.