Pros:Great weight, balance, sharpness
Cons:A tad expensive, but worth it
If you're serious about cooking, you need good-quality knives. They might cost more than the ones you get at the grocery or the awful ones they sell on late night TV commercials, but hey ... you get what you pay for.
When I was in the professional culinary program at UCLA Extension, we had a knife expert as a guest-speaker during our class on knife skills. "Wanna know why Ginsu knives never need sharpening?" he asked. We didn't know. "'Cause when they get dull," said he, "you throw 'em away."
You don't throw away a Wusthof knife. In fact, with proper care, it'll serve you well for 20 or more years.
The best quality knives are forged, have a good weight and balance to them, and feel good in your hand. In fact, they should feel like an extension of your hand, and they should keep an edge that'll make your food preparation effortless. That's what these knives do. Keep your Wusthofs honed with the steel and use your sharpening stone when necessary, and you'll never get tired of chopping, cutting and slicing your way into fabulous meals.
Start with a chef's knife, 8 to 10 inches depending on your preference, then follow it up with a paring knife. You don't necessarily need to buy a whole set; they're all available separately, as is the storage block. You can always build up your collection of other knives -- tomato knife, different sized paring and chef's knives, carving knife, etc. -- as you need them and as your skills grow.
I swear by my Wusthofs.
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