Registry Redux: Cutlery Essentials

Slice through life with these tips on what to register for

Grab a hold on which knives you should have in your kitchen.

Yay, you’re engaged! Now what?

You’re about to start a life with someone, and that life requires an immense amount of equipment — the tools of living! These can include things for the bedroom, the bathroom, and the living room, but most importantly, you'll need tools for the kitchen.

How do you go about choosing the right pots, the perfect pans, and the sharpest knives? We have you covered. All week long we’ll be bringing you tips of the trade on what’s hot in the kitchen (excuse the pun) and what the necessities are for making meals for your family, your friends, your spouse, and hosting parties that will be remembered for a long time to come.

Up today? Cutlery! Let’s sharpen your skills (we’re really original with the jokes) and get you prepped for all the knives that will shape your meals.

If Jeffrey Elliot, author of the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Complete Book of Knife Skills, knows anything, it’s about knife skills, and he’s giving us the scoop.

Cutlery Essentials:

What kind of kitchen cutlery do I need?

You’re going to need some kitchen knives. The best knives are made in Germany and Japan, and will last you through a lifetime of use. You should go to a store that allows you to hold and even try cutting with the knives, like a great independent cook shop, or a store like Sur La Table or Williams-Sonoma. Try a bunch of knives; the one that feels good in your hand is the one that is right for you.

Zwilling makes a knife, called Zwilling Pro that has an ergonomic bolster, which is the place where you hold the knife. That is a great introductory kitchen knife because it is comfortable and easy to use.

Do I need to get one of those 12-piece knife blocks?

You’ll find use for everything in a 12-piece block, but you should know that three of the pieces are the block, the steel, and a set of kitchen shears, so you’ll end up with nine knives. Try this set.

Which are the knives that I really need?

The most important knives to own are a chef’s knife (or its interchangeable cousin the santoku), a paring knife, and a bread knife.

• The chef’s knife (or santoku) is the workhorse of the kitchen; 90 percent of what you do you can do with this knife. Get one that is at least 8 inches long.

• The paring knife is a miniature version of a chef’s knife. Use your chef’s knife for big things and your paring knife for small things like hulling strawberries or dicing shallots.

• The bread knife is a serrated knife for cutting things that are hard on the outside and soft on the outside, like crusty bread (not tomatoes).