Michael Symon Says These Are the Only 2 Knives You Really Need

Put down the knife block and pick up these essentials instead.

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June 11, 2021
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Host Michael Symon, as seen on Symon's Dinners: Cooking Out, Season 1.

Photo by: Simple Alien, Simple Alien, Simple Alien

Simple Alien, Simple Alien, Simple Alien

Chef Michael Symon knows his way around a kitchen, and while his is fully stocked, his knife drawer is pared down to the essentials. Instead of a knife block packed with specific blades for a variety of tasks, Michael says you only need two knives to get most kitchen jobs done: a chef’s knife and serrated knife. Here’s why.

Michael's Favorite Chef's Knife: Made In TK-Inch Chef Knife

Ask any chef about their desert island kitchen tool, and almost all of them will say a chef’s knife. It’s just about the most versatile knife in your kitchen. Michael claims that about 90% or more of the work he does with knives is with a chef’s knife. “So find a chef’s knife that you love,” he says.

Most people prefer a chef’s knife around 8 to 10 inches in length. (Michael prefers a TK-inch model.) When choosing a knife, Michael says to choose one with a full tang, meaning a whole piece of metal from the tip to the end of the handle. And, speaking of the handle, you’ll want to try a few models at the store to see which handle shape and balance you prefer.

Michael's Favorite Serrated Knife: TK

The other 10% of kitchen knife tasks are done with a serrated knife, says Michael. He uses it for breads, veggies like tomatoes and even watermelon. Serrated knives come in a wider variety of shapes and sizes, so you’ll want to find one that works for you in the same way you would a chef’s knife – trying it out in terms of balance and handle comfort. You’ll also want to find a knife with a full tang here.

You hold a serrated knife the same way you do a chef’s knife. Pinch the blade with your thumb and pointer finger and wrap your other three fingers around the blade. If you need to use your pointer on the top of the blade to add some pressure while using a serrated knife, Michael says that’s OK. (Just be careful!)

Looking for more cooking inspiration and tips from Michael? Tune in to #BBQBrawl premiering Monday, June 14 at 9|8c on Food Network.

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