Select one of the keywords
Knife Skills    by Bill Collins order for
Knife Skills
by Bill Collins
Order:  USA  Can
Storey, 2014 (2014)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Knife Skills: An Illustrated Kitchen Guide to Using the Right Knife the Right Way by Bill Collins may barely be 100 pages in length, but it contains some essential information on purchasing, using and caring for knives.

Given the high cost of a good kitchen knife, the author devotes the first two chapters of this handy little book to how to correctly use various kitchen knives (Chef's knife, paring knife, utility knife, etc.) and what one should consider (such as comfort and balance) when making a purchase.

With the appearance of ceramic knives in many outlets, you'll want to read about the shortcomings of these cutting utensils. Although they can be useful and cut with more precision than other knives, the ceramic knife tends to be brittle and can quickly lose its sharpness. The blade is also prone to breaking under what would be normal usage, according to Collins.

Specific brands are mentioned and also retailers as well as pricing. If you are going to spend a goodly amount of money on a kitchen tool like a quality knife, you need to consider a number of variables.

Once you have made your knife purchase, the next thing you need to know is how to care for the knife and use it without injuring yourself. You'll discover tips on washing, storing and sharpening as well as safe usage techniques. There's a section on cutting boards too.

There's also a chapter devoted to kitchen cutting tools like peelers, scissors, graters, zesters and mandolins and similar devices.

Finally, the last chapter focuses on specific cutting/carving tasks such as how to carve a turkey correctly, peel shrimp and cut other items like meat or fruits. You'll find a few recipes here too.

Small enough to fit easily in a kitchen drawer, Knife Skills is well illustrated with many drawings and contains a lot of very useful information that will make knife use in food preparation not only easier but also safer.

I thought I knew all I had to know about kitchen knives, but Bill Collins showed me there were some important gaps in that knowledge. This would be an ideal book to give to someone to whom you are also planning to give an expensive knife or two. You might also wish to consult it yourself before making a major and pricy purchase.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews