The 10 Best Knife Rolls
10. Wusthof Cordura
9. Shun 8-Slot
8. Winco 10 Compartment
7. Ergo Chef 5 Pocket
6. Becken Leather Co.
5. Victorinox 13 Black
4. Boldric Black Canvas
3. Everpride Chef's Storage Bag
2. Noble Home & Chef Elite
1. Messermeister 8-Pocket Padded
Why You Need A Knife Roll
A good set of knives is at the top of the list of essential tools every chef needs, but it's also one of the clunkiest and most difficult to carry around. The cooking novice might wonder why one needs a knife roll and they cannot just stack their knives in a box or briefcase. Quality knives can do a lot of damage to one another if they are just thrown into a case, which is why a knife roll, offering separate and secured compartments for each knife, is essential.
Experienced chefs know the importance of a good knife when it comes to almost every element of food from the presentation to consistent cooking, and they cannot count on new and unknown kitchens to have the knives they need. Chefs who need complete control over their cooking environment also like the fact that knife rolls usually have storage compartments for other tools, like zesters and sharpeners, so they don't have to go anywhere without their most trusted accessories.
Knife rolls are made with the properties of good knives in mind. They are constructed of fabric that keeps dust and moisture off of the knives, and have dedicated compartments for the most common sizes and styles of knives to hold them securely in place. Once a chef gets to their destination, they can simply spread out their knife roll and see all of their knives and tools organized in front of them.
Some kitchens might not have space to store an additional set of knives, and some chefs may just prefer not to leave their knives at work where other chefs may potentially damage them. Knife rolls are the ideal way for a chef to transport their knives and other tools to and from work everyday, without having to lug a big and heavy hard case.
The Different Knives And Their Uses
Some knife sets come with as many as 14 knives and other tools, and each one serves its own specific purpose. Familiarizing oneself with each knife can make cooking go faster and help them make food more beautiful. First, there is the chef's knife, which is one of the largest knives in any set. It has a smooth and ultra sharp blade because it's meant to be used to perform a high volume of prep work like chopping carrots, mincing garlic and dicing tomatoes.
Then there is the bread knife, which will usually have a very long blade that is only about an inch wide, and has a serrated edge. The serrated edge is good for breaking through tough surfaces, like the hard crust of a baguette. This allows the chef to apply less pressure when slicing bread, which is important because applying too much pressure would smash the bread and ruin its shape. Serrated edges are ideal for cutting through any other food with a tough exterior and a soft interior.
Onto the elegant slicing/carving knife. Used to slice cooked meats, it has an extra long blade to allow for cleaner cuts. One should never try to chop anything with a slicing knife; it has a rather thin blade, and putting too much pressure on it can damage it. There are a few essential tricks to cutting raw meat, but no matter the method, one needs a sharp knife. If cutting through meat with bones in it, a cleaver is a must have. These knives rely on their weight to break through the stubborn texture of raw meat and bones.
Cutting Styles Every Chef Should Know
One of the first things beginner chefs will learn in culinary school is basic cutting styles. Most people are already familiar with slicing, but there are a few techniques that can really improve presentation like the julienne. When a vegetable is julienned it is cut into long thin strips. Many recognize the term from recipes like julienne fries, which are long and thinly cut potatoes but there are several theories on where the term comes from. The julienne technique is very popular for making spaghetti squash, but in cases where the ribbons need to be very narrow; a mandoline can make the process go much quicker.
Dicing is another useful cutting style often used on onions. When dicing a vegetable, it should end up in small cube-like pieces. Diced vegetables add texture to food, and they also cook faster than chopped or sliced ones because they're small and have a large surface area to size ration so they take in heat quicker.
When one wants the flavor of a vegetable but wants its texture to be almost unnoticeable, they mince it. Mincing is the technique of cutting something into the smallest pieces possible. It's common to mince garlic, because people usually want to capture this item's taste, without leaving any noticeable chunks of it in the food. Leafy vegetables like butter lettuce can be too wide to slice, which is why one uses the chiffonade technique. In order to chiffonade something, like basil, the chef must first roll it up and then cut it.