Kitchen Knife cutting a tomato

As you’re cooking more at home, upgrading your knives might be on your mind. We asked cookbook authors and culinary experts about finding the best one for your kitchen.

Despite large, alluring knife block sets on the market, truly upgrading your cooking game is less about quantity and more about quality. Ask any culinary pro and they will likely have the same advice: A few quality knives are all any chef needs to more than cover their bases in the kitchen. “Knives are a chef’s best friend and the most essential tool in every kitchen. You’ll pick one up literally every time you cook,” says chef Dennis Prescott, co-host of Restaurants on the Edge and author of “Eat Delicious: 125 Recipes for Your Daily Dose of Awesome.” “For most households,” Prescott said, the three knives that will “do the trick” are a chef’s knife, a paring knife and a serrated knife. “Do I have more shapes and sizes of knives in my kit? Yes. Do I need more than these three? Not really.”

But just as essential as narrowing down the right type of knives for you in the sea of gadgets and accessories, is how you care for them once you start cooking. “The most important thing about knives, no matter the kind, is to keep them sharp,” says celebrity chef David Burke. “To keep them sharp, hand wash and dry them – don’t put them in the dishwasher, which can dull blades and destroy handles – and then store properly in a knife drawer, block or on a magnetic wall strip.”

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