The ham knife is an indispensable tool in any Spanish kitchen, just like the paella pan. Its use is essential for slicing a perfect slice of ham. If you have doubts and don't know how to choose a good ham knife, just follow the advice of Enrique Tomás! Make sure it's good to avoid spoiling the ham!
We will also provide you with recommendations on How to start carving a ham shoulder-Paleta?
How to Choose the Best Ham Knife
The first thing you need to consider is that when it comes to slicing ham, you need a ham knife, as well as some tongs, a knife to open the ham and remove the rind, and a sharpening steel. Of course, don't forget the sharpener that will help you keep the blades in good condition and the ham holder, where you place the ham for slicing.
All three knives need to be very sharp, and while the ham knife needs to be specific, the other two knives in the knife set don't necessarily have to be. For removing the rind, you can use any knife you have in the kitchen, as long as it has a wider blade. And for taking the meat around the bone, any knife with a narrow, short, and pointed blade will do, so look for ones with these characteristics among your collection!
The sharpening steel is the tool that allows you to keep the ham knife perfectly sharp. So, if you don't have one, we recommend getting one. At Enrique Tomás, we offer an ham knife and sharpening steel set that's both economical and practical.
Regarding the tongs, it's worth noting that their function is more important than it seems. While you can grab slices with your hands as long as you follow safety and hygiene measures, using tongs will prevent you from losing the fat from the ham, which can happen if you press each slice with your hands.
Decisive Factors for Choosing a Good Ham Knife
The most important tool for slicing ham is the ham knife. Let's go through the factors you need to pay attention to when choosing the right one and making a good purchasing decision.
Ham knives are longer than regular knives, so look for one with a long, narrow, and flexible blade.
Most knives are made of stainless steel, a good-quality, flexible, and corrosion-resistant material. However, the knife handles can be made of stainless steel, wood, or plastic. It depends on your preferences and needs to choose one type or another.
Knife tips can be rounded or pointed, and while the rounded tip is less dangerous, it's more common to find knives with a pointed tip. However, this doesn't affect the slicing process.
The blades of ham knives can be smooth or serrated, meaning they have small waves. These waves help separate the slices from the knife, but since we already have tongs that assist in this task, there's no need to buy a serrated knife.
This is the cover that's applied to the knife blade, and while it's not a necessary element, it will allow you to safely store your knife without the fear of cutting yourself. If you've chosen a drawer as the storage spot for your ham knife, where you also keep other utensils, this Teflon coating becomes even more important than it seems.
On one hand, it guarantees you won't cut yourself when grabbing the knife, and on the other hand, it ensures that the blade of your knife won't get scratched when it comes into contact with other cutlery.
Surprisingly, machine-sliced ham slices aren't the same as those sliced by hand, and to ensure that your hand-sliced slices are perfect, it's important to have good tools. That's why knowing how to choose a good ham knife is so important.
How to Start Slicing Ham
The essence of enjoying good ham lies not only in the fact that it's a well-cured and high-quality product but also in the slicing. Properly slicing ham is essential to get the most out of it and reveal the authenticity of its flavor.
In the video below, you'll find the key steps to start slicing ham, step by step.
Once you've chosen a good ham knife and know how to slice, you'll be able to prepare your plates of Iberian ham with slices of the perfect thickness, neither too thin nor too thick. You'll taste all the nuances of the Iberian ham in your mouth while the fat melts on your palate, creating an incredible sensation. Enjoy it!
Finally, also discover how to properly arrange ham on a plate to ensure a perfect presentation.
However, if slicing isn't your thing and you prefer to get pre-sliced ham conveniently, at Enrique Tomás, we offer ham slicing services and various sliced ham packs. Check out our online store and explore them.