While those big knife blocks seem to send the message that every kitchen needs a dozen knives, it's really not true. Invest in a good chef's knife and small paring knife and those can take care of almost all of your slicing and dicing needs.
There is one more knife, however, that is essential for cutting bread and tomatoes: the serrated knife.
While you can cut tomatoes with a chef's knife (in fact, knife sharpeners sometimes use tomatoes as a test), your blade has to be ultra-sharp to do a good job. Because tomatoes have thin skins but soft, delicate flesh underneath, anything less than sharp won't get through the skin easily. You probably also have to apply a lot of pressure, running the risk of crushing the tomato.
But a serrated knife with all the little teeth? Those teeth grab onto a tomato's thin skin and cut straight through rather than slipping off the side or squishing the tomato with unnecessary pressure.
Once you realize how much easier it is to cut tomatoes with a serrated knife, you'll never go back. Time to enjoy those perfect, evenly cut slices!
No Serrated Knife on Hand?
If you find yourself without serrated knife, simply "snip" the skin of the tomato with the sharp tip of our chef's knife to get some traction before slicing all the way through.