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How to Pick a Chef's Knife


WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A KNIFE

Of all the kitchen equipment you'll ever own, nothing is more vital or more indispensable than a good knife. This is particularly true of a chef's knife, which thanks to its design is suitable for a broad range of tasks, from chopping vegetables to slicing fish, and breaking down chickens to mincing garlic or ginger.

If you’re wondering how to choose a chef knife, there are numerous factors to consider, such as weight, sharpness, material and balance. It’s also worth examining what cooking style you’re using the knife for.

For every job there’s a perfect tool, and a chef is only as sharp as their knife. 

A knife is the simplest of utensils and yet, the deeper you look the more choice there is: Your budget? Your favorite cuisine? What is important to you? Which style, material or size is best?

 

Let us take you to understand how to buy an excellent chef's knife

Stamped vs Forged

Knives are made by 2 basic methods- stamped or forged- which is important to know because it's the primary factor in any knife's cost.

 

Stamped knives are usually entirely machine made and often inferior to forged. But there are some excellent versions available that boast high quality materials, full tangs, and well designed blades that hold a great edge. They can even be hand polished and honed, and feature quality, riveted handles, but this will effect cost.

 

Forged knives are made by heating or even melting metal until it can be reshaped (or molded) into a blade. Forging requires either the skill of an expert craftsperson or highly specialized and automated machinery (and frequently it takes both) to yield a finished blade. A forged knife is often better performing, made of premium materials, and easier to use. They are heavier than stamped blades, but because they are well-balanced, they don't feel heavier. Also, because the entire blade can be shaped to support the edge, it should hold an edge longer. Many forged knives are like heirlooms, if you take proper care of them, they will outlast the cook!  

 

 

Blade Material

 

Stainless steel

A common household material: It’s probably in your kitchen drawer at home. This is a relatively inexpensive metal and is rust-resistant, though the blade dulls easily and can be difficult to sharpen.

 

High-carbon steel

Pricier than standard stainless steel, high-carbon steel blades are robust and maintain their edge and sheen better than their cheaper counterparts.

 

Titanium

These blades can be effectively sharp, relatively light and comfortable to use. However, their flexibility means they’re not ideal for cutting dense or hard materials.

 

Ceramic

A knife with a ceramic blade will maintain its sharpness for a long time. And a well-made one is beautifully precise. However, they lack the weight and thick heel of other knives and are more fragile than high-end metals. While not quite versatile, a good ceramic knife is an effective weapon in the chef’s arsenal.

 

 

Handle

 

A good handle is one that feels comfortable and ­secure to you. You shouldn’t have to strain to hold onto it, and it shouldn’t feel slippery when wet. There should be enough clearance on its underside that you don’t bang your knuckles as you chop (the height of the blade affects this). Some knives’ handles have molds or indentations to facilitate grip. These work for some people. For ­others they force an unnatural grip and make the knife hard to hold at awkward angles, such as when butterflying a chicken breast or carving a melon.

 

 

Weight

 

You’ll need to try several knives to find your ideal knife weight. One school of thought believes a hefty chef’s knife cuts through foods easier because it “falls” with more force. Another thinks a lighter chef’s knife flows more freely and lets you maneuver the knife more skillfully. Bottom line: Choose the style that feels right to you.

 

Balance

“Perfect balance” is in the palm of the beholder. Judge balance by gripping the knife by its handle. If it feels uncomfortably weighted toward the back of the handle or toward the blade, then it probably isn’t for you. An unbalanced knife will make you work harder. Side-to-side balance is also important. When you come down on the blade, the knife shouldn’t feel unstable, as if it wants to teeter toward one side or the other.

 

Size

An 8-inch chef’s knife is the most popular among home cooks because of its versatility. A 10-incher’s longer blade can cut more volume but may feel intimidating. A 6-inch chef’s knife can offer an element of agility, like that of a paring knife, but falls short when working with volume or when slicing through something large, like a watermelon.

 

Choosing a chef’s knife is simple when you keep these few tips in mind. For more information, contact us.