Whether you’re a self-proclaimed kitchen expert or you’re still learning to cook, the best chef’s knives can completely elevate your cooking experience. Due to its versatility, it is one of the most important kitchen utensils to have on hand. From chopping, slicing, dicing and mincing, the best chef’s knives can help you prepare your favorite recipes with greater ease and control.
“There are so many different knives out there for all types of cutting needs, but the workhorse of any chef’s knife kit is their chef’s knife. It’s the most important knife to spend some money on. extra, » says chef Chris Curren, executive chef at The ordinary graceful in St. Charles, Illinois.
The two types of chef’s knives
There are two types of chef’s knives: a full tang and a hidden tang, as Geoff Feder, owner of Feder knives, says SELF. A full tang knife (top left) is heavier because the metal of the blade extends to the handle where it is sandwiched between two pieces of plastic (or whatever material the knife handle is made of ). With a hidden tang knife (top right), the metal extends only partially (if at all) into the handle, making the knife lighter.
The two steels of chef’s knives
The blade is usually made from one of two different types of steel: stainless steel or carbon steel. Feder explains that carbon steel performs better, but is delicate, so it’s more susceptible to rust and damage. In contrast, stainless steel is easier to maintain, but the quality is not as high.
How often should you sharpen your chef’s knife?
You should plan to sharpen your knife about two or three times a year, either on your own or with a sharpening tool. « Having a sharp knife on a whetstone is essential once you’ve purchased a nice new chef’s knife, » said chef Olivia McCoy, head chef at Daily chew in Atlanta, says SELF. She shares that you can easily learn how to use a whetstone (or whetstone) through online tutorials, or you can find someone locally who can sharpen your knives for you. Feder recommends using a two-sided waterstone or having it professionally sharpened at your local hardware store. If you sharpen your knife regularly, it will take less time overall to keep the edge sharp. « If you wait until he’s super dull, it’s much harder to bring him back, » says Feder. « [That’s] one of the reasons why most people have dull knives. Knife sharpening is a skill in itself, so generally it’s easier (especially for novice chefs) to have it sharpened by a professional. In the end, it will cost you less to maintain it than to buy a brand new knife.
Need to sharpen your chef’s knife every week?
You know those long metal rods that always come in knife boxes? It’s a honing tool called steel, says Feder. While honing removes the steel from the knife to create a new cutting edge, honing realigns the wire in the edge of the blade to keep it working. You should do this at least once a week, but you can do it as often as you want.
When using it, Feder says you shouldn’t just rub it up and down along the edge of your knife, it will do more harm than good. Instead, gently apply pressure to your knife as you run the edge against the sharpening tool at a 20 degree angle (you can watch a demonstration of the technique here). Go slow and repeat on both sides of the knife until you have honed the length of the blade.
How to choose the best chef’s knife
When it comes to choosing the best chef’s knife, chef Sieger Bayer, former executive chef of And your in Los Angeles stocks you need to keep two things in mind: price and maintenance.
For example, if you want something that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, choose a chef’s knife that doesn’t need to be sharpened too often. Those who want easier cleaning can opt for a knife that can be thrown in the dishwasher (instead of having to be washed by hand). However, be aware that some high water pressures and detergents can dull the edge and loosen the handle. Feder recommends washing your hands only and not letting it stay wet for too long to prevent the blade from rusting.