How to Choose The Perfect Chef’s Knife: The Most Important Tool of Your Kitchen
As a chef, nothing beats the joy of super speed cutting and seeing your chopping food material taking the right shape in front of your eyes. As game of thrones suggests, your sword or knife is like “your dancing partner.”
It’s difficult to know where to start when you are buying your perfect match knife. Here is our guide to help you choose yours:
Choosing the type
With so many types lurking around you definitely will feel difficult to find that multitasker, which will be able to do delicate work like deseeding peppers and coring tomatoes.
GYUTO OR SANTOKU
For straight chopping nothing beats santoku knives. For the rocking action experience go for Gyuto knives as it’s blade has a stronger curve. These are one of the best Japanese-style chef’s knife widely used. Well, having both the knives will help you to do variety of tasks. If your budget allows get both!
UTILITY / PETTY KNIFE
For your daily use and in cutting little thing a small utility knife is going to work great. These are great for Slicing small fruits such as apples and oranges. But the durability depends on the quality here.
The third kind of knife that you should look for is a heavy duty chopper. This sort saves your Japanese kitchen knives from serious damage from cutting bones and coconuts.
All the chefs out their need to cut bread at least once in their lifetime. A sharp serrated bread knife to cut bread loaves will help you to make your life a whole lot easier.
About the types of knives, the sky is the limit and all of them serve a purpose in the everyday kitchen. But these types would be a chef’s first choice if you ask me.
What to look for in a knife
If you are buying knives for the first time, then it might be sort of challenging to you on choosing the perfect knife. Most knives look very much alike which their different features. But if you look into weight, balance and size of the knives and buy knives according to your comfort, you might be a winner.
Weight of the knife: To figure out your ideal knife, you will be needing to try out several knives. Choose a knife that will be easy for you to lift and feels right for you. Then you should also keep an eye that the knife shouldn’t be too light for you as well.
Balance between the handle and blade : “Perfect balance” is in the palm of the beholder. By gripping the knife on its handle you will be able to judge the balance of a knife. If it seems weighted towards the back of the handle or towards the blade, then you probably should not hold that knife again. A balanced knife makes your work easy. The side balances are also very important.
Size contour and material of the handle: The 8-inch chef’s knives are the most popular among home cooks because of its versatility. Then again if you are looking for a knife with a longer blade that can cut more volume try the 10-inch. If you are looking for agility, then a 6-inch chef’s knife would be best for you. Then again this sorts of knives fall sort in slicing through something large like water melons or huge chicken meat. If you have smaller hands go for smaller knives.
Length of the blade: Before buying the knife test the blade size. It should not feel overly long or short for you. Generally, the knives come with blades that are between 15cm to 24cm. Choose a blade size that will be in your comfort zone. You don’t want any knife cuts now do you?
Next comes testing:
A knife that feels comfortable in your hand might feel clumsy to someone else. When you are searching for that perfect chef knife that will satisfy you with its size, shape and you definitely should look out that is the knife meeting your slicing, dicing, chopping, and mincing needs. It is a must to identify your personal preferences, and you should understand that everyone has their own knife preferences which there isn’t one knife that’s right for everyone. To find your ideal and best chef knife you may test the knives you chose.
- Mince chicken
- Cut peppers
- Dice an onion
- Slice potatoes
- Cut carrots into thin strips
- Carve a melon
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WESTERN AND JAPANESE KNIVES?
Both sort have variety of knives for handling different foods. Japanese knives are generally lighter, sharper and longer than the normal sort. It is famous for its thinner blade. But a Japanese-style chef’s knife is definitely not the best option for splitting a chicken or slicing through it. For going through meat German styles are the best.
ARE EXPENSIVE KNIVES NECESSARILY BETTER?
Not necessarily but then again great quality comes in a cost. As the knife’s cost depends on the material used to make it. So, it is better to pour some money to buy the best sort of knife as it is directly going to be in touch with food materials. Also, you do not have to expensive ones in that regard. Buy according to your needs and budget.
Some Cherry on the Top Tips
- Have an open mind while buying a knife. Try out a range of knives before finally crown your best dancing partner!
- Before buying a knife from a store ask if it is returnable if it feels dull or if you find it uncomfortable to cut with it.
- Check the quality of the steel.
- Ask how frequently you will be needing to sharpen the knives.
A kitchen without a knife is not a kitchen. So, explore your options until you find your perfect sort of knife. Get yourself to the store and explore cutting!