If you are wanting to up your game in the kitchen, there are a variety of things you can do.
You can start by signing up for a cooking class where you will be able to learn the basic techniques used in a variety of recipes and practice using essential kitchen tools like chef’s knives.
When you ask and research what the Michelin star chefs of the world do to take their cooking to the next level, they will often give similar advice around how quality is key. And that goes for the cutlery you use, too. High-quality stainless steel knives make all the difference when you're aiming for more effective cooking.
You don’t need to purchase the most expensive knife block set to excel in the kitchen. All you need is one good chef’s knife. This knife is your go-to for cubing vegetables, dicing chicken breasts, mincing garlic, chopping up fresh herbs like basil and parsley, and much more. Whether you want to learn how to cook online or experiment with more challenging recipes, Upgrading this one knife always leads to a better culinary experience.
Where do you start when it comes to choosing the best chef’s knife for you? Not only are there different styles of chef’s knives, but each person will likely work better with a different style depending on their physical build and strength, culinary training, and items that they normally cut. From knives with softer steel to hard steel blades and everything in between, there are plenty of options, and your comfort level with your knife depends on how well it fits you and your cooking style.
We get that purchasing a chef’s knife can feel overwhelming. That's why we looked to the experts to give us the slice on all things chef’s knives and learn what are the ones that they themselves really can not live without.
Here are 10 of the best ones that the experts swear by and for you to try!
1. The One With a Bespoke Blade
When talking to the experts, they agree that while purchasing the most expensive high-carbon stainless steel blade knife is not always necessary, there are some that are simply too fabulous to not splurge on. So the best to go when looking to splash out on a high-quality chef’s knife is to get one that has a bespoke blade.
This means that it is handcrafted by a local knife maker who has perfected their skills for decades. These knives tend to get better with time and give you the chance to support local businesses as well. Purchasing a stainless-steel blade that a local craftsman created also gets you a one-of-a-kind piece of cutlery that no one else has.
You can easily source a chef’s knife with a bespoke blade right here in London, too. Towns like Derbyshire and Peckham are known to have some of the best in the business forging bespoke knives right in the heart of the area. This also means that you can take a trip out to see for yourself, test out your blade and come back home with both a great chef’s knife and an amazing story to tell.
2. The One That Will Not Break the Bank
Even the best chefs in the world are on budgets too. It is not always necessary to buy the most expensive knife. In fact, many of the more elite chef’s knives do not have as long of life because of how fragile and delicate they are. So instead, you can look to get a chef’s knife that is literally a quarter of the price and get very similar results.
If you scroll through Amazon for a few minutes, you'll find plenty of knives with high price tags. From specialty German knives with thicker blades and harder steel to Japanese knives with unique wooden handles, high-end chef's knives are fascinating. They're also expensive, which makes them an excellent choice for seasoned chefs but not our top pick for kitchen novices.
While it might sound crazy, some of the elite chefs of the world say they've used the cheaper chef’s knives for years despite working in a luxurious steakhouse. This is great news for all home cooks, meaning that they too can afford the same chef’s knives used by the best in the industry to slice sirloins, onions, herbs, and so on.
Ultimately, picking the right knife for you is a matter of personal preference, not the price tag. While cutting edge (pun intended) blades that cost hundreds of dollars might entice you, there's no need to break the bank for them. This is especially true when you're just starting out as a cok.
3. The High Carbon Steel One
While having a high-carbon steel chef’s knife means that you must give it immaculate care to prolong its life, it certainly is an amazing one to have in your kitchen toolbox. Known to provide an incredibly sturdy grip and insanely efficient cut, these knives can easily cut through just about anything. For many chefs in the business, they have splurged out on a high carbon steel chef’s knife and used it throughout their career—calling it one of their most prized possessions.
4. The Thick Bladed One
Some of the best chef’s knives come with up to a thick eight-inch blade that is razor-sharp and extremely durable. Able to slice through even the stickiest of foods, this type of knife is especially beloved by sushi chefs and newbies alike. With the promise of not having any corrosion, this thick-bladed chef’s knife is equally lightweight, making it feel effortless to use when chopping away in the kitchen.
5. The Santoku One
As we mentioned earlier, there are many different types of chef’s knives, with the main difference coming down to whether it is a Japanese santoku knife or a Western-style knife. The Santoku chef’s knife was designed hundreds of years ago to be an all-purpose knife for the average household.
Nowadays, there are santoku specialists who have spent their entire lives training to design and build these types of chef’s knives. The style of this chef’s knife has no actual tip on the blade and the knife is simply one solid piece. Offering the perfect combination of thickness and sharpness, the Santoku chef’s knife is something many chefs around the world covet for.
6. The One for Beginners
Even well-groomed chefs need to go back to basics sometimes. There is nothing wrong with using an entry-level chef’s knife for your work in the kitchen. In fact, many of the best chefs will continue to use their beginner-level chef’s knives years later.
The reason being is that this type of chef’s knife is so incredibly easy to use, feels extremely lightweight when gripping it, and is simple to maneuver. The beginner ones are designed to do all cutting tasks and requirements, while often also giving buyers a lifetime guarantee. No wonder they can literally last a chef’s entire career!
7. The One With an Ergonomic Handle
The performance of a chef’s knife is not solely on the blade itself. The style and design of the handle are equally important. This is because the way you grip a chef’s knife will determine the accuracy and ease of a cut.
That is why the experts will always go for a chef’s knife that has an ergonomic handle and one that fits their hands with ease. You know you have the best chef’s knife when you can pick it up, hold it and control it with ease.
8. The One That Follows Tradition
Experts in the culinary industry have a huge amount of respect for the traditions that helped the culinary world evolve over time. So when it comes to the traditions of both Western and Asian style knives, experts say that the best chef’s knives are the ones that uphold these old-school traditions.
Some of the best knives have anywhere from 50 to 100 steps that a knife maker follows, with everything from the initial cut of the steel to how the knife is packaged up. The chef’s knives that uphold a long line of history and tradition are ones that many chefs can simply not live without.
9. The One That Combines Both Styles
While there are two different types of styles for chef’s knives, experts have quickly fallen in love with the chef’s knife that figured out how to combine both styles into one. This was done by using a thicker steel blade that is often found in Western-style knives but is made using the technique done for Japanese chef’s knives.
The result is a chef’s knife that requires little effort in any and all cutting tasks. And the price point is more affordable than one might expect. Why pick one style over the other when you can literally have the best of both worlds in every slice you take?
10. The One that Cuts with Precision
Some of the pricier chef’s knives that the experts can not live without are the ones that chop, slice, and dice to the most absolute precision. This means that literally every cut is identical and you can even avoid feeling your eyes water when cutting through an onion. It also means slicing through tomatoes and other veggies like they're made from melted butter.
The experts love this type of chef’s knife because it can allow them to master recipes that call for extremely accurate and precise cuts, such as sushi or ceviche. But because this chef’s knife is so sharp and delicate, you will want to take it in to be sharpened by an expert rather than try to do it yourself.
As you can see, there are many types of chef’s knives that the experts simply can not rave about enough. But picking the right chef’s knife for you is something that boils down to being a very personal decision.
Each chef has a different skill set, strength, and handgrip. For all these reasons, picking a chef’s knife that you can not live without will take a bit of time. Luckily, many of the best brands of chef’s knives offer test runs and have return policies so you can give it a few runs before committing full-term.
Banquist offers the best kitchenware, from chef-approved knives to dinner plates. Play around for a bit and give yourself time to fall in love with the chef’s knife that is right for you.
Best Chef's Knives 2020 | The Strategist
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