2022 is going to be the year we all take our extra time of home cooking to the next level. With many of us spending so much extra time at home, focusing on elevating our cooking skills has been a top priority.
Why not upgrade those basic pasta dishes to Michelin star-worthy creations? There is a reason that online cooking classes have absolutely boomed over the last two years. Learning everything from what kitchen tools to use to what type of techniques to master, everyone is taking their cooking more seriously these days.
If you have recently taken a cooking class and are feeling inspired to up your game in your kitchen, then you may be considering purchasing a chef’s knife.
As many Michelin Star chefs will say, a great chef’s knife can help you really take your cooking to the next level. Some even go as far as to argue that a quality cut from a premium knife can actually enhance flavours and make the food itself taste better.
So it’s simply common knowledge that we all need a good kitchen knife. But the real question comes down to figuring out what type of chef’s knife you need. While a good chef’s knife can do it all, there are many different styles to choose from.
For example, there are both Western-style chef knives and Asian-style chef’s knives. Both are used by professionals and both beloved by the culinary industry. The real question comes down to what style is best for you.
If you want your knife should be both practical and beautiful, then consider getting a quality German Chef’s knife.
To help you figure out if german chefs’ knives are for you and factors to consider when purchasing, we have created the ultimate guide for you to reference. First, let’s start with defining what a German chef’s knife actually is.
What Is a German Chef’s Knife?
Germany has long been a leader in the Western world for culinary techniques and tools. So it is no surprise they came up with a quality chef’s knife that is practical, efficient, and considered amongst the elite of chef knives in the world.
A German chef’s knife will have several unique qualities when compared to other chefs’ knives.
1. They Have Thick Blades
One of the most common traits for German chefs’ knives is the thickness of the blade and the bolster—which is the part between the blade and the handle. The attention to both of these details makes this knife sturdy to hold and efficient at cutting.
2. Made With Quality Material
Almost all German chefs’ knives will be made with the highest quality steel around. This is to ensure that the blade is protected from both chipping and rusting. But the steel is soft and kind like many Asian-style chefs’ knives too.
3. Wide Design in the Blade
These knives are made so that the blade actually has a rounded portion to it. This is to make the knife efficient at also helping collect and scoop the ingredients you have just chopped in one efficient motion. The wider the blade, the sturdier the cut will also be, making those bigger cuts much easier for you.
4. Sturdy and Reliable Handles
While the blade is one of the most important components of a knife, the handle should equally be given as much attention. And the German chef’s knives do just that. While the material of the handle varies, all have an ergonomic feature to ensure that the grip is sturdy and safety is upheld. The handle is often an overlooked feature on many knives, but the German chef’s knife makes having a quality handle a priority.
5. The Full Tang Blade
Another unique feature of the German chef’s knife is that the blade is a full tang. This means that the blade actually runs from the very tip of the handle all throughout the rest of the blade. In fact, the blade and handle are infused together and will never come apart. This not only enhances the balance of the knife but its durability of it as well.
The Best German Chef’s Knives To Use
Now, while German chef’s knives tend to all have the above five qualities, all are not created equal. They vary based on unique aesthetic design, cost, and who it is made for. To help you navigate which one you should be adding to your own knife collection, we have rounded up the best ones to use.
1. The One That Has a Long History
If you are wanting the real deal, then choose one that has a long legacy. Some German chef’s knives have been designed by the same family-run brands for over two centuries, meaning they have absolutely perfected the art of making quality knives.
Do some quick research online and see how many countries they supply their German chef’s knives too. If the answer is at least 80 countries, then you know you have found a premium one that is respected worldwide.
2. The One Made in Germany
If authenticity matters to you, then pick a German chef’s knife that has been made in Germany. In fact, the city that produces some of the best German knives is Solingen. The city itself is full of skilled artisans and companies that have a long history with traditional German chef’s knives.
But just because it is made in Germany does not mean it can not be part of an evolved collection. Some of the best knives get an upgrade yearly, meaning innovation always plays a role in creating this premium kitchen tool.
3. The One Built the Old School Way
While modern technology has helped with the efficiency of making German chef’s knives, some are still literally crafted the old-school way. These types of German chef’s knives are made with the actual hot-drop and hammer forge technique.
You will know instantly if the knife is made by hand, as the end result will surely stick out from the rest. Best of all, this type of knife is also designed for the active chef, meaning that it can be brought on a fishing or camping trip and come in handy for a variety of scenarios.
4. The One That Has 55 Steps To Make
Yes, you read that correctly. Some German chef’s knives have over 50 steps that are followed. This ranges from the sourcing of materials, the initial drop forage, and the inspection, packaging, and even labeling. The goal of the knife is to be able to cut meticulously. So it is no surprise that the knife itself is meticulously designed too.
The best part of this type of German chef’s knife is that it is completely suitable for all levels of the kitchen. Meaning whether you are just starting out to already being Master Chef level, this knife will quickly become your best friend in the kitchen.
5. The One That Is Affordable
Sometimes, the best option for you is the one that you can simply afford. Because a standard German chef’s knife is better than having no German chef’s knife at all, the one that is affordable is sometimes the best one. And while it may not have a complicated step-by-step process to make by hand—and likely is not manufactured in Germany—it will still look and perform like a German chef’s knife. They will still be super sharp, super reliable, and often even better than your serrated knife for cutting German bread.
So What One To Choose?
There is obviously a lot to consider when it comes to selecting the best German chef’s knife for your arsenal of kitchen tools. There are the ones that are made with traditions that date back hundreds of years. There are others that are made quickly and efficiently.
If you love a good story and appreciate the German innovation, then investing a bit more money in a German chef’s knife that is made from where the origin of the knife began is a great option. Not only will you have a trusted hand in the kitchen, but have a great story to tell when serving up dinner guests.
But if you are just starting out on your journey to becoming a reputable chef or simply wanting to elevate your home cooking skills, then it could be wiser to go with a more affordable option of German chef’s knives. That way you can get used to the design and feel of it. And if you really love it, upgrade it later on in your journey.
Ultimately, the decision comes down to you. There are many great brands that make German chef’s knives. We’ve listed five of the best features you should look for when considering which ones to get.
If you’re ready to buy your own knives, Banquist offers the best kitchenware, from chef-approved knives to dinner plates. Check out our incredible selection.
At the end of the day, any German chef’s knife is better than no German chef’s knife at all. You’ll love how much easier it will be to chop, slice and dice away in the kitchen. Which one will you be choosing for your kitchen arsenal?
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