How Do You Pick The First Chef Knife

How Do You Pick The First Chef Knife? Expert Advices

An ideal professional knife should be able to skillfully peel, cut any meat or fish. However, there isn’t a single knife that will suit everyone. 

How would you answer if someone asked you, “how do you pick the first chef knife?” Whatever you do, it may take some time to find your ideal gadget.

This guide will help simplify your purchase. When looking for the perfect chef’s knife, it is crucial to define your particular tastes and the following criteria.

How Do You Pick The First Chef Knife?

Chef in the kitchen cooking with vegetables
Chef in the kitchen cooking with vegetables

A professional chef knife must combine excellent blade properties, sharpness, and strength of the cutting edge. It also needs to provide power, resistance to chips, and a well-balanced, strong handle.

Tools differ in external features cost. In addition, there are fakes on the market that quickly become unusable. You should carefully inspect the knife before purchasing.

Weight

You’ll need to try a few different knives to get your perfect weight. 

A large blade slices through food more quickly because it “falls” with more force. 

On the other hand, a lighter chef’s gadget flows more easily and allows you to operate the blade more skillfully. 

In the end, go with the style that seems natural to you.

Size

Chef preparing a recipe
Chef preparing a recipe

Because of its flexibility, the 8-inch chef’s blade is the most popular among home chefs. The larger blade of a 10-inch cutter may cut more volume, but it might be daunting. 

A 6-inch chef’s blade has some agility. But, it falls short when working with volume or slicing through anything enormous, such as a watermelon.

Balance

Balance from side to side is also vital. By clutching the knife by the handle, you can determine its balance. 

It’s probably not for you if it feels uncomfortably weighted at the rear of the handle or toward the blade. You will have to work harder if your gadget is unbalanced. 

Blade

Variety of kitchen knives with black handle
Variety of kitchen knives with black handle
  • Steel 

The advantage of damask steel is its high strength. From it, you can make kitchen tools of various shapes. It will be possible to cut even frozen meat or fish.

  • Ceramic 

The ceramic chef’s blade is lighter and does not require regular sharpening. There are no pores where the minor pieces of products can get. 

However, it is fragile, can be damaged if dropped, and is not suitable for working with frozen food.

  • Glass or plastic

Glass or plastic options are more expensive. Professional chefs who give master classes and participate in culinary competitions love to use them. 

  • High-carbon stainless steel

Blades made of solid high-carbon stainless steel are one of the best. Professional chefs love to use these knives. 

Handle

Cleaver knife

It would help if you inspected the handle individually because the main factor in choosing is the personal convenience of the cook. They come from different materials. 

  • Steel handles are strong and hygienic. 
  • The wood looks beautiful and eco-friendly. 
  • Ceramic hygienic and slight in weight, but break easily.

You should not buy products with cheap plastic handles: they will slip in your hand, making them difficult to use.

Furthermore, there should be adequate space on the underside so that you don’t bash your knuckles when chopping. 

Bolster

The bolster, also called the collar, shoulder, or shank is the thick piece of metal that connects the blade and handle. The bolster may provide more strength and stability while also giving finger protection for your gripping hand. 

Some European-style forged knives have partial bolsters that don’t extend to the blade’s heel, while Japanese-style knives don’t have any.

Spine

It is the blade’s upper section, which usually has squared edges. 

Consider whether the edges are smooth and polished or harsh and rough, which might irritate your grasping hand. 

The spine should also taper towards the tip. It is challenging to deal with a thick end.

Edge

Male chef cutting fresh vegetables
Male chef cutting fresh vegetables

It is the bottom, sharpest part of the blade. The purpose of the cooking tool depends on its shape and structure. It is of three types:

  • Smooth edge: A universal type of blade, suitable for peeling, slicing the main types of fruits, meat, or fish filets.
  • Serrated edge: The blade perfectly cuts fresh bread and products with firm skin, soft inside.
  • Wavy edge: Sometimes, it comes with grooves along the blade, designed for delicate cutting, for cheeses and ham products.

The larger the knife, the longer its cutting edge. Using heavy equipment will require effort, so male cooks mostly prefer it. 

Take notice of the blade’s line as well. During chopping and mincing, a subtle curvature from the tip to the heel can assist the knife bounce back and forth smoothly.

The cutting edge can be single-sided (Japanese type) and double-sided sharpening (European style). The sharpness of the blade and the frequency of dressing depends on the selected material for the cooking.

Fastening

Fasteners hold the handle on the shank. You need to ensure that they do not protrude above the surface or form pits when choosing. 

They should not have any welding traces or gaps where dirt or food particles can clog. Before buying, you need to check that they are evenly recessed into the handle’s surface. 

What Knife Should I Buy First?

Here is a recommended list of knives you need to buy for the first time: 

European-Style Chef’s Knives

Messermeister Meridian Elite
Messermeister Meridian Elite

Multifunctional chef’s knives made in Europe have a hardness of up to 60 units. The blade can reach from 6 to 11 inches in length with a pointed tip. 

The gadget is well suited for layering, shredding, and cutting. It is capable of cooking meat, fish, and vegetable dishes.

German ones have a larger mass among the European knives, while French products are more balanced.

If you’re looking for your first kitchen gadget, consider the best options below:

Arcos Kiritsuke: 

  • The handle made of micarta fits perfectly in hand. 
  • A unique manual Silk Edge technology at 12 degrees sharpened the cutter. 
  • Forged German, molybdenum-vanadium steel – X45 Cr Mo V 15, gives the blade softness and flexibility. 
  • Its hardness is 54-56 HRC. 

Friedr. Dick Premier Plus: 

  • Well balanced and proportioned, sharp
  • It doesn’t take a tremendous deal of effort to move.
  • More widely known in commercial kitchens. 

Samura Mo-V SM-0094: 

  • The blade profile is AUS-8 stainless steel with 57-59 HRC hardness. 
  • Unique grooves in the form of goat’s feet above the cutting edge prevent the sticking of products. Wear-resistant G-10 handle metal anti-microbial bolster included.

Chef’sChoice Trizor Professional: 

  • It features a pleasant, nubbly-textured handle that is simple to hold and is markedly sharp with just the proper blade height.

Messermeister Meridian Elite: 

  • It’s sharp, fast, balanced, and precisely the correct weight.

Kiritsuke Henckels: 

  • 10-degree sharpening angle. 
  • Special steel with FRIODUR® cryo hardening produces the blade. Its hardness is up to 58 HRC. 
  • The blade is 7 inches long and has small notches at the cutting edge. 
  • The total length of the blade is 12,4 inches, and the butt is 0.08 inches and has a considerable weight of 8.7 ounces. 
  • Handle made of acetal resin (polyoxymethylene).

Japanese-Style Knives

Shigeharu Knife Nakiri Stainless
Shigeharu Knife Nakiri Stainless

A knife made in Japan fits well for cutting filets fish into thin slices, chopping vegetables, and crushing. 

Hardness varies from 58 to 61 HRC. The length of the three-layer blade is only 4-7 inches.

The cutting edge is more straightforward than that of the European variants. Notches along the blade prevent food from sticking. Weight is less than products from Europe.

The list below includes the top names recommended by experts:

Tojiro F-807: 

  • This blade, made of VG10 steel, provides a hardness that reaches 60 HRC. 
  • Plain curved cutting edge, sharpened on both sides, blade 7 inches long. 
  • Excellent blade balance and ergonomic stabilized wood handle, suitable for any grip.

Kershaw Shun Classic: 

  • This gadget is slim, sharp, well-balanced, and charming.
  • It possessed a feeling of solidity yet was light on its feet
  • Available in both left- and right-handed versions.

Calphalon Katana: 

  • This gadget featured a supple, very pleasant grip. 
  • The narrow blade cut well, but the absence of curvature made mincing and chopping less smooth.

Kai Shun Classic DM-0719: 

  • The kitchen gadget is made of Damascus steel – 69 layers, with a hardness of 61 HRC with metalcore VG-MAX. 
  • Product length – 343 mm, blade – 216 mm, butt – 2.4 mm. 
  • The weight of the cutter is 6 ounces.

Global: 

  • This slim knife features a tiny, sharp blade.
  • It’s incredibly light, weighing about a quarter of a pound less than heftier German-style knives. 

The video below will show you the variety of Japanese-style knives and teach you how to use each one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDNNG9doFe4 

What Is The Essential Knife For A Chef?

A girl is slicing vegetables
A girl is slicing vegetables

Just three knives are essential in a kitchen: a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife.

A Chef’s Knife

The most crucial knife in the kitchen is a chef’s knife. It features a wide blade between six and ten inches long and is mainly responsible for chopping. 

A paring knife

A paring knife has a blade two to four inches long. 

It’s ideal for delicate operations where a larger blade might get in. It’s easier to peel onions, core tomatoes, and cut vegetables with a paring knife.

A serrated knife

Serrated knives are best for items like hard-crusted bread or tomatoes, which have one texture on the surface and another on the inside. 

To reduce the quantity of sawing required, choose a longer serrated knife. When cutting with an offset serrated knife, you reduce the risk of striking your knuckles on the cutting board.

Conclusion

There are numerous inexpensive knives available, but you will get a collection of knives with poor balance and durability. The blades are cheap steel that will never be razor-sharp and will get dull soon. 

Even if you spend your money on one or two excellent knives, you will be considerably happier than buying a complete set of bad knives.

Hence, the question: “how do you pick the first chef knife” is legitimate and should be answered as soon as possible. 

We hope you’ve found your favorite gadget. Otherwise, quickly pick up one of our recommendations. Thanks for reading with bestgrillhub


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