Have you seen how beautifully and swiftly professional chefs cut veggies, fruits, and meat in their cooking shows? Of course, you would have noticed! Most of you must have tried to mimic their style to do your work a little bit faster but have failed! The secret of graceful and fast cutting does not only lie in the experienced hands of the professional chefs; chef’s knives also play a vital role in the job.
Cutting and slicing are two activities you do every day in your kitchen, and you have been using the same knife for both purposes. Isn’t it? Probably your answer is yes! However, that’s not the case with the Japanese. When it comes to food preparation, the Japanese are indeed perfectionists. They use many different kinds of knives to cut different types of food. If you want to attain the same precision, you should have at least one of the Japanese knives in your kitchen. There are several popular Japanese chef knives: Santoku, Gyuto, Nishiki, and Kaimuki. So, to help you choose the best one, here are a few things you need to consider when buying a knife.
Things to consider when buying a chef’s knife
When buying a knife, a sharp edge is the most sought-after feature to take into account. Sharpness makes cutting things easy and helps maintain the consistency of dishes prepared. Evenly diced meat, vegetables, and other ingredients take the same time to cook. Besides this, shape knives require less effort and move quickly, leading to fewer cuts and bleeds compared to blunt knives that take more pressure to chop.
Knives’ blades are made from various metals: alloy steel, tool steel, carbon steel, stainless steel, titanium, ceramic and more. A few high-end chef’s knives have blades made from carbon steel, which is sturdier and more robust but less durable; plus, it requires a ton of care.
However, most kitchen knives available in the market are made of stainless steel, which is easy to sharpen, durable, and strong. Therefore, it is advisable to always go for stainless steel knives as they are robust and maintain their edge and sheen better than their counterparts.
The handle is one of the essential features of a kitchen knife as it determines the user’s grip. It is not only designed to keep you safe but also improves your speed and accuracy while you work. Though wood is considered the best material for a handle as far as safety is concerned, it requires much care and is also more brittle. In contrast, plastic handles are more rigid and highly durable; they can be easily cleaned and are low in maintenance.
Chef’s knives come in a variety of sizes. While 8-inch chef’s knives are the most popular choice in every household because of their versatility, 6-inch knives offer an element of agility and fail when you need to cut more volume or when slicing through something large like pineapple or watermelon. In contrast, 10-inch longer blades are an ideal choice for cutting more volume.
Besides all these factors, you can also consider the origin of the knives. Among various knives, Gyuto Japanese knives are the most popular among chefs. This is because it is a multi-tasker knife good for slicing, chopping, and dicing boneless meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, and herbs. This is why it is also known as an all-rounder Japanese knife. Its blade is thinner, lighter, and sharper than most western chef’s knives, making it easier to use even for beginners. So if you are unsure which knife is best for you, go for these multi-purpose knives.