One of the most important tools in the kitchen is the knife- the chef's knife to be exact. A chef's knife can do almost about anything that involves cutting, chopping, mincing, dicing, slicing, and so on and so forth.
The bottom line is that you should own a chef's knife, period- whether you are an amateur or professional
So, what are the qualities a chef's knife should have? What are the things you should look out for? Well, here are a few tips in choosing a chef's knife- your chef's knife.
What the blade is made of is essential in the process of choosing a knife. Even with all the steel alloy blades out there, your decision will boil down to the two basic types of steel: the Japanese steel or the German one.
Japanese steel is razor sharp and great for cuts that require more delicacy.
Think sushi, Brunoise, julienne, or fine cuts.
However, Japanese steel are more difficult to sharpen as opposed to German steel. Moreover, because the edge is sharpened at a more extreme angle than German steel, it is generally more fragile.
German steel on the other hand are built to last because it has a thicker blade.
Furthermore, the edge generally lasts longer than Japanese steel and is less prone to breakages when dropped. Sharpening the blade is also easy.
However, food requiring delicate slicing can be a bit difficult to do. Think Brunoise, sashimi, and julienne.
A knife's handle should be considered carefully when buying a chef's knife. It does not matter whether you have a big hand or a small hand. The handle should feel comfortable around your hand.
If your hand is on the large side, then go for a knife that has a wider handle. However, if your hand is small, then check out a knife with a thinner handle.
Keep in mind that using a knife that does not fit your hand right could be disastrous. For instance, if you have a large hand and use a knife with a thin handle, pressure points in the palm will develop causing tension in the grip.
When this happens, movement fluidity will be poor leading to inaccurate and less than desirable cuts.
Weight and balance
To comfortably handle a knife does not just depend on the knife's fit and grip. The weight and balance of a knife should also be taken into serious consideration.
A knife's balance shows how the weight is spread out throughout the knife. The balance should be looked at before even checking out if the overall weight is desirable.
To find the balance of a chef's knife that is 10" or more in length, put the spot where the handle connects with the blade on your finger.
If the weight of the handle and the blade are equal, then knife has a good balance. If the weight is uneven, then try another knife.
Once you have a knife with good balance, then you can check the comfort of the overall weight by executing chopping or slicing motions.
How To Choose Your Perfect Chef Knife
Every good cook requires a good knife. This is the one you reach for first, even before you start assembling your ingredients. But what makes an excellent knife? The most significant thing is the blade. All blades today are made from chrome steel. The thicker the blade and the heavier, the better. The other important factor is the shaft of the blade should go right through the handle. A good blade desires regular sharpening and will last a lifetime.
(Low|Poor} quality knives have thin, pre-sharpened blades that are placed into a plastic handle. When you use them, they bend easily. When they are going blunt, you bin them. Next, you would like a size that suits you.
This varies from person to person. Some people like bigger knives and some people like smaller knives. Go through your kitchen drawer at this time and find all those knives that are too blunt to slice a tomato. Push your thumb against the blade. If it bends, throw it away. If it doesn't, sharpen the blade.
If you end up throwing all your knives away, you will need to get a new one. Do not be confused by the choice you have when you go shopping. There are consultant knives for pretty much every kitchen purpose. If you bone chickens often, you'll want a boning knife. If you are a grapefruit addict, you may need a grapefruit knife.
But if you are going to have only 1 perfect knife, then the one to pick is a Chef's Knife. It is worth spending the additional money to make certain you get the highest quality. It is generally quite a big knife, about a foot long. Even in its largeness, it comes in different sizes. These tend to be wider sizes, rather than longer sizes. Select the size that you find most comfortable.
The critical thing is the shape of the blade. A Chef's Knife blade looks a bayonet, or a bayonet, or a slightly lopsided Gothic arch, even though it's only sharp on one side. The top of the knife is pointy, and the base is awfully wide. The blade is smooth, not serrated, but it cuts through bread and tomatoes as easily as it cuts thru plants, meats, and cheeses. In truth, if you've got a good Chef's Knife, you will not even need a bread knife or a carving knife.
The blunt side of the blade is quite thick, and that is significant too. It implies you can use the back of the knife to squash chicken breasts, for example, into schnitzels. Just open out your chicken escallop and beat it down to the thickness you would like. You can also use the back of the knife to tenderize frying steaks.
Price is a good pointer to quality. The pricier knife will have the better, thicker blade. And if you're buying just one perfect knife, you are able to afford the better quality. One final tip is to store your knife in a special wooden knife-holder. This will help keep the blade sharp for longer. Knives that are in the same drawer with other cutlery go blunt sooner.