Undoubtedly, the most important cutlery in the kitchen is the chef’s knife, the cutting tool that you will use for most of the cooking tasks that you will perform. Regardless the type of food that you plan on cutting, chopping, mincing, or slicing, the chef’s knife is the cutlery that you will use, so it’s important for it to be of a great quality, impressive durability, and superior sharpness. In the following, we will learn more about this centerpiece of the cutlery collection in any modern kitchen, studying its anatomy, analyzing what you have to look into when buying it, and finding out how you can be 100% certain that the model you’re purchasing is actually of a good quality.
Before you find out what you must look for and what you have to do to purchase the ideal knife, let’s first look into the anatomy of this important cutlery piece. As you can see in the picture above, the chef’s knife is composed of the butt, the tang, the heel, the edge, the tip, the point, the spine, the bolster, and the handle. Read this section of the article to learn more about each component.
There are three main elements that you have to look into when purchasing a chef’s knife and these elements are the size, the weight, and the balance of the cutlery piece. Find out why each of these elements is important by learning more about the role that they play.
The size of the blade shows for what type of cooking tasks the knife is appropriate. For example, a 6-inch chef’s knife offers more agility than cutlery pieces that come with longer blades do, but it doesn’t do well when it’s confronted with volume or when you have to slice through large foods, fruits, or vegetables. The 8-inch long blade is by far the most popular choice of cooks as it’s perfect in size for all type of tasks in the kitchen, versatility being its strong point. On the other hand, the 10-inch long blades offer the cook the possibility to cut more volume. Unfortunately, they feel less comfortable to work with due to their size.
The ideal weight varies depending on the user. Some feel like a light knife is the perfect choice to go with as it allows them to move fast and freely, while others prefer to have a more forceful approach to cutting, chopping, slicing, and mincing, thus choosing a heavier chef’s knife. Regardless of the category that you fall into, make sure that you keep your preference in mind when choosing this element as it’s vital when it comes to how easy it will be for you to handle the knife and how pleasurable cooking will be for you.
Choosing this third and equally important element depends entirely on you as you have to decide what feels comfortable for you. Basically, a pre-set perfect balance doesn’t exist, this criteria being in the palm of the beholder. Just test the knife to see if it’s comfortably weighted toward the blade and toward the back of the handle. Also, don’t forget to check the side-to-side balance of the knife when using it.
Know that you know what you must look into when shopping for this important piece of cutlery, and that you’re aware of the knife’s anatomy, better understanding and appreciating it, let’s see what you must do to be 100% sure that the purchase you will make is going to be a long-lasting one. Obviously, the only bulletproof method of buying a quality knife is to test it yourself. By doing this, you not only get to see whether it’s truly sharp or not, but you get to see whether it feels comfortable in your hand and if you can maneuver it properly. The tests that you should try out to convince yourself of these aspects is to mince parsley, carve a melon, thinly cut carrot strips, and dice an onion. If the knife passes one or more of these tests and if you are able to handle it properly when using it, then it’s the right choice to go with.