When you start to search for the best chef knife, you may be overwhelmed by the seemingly endless options out there in the market. A number of review sites on the internet might confuse you even more with all the different lists of best chef knives. The truth is the question on what is the best chef knife is not easy to answer. Actually, there is no one best chef knife that satisfies everyone. Each cook has different preferences and opinions on what they consider the best kitchen knives. So, the proper question will be, “what is the best chef knife for me?”
To find out which chef knife will be best for you, we will need to take the following steps:
- Set your budget for your chef knife
- Get to know your preferences: German vs. Japanese Kitchen Knives
- Check out the list of the top five best chef knives and read the detailed reviews
Set your budget
In terms of a budget, most high-end cutlery brands like Wusthof, Henckels, and Global fall somewhere in the range of $100 to $200 unless you really want to go into upper level cutlery brands like the Nenox Chef Knife ($300). Personally, I like to use the chef knives in the $100-$200 price range because they offer a nice combination of affordability and performance, and will last almost as long as you will if you maintain proper care of your knife. You really do not need to go over a budget of $100-$200. If your knife budget falls below $100, I would recommend Farberware cutlery. When I first started cooking, I used a Farberware santoku knife. While it did not have the razor-like edge of a Global knife, in all honestly, for the price, it still worked well enough and felt light and comfortable in my hand.
Getting to know your preferences
Once you have set your budget, you will need to get to know your chef knife preferences. In order to figure out what type of chef knife you will prefer to use, you will first need to understand the differences between the two most popular cutlery styles: German and Japanese. Becoming familiar with the two styles of knives will definitely shorten the long journey to narrowing down and choosing the best chef knife for you.
<German Kitchen Knives>
Traditionally, German Kitchen Knives have dominated the cutlery market around the world for years and years. Even if you are not a foodie, you may have heard of Wusthof and Zwiling, J.A. Henckels, the two best-known kitchen knife brands internationally. German kitchen knives have been favored by professional cooks and home cooks because of their sharp and durable blade and good balance.
When looking for a good quality German knife, you should remember these characteristics: Forged, full-tang, and bolster. Forged knives that require intensive labor in the manufacturing process tend to be more expensive than stamped knives manufactured by massive production. However, a forged knife is much stronger and more durable. They also tend to have a full-tang and a bolster in their design. Full-tang means the blade runs from its tip to the end of the handle as one piece preventing blade separation from the handle. A bolster is the collar between the blade and the handle, which helps create the excellent balance when you use the knife. The drawback of a forged knife is its heftiness due to the extra weight of the full-tang and bolster to the blade. Actually, some people prefer to use a hefty knife, but a lot of professional chefs have switched their hefty German chef knife for a lighter Japanese knife.
<Japanese Kitchen Knives>
We have discussed some of the benefits for having a forged kitchen knife. As I mentioned above, the forged knife is usually a good indicator of a good quality chef knife. However, the forged knife is not the only quality kitchen knife.
High-end Japanese cutlery brands, which originated from Seki, Japan, the birthplace of the Samurai Sword, have developed their own knife manufacturing process. They do not have traditional German cutlery features like forged, full-tang, and bolster, but, they also produce the some of best quality kitchen knives. Check out the worldly-known Japanese cutlery brands; Global, Shun, and Mac.
Japanese kitchen knives tend to be much more light-weight than their German counterparts and are extremely sharp-edged. Some people think all blade edges are the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. The blades of typical German knives keep their edges at 20-22 degrees per side, while Japanese blades are angled at somewhere between 15 and 18 degrees per side, giving you a much more- razor-like edge.
(Read "Henckels Professionals (German) vs. Global G-2 (Japanese) chef knife" at http://topchefknivesdiscount.com/henckels-professional-s-vs-global-chef-knife/)
Now that we have selected a price point and have researched our preferences between German-style and Japanese-style chef knives, we can now narrow down which exact knife will be your new best friend in the kitchen. To help with your decision, you can check out this list of some of the most popular high-end chef knives, including Wusthof, Zwilling, J.A. Henckels, Shun, Global, and Mac. Each brand has a number of different designs and lines for their loyal customers. For those of you who are just beginning their culinary adventure in the kitchen, I recommend you to go with one of the following the classic designs of those brands.
Wusthof Classic Ikon Cook's Knife
Wusthof Classic Ikon Cook's Knife, the lastest line of Wusthof knives, is designed to contain the best features of each of the previous lines of Wusthof knives. This knife is very versitile and can be used for multiple tasks such as chopping, dicing, and mincing, easily processing all different types of foods.The blade is precision-forged from a single piece of high-carbon German stainless steel and … Read More..
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