Having a good chef knife is the beginning of your cooking life. A chef knife can be used for multiple purposes including mincing, dicing, and slicing. Honestly, if you have a nice chef knife, you do not need to have all types of knife at home. You can cover most of the cutting tasks with a chef knife.
Due to the importance of a chef knife in cooking and relatively high price, the decision on choosing the chef knife cannot be easily made. Most people prefer to use their chef knife in a long term like their good company in a kitchenn not costantly replacing it with a new chef knife. However, if you make a wrong decision, the chef knife will just sit in a kitchen, aggravating you.
So here are some tips on choosing a good chef knife.
First, you should take a close look at what the blade of a chef knife consist of. That is, what kind of steel the blade is made out of should be the first question to you. There are many types of knife steel, but personally, I recommend high carbon stainless steel. It makes the blade strong, sharp, and rust-resisting.
Next, the process of making a knife is also very crucial for choosing a good chef knife. There are two types, “forged and stamped”. You can see that most of high end chef knife brands brag off their forging process of manufacturing a knife. Forged knife is known as extremely sharp and long-lasting. So check the descriptions of a chef knife to see the knife was forged or not.
Usually if the blade is manufactured in a forging process, it is 'full-tang.' Full-tang also determines the quality of a chef knife. Full-tang means that the blade extends from the point to the handle. Many cases, a knife is designed to reveal their full-tang running from the point to the end of the hand from the top. Full-tang blade provides a knife with better balance and weight when you are cutting.
A forged high-carbon stainless chef knife with a full tang satisfying the features above would be the safest and smartest choice for you. These three features definitely affect the quality of a chef knife and your happiness in a kitchen. Only drawback of chef knives with these features are relatively high price. However, it is totally worth investing your money for a good chef knife.
Other features of a chef knife including length (usually 8 inch long), handle, blade shape and blade edge are related to your preferences, not the quality of a chef knife. However, for a first-time buyer, I personally recommend you to buy a classic design of chef knife made for anyone from a beginner to a professional chef. Some features of the advanced models might be unnecessary for an inexperienced cook. Here are some popular classic chef knives.