If you love to cook, you probably keep a good collection of preparation utensils on hand. If your collection is haphazard and of doubtful quality, on the other hand, you may wonder where to start. The answer is clear: Every good cook needs a good chef’s knife. Not only are these knives versatile, but those of quality are actually safer to use. Though there as many chef’s knives as there are televised cooking programs, you can cut down your options by using the following criteria.
Choose Your Size
Chef’s knives come in different sizes starting at 6 inches. Because hand sizes vary so much, look for a knife sized for comfortable manipulation on the cutting board. If you are not certain where to start, go with an 8-inch knife since it can adapt to many kitchen situations.
Pay for Steel
Contrary to what seems logical, extremely sharp knives are safer for cooking than dull ones; dull knives can slip off the food you are holding and slice through your hand. Pay for a high-carbon stainless steel blade that stays sharp and holds the edge for a long time. It is important to maintain that edge by using a mail-in sharpening service as soon as you notice the blade getting dull.
Get a Grip on the Handle
The right knife handle will enhance your chopping experience. Make sure it feels comfortable in your hand so that you can chop efficiently for a long time. Plastic and rubber handles may be preferable since they resist bacteria, which can build up in the wooden handle cracks and rivets; at the same time test to make sure the material does not become slippery when wet, a condition that can lead to the knife slipping out of your hand.
As is apparent, you should choose your first great chef’s knife in person rather than purchasing online. You need to hold the instrument to make sure it feels right. Only then can you truly master the art of slicing and chopping like a pro.