Last updated: August 19, 2021

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If you like cooking and you are looking for tools to help you in the preparation of different dishes, you are in the right place. This time we want to tell you about chef's knives and which ones are the best on the market.

Whether you cook professionally or not, a good knife is an indispensable tool. Nowadays there is a wide variety of knives on the market, specialised in a specific technique or ingredient, but having them all can be very expensive. If you only want to buy one, make it a chef's knife.

We invite you to read on, as here we will briefly explain the main characteristics that you should take into account in order to make a good choice when buying a chef's knife.




Summary

  • It is the most important kitchen utensil you can have, as it will be used every time you prepare a dish in the kitchen.
  • It is very versatile, it can be used for chopping, filleting, slicing and cutting different types of food.
  • Its blade stays sharper for much longer than a conventional knife, although it is also necessary to maintain it constantly, especially if you choose a carbon steel knife, which requires more care to avoid signs of rust.

The best Chef's Knife: Our Picks

Buying Guide

You've probably watched an episode of Master's Chef, and your inner chef has come to the fore. But your desire to cook like a pro is dulled by the lack of the necessary tools. In this article we will show you one of the best friends of any professional chef.

The edge of a chef's knife lasts longer than that of a conventional knife.
(Source: Dolgachov/ 123rf.com)

What are chef's knives and what are their advantages?

The best ally of a chef, professional or not, is a good knife. It is one of the few - if not the only - kitchen utensils needed to prepare any food: raw, cooked, baked, pastry, etc.

The variety of knives that exist today is very wide, however if it comes to choosing one of them, the chef's knife is the best option. It is multi-purpose, versatile, resistant, retains its sharpness for a long time, and if it is maintained, it can last for many years. It is useful for cutting meat, fruit, vegetables or herbs.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of this type of knife:

Advantages
  • Multipurpose, you can cut, slice, chop any type of food
  • Its edge lasts longer than that of a conventional knife
  • Due to its edge, it allows you to have more agility and precision when cutting
  • Most of these types of knives have a lifetime guarantee.
Disadvantages
  • They can be expensive, although nowadays you can find versions that, although with lower quality, can fulfil their function
  • They require maintenance
  • Its edge can cause injuries.

German or Japanese Chef's Knife - What should you pay attention to?

As already mentioned, the chef's knife is very versatile. It can be used with any type of food, and with various techniques.

Most of these knives, at least the ones commonly known in Mexico, are German style, also known as western. However, there is another type of chef's knife that, although not the most popular, is increasingly seen and used in our country: the Japanese knife.

Below, we detail these two categories:

German Japanese
Its blade is thicker, and they are made with steel that is not as hard (not to say that this is a defect, this is how they are designed) Thinner blade than the German style, which makes it lighter and allows it to slide more easily through the food to be cut.
The steel can wear, and therefore dull, more easily than a Japanese one, so sharpening will be required more often. The hardness of their steel makes them more fragile, they can be easier to break or chip when dropped.
Japanese steel retains its shape and sharpness more.

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different models of chef's knives

Whether you're making a salad, a broth, a stew or a dessert, you're going to need a knife. It's probably the one kitchen utensil you'll need every time you prepare food.

Choosing a knife that you will be in contact with on a daily basis is not easy... there are several factors to consider in order to make the best possible choice:

  • Size
  • Weight
  • Handle
  • Style: German or Japanese
  • Material
  • Guard or fender

Below, we explain each of them in more detail:

Size

The size of the knife may depend on the user. We recommend a knife of around 8 inches for home cooks, without any preparation or cooking experience. 12-inch knives are best handled by professional chefs or cooks, as they can have better control of it.

The largest variety of chef knives can be found online at shops such as Amazon, Linio or Mercado Libre. (Source: Undrey/ 123rf.com)

Weight

If you're looking to chop a lot of vegetables, or cut through bones, a heavy knife can make the task easier, although when used over a long period of time, it can become tiring. It's a matter of preference or how much use you'll get out of it.

Handle

The knife should feel comfortable and secure, with materials that prevent it from slipping when wet. Some have mouldings or textures that make it easier to grip.

German or Japanese

Mainly we refer to the material and hardness of the knife.

Remember that Japanese style knives are made of harder material which, believe it or not, makes them more fragile. Having virtually zero flexibility, it is easier for the tip to break if dropped, or to splinter if you accidentally try to cut through bone or a hard surface like that.

If you're looking to chop a lot of vegetables, or cut through bones, a heavy knife can make the task easier. (Source: congerdesign/ Pixabay.com)

Material

Stainless steel or carbon steel? A carbon steel knife can be sharper (and stay sharper longer) than a stainless steel one, however it does need recurring maintenance as it tends to rust or stain over time.

On the other hand, and as the name says, a stainless steel knife is more resistant and prevents corrosion.

Guard or defence

This feature is important if you are a novice cook, as it serves as a kind of brake or stop between the handle and the knife. This feature may not be necessary for experienced cooks, in fact, it is avoided by some, as it makes it difficult to fully sharpen the blade of the knife.

(Featured image photo: Fortyforks/ 123rf.com)

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