How To Choose A Great Kitchen Knife
Choosing a kitchen knife is an important decision. Select the right one and the tasks of cutting, chopping, and slicing will be satisfying and pleasurable. You’ll be rewarded with a lifetime of ease in the kitchen. Choose the wrong knife and you will derive little pleasure from cooking, waste your time, and ultimately have to purchase another knife. We hope this article will give you some guidance on how to choose the correct knife for you.
Most likely you’ve heard that a cook’s knife is the kitchen’s most important tool. And let’s face it, besides you; it’s the biggest work horse in there. The reasons for this are obvious. A good kitchen knife does everything from chop onions, smash garlic to bone chicken and skin halibut. But selecting the perfect knife for you is a personal decision and requires a thoughtful approach. There are a number of factors that go into choosing a good knife including how much you cook, what you cook, the recommended care of the knife, price, and what feels comfortable in your hand. It’s also important to consider the needs of other members in your household. Here are a few suggestions:
If you are a cooking enthusiast and you appreciate and care for your kitchen tools, you have two excellent choices. Our first and favorite recommendation is the Misono UX-10 Chef Knife 8.25. This knife has a superior edge which stays sharp for a long time. In addition, the fit, finish, and balance of this knife are outstanding. The knife comes with full metal tang and is the perfect size for most home cooks. Over 70 professional chefs polled by Food & Wine magazine gave Misono their highest rating as their overall favorite knife brand. This is a knife to treasure. If other household members don't appreciate the quality of this knife, it may be a good idea to mark it "off limits" to them. These knives should never go in the dishwasher and should be stored in a manner that does not damage the blade. For this we recommend a magnetic rack. One potential drawback is that this knife has an asymmetrical bevel on the edge which means it is sharpened on the right side much more than the left. If someone is left-handed, this would not be the best choice. In this case, we recommend the Shun Elite Chef Knife which is beveled equally on both sides of the edge thus accommodating any user. Shun Elite knives are recommended for their "powdered steel" which forms a dense alloy that results in a sharp and long lasting edge. The appearance of these knives is unique and they also feature a full tang. Washing and storage instructions are the same as the Misono knives. Both Misono and Shun Elite feature handles made of Pakkawood which is a high quality hardwood laminate that combines the beautiful look and feel of hardwood with the strength and performance of plastic. While both these knives are more costly, you easily get your money's worth in knife longevity and excellent performance.
For those less inclined to pamper their knives, we recommend the Forschner Rosewood 8" Chef Knife. Forschner makes good quality, inexpensive knives that are made to handle the potential abuses of the professional kitchens. Therefore, if you leave your knives in the sink, toss them in the dishwasher, and store them without protection, this may be the knife for you. It's a good basic knife that will perform most cutting duties. While we don't recommend washing any knife in the dishwasher, the Forschner is made of good quality steel and will hold up well under most conditions. This knife won't stay sharp as long as the above knives so do invest in a good steel and sharpener as well.
Give some thought to what type of cook you are and choose carefully. After all, this decision can either enhance your cooking experience or make it harder than it needs to be.