What is the Best Knife
Are you thinking of becoming a Chef? Are you searching for the best knife to buy?
I could give you the cliché answer, “It depends” when it comes to answering this question. Of course it really does! I did want to take a minute to list out some of my favorite knives and which company they come from. During my tenure I found that each company makes certain knives that are great and some that I would prefer not owning.
The Chef Knife
First off, lets talk about the workhorse of my knife kit. It’s an 8-inch Wusthof Ikon Classic. This baby has been with me through a lot. I chipped its tip and still was able to bring it back. I have cut through pounds of celery root, carrots and the likes with it. Trust me, this knife is worth owning. It is not as fancy as the Damascus steel blades or the Japanese Shun. It does get the job done and keeps a good edge.
The only cons are that the steel is quite hard. This knife gets sharp, but not as sharp as a sushi knife or a Shun. It can be used to cut delicately, it just won’t be at the level of some of the softer metals. This also means it holds an edge much longer, so if your like me, and leave the maintenance light on for 2 months before getting your car checked out. This is the knife for you.
Now, there is a cheaper option. You can get any of the lower tiers of Wusthof. The blade is the same. Really the only difference is the handle. I just happen to be persnickety and I love the grip on the Ikon Classic.
When it comes to boning knives, I don’t like Wusthof’s variety. It is a little too stiff. There isn’t the flexibility needed to pop around a joint or curve through meat. Nope, this is the one time I prefer a Global. I say this, because I often hate the grip of a Global. It doesn’t have the natural hand formed shape that the Wusthof Classic offers. This being said. You can’t beat that flexibility. I would always ask my Chef to borrow his Global when there was a ridiculous amount of butchery needing to be done!
Oh, 4 cases of chicken just came in! Let’s get to work!
Paring knives, now honestly I think you can get away with the cheap Kuhn Rikon multi palate color knife. If you feel like that is too cheap, then Wusthof or Global work great. However, if you are constantly losing your paring knife. Then get yourself a Kuhn Rikon. Why not just buy the whole
Maybe you can even carry it around in your chef jacket shoulder pocket.
Finally, the last type of knife I really learned to enjoy was a Shun Nakiri. It looks like a very small cleaver and works great to julienne, brunoise, slice, and dice vegetables. Typically I don’t lean towards Shuns because the handle is awkward for me. This is the one case where I find this brand superior. Most other brands that make a Nakiri seem to make it as an afterthought.
Remember, no going over your veg twice!
Dependable Cheap Knives
Let’s talk about value. Most good knives are somewhere north of $100. Then you often need at least 5 knives to start out, so that is half a grand to get paid 12$-15$ an hour. That math really doesn’t add up. So if you want a good knife for cheap. Honestly, Macs are great! That may sound weird, they are flimsy pieces of metal and really aren’t crafted but punched out. Yet, they are so razor thin, they are great for chopping shallots, breaking down small fish and game, even going through beef. You can bring back the edge quickly by honing and minimal sharpening. My Chef bought me one before I left one of my kitchens and it worked amazing. So don’t go crazy, don’t get distracted by the brands, just buy what works!
Fancy and Durable Knives
Let’s be honest, it is really nice to own a BMW, or Mercedes. The overall experience is smoother, sleeker and built with drivers in mind. The Nihei’s Collection MORISHIGE Gyuto Japanese Chef’s Knife Hand Made knife is the BMW of knives. If you have an extra grand lying around(and don’t feel like sending it to me 😦 ). Then here is knife that you can be proud to own. It is the luxury knife, and the few times I got to use one, man…I was ready to sign away a paycheck or two.
Knives not Mentioned
You will notice I picked very few varieties of knives. Some of you are probably curious about cleavers, slicers, utility knives and bread knives. Personally, those knives aren’t always needed(except maybe the bread knife). If you are just starting out as a cook, you really can do a lot with the four knives above. Yes, you should buy a bread knife. But don’t spend 200$ on it. If you really think you need a 200$ bread knife to make croutons, well, maybe you are just better off than me!
Let me know your thoughts, anything I missed? Do you disagree? What is your favorite knife brand?
Also, don’t forget to get a nice home for your knives!
Tags: Knives, What is the best Chef Knife, Chef life, I want to become a chef, Top Chef Knives, Cheap Knives, Where do I get new knives, What tools do I need as a Chef, Cooking knives, Japanese knives