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The Irreplaceable Chef’s Knife

If you could only own one kitchen knife professional chefs could almost unanimously agree that your one kitchen knife should be a chef’s knife. The chef’s knife is also referred to as a cook’s knife, and for good reason.

The chef’s knife is the workhorse of the kitchen. The go-to food prep tool that professional chefs use in every session. Have you seen Rachel Ray use anything other than those orange handled vegetable blossom beasts? She sells them under her own brand.

The standard blade length is 8 inches and that’s the size you’ll discover in most culinary colleges and professional kitchens. Bear in mind that many specialist chefs are men so that the more haired one among us will do just as nicely with a 7 inch blade or perhaps even one an inch or two smaller, based on personal preferences.

The shape of the chef’s knife is what makes it so flexible and so desired. The tip is pointed and just flexible enough to cut around bones. The wide blade is designed for chopping, slicing and mincing vegetable bunches. The better equipped chef’s knives are slightly curved towards the trick so you can use a continuous rocking movement for chopping and dicing. The heel is extra thick and rocky and can be used like a cleaver for chopping through bone or for splitting a raw turnip. The wide, flat side of the blade can be used for smashing garlic. Even the flat, non-cutting edge of the blade has a purpose and is used to tenderize cutlets.

Quality chef’s knives are made from high-carbon stainless steel, which is sharpened to a razor’s edge and which is easy to keep clean without rusting. Hogue Deka Review are forged – individually hammered by a single piece of steel. Quality chef’s knives are also stamped or punched from sheet steel. It is possible to tell a forged knife out of a stamped knife by the hump or shoulder to the forging in which the blade meets the handle. Forged knives are heavier and are usually reputed to have better texture and balance. Forged chef’s knives will be the most expensive ($75 to $100) but if not abused a forged chef’s knife will last for decades.

Handles are 1/3 to 1/2 the length of the blade. They are produced from timber or hard composites. Professional chefs have a strong preference for handles that are riveted through the rear end of the blade. If nothing else that the rivets impart a sense of power and permanence.

Heft or burden is important. You want the heaviest chef’s knife which you can work without discomfort. If it seems counterintuitive consider the thicker the knife the more gravity results in the job. A mild chef’s knife requires more work from you to chop through a thick parsley bunch or to pound out a cutlet.

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