Chef knives are a key to the trade for most chefs. They are the most versatile and comfortable knives to use when they are good quality.
Though cheap chef knives may seem attractive for businesses, the extra dangers, hassle, and limitations involved with using them often make them not worth the price.
Instead, food businesses and individuals would do better to invest in a better quality knife that will last longer and provide a safer and more enjoyable cooking experience. When choosing chef knives, businesses should take brand, price, size, and composition into consideration.
A good chef knife should be able to smoothly and cleanly cut herbs, slice through tomatoes without applying pressure, and be comfortable to hold and use.
Brand names are often just a gimmick, a symbol of status recognized by many but afforded only by some. The same can be said for popular chef knife brands.
However, the statement of quality which the brand names give can be significant and helpful in the kitchen. Henckels, Wusthof, Global, and Shun are all popular brands that chefs and home cooks will swear by.
The brand indicates the origin of the knife, its weight, the way it is made, and the elegance with which it should cut.
While western knives such as those from Germany tend to be tough and hardy, Japanese knives usually feel light and delicate. Though all knives need to be sharpened on a regular basis, some of these name brand name knives are made of harder material than cheaper alternatives, minimizing the need for constant sharpening and maximizing the durability of the knives.
A good chef knife can range from about $50 to over $500. Of course, venues should take budget into consideration, since they will likely need at least a few chef knives on hand.
Home cooks may be willing to invest more in one excellent chef knife, since a good quality knife can be a once in a lifetime purchase.
That being said, cutting can be enjoyable with any good quality chef knife, so investing an extra couple hundred of dollars in an even better knife may not be worth it to most.
Have a budget in mind before searching for chef knives in order to save time and effort by narrowing down the pool of options.
The size of a chef knife may be the factor with the most impact on the comfort of using a chef knife. A knife that is too big for the holder will be hard and uncomfortable to maneuver and use and may create safety risks or lead to unevenly cut foods.
A knife that is too small will have a similar effect and can sometimes be so thin that it chafes and cuts the holder’s hand over time.
Most people can comfortably handle a range on knife sizes. Therefore, the best solution is often to keep medium-sized knives on hand which will enable most kitchen workers to be able to work comfortably.
Chef knife blades are usually made either from carbon steel or stainless steel. Carbon steel is stronger and easier to sharpen than stainless steel.
However, it is more likely to stain and rust. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is extremely resistant to corrosion. Some alternative metal alloys exist in chef knives, providing the best of both materials, though these tend to be expensive.
You can’t go wrong with chef knives composed of either material, but should stay aware of the pros and cons of each and make purchasing decision based on the amount of effort which you are willing to put into maintaining the knives as well as the price you are willing to pay for them.
Chef knives often become an extension of a cook’s hand during food preparation. There are those who get sold to a certain chef knife and feel less comfortable using any other type of chef knife thereafter.
Though food businesses should make sure that the chef knives they purchase are comfortable, safe, and efficient to use, they should choose their knives largely based on their budget and needs.
A pizza shop may be able to get by with just one, relatively inexpensive chef knife, whereas a restaurant with a more varied menu which includes many ingredients may consider purchasing better knives.
Choosing chef knives for any venue or type of kitchen should receive proper attention, since they are one of the most important food preparation items in both home and commercial kitchens.