Welcome to your ultimate guide on how to choose a cooking knife. If there’s one kitchen tool that’ll be your loyal partner in your culinary journey, it’s your cooking knife. Thus, it becomes important to choose the one that suits your cutting, chopping, and smashing needs perfectly, and that’s what we’re here for.
You might be thinking all you need is a sharp knife, right? Well, you couldn’t be more wrong. You need to choose a knife that suits your budget, has good material, is perfectly balanced, and has the right amount of sharpness. You don’t want to buy a knife that you can’t use properly.
I heard somewhere (on the internet) that a good knife is like a good dance partner. I laughed a little but soon understood the meaning. It means that you should be comfortable with it and able to move it gracefully. I concluded that this was a weird yet beautiful analogy.
So, let’s know start with the factors that make a worthy cooking knife. First, let’s have a brief discussion about what we should look for in a knife. Also, if you are sure about what kind of knife you want, you should check the Damascus steel knife. Now let’s test my ‘sharp as a knife’ wit; read on!
What Are The Factors For A Worthy Cooking Knife?
First and foremost, you need to understand your preferences and know your needs. This is the thumb rule for buying anything. You should first start with the price. Everything else comes after. Set a budget and find a cooking knife that fits that like a glove.
Next, you need to see if it’s the right material and weight. Why does weight matter? So, the knife is easy for you to handle and maneuver. You can also find knives with great shapes. If you are an old soul (or just a millennial), you can also shop the old-school way. Hold a knife yourself before buying to see its quirks and faults.
A good way of knowing whether the knife is your perfect match or not is by doing a few tests with it. Try finely mincing something leafy like parsley or cilantro. You can also dice and chop fruits and vegetables to check the efficiency of the knife. To check the strength, you can use it to carve squashes and melons. You can also smash some garlic with it.
What Should Be The Price Of A Good Cooking Knife?
The price of a knife depends on many things. It depends on whether the handle is plastic or wood, the steel treatment, how the knife is crafted, and the level of detail and perfection. An expensive knife excels in all of these. Thus, a custom-made knife will be more expensive than a mass-produced one.
Thus, once you set a budget, look for a knife that falls in price and quality spectrum. I am sure you can find that will meet your quality and monetary needs.
What Is The Perfect Balance And Weight For A Good Cooking Knife?
The perfect weight and balance of a knife are both subjective. Many people find heavy knives more appealing as they have more cutting force. Others think that a lighter knife achieves more work as it is handier. As I said, a matter of preference.
Similarly, the perfect balance is subjective. It isn’t perfectly balanced if you hold a knife like a normal person, i.e., from the handle and find it leaning more towards one particular end. When you hold a knife that feels isn’t leaning towards a particular end but has a perfectly balanced center of mass, that’s your knife.
What Is The Size Of A Good Cooking Knife?
Ok, this one’s simple and has an absolute answer. If you’re looking for a knife that cuts perfectly through more volume but is also agile, an 8-inch knife is perfect. A 6-inch knife is agile but lacks the ability to cut more volume. A 10-inch knife, on the other hand, cuts more volume but can be a bit too much. So, an 8-inch-sized knife is a good cooking knife.
Talking about the width, a thinner blade is easy to maneuver than a wider one. But if you have business with smashing or scooping chopped ingredients, then perhaps a wider blade might work for you.
What Is The Right Material For A Good Cooking Knife?
Normally cooking knives come in steel. But that doesn’t mean all of them are good. When choosing a cooking knife, avoid carbon steel and opt for stainless steel. But don’t stop there. Stainless steel, as you know, is an alloy i.e., a mixture of metals.
Thus, the variation of the mixture varies. Choose a steel knife with low levels of chromium and some levels of vanadium and molybdenum added to it. Look for a knife that says ‘high carbon’ with carbon levels C<3% and some amount of chromium. This means that the knife will be sharp and strong, easy to resharpen, and won’t rust easily.
What’s A Japanese-Style Knife?
With the growing trend of sushi restaurants, you might be familiar with the Japanese-style knife. It is different from the German-style knife that we normally use. The Japanese-style knife is lighter, thinner, and sharper. This makes it perfect for thinly slicing things. But it is not usable when it comes to cutting through bigger things.
So this was your ultimate guide to choosing a great cooking knife. I hope it helped. Tell me in the comments whether you found your perfect culinary partner or not. I’ll see you next time with another article. Until then, happy shopping and happy cooking!