This is your chef’s knife. It is your best friend. It is your life. You must master it as you must master your life. Without you, your chef’s knife is useless. Without your chef’s knife, you are useless.
“A kitchen without a knife is not a kitchen” – Masaharu Morimoto
It wasn’t until recently I found out about the importance of having a reliable chef’s knife. It doesn’t matter your level of experience or skill in the kitchen. Having one of these in your cooking arsenal is going to make your life a lot easier. This is your primary weapon and multipurpose tool. It can chop vegetables, slice fruit, mince herbs, disjoint large cuts of meat and everything in between.
There are various aspects to consider when selecting a chef’s knife. The blade composition, edge type, handle and country of origin are just a few things to consider. Searching for the right chef’s knife can be overwhelming due to the overload of information out there. I did lots of research (there’s lot of information on knives) and ended up selecting the high carbon stainless steel Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Chef’s Knife. Most knives are stainless steel, which is good since it prevents rust, thus increasing the knife’s longevity. The hybrid feature of this knife is the addition of carbon steel. Carbon steel knives are easier to sharpen and typically hold their edge better than a 100% stainless steel knife. All in all, we found the Victorinox knife to be premium quality, exceptionally rated by consumers and reasonably priced. In addition, we found validation of its quality by America’s Test Kitchen. The Victorinox has worked wonders; from carving whole chickens to mincing garlic and chopping sweet potatoes. The chef’s knife from my knife block could barely cut through a sweet potato.
Caring for Your Chef’s Knife
Purchasing a chef’s knife is an investment. If you get a high-quality knife and care for it well then it should last a lifetime. Keeping your knife sharp and clean will ensure its longevity.
Tools for caring for your chef’s knife
We find this rotating stone block to be a good solution since it has various stone grits to fine-tune your blade. Be sure to clean the stones with soap and water after every use.
2. Honing Tool
Contrary to some beliefs, this tool does not sharpen your knife. It is meant to straighten the edge.
Chef Marcus Buric has a great tutorial on how to sharpen and hone your blade.
If sharpening your knife is too time-consuming or if you flat out don’t want to do it then we advise utilizing a local knife sharpening service. Just stay away from any automatic/electric knife sharpener. These will ruin your blade.
3. Soap and water
This is all you need to clean your knife and it is recommended you only hand-wash your knife. Clean and dry your knife before and after it is sharpened as well as after every use.
I’ll also let Chef Buric go into how to use a chef’s knife. Having the proper technique will allow you to safely and efficiently cut your food.
Lastly, I want to throw in Bloodroot Blades and Kramer Knives simply for their elegant artistry. If you appreciate handcraft goods and Anthony Bourdain (spoiler alert), then we highly recommend looking into Bloodroot Blades and Kramer Knives. You’ll have a greater appreciation for knives and craftsmanship.