When it comes to cooking, the knife should be one of the most essential priorities.
Even if you are not a professional chef, you should get yourself a chef knife. Believe it or not, a good knife can last for a lifetime while helping you carry out all the kitchen tasks conveniently and improve the quality of your dishes.
But how to choose a chef knife for beginners when it’s usually too expensive and overwhelming?
There is no ultimate chef knife that suits everyone and every purpose. The key is to know about what chef knives have to offer to find yourself the right match.
5 Things About How To Choose A Chef Knife For Beginners
When picking a chef knife, keep this checklist in mind to find your perfect chef knife.
A heavy chef knife can cut through food more easily because its heavier weight allows it to fall with more force. However, the heavyweight may be an obstacle if you want to try out and perfect many different knife skills.
Meanwhile, a lighter chef knife is easier to handle and maneuver. If you want to train and develop your knife skills, a lighter chef knife is a way to go. Yet, the weight is entirely up to you.
Hence, try out different knives and find the one that matches your interest and feels right to you.
For home cooks and complete beginners, an 8-inch chef’s knife is the best option because you can use it to do anything in your home kitchen. The 10-inch counterpart has a longer blade and can seem somewhat intimidating to beginners.
A 6-inch knife is lighter and easier to hold, but cannot handle a larger volume of food.
3. Blade material
Chef knives can be made from many different materials and depending on the material, chef knives also differ greatly.
- A stainless steel blade makes the knife more affordable and gives the knife a protective coat against rust. Yet, the blade can dull easily and it is difficult to sharpen a stainless steel blade.
- A blade made from high-carbon steel is more expensive but corresponding with its higher price, it is more robust and durable.
- A titanium blade is light, sharp, and easy to handle. Despite those advantages, this kind of blade is not effective in cutting through hard materials.
- A ceramic blade can stay sharp for a long time, but it may lack the weight that other blades have and are more difficult to maintain as ceramic is a fragile material.
3. The knife handle
A perfect handle won’t make you strain or use much strength to hold it. Thus, the gap in the underside of the handle should be large enough to protect your hand from hitting the chopping board while using the knife.
4. The right balance
The balance of a knife can differ depending on the hands holding it. You can quickly test the balance by holding the knife handle.
If a chef knife feels as if it is weighted towards one end – either the handle or blade – it’s unbalanced to your grip. Holding an unbalanced chef knife means you have to use more strength to keep the knife stable, which is rather inefficient.
Try other chef knives until you find the one that fits you the most.
Here is an informative video about how to choose a chef’s knife by The Manual for your further information:
3 Tips For Beginners When Buying A New Chef Knife
Despite knowing all this information, you may enter a flatware and cookware store baffling at the wide range of chef knives available. Here are some useful shopping tips for you to make a wise purchase.
- Try holding the knife in your hand and see if the size, shape, and weight of the knife suit you. Test out several knife skills to get the feeling of the knife you are trying. Try going through several different knives to find the one that matches you the most.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help from the salespeople. They know about the knives in their store much better. Tell them your concern and get advice as well as suggestions.
- Make sure whether you can return or change the knife after buying it. You may find the knife that feels nice in your hand at the store, yet, when using it in your kitchen, it is no longer fitting. Since chef knives are usually not cheap, don’t be afraid to ask.
How much should a chef knife cost?
Depending on your budget, you can find chef knives ranging from $50 to $1000. For beginners, the ideal range would be from $50 to $200. Set a budget and find a knife that fits the budget and matches you the most.
What is the most popular knife for chefs?
Some of the top brands of chef knives are Henckels, Wusthof, or Shun. These knives can be purchased easily anywhere in the world. Popular chefs like Gordon Ramsey or Bobby Flay also use these brands.
What is the best knife to cut meat?
Meat should be cut and handled properly to maintain its texture and shape. The best knives to cut meat are Wüsthof Classic Artisan Butcher Knife, Jero Butcher Series 7″ Carving Knife, or Dalstrong Butcher’s Breaking Cimitar Knife. You can be a professional butcher if you use these knives.
If you are a beginner, you have all that you need to know about choosing the right chef knife. A good knife is always a good investment so don’t hesitate to go exploring different chef knives to get your right knife and elevate your cooking skill.